The home buying process can be confusing and stressful. Not only do you need to consider things such as price and location, you also have to worry about whether the property has any hidden problems that could become expensive surprises down the road. In order to prepare you for a home inspection, Wilkerson & Company will explain our inspection process from start to finish.
Request or Schedule an Inspection: An inspection can usually be scheduled within three days of when you call depending on how busy the market is. You can request an inspection by phone, fax, email, or from our website. Occasionally, if you are running close to your deadline, we may have rescheduling from another client that will allow us to fit you into the schedule.
Introduction: We try to arrive early to put you at ease and to explain the inspection process. General information about the house is then gathered to help us during the inspection (i.e. age of home, when the roof was last replaced, etc.) A picture is worth a thousand words and, even though our written home inspection reports are very comprehensive, it is a good idea to attend your inspection. We encourage you to ask questions, during the home inspection and, at the conclusion of the inspection. The home inspection provides an opportunity for you to learn about the house and its systems. A typical home inspection will take about 2 to 3 hours. Inspection tools are unloaded and we explain our Pre-Inspection Agreement. The Pre-Inspection Agreement is our formal contact that describes our limits and liabilities, service fee, and inspection method. The inspection will begin after the agreement has been signed and dated.
Inspection Begins Outside: The inspection will start outside with the roof, exterior and grounds. First we will walk around the exterior of the home to get oriented. There is nothing more important than the structural integrity of the home. We look for structural deflection and distress in the exterior framing of the roof and walls which could indicate a serious structural problem. We will walk on the roof to get a close look at the roof surface, the roof flashings, chimney, skylights, covering, etc. If it is unsafe for us to walk on the roof, we will use binoculars or a ladder to provide further examination. We are looking for areas that are vulnerable to water intrusion and will be sure to check those areas carefully during the interior inspection. We then concentrate on the siding, trim, windows, doors, decks, patios, porches, driveways, sidewalks, and foundation walls. We will look for do it yourself projects, etc. that have deficiencies. Accurate land grading around the home and appropriate removal of roof rain water is important to keep excess water away from the foundation. We check the exterior electrical system, the air conditioning unit and finally the garage.
From there, the inspection moves to the interior living spaces: The interior inspection will start on the first floor, then the remaining rooms on the second and third floors. In each inhabitable room, certain aspects of the plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems will be inspected as well as windows, doors, ceilings, walls, and other structural systems. The interior inspection will include all living spaces. Any unusual conditions could be a sign of a structural defect, as well as signs of water intrusion. The attic interior will be inspected next and it is here where we obtain the best information about the roof structure, the chimney, and the condition of insulation and ventilation. The attic will reveal evidence of structural defects, wood destroying insects, evidence of water intrusion, as well as any plumbing, electrical, heating, or air-conditioning problems. You will be amazed to find out what surprises may be found in the attic. Next, the inspection involves a thorough examination of the crawlspace or basement. We will inspect all readily accessible areas of the basement and crawlspace including foundation structures, plumbing, electrical, main utility entrances, and the heating system. We will look for defects in the structure caused by soil movement, improper modification, and moisture damage. We will look for evidence of water intrusion as well as any corrective systems that have been installed to control water. If the house doesn't have a basement or crawlspace, we will attempt to do a visual slab-on-grade inspection from within to evaluate these same components.
Once the inspection ends, we will explain our findings and prepare a written report. We will consult with you on any sufficiently deficient findings viewed during the inspection process. You will then be expected to pay the home inspection service fee agreed upon within the Pre-Inspection Agreement. After we leave the home inspection site it will take about one hour or longer depending on the complexity to generate a narrative report. The report generally runs 25 to 40 pages and includes a Report Summary that will let you quickly review the suggested home improvements. The report narrative is computer generated in our office. The report is available the next day and in many cases, the same day by entering your name and password on the Wilkerson & Company View Your Report website or by e-mail (.PDF format). We are proud to provide the highest quality reporting system available. You will find our report easy to read and the explanations very helpful. On our secure website you can login and view your formal report within 24 hours of inspection. We also include a reference key, directory of industry terms, basic maintenance and safety tips. The additional report information will be a valuable resource for years to come. Unlike most professionals, you probably will not get to meet us until after we have been hired, that is why it is very important to understand our processes. We hope you have gained an appreciation for our home inspection process. Thank you for the opportunity to share some of the conditions that goes into conducting a thorough and professional home inspection. Please contact us to schedule your home inspection today!