F.A.Q.

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How do I select a Home Inspector?

Why should we invest in the time and expense of a home inspection?

Should we be present during the inspection?

What is radon?

Why should I test my Home for Radon gas?

How do I select a Home Inspector?

Be sure to get the right answers to the following questions:

  1. Are you a full time home inspector?  (If not, move on to the next inspector.)
  2. How many years have you been a full time inspector? (Most good inspectors have at least 3-years of experience.)
  3. How many inspections have you completed?  (A seasoned inspector should have completed at least 750 fee paid inspections.  The more on the job experience the better; Charles Thompson has completed more than 3,000 inspections.)
  4. Are you ICC code certified? (Yes, is the only answer.  An ICC code certified inspector has passed the same code exams that builders are now required to pass to build in Georgia.  An ICC code certified inspector should know if the property complies with the requirements of the code in effect at the time of its construction.)
  5. Are you an active ASHI or GAHI member and are you ASHI or GAHI Certified?  (Most good inspectors will have at least one of these certifications and must achieve a required number of continuing educational credits each year to remain a member in good standing.)
  6. How long will it take to properly inspect the property and to complete the report?  (Most inspections require between 3 to 4 hours of actual inspection time to complete a thorough inspection and another 3 to 5 hours to prepare a quality report.  This time will vary depending on the size, age, and condition of the property.  Of course, the larger the dwelling, the longer the inspection should take.)
  7. What type of report do you provide?  (Is it a detailed narrative report that is easy to read/understand with supporting color photos OR is it a checklist or matrix style report that requires a decoder ring to decipher?)
  8. Do you provide computer generated reports within 24-hours of the inspection?  (This has become the industry standard.)
  9. What is your inspection fee? (Beware of a low inspection fee; usually you get what you pay for. A good inspection including the report should start at approximately $350 for a 3 BR/ 2 Bath Slab home and range upward depending upon the size, age, condition, and location of the property.)

Why should we invest in the time and expense of a home inspection?

Most home Buyers who attempt to (or who have a handyman or fiend/relative) inspect their prospective new home are not qualified to perform a thorough inspection, and even if qualified, they are usually too emotionally involved to be objective. Identifying obvious and/or subtle defects is the fundamental task of a Professional Home Inspector who should be certified and experienced at inspecting ALL systems and components of the dwelling. Once the impartial inspector provides a list of defects, the Buyer (or the Buyer’s Realtor) can complete negotiations for the purchase of the property and often achieve significant reductions to the selling price or lead to other valuable concessions.  These savings usually far exceed the cost of the Home Inspection.  More importantly, if the defects discovered by the Home Inspector are major, having a Professional Inspection (and a pre-existing contract escape clause) usually allows the Buyer the option to exit the contract.

 

Should we be present during the inspection?

“Yes”, a Buyer (or their representative) is encouraged to be present for at least the last hour of the home investigation, since a major part of the Attics & Under service is to –

  1. Review significant inspection observations with the Buyer,
  2. Promote conversation on site to answer questions or concerns,
  3. Explain unfamiliar systems, suggest maintenance procedures and point out ways to correct or avoid problems to the Buyer.

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas and is found in dwellings and water in many areas of the world.  Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer.  It originates from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and migrates into the air we breathe.  Radon gas typically moves up through the ground and rock into the air above or into a dwelling through cracks and penetrations in the foundation.  Then the home can trap radon gas inside.  Any dwelling can have high levels of radon gas.  It does not matter if your home is old or new, slab or basement/crawl space, well sealed or poorly insulated, etc.  The only way to know what the levels are is to have it tested.  Additionally,radon gas levels inside a dwelling may vary depending on several factors like ground moisture content, atmospheric pressures, temperature, time of the year (most homeowners open doors and windows less during the colder months).   Depending on your test results, your inspector may suggest that another test be done during a different time of the year.

 

Why should I test my Home for Radon gas?

Since radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, which can be eliminated/controlled, everyone should have their home tested for radon gas.   A radon test typically requires the dwelling have all doors and windows closed prior to the test and during the test (except for normal entry/exit) and that the test devices be placed inside the dwelling from 48 to 72-hours to sample the air.  Radon is present in all metro Atlanta and Georgia counties.  The EPA recommends that a professionally engineered mitigation system be installed for your and your family’s protection if the radon levels are above 4 pCi/L.   The data posted on www.radon.com, Air Chek, Inc states that the following percentage of metro Atlanta county homes have radon levels above the 4 pCi/L maximum levels – Gwinnett = 25%, DeKalb = 16%, Fulton = 16%, and Cobb = 18%.  The only way to confirm what the current level is in a dwelling is to perform a test on each house.  Mitigation systems range in cost but often are less than $3K, so it may be wise to have a property tested before your purchase it.

What if I have a question either prior to or after the inspection?

Give us a call!  We are available to serve your needs and to attempt to answer your questions.  There is no charge for a reasonable number of follow up phone calls.

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