The General Inspection (sometimes called physical inspection) is the main inspection. When buying a property ALWAYS get an Inspection.
General inspection covers all the major systems of the house: roof, plumbing, foundation, electrical, appliances, Heating and Air Conditioning, Windows, Exterior, and detached structures.
The General Inspector may also recommend a follow up inspections by a specialist or contractor, for thr Sewerline, Chimney, Geo, Mold, Asbestos, Foundations, Plumbing, Electrical, Roof etc.
Make sure the utilities are on for your inspection, because if the gas, electricity, or water isn’t turned on, they will be limited with what they can test.
The inspector will check the furnace + AC + Stove + Oven Vent + Dishwasher + Garbage disposal and a host of other things around the kitchen.
A great inspector takes their time. There are a lot of spaces and items to look at. For an average size home an inspection lasts on to two hours, although it can take three hours if the home buyer asks a lot of questions. I encourage my clients to ask the inspector any questions that they have- because inspectors are a wealth of knowledge and you can learn a lot about houses from them. They should be organized and go from one item to the next on their list. Inspectors today usually have a tablet that they write down their finds as they observe them, if they don’t write it down right away, they probably will forget about them later. Home inspectors go in the attic and crawl underneath the house. These are the tough parts of the inspection but also can be the most important. There is no drywall in either of these spaces so you can see “the guts”, in the attic you should be able to tell if the roof leaks, if there is insulation up there, and if the AC is in the attic, if it was installed properly. You will also have some electric up there for ceiling lights so you can see if the electrical wiring is cloth or Romex. Underneath the house you will be able to inspect the foundation for any cracks or other problems, check the plumbing for leaks, and whether the waterlines are copper or galvanized steel and inspect the drainlines.
After the inspection the inspector will write a detailed report. This report can be shared with contractors, the listing agent or the seller to make a request for repairs if needed.
It is important to note that there are exclusions to a home inspection. The home inspector will not check the laundry machines, because they don’t bring a load of dirty laundry with them to every inspection. The inspector does not test any low voltage wiring, this includes telephone lines, security systems, or cable. General Inspectors don’t do any destructive testing, so if there is something hidden behind a wall, they are not going to opening it.
Inaccessible Areas are also excluded from the inspection. Examples of inaccessible areas are: Attics with less than 18″ crawl space, the space in between walls, the floor underneath the fridge or stove, places blocked or covered by furniture or cluttered by possessions. Rooms that are locked (this can happen with tenant occupied property) and areas in the exterior that are unreachable due to heavy brush, sloping terrain, or plants (like ivy).
Estimated Inspection Cost:
$400 for homes
$300 for condos
$500 for income property
The price of a general inspection increases with the property’s size , expect to pay an additional $50 for each extra 500 square feet over 1,500 square feet.