I Want to Be Thorough
I strive to give my home inspection clients the most thorough and complete home inspection report possible. Unfortunately, I sometimes have to forgo inspecting a key system or section of the house because I simply cannot get to it.
Standards of Practice
Home inspectors are not obligated to move personal property, according to the Standards of Practice, 308-408C-030.16. If I do end up moving personal possessions, I always try to return them the way that I found them. But it is optimal for everyone if I do not need to.
Sellers Agents: Prepare Your Clients!
It is so great when seller’s agents prepare their client for the home inspection! The following are some things to remind your seller about before the day of the home inspection.
Packing, Stacking, and Stashing
Sellers are often in the process of moving. As they pack and stack boxes, they may inadvertently block areas of the house I need to get to. Sometimes the sellers just aren’t, well, the most minimalistic folks. Storage areas can be full to the brim with heavy or fragile items blocking the crawl space access, attic hatch, mechanicals, and electrical panels — which are all systems I want to inspect.
Inspecting Crawl Spaces
You would be surprised how many folks are not even aware that their house has a crawl space. The access may be outside where it can be blocked by a deck, hot tubs, etc. Sometimes the access is inside the house, usually in the floor of a coat closet or bedroom closet. Sellers should locate these access points ahead of time and make sure I can open and get through the hatch.
The attic is where I find many problems, like leaking roofs, mold from poor ventilation, insulation issues, etc.
Three common places for attic access points are garage walls and ceilings, interior hallways, and closets. Garages and hallways frequently have a hatch with pull-down stairs. But I can’t use them if large, heavy or fragile items are in the way. Attic access points share the same access issues as crawl spaces. I come equipped with drop cloths to cover clothes in closets and to protect the floor, but it saves me time if there is less in my way.
Inspecting Electrical Panels
It is essential that I can get to the main service panel and any sub-panels. Most electrical panels are in the garage, but they can be practically anywhere. I have had everything from boxes to motorcycles to project cars preventing me from checking the electrical panel.
Furnaces and water heaters are often in utility areas and have stored items around them. Clearing personal items away from the equipment helps me to do a better job. Often when I am inspecting a condo, I do not have access to rooftop air conditioner units or I have access, but the units are not labeled as to which condo they serve!
The Bottom Line
The more I can inspect, the better job I can do for my client.
Check It Out Home Inspection Offers One-Stop Shopping
At Check It Out Home Inspection Services, we offer all the home inspection services you would expect. Electrical, plumbing, roof, structure, interior, exterior, HVAC, garage, and grounds. As a one-stop shop, we also offer sewer scoping, radon testing, and oil tank searches. Click to see our full list of home inspection services.
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