What is a home inspection? A home inspection is an objective visual examination of readily accessible areas of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. A professional home inspector assists in maintaining the health of your home. A detailed home inspection typically takes two to three hours, depending on the age and size of the home. You should be present for the inspection to ask any questions and become familiar with the home. All our clients receive a detailed digital report that includes pictures.
MK’s report will include, but is not limited to the following:
- Structural components – Foundations, floors, and walls.
- Exterior components – Siding/paint, windows, decks, garage doors, etc.
- Roofing – Coverings, flashing, chimneys, etc.
- Plumbing – Piping, fixtures, faucets, water heating and fuel storage systems, etc.
- Electrical – Wiring, main service panels, conductors, switches, receptacles, etc.
- Heating – Equipment, safety controls, distribution systems, chimneys, etc.
- Air Conditioning/Heat Pumps – Cooling and air handling equipment, controls, ducting, etc.
- Interior – Partitions, ceilings, floors, railings, doors, windows, etc.
- Insulation/Ventilation – Attics, walls, floors, foundations, kitchen, bathroom, etc.
The home inspector does not evaluate the home for cost or value, but objectively outlines in a report the condition of the home’s systems as they appear and operate at the time of the inspection.
Why do I need a home inspection?
You should have a home inspection to protect you and your investment. It will help reduce risk when purchasing real estate. Remember, it does not eliminate ALL risk and unexpected repairs should be expected. This is a service we recommend you don’t skimp on. Saving 20, 30 or even $50 on a home inspector may cost you thousands in the long run. Not all inspectors are equal or have the same qualifications! Do your homework, don’t be afraid to ask questions and be present during the inspection. More info can be found on our blog; what exactly is a home inspection? The following are some types of inspections you may need:
Home purchase. This is typically the largest single investment a person makes. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy in order to minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. A home inspection should also point out the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape and point out shut off locations. After the inspection you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase and will be able to make a confident buying decision. Many buyers have saved literally thousands of dollars through information provided by a good home inspector.
Selling a home. We call this a pre-sale or pre-listing inspection which gives sellers an idea of items that may need to be taken care before they list their home, possibly creating a faster sale. Cost can be recouped with the sale price of the home and in some cases included in closing cost. By performing a pre-sale inspection gives the seller the upper hand. Yes, it will show some deficiencies in the home, but also points out updates to the home. Some advantages are: 1) Seller has control over the repairs(if any) to be made and in most cases do themselves, which can save money, 2) Buyers know the condition up front, saves not having a purchase inspection and having to deal with any surprises, 3) Can reduce any litigation: a buyer may sue due to an issue or if seller was not honest on the condition report. Here is an informative article about a pre-sale inspection at Zillow. (leaves site)
Contractor repairs. Having work done to your home? Are you going to assume they did the job right? Are you going to crawl on the roof and check out the work or do you know if it is done correctly? Have the work inspected before you make final payment! We cannot stress this enough! Once the contractor is paid and there are new or remaining problems, you may be stuck having to pay more money in additional repairs and lawsuits. One small inspection fee can save you thousands!
Radon Test. We can also provide a Radon test upon request. We use Sun Nuclear Radon monitors that we place before the inspection, then acquire the results and send them with the home inspection report. There is generally additional cost for the test.
- Partial Inspection: Contact us if you feel you have a specific issue or concern. You may only need a roof, attic, basement or mechanicals inspected (Keep in mind the rest of the home will not be evaluated. A home has many intricate parts that work together).
- New Construction: As mentioned above, have us check the progress of your home while it’s being built. Make sure the contractor is not cutting corners, keeping on schedule and making sure you are getting what you are paying for.
- DYI projects: Let us help you with your home projects. We can consult you and help make sure things are done right the first time.
Home inspection reports.
We have the most complete and easy-to-understand home inspection reports in NE Wisconsin, hands down! We have been the for runners of digital reporting since 2000. We have never hand written a report and never will as they are too hard to read.
The detailed report will be emailed the same day in a .PDF format. The report will include a front picture of the home, table of contents, contract agreement, each portion of the inspection (e.g. exterior, living room, basement, plumbing, etc.). All reports include pictures of any issues or suggested repairs to help you better understand the commentary. Also, a comprehensive summary of marginal and defective items.
NOTE: As of March 2021, Wisconsin inspectors must use the terminology “Defect” in the report. If the inspector deems such an issue as a defect, it must state such in the inspection report. Inspectors using a rating of “poor”, do not have a rating, or are reporting in a narrative fashion and do not list issues as defective are no longer acceptable. Reports must include a summary page as well.
More info can be found here.
What if I find problems after moving into my new home?
We recommend that you read your contract before you sign the digital device at the inspection. We generally send a digital copy ahead of time and all our inspectors carry a hard copy to share at the inspection. A home inspection is not a guarantee that problems won’t develop after you move in. We do our best to give you an understanding of the condition of the home. Remember this is an evaluation of the home and not every single item may be mentioned in the report, but you should get an idea of the condition and integrity of the home for what you are spending. However if you believe that a problem was already visible at the time of the inspection, and feel it should have been mentioned in the report, your first step should be to call and meet with the inspector to clarify the situation. Misunderstandings are often resolved in this manner.
If necessary, you might wish to consult with a local mediation service to help you settle your disagreement. Though many home inspectors today carry Errors & Omissions liability insurance, litigation should be considered a last resort. It is difficult, expensive, and by no means a sure method of recovery.