FAQ

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How much does a home inspection cost?

 

Basic prices are listed on the Pricing page. Total costs will depend on the number of services provided, home size, and any special circumstances, like inspection of crawlspaces. Need a detailed estimate? Contact us and we will be glad to help.

Do you offer any discounts?

We offer discounted packages for multiple services. Contact us for more information. 

Where are you willing to travel to do inspections?

We are able to do inspections in the following western Pennsylvania counties:

  • Allegheny
  • Armstrong
  • Beaver
  • Butler
  • Clarion
  • Fayette
  • Greene
  • Indiana
  • Lawrence
  • Mercer
  • Somerset
  • Venango
  • Washington
  • Westmoreland

Why do I need a home inspection when buying a home?

The home buying process can be stressful. A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often has the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time. This often includes a written inspection report, checklist, photographs, environmental reports and what the home inspector himself says during the inspection. All this combined with the seller’s disclosure and what you notice yourself makes the experience even more overwhelming. 


Relax. Most of a buyer inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies and minor imperfections. These are nice to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:

  1. Major defects. An example of this would be a structural failure.
  2. Things that lead to major defects. A small roof-flashing leak, for example.
  3. Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home.
  4. Safety hazards, such as an exposed, live buss bar at the electric panel.

Anything in these categories should be addressed. Often a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property (especially in categories 2 and 4).


Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during a buyer inspection. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Do not kill your deal over things that do not matter. It is inappropriate to demand that a seller address deferred maintenance conditions already listed on the seller’s disclosure or nit-picky items. 

What can I expect from a home inspection? What all is inspected?

A standard home inspection is a visual examination of accessible areas of a property. A home inspector will inspect many items, including the following:

  • Roof, vents, flashings, and trim
  • Gutters and downspouts
  • Skylight, chimney and other roof penetrations
  • Decks, stoops, porches, walkways, and railings
  • Eaves, soffit and fascia
  • Grading and drainage
  • Basement, foundation and crawlspace
  • Water penetration and foundation movement
  • Heating systems
  • Cooling systems
  • Main water shut off valves
  • Water heating system
  • Interior plumbing fixtures and faucets
  • Drainage sump pumps with accessible floats
  • Electrical service line and meter box
  • Main disconnect and service amperage
  • Electrical panels, breakers and fuses
  • Grounding and bonding
  • GFCIs and AFCIs
  • Fireplace damper door and hearth
  • Insulation and ventilation
  • Garage doors, safety sensors, and openers
  • And much more…

For more details of what is and is not included in a standard home inspection, see the InterNACHI Standards of Practice. Items, such as well testing and radon testing, may be available as an added service. Contact us to talk to a certified home inspector.

Who should get the home inspection, the buyer or the seller?

Having a home inspector check a home provides benefits to both the buyer and the seller. Whether done as a seller inspection or a buyer inspection, the inspection should be the same. As put by the InterNACHI Code of Ethics, home inspectors must be "fair, honest, impartial, and act in good faith" no matter who they are working for. 

Where can I find more information on Radon?

Radon is an odorless, radioactive gas that is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The gas may enter a home through its foundation and is a common occurrence in PA. Radon can be detected with a simple test and if levels are too high, a radon mitigation system can be installed. The PA Department of Environmental Protection has more information and the United States Department of Environmental Protection has several documents containing useful information.

We conduct radon testing using a Sun Nuclear Continuous Radon Monitor. Pennsylvania Radon Certification Identification Number 2947. 

Why should I have my well water tested? What can well testing tell me?

Well water testing can detect bacterial contamination or if certain other harmful substances, like lead or arsenic, are present. In addition, well testing can tell you if the well has sufficient water output to meet your needs. Running out of water in the middle of a shower or doing laundry is unpleasant, to say the least. More information from InterNACHI is available here and from the PA Department of Environmental Protection here

I don't have a well, should I still have my water tested?

You do not have to have a well to get benefit from water testing. While you may not be concerned with water contamination from your public water company, water testing can pick up issues that do not occur at the source. For instance, water testing may detect lead from soldering in the water pipes of older homes.

Commercial water testing kits are available, but may be subject to contamination and false results if samples are not obtained, stored, and handled correctly. Whether you choose a water testing kit or professional water testing, make sure the samples are analyzed by a reputable organization. 

What is a "Wood-Destroying Organism (WDO) Inspection"?

A wood-destroying organism inspection is commonly referred to as a "termite inspection" or a "pest inspection". This inspection will look for evidence of termites or other living creatures that cause damage in wooden components of structures. 

Why should I have a seller inspection before selling my home?

Eventually your buyers are going to conduct a buyer inspection. You may as well know what they are going to find by getting there first. Having inspections performed ahead of time helps in many other ways. As explained on the InterNACHI Move-In Certified site:

  • The seller can choose a certified InterNACHI inspector rather than be at the mercy of the buyer’s choice of home inspector.
  • The seller can schedule the inspections at the seller’s convenience.
  • It might alert the seller of any items of immediate personal concern, such as radon gas or active termite infestation.
  • The seller can assist the home inspector during the inspection, something normally not done during a buyer’s inspection.
  • The seller can have the inspector correct any misstatements in the home inspection report before it is generated.
  • The report can help the seller realistically price the home if problems exist.
  • The report can help the seller substantiate a higher asking price if problems do not exist or have been corrected.
  • A seller inspection reveals problems ahead of time which:
    • might make the home show better.
    • gives the seller time to make repairs and shop for competitive contractors.
    • permits the seller to attach repair estimates or paid invoices to the inspection report.
    • removes over-inflated buyer procured estimates from the negotiation table.
  • The report might alert the seller to any immediate safety issues found, before agents and visitors tour the home.
  • The inspection report provides a third-party, unbiased opinion to offer to potential buyers.
  • A seller inspection permits a clean home inspection report to be used as a marketing tool.
  • A seller inspection is the ultimate gesture in forthrightness on the part of the seller.
  • The report might relieve a prospective buyer’s unfounded suspicions, before they walk away.
  • A seller inspection lightens negotiations and 11th-hour renegotiations.
  • The report might encourage the buyer to waive the inspection contingency.
  • The deal is less likely to fall apart the way they often do when a buyer’s inspection unexpectedly reveals a problem, last minute.
  • The inspection report provides full-disclosure protection from future legal claims.

Copies of the inspection report along with receipts for any repairs should be made available to potential buyers.