The need to hire a home inspector cannot be stressed out more. Owning a home is not just enjoying it from the first day you started living in it until your last hours on Earth. It is also making sure that the house is structurally sound and will be there to shelter you and your family for decades to come. Assuring this takes more than just commonsense home ownership. It demands a set of professional eyes and ears to get the feel of the house and how it is doing year after year. The quality of a home inspection depends on the abilities and experience of the home inspector you hire. Here are some questions you would want to ask a home inspector before hiring him.
Question 1: Are you a member of a professional home inspection organization?
For home inspectors being a member to home inspection organizations is not just simple affiliation to a “club” but an actual testament to his ability, ethics, and technical knowledge. These organizations provide for licensing and certification that ensures the professional aspects of home inspection. It is however important to understand that home inspectors that are members to these organizations will not guarantee the quality of their services but at least you will be able to steer clear from self professing home inspectors that do not have the experience to assess the status of your home professionally. Here are some of the home inspection organizations that your inspector must be affiliated with:
- American Society of Home Inspectors
- National Association of Home Inspectors
- International Association of Certified Home Inspectors
Question 2: What is your background and experience?
A home inspector must have a background and significant experience in the building industry. This kind of experience will assure you that the home inspector understands whole buildings, not just exterior walls but what is beneath the walls down to the structural level. This level of know-how translates to a home inspection done in an exhaustive manner. Asking for background is very important especially if you are planning to sell your home or want to buy a property that is already very old. You need to see the real score of your investment and if buying would be a worthy pursuit. It is of course okay to hire a rookie but that new home inspector needs to have gone through considerable training which can make him more receptive to the problems and issues of your home.
Question 3: How long does your inspection take?
Inspecting a home on average can take up to three hours and this is just for the average sized homes. If your house is bigger the inspection will take longer. Asking this question will give you a clue to the quality of the home inspection you might end up getting from a home inspector. Less than 2 hours of inspection is a red flag. This time is just not enough to check everything in the house that might prove to be problematic later on.