Some answered Questions about home inspections and radon testing
How much does a Home Inspection cost?
The charge is $350 per home inspection. Radon testing is $125.
Inquire about extra expenses for travel outside of La Plata County.
What does a home inspection include?
The standard home inspector’s report will cover the condition of the home’s heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement and structural components.
Why do I need a home inspection?
Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.
If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costlyure repairs.
If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
Why can't I do it myself?
Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with the elements of home construction, proper installation, maintenance and home safety. He or she knows how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as why they fail.
Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.
Can a house fail a home inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and identify potential safety hazards. The home inspector will indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.
When do I call a home inspector?
Typically, a home inspector is contacted immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, be sure there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent on the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms and conditions to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t want to become involved in future repair work, this information will be important to you. If major problems are found, a seller may agree to make repairs.
If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with confidence. You’ll have learned many things about your new home from the inspector’s written report, and will have that information for future reference.
Will I be able to attend the inspection?
Yes, we absolutely encourage our clients to be there for the home inspection when possible. We believe the best inspection is conducted when the customer is present through the inspection, following the home inspector through each step of the inspection. However we will ask for you not to follow us onto a roof or to stand back when we initially check the main electrical panel.
Very Important for this area!
Do I need a Radon test?
Radon gas is odorless and invisible to the human eye. It is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally deep within the soil. It is formed by the natural decay of uranium in rock and soil deep in the earth. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates. Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.
The EPA suggests that if you are buying or selling a home you should have it tested for radon. La Plata County levels of radon are more than four times the national average. 2 of every 3 houses tested here by home inspectors exceeded the 4 picocuries per liter of air that the EPA deems a maximum. My house first tested at 19 picocuries and after mitigation was reduced to .7, a drastic reduction not to mention peace of mind! The EPA suggests that the lung cancer risk of living in a home with 10 pci/liter is roughly equivalent to the risk of smoking 1/2-1 pack of cigarettes/day or having 500 chest x-rays/year. The only way to know if your house has elevated levels is to test your house. There can be three houses in a row. The two on the outside can be high; and the one in the middle low! The cost of Radon Mitigation can often be negotiated between the buyer and seller of a house. I had my home tested so should you.