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Home Inspection Services

The average home inspection generally takes 2-3 hours to adequately assess the state of the property. At many points during the inspection the home buyer is invited to join the exploration. After our inspector has seen the property she will give a quick review of the notable aspects. Together we present the findings wether good or bad and provide insight and recommendations. Shortly after completing the in person inspection we send a detailed report, complete with clear photography, diagrams and other observations gathered during the inspection for you to reference.

Why do I need a home inspection?

Home inspections are typically required as a condition of sale when purchasing a property.

They can also be performed for other reasons such as when a homeowner is planning to remodel or make significant repairs to a property.

A home inspection can provide valuable information to a buyer or homeowner about the condition of a property and can help identify any potential issues or defects that may need to be addressed before closing on a sale or making significant repairs.

Additionally, it can also help the buyer to negotiate for the price of repairs with the seller.

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Are you currently or thinking of building a newly constructed home?

How can Inspector Jo help?

Inspector Jo distinguishes herself from other home inspectors because of her insatiable curiosity and knowledge in building science.

Recognizing that buying a home can be a stressful process, Jo understands that a lengthy home inspection report can appear overwhelming. It may resemble an extensive “honey-do list” for many clients.

Jo provides high-quality annotated photos and detailed descriptions of observations, along with valuable resources such as video links, blog posts, and product images for home buyers to reference.

Why Choose Inspector Jo?

For Inspector Jo, a home inspection serves a greater purpose than solely identifying potential defects; it’s about educating the buyer on general home maintenance. Our goal is to provide extra value and knowledge on how to approach tackling simple repairs, and guidance to find the right professionals when needed. By providing comprehensive and informative reports, we aime to empower homebuyers with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions and feel confident in their home ownership journey.

Key elements of a thorough home inspection:

  1. Inspection Details and General Summary
  2. Roof
  3. Exterior & Siding
  4. Garage
  5. Structure & Foundation
  6. Attic & Insulation
  7. Heating & Cooling/ Ventilation
  8. Plumbing
  9. Electrical
  10. Interior
  11. Bathrooms
  12. Kitchen & Appliances
  13. Laundry
  14. Site Observations

INTERIOR 

An interior inspection covers critical components of the home, including walls, ceilings, floors, and windows. During this thorough examination, we meticulously assess construction quality, ensuring there are no issues related to improper installation or subpar workmanship. However, it’s important to note that our inspection goes beyond surface-level evaluations. We diligently search for signs that may indicate potential larger problems such as plumbing or roof leaks, insect damage, wood rot, insufficient insulation, and more.

While it may seem like a simple walkthrough with a flashlight, our highly trained eyes are attuned to spotting subtle clues that reveal what might be happening behind the walls. Rest assured, our comprehensive interior inspection aims to uncover any hidden issues and provide you with valuable insights into the overall condition of your prospective home.

Loose shelves and hangers that often pull out of their fasteners and can drop objections on residents
Mirror Cracks at a arched entryway
Moisture and water damage on a bathroom tile wall
Loose Handrails and guard rails at stairs
blocked off or damaged windows
Evaluation of floors, walls, windows and ceilings
Moisture damage from a leaky air vent
Interior Condo Inspection
Testing the function and performance of windows and doors
Drywall damage consistent with settlement

EXTERIOR

Moisture mitigation in homes primarily begins with the exterior. During this critical phase, we focus on key elements such as surface grade and drainage, home siding/exterior wall structure, driveways, sidewalks, porches/decks, windows, and doors. The exterior and roof portions of the home inspection may provide the most detailed analysis for some clients. This is because the exterior serves as the home’s first layer of protection against external elements that can lead to deterioration or damage. 

