Green Valley Home Inspection Services, LLC
How long does a typical home inspection take?
There really is no 'typical' home inspection, as each home is different and each client may have certain priorities and considerations. On average, however, a home inspection may take about 2 - 4 hours or so depending on the size of the home and other factors. I make it a point not to rush through an inspection just to get to the next one. It's better to take the necessary time to inspect it right the first time.
Should I be present at the time of the inspection?
It's not necessary, but it is recommended. Being present at the time of the inspection gives you, the client, an opportunity to see what the inspector sees and to ask questions. While every effort is certainly made to produce a clear and understandable inspection report (with color pictures), it is always helpful to be able to understand why the inspector chose to include or even exclude something in the report. Still, it is not always possible or convenient for a client to be present at the time an inspection is conducted. It's important to note that when you hire Green Valley Home Inspection Services, LLC to conduct your inspection, I am your inspector both during and after the inspection. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have and take the time to discuss my findings, even after the report has been written and delivered to you. This is simply part of what I perceive to be good customer service.
What does a home inspection involve?
A home inspection is conducted in accordance with Standards of Practice that provide guidelines as to what is included and not included in a home inspection. As a member of the International Association of Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), I am pleased to subscribe to the InterNACHI Standards of Practice for Residential Home Inspections. According to these Standards of Practice, a general home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property, performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components defined by the Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector.
What does this mean? Despite what you may have seen on TV, a home inspector is limited to what is readily observable. A home inspector cannot, for a number of reasons, tear into walls, floors and ceilings to find out what is happening behind the scenes. Home Inspectors cannot rip up carpeting, move things around and the like. To do so would be invasive and potentially expensive, not to mention irresponsible. Still, by using the tools and skills of the trade, a home inspector attempts to deduce the true condition of a home and it's components on the day and time of the inspection. A home inspector looks for clues to things that may be a safety issue or a major concern to the client. Then, much like a general practitioner diagnosing your health concerns, the home inspector can suggest various specialists who can help to remedy any issues that may be found.
What kind of a report will I get?
The end product of a home inspection is the report. It's your go-to resource for understanding the inspection and it should be the crowning achievement of the inspectors work. Unlike some inspectors who may use only a simple carbon-copy checklist that is quickly filled out, Green Valley uses software specifically designed to produce a clear, understandable and professional report. I also take color photos throughout the inspection which are included in the report to help you visualize the findings. The final inspection report is available to you as a PDF document and/or a printed report and is usually ready only a few hours to one day after the inspection. After receiving the report I will be happy to answer any questions you may have and take the time to discuss my findings with you.
Are you insured?
Yes I am. Green Valley Home Inspection Services, LLC is fully insured with Professional Errors and Omission Insurance and General Liability Insurance.
I have pets and it's important to me that my home is safe for my pets. Do you take this into consideration when inspecting a home?
Yes. Green Valley is a Pet Friendly Inspection Business. My wife and I currently have two cats, Jack and Lola, and we have had many pets of numerous species over the course of our lives. I understand that if you have pets, they are likely an important part of your family. I am happy to take pets into consideration when inspecting a home. If you have a pet please be sure to mention this important fact when contacting me. At no additional charge, I will take extra time to get a "pets-eye-view" while inspecting a home to help identify potential safety hazards for your pets.
I think I might have bed bugs! What can I do?
First of all, don't panic. The thought of creepy crawlies such as bed bugs can often produce an embarrassing and emotional response in us. Yet, like with all insect issues, there are practical steps you can take to eradicate the problem and minimize the risk of spreading the infestation. If you suspect you may have a bed bug infestation, the following may prove helpful:
Call Green Valley Home Inspection Services, LLC or another trained professional inspector to help you discreetly verify whether or not there may be a bedbug infestation. Armed with information obtained by a thorough inspection, you can then begin building a strategy for a successful solution to the problem. A knowledgeable inspector can help point you in the right direction, saving you time and money.
Remove bed skirts, as they provide easy access for the bugs to travel from the floor to your bed. If you must have bed skirts, make sure they do not reach the floor.
Move your bed or suspected furniture item away from the wall. Bed bugs cannot fly, but they can climb walls.
Place furniture legs in containers coated with talcum powder, petroleum jelly or a non-evaporative liquid, to deter the bugs from climbing.
Place a strip of duct tape at the base of furniture with the sticky side out. This tactic can be used to confirm the presence of bed bugs because it will trap them in place.
