Ronald Scott, PE
Professional Property Inspections

Frequently Asked Questions and Resources

Q: Why is an inspection necessary?
A:
The purchase of a home is typically the single largest investment most individuals will make in their lifetime. The larger (and more expensive) the home is, the bigger (and more expensive) the problems can be. It is essential for you to know the condition of the home you are buying.


Q: Should a professional engineer be used to perform the inspection?
A:
Most inspectors are not engineers. While there are many highly competent general inspectors, an engineer will generally provide a much more comprehensive report of findings. Often, when a general inspector identifies a foundation or structural defect, they will recommend that the condition be further evaluated by an engineer, resulting in additional time and inspection expense.

Q: What if I have a question following the inspection?
A:
I anticipate having a consultation with each Client, following their review of the report findings and recommendations. It is extremely valuable to your understanding of the report findings, to be present at the time of the inspection.


Q: How can I choose the right inspector?
A:
A good place to start is with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), at http://www.ashi.org/ or by phone at (8oo) 743-2744. The Better Business Bureau is also a good source, and of course ask friends or business associates for referrals. Many inspectors have websites, or their website is linked to an organization website. Review the credentials and experience of the different inspectors, and call those of interest. On the phone, you should be able to get a feel for their personality, professionalism and experience. You can request to see a sample inspection report and a list of credentials. You should select the one you feel is most qualified.


Q: What should I expect to pay for an inspection?
A: 
Inspection fees vary significantly, depending on the size of the home, the experience of the inspector, and whether the inspector is a general inspector or a Professional Engineer (P.E.). When comparing inspector’s fees, consider what you want from the inspection, compared to what you are investing in the home. If you want the most comprehensive evaluation possible, expect to pay $750-1500.00, or more (for larger homes). If you truly want the cheapest inspection you can get, there are plenty of inexperienced inspectors available for $150.00- 250.00. But whatever your decision is, remember the time-honored maxim ---- “expect to get what you pay for”!


Q: What conditions and components are not evaluated in an inspection?
A:
Inspectors vary significantly in expertise and training; therefore, it is important to know what systems, conditions or components will not be addressed in an inspection. My Service excludes testing and /or evaluation of the following: wood destroying insects; environmental hazards; allergens and /or mold/mildew conditions; and, toxic/hazardous materials (including: radon asbestos, lead, chemical, and other biological contaminants). However, if any conditions are identified which are suggestive in these issues, they will be identified and my Client advised to have an evaluation by a licensed expert (referrals provided). Also, automatic lawn sprinkler and security/alarm systems are not tested as a part of my inspections. In my opinion, these systems and conditions are all specialty areas, which require extensive training and/or licenses for proper evaluation, and should be left to the experts.
Useful Links & Resources

Mold, Mildew, and Air Quality:
www.epa.gov  
www.cdc.gov  

Aluminum Wiring:
www.cpsc.gov  

Synthetic Stucco:
www.exterior-design-inst.com  
www.homebuying.about.com  

International Residential Code:
www.iccsafe.org  

Federal Pacific Electrical Panels:
www.inspect-ny.com  

Foundation Maintenance and Soil Stability:
www.geotecheng.com

Exterior Fiberboard Siding:
www.jameshardie.com  

Texas Real Estate Commission
("Standards of Practice for Real Estate Inspectors"):
www.trec.state.tx.us  

Consumer Product Safety Commission:
www.cpsc.gov  

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