Q: What is included in a home inspection?

A: All inspections include a visual inspection of the condition of the lot and grounds, exterior surfaces, roof, gutter system, attic, ventilation, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; foundation, basement, crawl spaces, visible structure, heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), kitchen appliances, interior plumbing and electrical systems.

Q: Does this include major household appliances?

A: Only if the appliances are built in (i.e. range, dishwasher, vent system, and garbage disposal). If appliances are considered to be portable and not part of the house (i.e. refrigerator, clothes washer and dryer, portable dishwasher, etc.), they are not included in a standard home inspection.

Q. Why should I have a home inspection?

A: The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase.

If you are already a home owner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn preventive measures which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have an inspection prior to placing your home on the market. This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer's inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.

Q. What if the report reveals problems?

A: No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If your budget is tight, or if you don't wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.

Q. Is it possible for my house to fail an inspection?

A: No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.

Q. How far in advance do I need to schedule an appointment?

A: A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

Q: How much does an inspection cost?

A: The cost of a property inspection varies depending upon additional tests that may be needed or desired, the size of structures and number of units. A standard inspection with full written report begins at $375. Other inspections such as radon, lead paint and other tests carry additional charges that are not included in the standard inspection price.

Q: How long will it take?

A: A property inspection generally takes from three to four hours depending upon the type of structure inspected and whether or not the property is vacant at the time of the inspection.

Q: Will I receive a written inspection report?

A: Yes. A full written report is submitted to you after completing the property inspection.

Q: When will I receive the inspection report?

A: You will generally receive via e-mail or hard copy, a detailed report with summary sections and photographs within 1-2 business days of the inspection.

Q: Who else has access to the report?

A: No one... unless you want them to have access to it. The inspector will not deliver an inspection report to any person other than yourself without your consent.

Q: Must a home inspector be licensed (certified)?

A: Yes, NC does require licensing of home inspectors as do many other states.

Q: Will the home inspector tell me if I should buy the property?

A: No. ECI Inspections will not report either in writing or verbally the market value or marketability of a property or whether a property should be purchased. We will however, provide a comprehensive detailed report from which you can make an informed decision.