The Home Inspection. Find Out What’s Not Covered

Potential home inspection clients ask me, “Do you cover this? Do you cover that?”. There is much confusion as to what is and is not covered in a home inspection. Since there are “Top 10” lists for just about everything else, I’ve made a list of the top 10 things not covered in a home inspection:

1.   Low-voltage systems

  • Computer, phone, built-in audio, intercom systems, landscape lighting, security, irrigation systems, etc. (I offer an inspection upgrade which includes evaluation of the irrigation system.)

2.   Accessory items

  • Fountains, water purification systems, shower steamer units, water circulator pumps, remote control units, mechanical driveway gates, etc.

3.   Inaccessible systems or components 

  • Outside area drains, components within walls or ceilings, padlocked electrical panels, locked rooms, attic areas too cluttered for access or with limited clearance, etc.

4.   Termite/Pest inspection

  • Although I note dry rot or termite-damaged areas that I see during my home inspection, I advise my clients to refer to the termite report. A licensed pest inspection company provides an extensive evaluation and prescribes remedies for treatment.

5.   Septic and well inspection 

  • These specialized inspections are available through private contractors.

6.   Environmental testing

  • An industrial hygienist, mold, lead paint, or haz-mat specialist can be consulted for environmental testing and clean-up. (When I discover suspected environmental hazards during a home inspection, they are noted in my report. Lab testing is necessary to confirm the presence of hazardous material.)

7.   Check for permits

  • If a home has had alterations, additions, or remodeling, a check for permits is beyond the scope of a home inspection.

8.   Repair or replacement estimates

  • Licensed contractors should be consulted for repair estimates. The California Business & Professions Code prohibits a home inspector from performing any repairs on a home inspected within one year.

9.   Energy efficiency

  • Determining a home’s degree of energy efficiency is beyond the scope of a home inspection. (I offer an infrared energy scan for an additional fee.)

10. Remaining life of components or systems

  • One of the questions I get asked most is, “How long will this roof last?” In this case, a roofing contractor can issue a roof certification which will guarantee the roof to be leak-free for a set number of years.

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