While the effectiveness of commercially available insecticide products is debatable, if you do decide to use such products follow the directions carefully. Do not treat bedding, towels or clothing with insecticide. Bed bugs are best treated by Pest Management Professionals.
I live in an apartment and suspect that I have bed bugs. Can you help?
Yes, but only with the owner or managers approval. Regardless of who requests or pays for an inspection, the property owner or their representative must be aware of and approve the inspection. The report is delivered to the client who requests the inspection.
I'm unfamiliar with contractors and services in the area. Can you help recommend someone?
What is the most common problem found during a home inspection?
While other inspectors may have different answers to this question, I would have to say that the most common issue I have experienced is 'handy-man' style workmanship that was performed on one or more home systems. It's tempting for homeowners to save money by doing things themselves, having a relative to work on something for them, or perhaps hiring a cheap handy-man. And, in some cases, there is nothing wrong with this approach. In fact, working on your own do-it-yourself projects around the home can be both rewarding and educational. Nevertheless, when it comes to many home systems, safety and proper procedures should be more important than saving money. A home owner should know what they can handle themselves and when it's time to call in a professional. A properly licensed contractor should be able to do the work in a timely, safe and code compliant manner. Yes, the project may cost more but it's money well spent when you consider the safety of your family and the peace of mind that the job is done right.
If I do hire a contractor, how can I be sure they are reputable?
To many people the idea of hiring a contractor is like playing a game of Russian Roulette; you might get a good one but there is also a very real likelihood of getting hurt. Don't leave it to chance. In the State of Wisconsin a properly licensed building contractor has two credentials, a Dwelling Contractor Certification and a Dwelling Contractor Qualifier Certification. Electricians, Plumbers and HVAC technicians also have licenses for their respective professions. A reputable and legitimate contractor should have no problem providing you with their current certifications as well as any continuing education they may have taken to keep their certifications current. They should also be able to provide you with their insurance information. If a contractor, no matter how persuasive their salesmanship skills may be, is not willing to provide you with this information then you should not feel intimidated into hiring them. A contractor should also know whether or not a permit is required in the local municipality for the work they are doing. Education is really the key to knowing whether or not the contractor you are contemplating hiring is the right contractor for you. You can educate yourself by visiting the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services website at http://dsps.wi.gov/Home or by contacting your local municipal or county Building Inspection Division.
So, if a contractor needs to be licensed and insured, what about home inspectors?
Good question. Yes, a home inspector should have a current state license. Currently, the State of Wisconsin does not require that home inspectors be insured, but it's still a good idea. In order to obtain a home inspector license in the State of Wisconsin, an individual must pass a national examination on the procedures for conducting home inspections and a state exam based on the statutes and rules governing home inspectors. In order to maintain the license, a home inspector must complete a minimum of 20 hours per year of continuing education. So, at a minimum, any home inspector you are contemplating hiring should have a current license. If they are insured, that's a real plus that shows they are serious about their business. If they have some experience, have graduated from a recognized home inspection course study, and are a member of an organization devoted to helping them progress as a home inspector, then they are likely worth hiring and worth the price they charge to inspect one of the largest purchases you will ever make.
It's worth noting that, as the owner of Green Valley Home Inspections Services, LLC, I am a licensed Wisconsin Home Inspector (Wisconsin license #2517-106), having obtained my state license in 2011 after passing the National Home Inspector Examination and the Wisconsin Home Inspector Exam. As a graduate of the American Home Inspectors Training Institute, I am also an AHIT Certified Home Inspector. And, I am a Wisconsin licensed UDC - HVAC Inspector. I am a Certified Professional Inspector®, and a member of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, Inc (InterNACHI), the largest home inspection association in the world. InterNACHI's continuing education policy is a minimum of 24 hours of continuing education each year that is specifically tailored for home inspectors, four hours per year above the minimum currently required by the State of Wisconsin. Green Valley Home Inspection Services, LLC is fully insured with Errors and Omission Insurance and General Liability Insurance. For several years I have also worked for the City of Oshkosh, Inspection Services Division, as a Code Enforcement and Property Maintenance Inspector.
Yet, even more important that all this, I am absolutely committed to providing you, my client, with the professional, quality service that you and your family deserve. For me, it's not just about inspecting a house; it's about taking the time to properly inspect your home.
Call or email Green Valley today. - (920) 252-2320