Home Inspection: This is a general inspection of the home. It is normally conducted by a home inspector. Areas of inspection can include foundation, roof, electrical work, HVAC and heating, chimney, windows, sewer and plumbing. For the budget conscious, you can have a critical inspection which only concerns the major components of the home. The inspector will put together a report of his or her findings for the prospective buyer and make recommendations for further action if necessary. These types of inspection normally occur with the purchase of a new or previously owned home.
Environmental Inspection: An environmental inspection can also be conducted on the property to test for contaminants such as asbestos, lead, mercury and mould.
Termite Inspection: An inspection can be done to check for damage to the property done by termites or other wood destroying pests.
Specialist: The prospective buyer can choose to bring in a specialist to further inspect areas of concern that were brought up in a home inspection. These inspection types could include calling a roofing specialist for problems with the roof, a certified plumber for problems with the plumbing or sewer line or an engineer for structural issues.
Home inspection reports have changed to accommodate increased consumer expectations. As a result, reports advanced from being checklists to provide more extensive narratives and photos for the client’s information.
Development of Standards
Prior to the mid-1970s, inspection reports followed no standard guidelines. Without minimum standards to follow, the quality of inspection reports varied widely. As a result, the public viewed the home inspection industry with suspicion.
A Standard of Practice became available with the founding of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) in 1976. This provided home inspection guidelines governing inspection reports. Later, a second trade association, the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), was established. InterNACHI developed its own Standards of Practice and aCode of Ethics.
My inspection reports also disclaim portions of the home hidden from view. These include areas below ground and floors and behind wall and ceiling coverings. Home inspections are visual inspections
I also note conditions that require a specialist inspection.
Home inspections are not technically exhaustive, so I will not dismantle a furnace to examine the heat exchanger.
The Standards of Practice describe the requirements and limitations of a home inspection.
Checklist and Narrative Reports
Originally home inspection reports consisted of a simple checklist, or a one- or a two-page narrative report.
Checklist inspection reports contain almost no writing. The report is a series of boxes with short or abbreviated descriptions. They might consist of only two or three words, such as “peeling paint”. The entire checklist might only be four or five pages long.
Because of the lack of detailed information, checklist inspection reports are open to interpretation. As a result, buyers, sellers, agents, contractors, attorneys, and judges may each interpret the information differently, depending on their experience or motives.
Narratives are phrases that describe conditions found during an inspection. Narrative reports use reporting language that completely describes each condition. In addition, I don’t abbreviate descriptions.
Some inspectors still use checklist inspection reports. Many countries are banning checklist reports because the limited information they offer has resulted in legal problems.
I produce narrative reports because they are safer and superior as they provide clearer information.
Development of Reporting Software
Handwritten reports are no longer the norm. As computers became simpler to operate and more affordable, inspection software began to appear on the market.
With inspection reporting software, I can choose from a large number of organised narratives. I edit or add the narratives in order to accommodate local conditions and the property.
Using narrative software I can produce a very detailed report in a relatively short time.
Standard disclaimers automatically appear in each report.
Narratives normally consist of three parts:
A description of a condition of concern.
Sentences or paragraph describing how serious the condition is, and the potential ramifications.
I recommend specific actions or further evaluation necessary. However, recommendations address problems in such a way that you will know how to proceed.
Inspection reports often begin with an informational section that gives general information about the home. This includes the client’s name, contact details, weather conditions, and whether the property is occupied and furnished.
Other information listed are disclaimers
My comprehensive inspection reports include a summary report, listing major problems. As a result, you won’t miss important issues. It’s important that you are aware of safety issues or conditions that are expensive to correct. I colour code narrative headings with this in mind.
Furthermore, inspection reports include photographs in the main body of the report, below the narrative that describes them.
A table of contents is also provided.
I break down the systems of the property into sections and areas in the report. These can be “ELECTRICAL,” “PLUMBING”, “HEATING”, “EXTERIOR”, “INTERIOR”, etc., or by area of the home: “KITCHEN”, “BEDROOMS”, etc.
