||BayScapes CC offers a complete range of services including comprehensive home / property inspections.
Purchasing a home is a large financial investment in your future. One of the major steps in a real estate purchase is to have a home inspection of your future home. A home may look fine on the surface, but hidden troubles may be lurking. BayScapes has the experience and training to provide information that will assist you, the buyer, in making an informed decision.
Home Inspection: We inspect the exterior home site, building, foundation, exterior walls, roof structure, attic, basement / crawl space, decks / porches, insulation, storage, electrical, visible interior and exterior plumbing, central air systems, heating systems and the interior conditions of the home.
•Structural Components: The structural components including foundation and framing. The floor wall and ceiling structure, the under-flooring crawl space, the roof structure and the attic
•Roof System: The roof covering, the roof drainage systems, the flashing, the skylights, chimneys and roof penetrations
•Plumbing Systems: The interior water supply and distribution systems including all fixtures and faucets. The drain, waste and vent systems and fixtures. The water heating equipment and vents, The chimneys and flues. The fuel storage and distribution systems. The drainage sumps, sump and pumps and related piping.
•Electrical Systems: The service drop. The service entrance conductors, cables and raceways. The service equipment and main disconnects. The service grounding. The interior components of the service panel and sub-panels. The conductors. The over-current protection services. A representative number of installation lighting, fixtures, switches and receptacles. The ground fault circuit interrupters.
•Heating Systems: The installed heating equipment, vents and valve systems chimney and flues.
•Air Conditioning Systems: The installed central and through wall cooling equipment.
•Interior: The walls, ceilings and floors. The steps, stairways and railings. The countertops and a representative number of installed cabinets. A representative number of doors and windows. Storage doors and garage door openers.
•Insulation and Ventilation: Describe the insulation and vapor retards in unfinished spaces. The ventilation of attics and foundation areas. The mechanical ventilation system. Describe the absence of insulation in unfinished spaces at conditioned surfaces.
•Fireplaces and solid fuel burning appliances: The installed system components, vents, valve, chimney and flues.
•Wood Destroying Insects: BayScapes CC inspects your future home for visible evidence of termites, wood bores, powder post beetles, carpenter ants and carpenter bees.
•Exterior: The exterior wall covering, flashing and trim. All exterior doors, attached decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches and the associated railings. The
eaves, soffits and fascias where accessible from the ground level. The vegetation, grading, surface drainage and retaining walls on the property when any of these are likely to adversely affect the building. Walkways, patios and driveways leading to the dwelling entrances.
You should plan on being there and your agent should be right there with you the entire time. Chances are the seller’s agent will be there, too to help get any quick answers the inspector might need. Block off the entire morning or afternoon. Home inspections take time and you don’t want to rush through it. During this time, follow along as much as you can. You don’t have to follow the inspector into the
crawlspace – they bring protective clothing just for that – but anyplace reasonably accessible, you should go too.
You aren’t being a pest. (That’s a different inspection altogether. If you have any reason for concern, hire an additional pest inspection.) You’re being a student. Inspectors will explain your home’s systems and give you maintenance tips. Those should also be in the final report, along with pictures. But hearing and seeing it in person is helpful. The day of inspection will probably feel like a whirlwind of
activity. You may be a little nervous about what the inspector will find. It will help if you make like a Boy Scout: Be Prepared.
Home inspection checklist
You should start preparing for a professional inspection when you initially tour the home, before making an offer. This will give you an idea if there are any areas you want the inspector to pay special attention to. A good inspector will address these issues in the report you pay for. Use this checklist to help figure out what to look for ahead of time and in the final report. If any of these items aren’t
covered in the inspection report, ask why not.
Foundation: Look at the base of the walls and the ceilings in each room. Are there obvious cracks or apparent shifts in the foundation? Do the same around the outside. Are there any trees encroaching on the foundation?
Lot: Does the drainage appear to be away from the house? Are there any obvious soggy areas?
Roof: What is the overall condition? When was it last replaced?
Exterior: Does the house look like it will need repairs or repainting soon? Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached? Are there loose boards or dangling wires? Is there asbestos in the exterior material, which would require added costs if it needed to be repaired or replaced?
Attic: How does the interior of the roof structure look? Are there any signs of leaks?
Interior evidence of leaks: Check ceilings and around windows in each room.
Basement: Is there dampness? Adequate insulation? (If there’s a crawlspace instead of a basement, you might want to leave this for the professional home inspection.)
Electrical: Do the switches work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Have the outlets been grounded? Is the panel updated and expandable for additional appliances or a potential remodel?
Plumbing: Any unusual noises or malfunctions? Has the sewer line been scoped to check for potential cracks?
Appliances: If these are included, what is the age and condition of the stove, dishwasher or refrigerator?
Heating/cooling system: Does it seem to do the job? How old is the furnace? If the system has been converted, are the old systems or tanks still in place?
Odor: Does the home smell? Can you detect what it might be and whether it could be fixed? Beware of musty odors which could signal a wet basement.
In addition to your own eyes, ears and nose, you should get a seller’s disclosure statement before your inspection. Use the statement to help you pinpoint anything you want your inspector to look at. If they disclosed that they had a leaky window replaced or repaired, make sure that gets some extra attention from your inspector.
Disclosure requirements vary by state and sometimes local jurisdictions, so ask your real estate agent if you have any questions about what is included. Disclosure typically comes in the form of boilerplate documents with a series of yes/no questions for the seller to detail their home and their experience there.
One thing to look for is whether any unpermitted work has been done. If so, you could be on the hook for bringing the house up to code should you ever remodel. Even if that’s not even remotely on your radar, unpermitted work needs to be carefully inspected, particularly electrical and plumbing work.
Inspectors aren’t perfect
What happens if your inspection comes back clean but you find problems after you move in? It depends. First, the inspection will only cover things they can see. They aren’t tearing out walls and don’t have x-ray vision so problems that are truly hidden aren’t really their fault. (Unless they missed what should have been obvious signs of a potential hidden problem.)
Look carefully at your contract. Will they pay for repairs of things they should have caught but didn’t? Or will they only refund your inspection fee? The bottom line is that you may end up taking them to court if it’s a big enough deal. So a leaky faucet? That’s just the joy of homeownership. A structural failure that leads to the home being condemned? Probably worth talking with a lawyer. But you should
also understand that things happen. This is part of being a homeowner. An inspector can’t forecast the future. Sometimes stuff happens.