ASHI Offers Insight Into Basics of Home Inspection
More home buyers and sellers than ever are hiring home inspectors to prevent surprises and expensive problems. However, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), it is important for current or future home owners to understand exactly what a home inspection involves so that they can fully benefit from the service.
"A home inspection examines the overall condition of a home," says Mike Casey, president of ASHI, the largest non-profit professional organization for home inspectors. "In addition to identifying problems, home inspectors can recommend what steps might be necessary to correct those problems."
Casey adds that no home is perfect and professional home inspectors offer home buyers and sellers the comfort of knowing what conditions exist prior to entering into a real estate transaction. Among home inspectors, ASHI members have gained their expertise through rigorous technical and experiential requirements. They also follow the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which are regarded as the industry benchmark of performance.
Inspecting the House
According to Casey, a typical home inspection includes the following areas:
- Exterior - Drainage conditions, exterior surfaces, decks and chimneys.
- Roof - Condition of roofing materials and flashing.
- Interior - Windows, doors and plumbing fixtures are tested and checked for operation. The furnace and air conditioner are examined for correct installation and operation. Electrical outlets and switches are randomly checked for correct polarity and operation.
- Crawl Space/Attic - These areas are examined for structural condition. Insulation, ventilation, electrical, heating and plumbing systems are inspected if accessible.
"Each of these areas are important to the overall condition of the home," explains Casey. "Home inspectors provide a written report that includes information on the condition of each section, calling attention to the systems or components that may need repair, are unsafe or do not function properly."
Calling On a Home Inspector
Home inspections can be beneficial for both current and potential home owners. Following are several instances when people hire a home inspector to examine a home:
- Home buyers who want to learn about the condition of a home they are considering purchasing.
- Someone selling a home who wants to learn of any problems that exist before putting it up for sale.
- Home owners, not wishing to buy or sell, who want to identify problems and possibly avoid costly future repairs.
- Consumers who are having a home built who want to monitor the construction of their new home.
While some people feel that they can inspect a home themselves, ASHI says that an impartial third-party opinion provided by an expert in the field of home inspection is essential. "An unbiased, professional home inspection will be viewed by other parties as much more credible than one done by the buyer," adds Casey.
For More Information
The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the oldest and most respected non-profit, professional organization of home inspectors in North America. Its mission is to promote excellence and exemplary practice within the profession.
Those seeking to obtain more information about the American Society of Home Inspectors or the names of ASHI members may contact the organization at 932 Lee Street, Suite 101, Des Plaines, IL 60016. Phone: 800-743-2744. Web site: www.ashi.org.