The link below features an example of a comprehensive Home Buyer’s Inspection Report with the buyer’s permission. Every defect in the home was noted with narratives and photographs. Furthermore, acceptable finishes and elements of the home are also included in the report.
Because of my experience and training, I offer SEVEN different types of home inspections or property assessments to suit the needs of home buyers, home sellers, homeowners, business owners, landlords and those of you thinking of building or extending your home.
There are 6 different types of comprehensive inspection depending on your inspection requirements. This can be inspections for previously owned homes, new homes or existing homes or properties.
a) Home-buyers inspection or buyers inspection
Buying a home is one of the most important and expensive transactions you can make.
A professional home inspection can help you optimise your investment by identifying issues before you finalise the purchase and price of your new home. This inspection will save you money in the long run and prevent the stress associated with such a large investment.
Importantly, with this purchase, you must remember to insert a home inspection contingency in the Offer To Purchase and negotiate a contingency period with the seller.
Before moving into a newly built home the need for a professional home inspection cannot be more important!
A home inspection (snag list) is performed to validate the finishes and condition of your home’s components. In addition, the snag list can be done prior to you taking occupation or during the 90-day patent defect period after you have taken occupation.
Follow up inspections are also provided if required.
check out all the main systems of your home—roof, walls, foundation, air-conditioning,
electrical, plumbing etc. In addition, I will flag anything that might be
starting to malfunction.
I will uncover problems you have not noticed. I will detect the little signs that something is starting to go wrong. This may be small cracks, spots, uneven wear, or fixtures such as a geyser reaching the eventual end of it’s live. Furthermore, I will also make you aware of the regular maintenance you should be doing in your house.
Having a Rental Inspection Report as part of a written tenancy agreement is advantageous to both the landlord and tenant.
Rental Housing, Unfair
Practices Regulations and Consumer Protection Acts, dictate the practice around
home inspections and the refund of the damages deposit.
Both the landlord and the tenant must undertake both ingoing and outgoing inspections as required by The Rental Housing. However, if either party is unable to attend, they may send an assigned representative on their behalf.
Landlords or rental
agents who have not conducted a property inspection when the tenant takes
occupation will not be able to take any action in the event that the rental
unit has been damaged during the course of the rental period.
Generally, a landlord or rental management agent will be able to withhold the rental deposit to mitigate any financial cost of repairing any damage to the rental unit. However, if no property inspection was done beforehand, they will not be within their legal rights to do so and will have to absorb the full cost of the repair. Therefore, it is advisable for landlords to also undertake a midterm inspection approximately halfway through the tenancy agreement in order to monitor the state of the property and intervene early if there is any breach or damage.
If contracted, I provide the initial, midterm and follow-up inspections when tenants are leaving and new tenants are occupying the premises at a very affordable fee structure.
However, I only perform rental inspections in the Pretoria and Centurion area to keep them affordable to landlords.
Whether you are considering buying or renting a commercial property it advisable to have a Commercial Property Inspection. As part of your “due diligence”, I can provide you with a detailed evaluation of the condition of the building and its components. Furthermore, I will make recommendations regarding maintenance and improvements.
offer commercial property inspections of:
small manufacturing facilities
My commercial property inspections include a comprehensive evaluation of all major components of the building. For example, this includes the structure, roof, electrical system, interior and exterior elements, heating & cooling systems, plumbing and more.
Critical Home inspections are for both buyers and sellers. The critical inspection costs about ¾ of the price of a comprehensive inspection.
A critical home inspection is for the budget-conscious, homebuyers and sellers who only require that the major components of the home be inspected! Consequently, I only focus on the critical components of a home which are the roof, structure (inside and outside), windows and doors, and electricity and plumbing installations.
critical inspection includes unsafe, functional or structural issues which, in
my opinion, requires prompt remedial attention to preserve the safety,
functional or structural integrity of the home or major installation.
Such issues are frequently NOT plainly obvious to any observant layman after carefully viewing the property.
These include structural cracks in walls, ceilings and floors, or damp, roof leaks, illegal or unsafe geysers, windows or door issues and unsafe electrical and gas installations. In addition, I also report surface drainage, vegetation and foliage issues which may affect the structure adversely.
