Our Services

Residential Inspections

Typically performed during a real estate transaction’s “inspection period”, this Inspection and accompanying report will allow you to make an educated purchasing decision. This visible inspection will alert you to damage, components that are past their typical life span, safety hazards, and any other significant deficiency of the home. Read below to learn more about home inspections.

Pre-Listing Inspections

This inspection is performed for the seller of a property before listing the home for sale. This inspection and accompanying report will allow the seller to gain a better understanding of their home prior to it hitting the market. This gives the seller the ability to make repairs to discover deficiencies themselves, avoiding repair demands and related negotiations from buyers when they have their own home inspection.

Pre-Drywall Inspections

When a new home is being built, multiple contractors are in and out of the property working on the different aspects of construction. Plumbers, electricians, framers, and insulators are all working independently to get their portions of the job done.

This can sometimes lead to items being overlooked and can also result in construction defects of varying degrees. However, many of these defects are covered up and not visible prior to your final walkthrough inspection. This is why it’s so important to inspect a new construction home during the framing, rough-in phase. Our independent inspection will help to ensure that the home is constructed properly, which will lead to fewer problems in the future.

New Construction Inspections

Building a new home is a complicated process that involves a lot of different people and trades and sometimes things get missed or overlooked. That is why it is imperative that you get an inspection of your new construction home to ensure everything is up to your standards before taking ownership. And in the Commonwealth of Virginia, in order to inspect your new construction home, the inspector must hold the New Residential Structure (NRS) certification. Fortunately, we hold that certification and we want to ensure you are getting what you paid for in your new construction home. Click here to learn more about home inspections.

11-Month Warranty Inspections

This inspection also referred to as a “One Year Warranty” or “Builder’s Warranty Inspection”, is performed for homeowners who have recently purchased a new construction home. This Home Inspection and accompanying report will report on the visible conditions of the home and alert you to any deficiencies that will be in need of repair by your builder. It is very important that this inspection is completed prior to you owning the home for 365 days.

Draw Inspections

New construction draw inspections help lenders and property owners stay on schedule and budget during new construction. If you’re a lender, it’s always best to require a draw inspection before disbursing funds at each stage of the project. This ensures that project funds are spent appropriately according to the construction plan, which minimizes the risk of expensive delays and mistakes.

Water Testing

Certain types of loans require water testing to ensure the water meets EPA standards. And sometimes, you just want to know the water you are drinking is safe. And while there are well service companies that offer this service, most of the time they are too busy to make special trips just to collect water and transport it to a lab. That’s where we come in. We are happy to collect samples and drop them off at the lab for you and we can work with the seller to accept payment at closing if needed. Understanding this is often the responsibility of the seller, we can work with the seller to complete this task during the buyer’s home inspection or we can come back at a later date to collect the sample.

Mold/Indoor Air Quality Testing

We offer two types of testing: complete and limited. A complete mold test includes a complete inspection of your home for moisture and identifying potential microbial growth by collecting samples and conducting laboratory testing. This includes conducting an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) test that includes one (1) outdoor control air sample, and two (2) indoor air samples. Additional air and surface samples may be requested.

A limited mold test includes a single surface test of a pre-determined area to verify the presence of mold. This test includes the collection of one (1) surface sample for laboratory analysis. Additional samples may be requested.

Sewer Scope

The home inspection itself is a visual, non-invasive inspection. This means we can only inspect what we can visibly see and since we are only onsite for 2-4 hours per inspection and when it comes to waste lines, there is a lot that we cannot see or determine. And this can be a source of a huge financial burden considering that it is approx. 8-12k to replace a main waste line if it fails and thousands if repairs are needed.

We recommend any house with cast iron or galvanized steel to be scoped, but even newer homes can have issues such as built-up from grease being dumped down the drain, low spots to debris in the line allowing for poor drainage and backups, roots growing in the line, cracked pipes, offset pipes, and other issues.

Radon Testing

Radon testing is a crucial procedure aimed at detecting the presence and concentration of radon gas within indoor environments. Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas that naturally occurs as a result of the decay of uranium in soil, rocks, and water. It is a known carcinogen and prolonged exposure to high levels of radon can pose serious health risks, particularly increasing the risk of lung cancer.

Radon testing involves placing specialized detectors or monitors in a specific location(s) within the building, typically in areas where occupants spend significant amounts of time, such as living rooms, bedrooms, and basements. These detectors passively collect data on radon levels over a specified period, usually 48 hours during the due-diligence period if for a real estate transaction.

If the results are shown to be above the EPA recommended level calling for action, then a mitigation system should be installed and the home retested to ensure the mitigation system is sufficiently removing the radon from the home. In addition, the home should be tested every 2 years to ensure the levels haven’t changed and/or to ensure the mitigation system is still functioning properly if installed.

What is a Home Inspection

How a Home Inspection Works

Like going to the doctor or bringing your car to a mechanic, home inspections can be nerve-racking and traumatic. When it’s your house in the hot seat, even a fairly clean inspection report might sting a bit.

News flash: no home is perfect. But you can take steps to ready yourself (and your home) for the home inspection to minimize unwanted surprises.

Remember, a home inspection is not a pass or fail the test. It does, however, open the door for renegotiation. You’re not obligated to fix anything, but the buyer can also walk away if they’re not satisfied.

With these fragile dynamics, the last thing you want to do is go into the home inspection blind and risk killing a contract worth saving.

What is a Home Inspection?

