At MockingBird Home Inspections we do our best to answer all of your questions. Below you will find a list of what we believe are the most frequently asked questions. If you have any questions that have not been answered below, do not hesistate to contact us.
A typical inspection should take 2 to 3 hours to complete. This can vary, given the current condition and size of the home, the accessibility of mechanical systems, and so on. As a courtesy to sellers, we recommend that they be informed of the timeframe in a pre-purchase home inspection situation.
We inspect the major systems of the house. These include the Roof, Exterior, Structure, Electrical, Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, Insulation, and Interior. Our goal is to identify any existing major problems that would affect a typical buyer's decision to purchase.
Our typical fee for an inspection is varies depending on the size of the home. However, some factors will affect the fee. If you are comparing home inspection firms, the fee charged should not be the deciding factor unless the level of service offered is identical. Remember, you are considering a major purchase and your choice of home inspector should be based on getting the best value, not just the best price.
You don't have to take notes during the inspection. We will document everything in a written report. It's much better to follow the inspector through, listening to his comments to make sure you understand. It's also a great opportunity to ask questions and to clarify anything that confuses you.
Absolutely! You may want to bring some questions that you have regarding the home. You should also feel free to stop the inspector and ask questions as you go. If the inspector's comments or explanations are not clear, please ask for clarification.
You should dress comfortably and be prepared to spend roughly 2 1/2 hours walking through the home with the inspector. You won't have to climb on the roof or go into the attic, so your clothes won't get dirty.
You do receive a written report. It would be unfair to ask you to remember all of the things we cover during a home inspection. The report includes a summary of the condition of the home and details on all the major systems of the home. It is delivered within 24 hours after the inspection.
No. Our goal is to report on the condition of the house, indicating potential repairs and expenses. Ultimately, it is your decision as to whether or not you buy the house. The home inspection is very important but it is only one piece of the puzzle. Only you know all of the factors at play. Your real estate professional can help you here.
A home inspection is a professional opinion based on less-than-complete information. It's a little like getting a check-up from your doctor. It improves your odds of good health but there is no guarantee or warranty. Some problems can only be discovered by living in a house; they cannot be discovered during a home inspection. For example, some shower stalls leak when people use the shower but don't leak when you simply turn on the shower. Some roofs and basements only leak when specific weather conditions exist. Some problems will only be discovered when carpets are lifted, furniture is moved or finishes are removed. As such, we cannot and do not offer a warranty on the house. Home warranty programs are available from others. We would be happy to help you contact a warranty company.
Our team of inspectors is ready to serve you quickly. However, when the sale of a home is conditional on the results of a home inspection, we recommend that you allow at least three days to arrange for a home inspection.
We specialize in older, or historical homes that most people may not be familiar with. Some poeple purchase very old homes that are beautiful and charming, but find out a year down the road a lot of things might have been overlooked. Commonly found problems include: handy man wiring, knob and tube wiring, structural movement or deterioration, wood decay, unsafe or deteriorated water or gas piping and exposed wiring. All of these things can seem scary, however we will recommend a professional do an evaluation as to the best way to correct the problem.
Priority Maintenance for Home Buyers
There are so many home maintenance and repair items that are important; it can be confusing trying to establish which are the most critical. To simplify things, we have compiled a short list of our favorites. These are by no means all-inclusive, nor do they replace any of the information in a home inspection report. They should, however, help you get started on the right foot. Remember, any items marked as priority or safety issues on your home inspection report need immediate attention.
- Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors as required, according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Know the requirements in your area.
- Make any electrical improvements recommended in the home inspection report.
- Remove any wood/soil contact to prevent rot and insect damage.
- Change the locks on all doors. Use a dead bolt for better security and to minimize insurance costs.
- Correct trip hazards such as broken or uneven walks and driveways, loose or torn carpet or uneven flooring.
- Correct unsafe stairways and landings. (Railings missing, loose, too low, et cetera.)
- Have all chimneys inspected before operating any of these appliances.
- Locate and mark the shut-offs for the heating, electrical and plumbing systems.
- Label the circuits in electrical panels.
- If there is a septic system, have the tank pumped and inspected. If the house is on a private water supply (well), set up a regular testing procedure for checking water quality.
Regular Maintenance Items
- Clean the gutters in the spring and fall.
- Check for damaged roofing and flashing materials twice a year.
- Cut back trees and shrubs from the house walls, roof and air conditioning system as needed.
- Clean the tracks on horizontal sliding windows annually, and ensure the drain holes are clear.
- Test ground fault circuit interrupters, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors using the test button, monthly.
- Service furnace or boiler yearly.
- Check furnace filters, humidifiers and electronic air cleaners monthly.
- Check the bathtub and shower caulking monthly and improve promptly as needed.
- If you are in a climate where freezing occurs, shut off outdoor water faucets in the fall.
- Check reversing mechanism on garage door opener monthly.
- Check attics for evidence of leaks and condensation and make sure vents are not obstructed, at least twice a year. (Provide access into all attics and crawl spaces.)