The purchase of a newly constructed or existing home is an exciting time and one of the largest investments you can make. It is important to realize that entering into this transaction without really knowing what you are buying could get you more than you bargained for. After you have made an offer and before signing a contract, you should request a home inspection.
A home inspection gives you and your Realtor important unbiased information about the major structures and systems of the home. The certified home inspector’s well-trained eye can detect hidden defects within the home that when found early on, can be repaired by the seller or used as a negotiating point for working out a fair price for the home. Additionally, by getting the issues noted and resolved early the lender is less likely to hold up the closing.
A home inspection provides a thorough visual examination of the house and property looking at the condition of each item or system for any visible damage or defects, poor workmanship or improper repairs, safety hazards and items that will require continuous maintenance that may not have been considered. The inspector will check that all systems and appliances in the home are in proper working order and, if necessary, as a courtesy will point out any items that may be in need of a near future replacement for budgeting purposes.
Items inspected include but are not limited to the following:
- Structure and foundation – observable cracks and settlement issues, support system deterioration or damage.
- Roof system – description and condition of the roof material, decking and associated components looking for evidence of water leaks and estimating remaining life of the material.
- Interior and exterior walls – breaches in the integrity of the exterior surface, cracking and peeling paint, interior drywall damage and unprofessional repairs, condition of built-in cabinetry, baseboards, etc.
- Attic insulation and ventilation – presence of adequate insulation and ventilation system for energy efficiency and comfort in the home.
- Plumbing system – checking all plumbing drain and supply lines, shut-off valves and faucets for leaks, inspection of operation of all plumbing fixtures.
- Electrical system – inspection of the main service and subpanels for any malfunctioning or improperly installed breakers, checking all electrical outlets, switches and fixtures, looking for any unsafe wiring or other electrical hazards.
- Heating, ventilation and cooling system – description and condition of the air handling and condensing units, operation of the cooling and heating sides of the HVAC system, examining all vents, returns, duct-work and drain lines.
- Fireplace and chimney – noting any damage to the inside or outside components and alerting to any safety hazards present.
- Windows and doors – operation of all openings of the home including the garage door(s), checking for broken, misaligned, malfunctioning, rotted or rusted materials. Recommendations for improvements if energy efficiency is of concern.
- Appliances – each appliance will be run through its entire cycle to determine that it is in correct working order, any damage or defects will be pointed out, as a courtesy, items near the end of their useful life will be noted for budgeting purposes.
- Floors and ceilings – description of the flooring material and any damage observed will be noted; any evidence of water leaks or other damage to the ceiling drywall will be pointed out.
- Swimming pool/spa and related equipment – thorough inspection of the pump, filter and valves, as well as the jets, drains and lights within the pool/spa, assessment of the pool/spa shells and decking, any other equipment such as solar panels and related plumbing and gas or electric heater.
- Lawn irrigation system – operation of the sprinkler system and checking that the valves, sprinkler heads and timer are all working as they should and noting any damaged components. As a courtesy, will note which source of water is used.
- Docks, seawalls and boat-lift equipment – a thorough inspection of the dock and seawall’s structure and support systems is completed, operation of the boat-lift motor and condition of the mechanisms is described.
- Grounds – the inspector will walk the entire property and point out any issues with fencing, grading and drainage, exterior buildings, porches and driveways.
There could be more items to inspect depending upon the home that you are considering. Our fees are all inclusive so that you know exactly what you are paying on the day of the inspection. We do not believe in “additional charges” for pools and docks, etc. as some other inspection companies do.
Advanced Engineering, Contracting & Inspections was the first home inspection company in Brevard County to utilize infrared technology for home inspection purposes. The infrared camera can detect temperature differences in items that our eyes can’t see. It can locate areas of water intrusion from roofs and around windows and doors, energy loss from insufficient insulation in the attic and walls and poorly sealed windows and doors, furthermore, and very importantly, the infrared camera can find electrical problems with bad breakers or wires heating up that could potentially cause a fire. This service is included with every home inspection.
Another service that we offer is the inclusion of your homeowner’s
insurance inspections within the fee and time frame of the full home inspection. This is a huge savings in time and money for you, so you do not have to worry about scheduling a separate inspection company to come back out to the property. Our inspectors are state certified general and building contractors who can certify the reports.
The wind mitigation report lists features of the home’s construction and any added protection of hurricane panels, storm rated garage door, etc. to obtain discounts on your quoted premium. If the house is more than 25 years old, the 4-point inspection is required and tells the insurance company that the house has had updates to the roof, plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems and what condition they are in. They want to know that the items are in proper working order and an estimate of the service life remaining.
The final full inspection you will receive, usually within 24 hours, is an emailed detailed report in the Adobe PDF format that can be forwarded to your Realtor or any other parties that you desire either by our company or yourself. The report is easy to understand and is itemized by areas inspected with many digital color photographs and any infrared images taken showing the general condition of the property and all areas of concern. If you need a printed report, we will do that as well, but you may not receive it the same day.
The insurance reports are also sent in the Adobe PDF format
which is what most insurance agencies want because of the inclusion of requested photographs. If the inspector feels that the insurance reports will not benefit you or may cause coverage to be denied (such as an old leaking roof or rusted out water heater), he will inform you of this and can re-inspect for a very low fee, at a later date once the repairs are completed or replacement items are installed. New reports will be prepared and emailed to you to keep for your records and sent to any insurance agency you request.
We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and can make recommendations for contacting reputable contractors to assist you with estimates and repairs needed. If requested, we can perform a re-inspection of all repairs made before you close the deal for a very low fee. This can ensure that everything that was promised by the seller has been delivered and is properly installed and working correctly.
We want to help make your home buying experience less stressful and give you piece of mind that your future home is a safe and happy environment that will be a pleasure to live in for many years. We will be available to you too, if down the road, an issue arises and you would like our input on how best to resolve it. We keep your reports on our system “forever!” and can refer back to them if needed.