In the process of closing a home sale, the buyer typically hires a home inspector to come to the house and perform a visual observation. In accordance with the state’s standards, the home inspector identifies health, safety, or major mechanical issues.

Inspectors look for things that are significantly deficient, unsafe, near the end of the service life, or not functioning properly.”

When Does a Home Inspection Happen During a Home Sale?

In a home sale, there are two types of home inspections: a buyer’s inspection and a seller’s inspection (or a pre-listing inspection). A buyer’s inspection occurs after the buyer has made an offer on the home, and before closing the sale. After a home inspection, the buyer may be able to renegotiate their offer or request repairs if certain issues come up.

A seller’s home inspection happens before the home is listed. Some sellers choose to get their home inspected as they’re beginning to prepare their house for sale, so they can fix any potential issues beforehand and save time in the closing process.

What Happens During a Home Inspection?

A typical home inspection takes 2-3 hours for an average-sized house. The report is ready within 24 hours of the inspection. The home inspector will go through the interior and exterior of the house to record any broken, defective, or hazardous issues with the house and the area surrounding the house. The key thing that we look for is safety issues.

Who Should Be Present During the Home Inspection?

Anyone is allowed to stick around for the home inspection. However, whoever arranges and schedules the home inspection should always be present while the home inspector is there.

What Do Home Inspectors Look For?

Home inspectors have a long, thorough list of things to check in the home. An inspector’s job is to find defects, we have to concentrate on the health and safety concerns first followed by major defects.

There are seven major things that home inspectors look for:

  • Water Damage
  • Structural Issues
  • Old/Damaged Roof
  • Damaged Electrical System
  • Plumbing Problems
  • Insect and Pest Infestation
  • Issues with the HVAC System

What Home Inspectors Do Not Look For

Home inspectors are not concerned with anything cosmetic in a home unless it poses a potential safety issue. For example: If there is a large crack or water stain on a wall, they’ll report it. But they won’t report peeling wallpaper.

Additionally, if a buyer requests a seller updates simple home elements or cosmetic flaws, that should raise a red flag. “If a handyman can handle the repair, I wouldn’t encourage a buyer to ask for it,” says Peters. “When you are arguing over an interior door that doesn’t latch or reverse polarity on an outlet on a $500,000 home, then something is wrong.”

How to Prepare for Your Home Inspection

A home inspector goes through a very thorough checklist. They look at literally everything. Prepare for the inspection to avoid unnecessary blemishes on the report.

Here are some quick things to double-check before your home inspection:

  • Keep receipts of any maintenance or routine services you’ve ever had on your home or its components. Have them organized and ready to show to inspectors and buyers. For example, chimney swept, furnace serviced, filters changed in HVAC, water heater serviced, etc.
  • Clear out the clutter in spaces like the basement, attic, garage, and crawl spaces. Inspectors will need to get in there to check for moisture or damage. If we can’t access it, we will mark it as “uninspectable” which could prolong the process and create a re-inspection need.
  • Make sure the inspector has access to the electrical panel, furnace, and water heater.
  • Lock up pets while the inspector walks through.
  • Make sure light bulbs are working and not burnt out. If light bulbs aren’t working, it could be a sign of electrical issues.
  • Run water in every sink and bath to check for clogs. Clear any minor clogs with Drano or Liquid Plumber before the inspection, as this could signify a plumbing issue in the report.
  • Replace filters in the HVAC system. Dirty air filters compromise the air quality in the home and will raise a red flag for the inspector.
  • Slope dirt away from the foundation on the exterior. This will avoid basement water issues, which is a top thing inspectors look for.
  • Repair any cracked windows or broken screens.
  • Proactively address any bugs with spray or professional extermination, especially carpenter ants or termites. Any sign of an infestation will alert an inspector.
  • Cap unused gas lines, chimneys, and flues to prevent debris and clogs. If caps are missing, toxic fumes could be released into the house.
  • Trim trees that are touching or close to the roof. Low-hanging branches can raise the possibility of roof damage and give rodents access to chimneys and other openings.

Should You Get a Pre-Listing Inspection?

Traditionally, buyers arrange the home inspection process. However, some homeowners choose to have an inspector come in before they list the house for sale. You don’t always need to set up a pre-listing inspection but there are a few cases where it makes sense. Here’s a quick walkthrough for when (and when not) to schedule a pre-listing inspection for your house.

A pre-listing inspection could make the whole sales process faster and easier for everyone involved. More and more sellers have opted for a pre-listing inspection in the past five years than they used to because they can catch things early on that might create roadblocks and delays later.

It’s better to know ahead of time before you put [your house] on the market if your home has a defect.

If you choose to do a pre-inspection, we suggest putting the report out on the table when buyers come through. Check off things that you’ve fixed and provide receipts of service on the areas of concern. It just gives peace of mind and confidence to the buyer that this person cares about their home, care about the process, and want to make sure that their house is in good shape and it speeds up the process for the buyer to buy the home.

Pre-listing inspections can take away the stressful element of surprise for the homeowner. It also helps prevent offer renegotiations, extensive buyer repair requests, and the possibility of buyers walking away while already in contract.

That’s How Home Inspections Work

Home inspections are meant to keep homeowners safe. If you get a pre-listing inspection, you can prepare yourself for repair requests from buyers. Once a buyer makes an offer and you accept it, they’ll bring in a home inspector which could lead to negotiations. Either way, home inspections are a vital and critical part of the home buying and selling process.