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Residential Home Inspections

Whether you are buying or selling an existing home it is a good idea to have a complete home inspection. My home inspections will give you an accurate assessment of the condition of the house. I strongly encourage you to attend the inspection. I feel this is an important part of the process. It gives me the opportunity to explain my procedure and any issues I find on the spot. It also gives us the opportunity to discuss maintenance issues and for me to answer any questions you may have. After I have completed my investigation, I will assemble my discoveries and high resolution digital photographs into an easy-to-read report within 2 business days. The final report will be delivered to you through my inspection software website where you can download and view online at your convenience.

I offer the following inspection services for existing homes.

Pre-Purchase Home Inspections

This is a home buyer’s inspection. My pre-purchase home inspection starts on the outside where I evaluate and note the general condition of the home’s exterior. I then move to the interior of the home. Here every item that is attached to the home is moved, opened, operated and tested. Each home inspection is unique and through my non-invasive exploration I am able to observe all visible and accessible areas with detail. Typical inspections average 4 hours for the field investigation and may take longer depending on the age and condition of the home.

    Inspected items include, but are not limited to:

  • Roof, Gutters & Downspouts, Penetrations, Flashing
  • Exterior Cladding, Porch & Deck, Soffit & Fascia
  • Vegetation, Retaining Walls & Surface Drainage
  • Basements, Foundations, Attic & Structural Components
  • Heating & Cooling Systems
  • Plumbing & Electrical Systems
  • Fireplaces
  • Insulation & Ventilation
  • Interiors Including: Ceilings, Walls, Floors, Windows, Doors, Cabinets & Countertops, Stairs, Handrails & Guardrails
  • Attached & Detached Garages & Driveway
  • Built-In Appliances

Pre-Listing Home Inspections

Pre-listing consultations are similar to pre-purchase home inspections with the exception that they are for the seller. Pre-listing consultations help the seller understand what defects may potentially be revealed in a “pre-purchase home inspection.” This can help the seller avoid a surprise defect which allows the buyer to invoke the inspection clause and terminate a purchase agreement. A pre-listing consultation is an opportunity to uncover these issues before they become problematic.

The seller gets an objective opinion of the true condition of the home and avoids any last minute surprises as a result of the buyer’s inspection. If problems are discovered that need further evaluation, they can be addressed before the home is listed, rather than in the process of a negotiation. A detailed inspection allows the seller to make improvements, adjust the listing price to reflect any problems, or simply disclose the findings as they see fit – the benefit is that they now have options! The deal is less likely to fall through when the conditions of the home are known up front. This results in a happy buyer and a happy seller.

Multi-Unit Inspections

Multi-unit inspections are similar to the pre-purchase or pre-listing home inspections only on a larger scale. I evaluate and note the general condition of the structures exterior. I then move to the interior units where every item that is attached is moved, opened, operated and tested. Each inspection is unique and through my non-invasive exploration I am able to observe all visible and accessible areas with detail. Typical multi-unit inspections average 2 hours per unit but may take longer depending on the age and condition of the structure.

Condominium Inspections

A condo inspection is very similar to the pre-purchase or pre-listing home inspections. The difference is I inspect the interior of the unit and not the entire building. I will inspect the building common areas for safety issues. During the inspection every item that is installed is moved, opened, operated and tested.

Manufactured Home Inspections

Manufactured home inspections are very similar to the pre-purchase or pre-listing home inspections with emphasis added to the installations and systems that are unique to a manufactured home. During the inspection every item that installed is moved, opened, operated and tested.

Maintenance Inspections

I understand that routine maintenance is an important aspect to any home’s longevity. Together we will explore the home’s systems and components to create a list of seasonal items which need attention. We will devise a plan of action regarding items you are willing to address and those which should have a professional involved.

New Construction Inspections

Why would new construction need to be inspected? Construction oversight! An inspection of new construction is not the same as a home inspection. Standard home inspections relate only to the condition of the house and do not address code related issues. With-in the city limits of Helena, the Building Division Inspectors do an excellent job of making sure new construction meets the requirements of the building code. Outside of the city limits, the State only inspects the plumbing and electrical systems leaving all other code requirements to the interpretation of the contractor. Inspection of code compliance is the most important part of inspecting new construction to insure the safety of the structure for the occupants. But what about the construction that is not regulated by code? If these assemblies or materials are not looked at they could have serious consequences for a new home owner as well. Very few inspectors have the background that is necessary to ensure a proper inspection for new construction.

