Home Inspection Service, Energy Management, Engineering & HVAC Consulting

Smith Persinger Home Inspectors
 

 Department of Environmental Protection Radon Certification #2084

 
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National Association of Certified Home Inspectors

     
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 Frequently Asked Questions 
 
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 What is a "home inspection"? 
A home inspection is a thorough examination of the current physical conditions of the home's structure and it's operating components. 

The residential Real Estate transaction inspection is to provide the prospective buyer with detailed information about the home's current condition. 
  
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 What does a home inspection include? 
The home inspection commonly includes examining major components of the property, such as: garage, driveway, patio, balcony, porch, service walks, retaining walls, roof, chimney, gutters, siding & trim, stairs, doors, windows, floors, walls, ceilings, electrical, heating-ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, attic, crawl space, foundation, and other visible elements. 
 
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 How long does the inspection take?
Our structured site inspection generally takes 2 to 3 hours to complete. We strictly adhere to the Standards of Practice outlined by NABIE and the extra investment of time assures you of not only the highest quality inspection but also the same thorough inspection every time. When we leave the inspection, the bulk of our work/report writing has not yet begun. Most inspectors are 100% complete with their inspection, report and client contact with in 2 hours. The total time invested by our engineers per inspection on average is 5 hours.
 
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 Do I need to be at the inspection?
S&P Engineering, Inc. Inspectors believe it is very important for the home buyer to be present at the inspection. The inspection is a familiarization process, and there is an abundance of information conveyed throughout the inspection that the home owner will be interested in knowing. 
 
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 Do you go over the report in person with the buyer?
We prefer to walk the property with the buyer at the conclusion of the inspection to show them first hand anything discovered during the inspection. We have found that this is the key to giving a buyer peace of mind about their property. When the buyer is out of the area, we take extra time to include digital pictures to help convey the item in the report. When necessary we also go through the report with our client over the phone page by page.
 
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 What happens if the inspector finds problems?
The inspector will provide an analysis of the problem and where possible, recommend a plan of action to improve the situation or alleviate the problem.  This gives you an opportunity to make an informed decision once the inspection report is completed. 
 
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 Do I need a Radon Test?

Testing or measurement is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from Radon. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for Radon.
 

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 Can a house fail inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.
 
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 What will a home inspection do for me?
For The Home Buyer. 
A pre-purchase inspection offers the consumer the knowledge to make a more informed purchase. An inspection may prevent you from being responsible for costly repairs. 

For The Home Owner/Seller. 
A pre-listing inspection can be used as a tool in selling your home. 
Inspection can be used as an instrument to quantify & prioritize repairs. 

For The Real Estate Agent/Broker. 
Inspection is a tool to assist in creating confidence in the buyer/seller. Increases your credibility and reputation by showing the home buyer that you understand the importance of this major investment. 

For The Mortgage Provider. 
Inspection can be used to confirm the condition of a home. 
Helps ensure that your borrower will be prepared for the home they purchase. 

For The Real Estate Attorney. 
Inspection can be used to keep your clients out of "trouble". It's easier to keep your clients out of trouble, than it is to get them out of trouble. 
 
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 What kind of report do you use?
We have a state-of-the-art computer generated report. We are able to take advantage of technology to create a report that is easy to understand and quite comprehensive. This type of report points out the strengths and weaknesses of the home and the digital pictures help to convey the severity of the reported items.
 
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 Will I receive my report at the time of the inspection?
A quality report explains pertinent information about the home. An inspector must gather this information by viewing all areas of the home. The aim of the inspection is to convey what has been observed, along with conclusions in a clear and concise manner. It requires time, and therefore, an inspection report should never be given at the time of the inspection.

Tip: There are many companies that provide reports at the time of the inspection. These are usually little more than glossy checklists with little, if any, explanatory information. This is a large investment you are making-you deserve a quality report.
 
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 When do I get the report?
With modern day Internet technology we are able to e-mail the PDF version of the report in full color the same evening of the inspection. In cases where client technology is limited we can either fax or snail mail the report.
 
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 Do you have a written guarantee that your report is accurate?
Most home inspectors have nothing but disclaimers, or they are simply unaware of the liability they are assuming. We have a service agreement, which clearly outlines our responsibilities. We perform a visual inspection and evaluate the condition of the components of the home based upon the simple criteria of durability and serviceability. The standards that we are responsible to report are contained in the Standards of Practice as published by NABIE.
 
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 What happens if you honestly miss something?
We strive to do our very best, yet realize that we are only human and prone to occasionally making mistakes. Therefore, we stand by our work, and right the wrongs, which we may make. We have built our business on performing the highest quality home inspections and we have an extremely long list of satisfied buyers, sellers and agents, one of which probably referred you to our service.
 
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 How much is your fee?
This is sometimes the first question asked and yet it tells the least about the inspector. It has never been our goal to be the cheapest inspector in town--only the best. We have always felt that the buyer deserves the highest value for his investment dollar. We set our fees according to the size, age and components of the home. Our inspection fees generally range from $245 to $495. A quality computer generated inspection may require a higher investment, but the information it will provide will save you both money and time by eliminating unnecessary headaches later on.
 
Read NABIE's Position Paper "Licensing of Professional Engineers and Architects as Home Inspectors"

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In Wheeling S & P Engineering, Inc. In Pittsburgh
39 High Point Lane
Wheeling WV  26003
304-243-9900
304-281-7959
Copyright 2001 S&P Engineering, Inc.
17 Bell Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15205
412-921-7599