Other external elements such as boundary and yard walls, the site, swimming pools driveways, walkways, carports, garden sheds etc. do not form part of the critical inspection. Furthermore, the internal wall, floor and ceiling finishes are only inspected for signs of damp or staining from moisture intrusion or for structural issues. Furthermore, cupboards and counters are only inspected for moisture intrusion.
A walkthrough is not a formal home inspection. It is an informal inspection. As a result, I perform a visual walkthrough inspection of the home and provide you with comments summarizing my observations. Furthermore, my comments will be nothing more than a subjective summary of my initial observations during the walk-through.
What is involved in a walkthrough inspection?
A walkthrough requires, on average, about the same time as a comprehensive inspection (1½ to 3 hours depending on house size). Moreover, you can ask questions and take notes while I explain the defects.
Because a walkthrough is less formal, I do not adhere to the InterNACHI Standards of Practice. If you are present at the walkthrough I do not generate a written report of any kind. I simply communicate my observations orally to you. You make your own notes during the inspection. In this way, you save time and money because there is no written report at the end of the inspection.
Furthermore, because it is an informal inspection, an inspection of this type is also very affordable.
However, you will need to sign an InterNACHI Walk-Though Inspection Agreement before the walkthrough. This is to protect me against liability as a result of deviating from the requirements of the InterNACHI Standards of Practice for Home Inspections.
4) Itemised Limited Home Inspections(Single Component Inspections)
I often receive calls from clients who are looking for a home inspection for a single component in the home. For instance, this can be roof leaks, bulging ceilings, or damp problems and so on.
A single component inspection is also the cheapest inspection, starting from R1500.00 depending on where you are in my inspection area. Moreover, if you want more components inspected at the same time, this will only cost an additional R750.00 per component
A multi-unit inspection is normally for more than 4 units and is regarded as a commercial property inspection.
For this type of inspection the following options are available:
a) Critical area inspection
Plumbing for leaks, drainage and hot water.
A representative number of windows and doors
Structure (exterior and interior) including roof from the ground and at least one point at the eaves on a ladder (where applicable and practical).
Stove and other fixtures (air conditions etc.) not forming part of an Electrical CoC.
Presence damp and mould in ceilings and walls.
The units’ common areas are not inspected unless it is specifically requested!
b) Sampling comprehensive inspections
A sampling formula of comprehensive inspections of a random number of units between 20% and 50% of the units you wish to invest in, where it is not feasible to inspect every unit. This will include an equal balance of older and newer units, and different floors if the blocks are multi-storied ( equal number of ground top, and intermediate floors).
A comprehensive report on the units will be provided for every unit inspected. The units’ common areas are inspected.
c) Sampling critical area inspections
A sampling formula of the type of inspection detailed in the critical area inspection option with a random number of units between 20% and 50% of the units you wish to invest in where it is not feasible to inspect every unit. In addition, this will include an equal balance of older and newer units, and different floors if the blocks are multi-storied ( equal number of ground top, and intermediate floors).
I will not inspect common areas in this case!
d) Your choice of specific items and number of units
Your choice of specific items and/or the number of units you wish to have inspected.
NOTE: I do not recommend options b, d or c as unsafe, damaged or problem units can slip through the net that may be expensive to bring to standard.
It is advisable to carry out mould inspection when you suspect you might have a mould problem in your property. Moreover, I strongly recommended that you have your property professionally inspected when you experience sleep loss, breathing difficulties (shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, or respiratory irritation). Also, you may also experience neurological difficulties (headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea).
If your house is already suffering from obvious mould contamination such as parts of the wall or ceiling, an inspection is essential. My mould inspection will identify and confirm the true extent of the problem and provide a recommendation on how to rectify it.
are signs of termites in your garden or you are in a known termite problem area
you should regularly have your home inspected for a termite infestation.
They might be in your built-in cupboards, the floor skirtings or in your roof. Therefore, my termite inspection will identify and confirm the extent of the problem and damage. I will provide recommendations on how to rectify it.