Home Inspection Reports
What to expect from an inspection report
Home inspection reports have changed to accommodate increased consumer expectations. As a result, reports advanced from being checklists to providing more extensive narratives and photos for the client’s information.
Development of Standards
Before 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 a Code of Ethics.
Today InterNACHI dominates the inspection industry worldwide. In addition to its Residential Standards of Practice, it developed the only comprehensive Standards of Practice for Commercial Properties. most types of inspection from mould to fire doors use InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice.
My inspection reports describe the major home systems, their crucial components, and their operability. This is especially important in those which can fail in dangerous or expensive-to-correct conditions. I describe defects effectively and my report includes recommendations.
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 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 more precise 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 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 paragraphs describing how serious the condition is, and the potential ramifications.
- A recommendation.
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 inspection reports include a summary report, listing major problems. As a result, you won’t miss important issues. You must be aware of safety issues or conditions that are expensive to correct. Narratives are colour-coded with this in mind.
Furthermore, the 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 property systems 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.
Sample Inspection reports
Finally, you can find out more by:
- viewing the sample report below;
- reading the Standards of Practice;
- requesting a FREE QUOTE; and
- contacting me.
Sample Comprehensive Home Buyer /Snag List Inspection Report
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.
Sample Critical Inspection Report
The link below features an example of a Critical Home Buyer’s Inspection Report. Every defect that falls in the critical issues (roof, structure, windows, doors, electrical, plumbing and damp) in the home was noted with narratives and photographs.
Sample Check List Report (Walkthrough Inspections)
Sample Damp and Mould Inspection Report
A Damp and Mould Inspection is focused on finding damp and mould areas in the house or building and the causes of the damp and mould so that the damp and mould issues can be prevented.
Sample Limited Itemised Inspection Report
A Limited Itemised Inspection is limited to a specific issue or issues that the client is focused on where a Comprehensive or Critical Inspection is not required. Furthermore, an example of a Limited Itemised Inspection is a roof inspection, structural inspection, plumbing inspection etc. In this case, my client required a report on the work done to date on his building project!
Sample Commercial Inspection Report
A Commercial Inspection is like a Comprehensive Home Inspection but may include additional items like fire suppression (sprinkler systems, fire sprinkler pumps, fire hydrants, fire extinguishers etc.), and assessability and safety (wheelchair access, personnel safety etc.). In this report, the client did not require additional research (the review of documents and the performing of interviews).
I inspect properties in most areas of the northern part of Gauteng and part of the North West Province.
Inspected Once, Inspected Right!®