Below is a list of the new construction inspections I offer:

Start to Finish Inspections

Inspection services for construction that has not yet started include a plan review, pre-construction meeting, and inspections at the following phases of construction.

  • Prior to pouring of the footing: a visual inspection of the footing steel.
  • Prior to pouring the foundation walls: a visual inspection of the foundation steel.
  • Prior to insulation: inspection of the framing and anchoring of the structure including installation of trusses, joists, studs and dried-in or completed roof.
  • Prior to the installation of the gypsum wall board: verify installation of insulation meets industry standards.
  • Final Inspection: at the completion of construction.
  • Any additional inspection as needed or requested, based on the type and rate of construction.

*This is the most complete inspection and ensures the house has been constructed to the highest standards.

Mid-Process Inspections

For homes that are not inspected from the beginning, inspections can be made at any time during construction. However, unless specific problems arise, the most cost-effective are the “framing” and “final” inspections. The framing inspection is completed prior to the installation of the insulation package. This is the best time to inspect new construction since the framing, electrical, plumbing, etc. is still visible.

Final Inspections

This type of inspection is designed for those desiring an inspection only at the end of construction. All visible non-cosmetic items and systems are inspected for proper operation, proper construction and compliance with the codes.

One Year Warranty Inspections

This inspection should be performed prior to the end of the one-year warranty to determine if the builder is responsible for any necessary repairs that may not yet have been discovered. Similar to a final inspection, this inspection covers all visible non-cosmetic items and systems which are inspected for proper operation, proper construction and compliance with applicable codes.

Specialty Inspections

Commercial Inspections

Commercial inspections will provide my clients with a property condition assessment. This will help buyers and owners understand the operation and necessary continued maintenance of the building’s major systems and components which may help provide confidence to potential investors.

FHA and VA Compliance Inspections

FHA and VA Compliance inspections must be conducted by a federally approved inspector. As one of the few approved FHA and VA Compliance Inspectors in the State of Montana, I have the knowledge and experience necessary to evaluate the condition of the property to be financed through the FHA and VA assistance programs. FHA and VA loans provide an option for home ownership to borrowers who may not qualify with other lenders, and often allow lower down payments and interest rates. An FHA and VA insured mortgage can be used to purchase a new or existing home. A home inspection is recommended by the FHA and VA as part of the loan process. The inspection provides a layer of protection for you as the home owner, as well as for the mortgage lending institution. It is advisable that the sales contract for your home purchase includes a contingency stating that the sale of the home is dependent upon a satisfactory home inspection. The actual inspection involves a visual walk-through to assess the physical condition of the home and to identify any flaws that need to be addressed, such as obvious mold or structural issues. The findings are documented in a detailed report provided by the home inspector.

Radon Detection

Radon is a colorless, odorless inert radioactive gas that is present in most homes and buildings. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Testing for radon gas per the EPA guidelines is an easy and inexpensive way to help you know if you need to take steps to protect your family from this carcinogen.

Thermal imaging

A thermal-graphic camera provides a powerful noninvasive method to monitor and diagnose the condition of buildings. This technology quickly identifies any problem areas that can’t be seen by the naked eye – eliminating destructive probing methods. Results are captured and documented instantly and easily into professional reports – providing tangible proof of your findings. Infrared inspection helps you save time and money, and provides you with a unique advantage for all residential or commercial inspections.

How does this work? Thermography is the use of an infrared imaging and measurement camera to see and measure thermal energy emitted from an object. Thermal–or infrared energy–is light that is not visible, because its wavelength is too long to be detected by the human eye; it’s the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we perceive as heat. In the infrared world everything with a temperature above absolute zero emits heat. Even very cold objects, like ice cubes, emit infrared. The higher the object’s temperature, the greater the IR radiation emitted. Infrared thermography cameras produce images of invisible–infrared or “heat” radiation–and provide precise non-contact temperature measurements. Nearly everything gets hot before it has issues that make it fail, making infrared cameras extremely cost-effective and valuable diagnostic tools in many diverse applications. As the industry strives to improve manufacturing efficiencies, manage energy, improve product quality, and enhance worker safety, new applications for infrared cameras continually emerge.

Associations
and Affiliations

  • InterNACHI
  • ASHI
  • PHII
  • FHA
  • VA
  • HAR
  • ASSOC. AIA
  • NCARB