What is a Building Inspection ?

What is a residential or commercial building Inspection?

A building inspection is a professional, objective, visual examination of the condition of a residential or commercial property. Property buyers now entering the marketplace view inspections as a way to gain valuable information about the biggest purchase of their lifetime. It helps them to determine whether there are any major defects or system inadequacies at the time of purchase.

In most cases, building inspections are performed after a sales contract, (conditional upon a satisfactory building inspection) has been accepted by the seller. The inspection can usually be arranged immediately to within a few days. The property buyer is typically encouraged to attend the inspection, so that he/she can see first hand the workings of the home. It also represents an excellent opportunity for the prospective buyer to ask questions about the home or to discuss potential changes.

Building inspections are not intended to point out every small problem or defect in a home. Minor or cosmetic flaws, for example, should be apparent without the aid of a professional.

Building inspections should also highlight the positive aspects of the property. In fact, many of the building consultant's observations or recommendations help to dispel home purchaser anxieties, and provide useful repair suggestions.

The building consultant's service to the purchaser is primarily one of education. The goal of the building consultant is to provide the purchaser with a better understanding of the physical condition of the property in order that they can make a well-informed decision. It is also the consultant's role to keep his findings in perspective for the buyer. After the inspection is completed, a written report should be prepared for the client, documenting the results of the inspection, along with an estimation of repair time frames and costs.

The building inspection should not be confused with an appraisal, a municipal code inspection, an environmental audit, or a home owner's warranty. What is the difference between a building consultant, a building inspector, and a home inspector? A building consultant is a professional who performs private pre-purchase inspections of both commercial and residential properties. A building inspector is a government employee who inspects for codes (e.g. fire codes, electrical codes, etc.) especially on new construction or on major renovations. A home inspector inspects residential properties exclusively.

A complete building inspection should cover all of the major systems of the property, including structure, exterior, roofing, electrical, heating, cooling, insulation, plumbing and interior. As a minimum, an inspection should meet the Standards of Practice of The American Society of Home Inspectors® (ASHI®) . Our report is typically over 20 pages long and includes a Report Summary (itemizing major deficiencies), Estimated Repair Costs, Color Photos Of Deficiencies, and Illustrations. View Sample Pages of Inspection Report

Consumers should be very careful when shopping for a building consultant or home inspector. The industry on the whole is unregulated and many unqualified people offer home inspection services. Home inspection companies that offer to do repair work, or recommend repair companies, should be avoided.