Mortar deterioration
Shared and common areas like balconies and exterior stairs
Trim paint and sealant around windows, siding and penetrations
Loose guardrail – Deck and balcony safety
Downspouts need extending away from the foundation
Shared and private driveways
Exterior metal surfaces and balconies
Mortar step cracking at a foundational wall
Steel Lintels corroded from rusting
Window sealant, and paint around siding and trim
Condominium roof tops and brick and mortar
Algae on siding – signs of poor moisture mitigation and a potential wet foundation
Brick mortar step cracking
Moisture damaged soffits at the roof eaves – indication of poor roof drainage
Loose trim and weather stripping
Brick mortar step cracking under a masonry arch way
A home with Vinyl Siding and no house wrap or vapor protections

ROOFING

As a matter of practice we try to walk every roof we encounter to get a better eye on the strength and protection of the structure, however sometimes we must conduct our inspections from the ground or a ladder due to weather conditions or the slope of the roof. During our inspections we take notice of things such as the roof’s apparent age and condition, the flashings at penetrations and valleys, the condition of the roofing materials, and the efficiency of any drainage systems. 

Slate Roof
Flat Roof, on a mid-rise condominium
“alligatoring” of a flat roof material from sun exposure and weathering
poorly installed scuppers on a townhome shared flat roof
New Home Inspection
11 Month warranty – roof inspection of a home just under 1 year old.
Buckling or poorly laying shingles can create channels for water intrusion
Mid-rise condo flat roof inspection
South Suburbs asphalt shingle roof -Mid-century Raised Ranch
Inspecting the transition between two roof slopes on asphalt shingles
New construction Roof inspection – sometimes Jo needs to use bedroom windows to accurately view a roof
Gazebo style roof -asphalt shingles
Sagging roof plane at the roof rakes of a duplex/townhome

HVAC 

At each home inspection we test the home’s heating and cooling systems for function, thermostatic response, and expected length of life. Whether your new home is equipped with central heating and air, radiant heat, through-wall or in-window heating and cooling elements, or the classic gravity flow we are equipped with the expertise and knowledge to test the system not only for functionality and efficiency, but also for many common deficiencies or errors in installation.

** At some external temperatures it may be too cold or too hot to safely test both heating the cooling functions. 

HVAC Units can often be located in the attic
Attic HVAC that has a rusty drip pan from poor discharge drainage
Dirty HVAC with moisture from the condensation lines
Dirty internal HVAC Unit- when your unit is dirty you can be breathing in the dust and dirt inside
Dirty Blower
Rust in the HVAC from condensation leaking
A Heat Pump exterior Unit
A damaged and possibly poor performing AC compressor
Signs of corrosion and rusting on a HVAC and or Chimney vent
Chimney Flue Inspection.

PLUMBING 

Thoroughly examining the water supply and drainage systems of the home from top to bottom, we aim to discover any potential issues in water flow, water heating, and drainage. Our role is to test all fixtures, traps, and available pumps in the home to identify any leaks or clogged drains. By uncovering these issues, we aim to save you from potential headaches in the future.

Water Heater with signs of scorching and over heating
Subsurface downspout with cracked clay pipes for drainage
Chrome P-traps may look better, but they regularly corrode and eventually leak.
Signs of corrosion on the cold water inlet for a water heater
Another corroded Chrome P-trap
Poorly Installed Kitchen sink drainage
Inspector Jo test washers and dryers for leaks and signs of damage

ELECTRICAL 

Ensuring your home’s electricity is safely wired is an essential part of comfortable home living. During your inspection we look at all visible aspects of your electrical system, from the service entrance cables, to the electrical panel wiring, breakers, fuses and disconnects, all the way to testing every available outlet in the home for correct installation and wiring. 

All accessibly receptacles are tested for proper installation and function.
The electrical service and panel are also inspected
100 AMP Town home electrical service
200 AMP condo home electrical service
Receptacles in special areas like the kitchen and the bathroom should be GFCI protected.
2 Prong outlets should be updated with safer modern 3 prong grounded receptacles.
The exterior condition of most of the High Rise Condominium do to lack of visibility and access
Older 2 prong outlets do to safety
The interior of sewer ejectors, rough plumb basement systems and sump pumps with closed lids.
Slate Roofs can only be visually inspected as walking on the roof could damage the material

What we don’t inspect…

Although Jo observes and notes on hundreds of aspects of a home during an inspection there are some limits to the Standards of Practice (SOP) that either are not part of a General Home Inspection or cannot be observed visually at the time. Jo believes in honestly and clearly and wants everyone to be as prepared and aware of what to expect from and Inspection Report as possible. There are some common areas people assume a Home Inspector might inspect that are actually outside of the SOP guidelines.