According to the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics glossary, a home inspection is "The process by which an inspector visually examines the readily accessible systems and components of a home and which describes those systems and components in accordance with these Standards of Practice.
As always there must be the legal terminology: "Our Inspector will perform a visual inspection of, and prepare a written report on, the apparent condition of the readily accessible installed systems and components of the property existing at the time of the inspection. The inspection is essentially visual, is not technically exhaustive, and does not imply that every defect will be discovered. Latent and concealed defects and deficiencies are excluded from the inspection. Cosmetic flaws and defects will not be a part of this inspection." (South Charlotte Inspection Services, Inc. home inspection agreement)
South Charlotte Inspection Services, Inc. examines:
Lots & Grounds Exterior Surfaces Roof
Garage/Carport Structural System Electrical System
Attic Basement/Crawl Space Air Conditioning System
Heating System Plumbing Living Spaces
What it all comes down to, is that we are going to educate you about the home you are having inspected: what systems are present; the basics of how those systems work; the basics of how to maintain those systems; and the apparent condition of those that we can inspect in accordance with our Standards of Practice. If we find things that need to be repaired, we will give you advice and guidance on what kind of specialist needs to make the repairs. We will also offer advice and guidance on resources to learn more about maintaining the property.
We are not going to tear systems apart. That would be a technically exhaustive inspection. We can arrange technically exhaustive inspections; however, they cost several thousand dollars and are usually not necessary in a real estate transaction. In a technically exhaustive inspection, specialists in each system of a home are called in, systems are dismantled, destructive testing is conducted, and extensive measurements/calculations of system capacities are made.
A common analogy about Home Inspectors relates to the medical profession. When you don't know exactly what's wrong, you see a Family Practice Doctor or generalist. If there are serious problems, the generalist refers you to a specialist, such as a heart doctor.
The Home Inspector performs the function of a generalist. Our training and experience guide us in determining if there are serious problems, and if there are, which specialist(s) to refer the home buyer to given the symptoms of the serious problems. In effect, if we determine that there is a serious problem with: your electrical system, we recommend that you have the problem repaired by a licensed electrician; with the roof, a qualified roofer; and with the plumbing system, a licensed plumber.
To maintain our objectivity, we will not perform any repairs on a property that we inspect.
Because we service a large area, it is not possible for us to be up to date on which contractor in each specialty and geographical area does a good job or a bad job, therefore, we will not recommend a particular contractor to make a repair.
We WILL provide a comprehensive report, including a summary, of the problems we found, along with a photos of those problem areas. If questions arise about our inspection or the report, you should feel free to contact us and we will help clarify the issue.
Samples of our inspection report are available on this web site. Please call or e-mail us with your information to obtain the price of a professional home inspection.