Choose the Right Inspector
Property inspections may be offered in different variations, depending upon the inspector. Here is a list of the most common types of inspections:
- General Building Inspection. Report written and mailed, minimal or no pictures.
- General Building Inspection. Report written and mailed, including pictures.
- General Building Inspection. Report emailed, downloaded and/or sent on CD, including pictures.
- General Building Inspection. Report in checklist format.
- General Building Inspection. Report in narrative format.
- General Building Inspection. Report in a combination checklist and narrative format.
- General Building Inspection. Report provided onsite. No pictures or minimal pictures.
- General Building Inspection. Verbal report only. Nothing in writing.
- Specific System or Component Inspection (roof, chimney, etc.).
- Phase Inspection (new construction).
- A General Building Inspection – report with or without pictures
- This should be a no-brainer! Who wants a report without pictures?
- A General Building Inspection – written or electronic report
- This can be in hard copy or electronic in nature. Either is fine, however, un-necessary printing is obviously not good for the environment. In today’s high-tech world, printing is really not necessary most of the time.
- A General Building Inspection – checklist, narrative or combination report
- A checklist report is just what the name suggests. Items and components are usually listed as “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory”, “Average Condition”, “Below Average Condition”, “Safety Hazard”, etc. This type of report usually lacks information.
- A narrative report provides a more informed look at items, offering more often than not, extensive explanations of components and terms not designed for the layman. Although more informative, this type of report can be confusing.
- A combination report provides the best of the checklist and narrative reports and if done correctly, is easily understood by the average consumer. This is by far the best format in most instances.
- A General Building Inspection – report provided onsite
- Yes, reports can be and are provided onsite by some inspectors. These are printed on inexpensive paper from a portable printer. No pictures usually, although sometimes a few are provided. This type of report can present a problem unless the inspector takes extensive notes during the inspection or the inspector has a memory like a “steel trap”. This type of report, in my opinion, is just above the “verbal” report for lack of information and reliability. A good inspector usually takes his notes and pictures back to the office for further examination and explanation and many times does research to provide additional information regarding a deficiency. Just how good do you think an onsite report will be?
- A General Building Inspection – verbal report
- So you want to save some money? Great! Have a verbal report done! This is great for the inspector. They can say want they want about components and systems, point out defects, give you advice, etc., however, you’d better be taking extensive notes! No pictures, no report, no recourse! You also have nothing to show the seller or listing agent regarding defects. In the long run, you may not save what you thought you would save. This type of inspection should be your last choice in most circumstances, however, there are times it may be useful. Foreclosures and short sales usually leave no bargaining room so a written report may not be needed.
- Specific System or Component Inspection
- If property just needs a water test, radon test, pest inspection, roof inspection, etc., then this is the type of inspection you need. This is usually a small percentage of the inspections performed and often add-on’s to a general building inspection.
- Phase Inspection
- This type of inspection is usually performed during construction and done in “phases”. Usually 2-3 visits are necessary during construction to be sure all is being done correctly.
So there you have it. An extensive list of inspection types available for you to choose from. Be sure to find out what type of inspection is provided before you choose an inspector.
My inspections are the Combination type of report with extensive pictures and hyperlinks to additional information if you choose to further your knowledge. 99% of my reports are electronic in nature which can be saved to your computer and/or printed. I DO NOT do onsite or verbal reports. You’re property deserves the best and these types of reports are minimal.