Certified Home Inspections
I follow the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI or NACHI) guidelines. I am thorough, produce professional reports, and charge a flat rate of $400, and my inspections include a buyers or sellers warranty at no additional cost. I can inspect your property in 2 to 3 hours and provide a same or next day report in most cases. (For you as the buyer, for you prior to selling, or as a service to you as a seller who would like to provide an independent home inspection and warranty to all interested buyers).
Additional information about how we provide our inspection services follows. But if you were referred by a friend and want to skip all that you can just click here to go to our booking page to choose an open date and time and book your inspection online.
A Home Inspector and a Licensed Builder
Not only trained as a home inspector. I have physically done work on homes as far down as digging and repairing foundations and as far up as mortaring chimney caps and nearly everything in between. I have experience that also laps over to the mechanical specialties. I know home construction/repair, what methods of construction from the past fail, problem areas to focus on, how a home should be put together, and keep a fairly tall stack of books in my truck covering nearly every section of homebuilding (including the mechanical specialties) for reference. I also travel with current codebooks to reference information and include diagrams from. Even though a home inspection is not a code inspection, in some cases if it is helpful to get across a safety issue that maybe wasn’t required at the time of construction when the house was built but is standard practice now (think of any of those elements I include mostly as an additional F.Y.I. and not an exhaustive code inspection, which many cities mandate and provide)
I Don’t Pretend To Know It All
If I see something structurally questionable, it doesn’t do you (as the buyer – or the seller for that matter) much good if I simply write “this looks questionable but is outside of my scope, consult a building engineer”. I will, with your blessing, set up a consult with a building engineer. Same goes with mechanical, electrical, plumbing… If I see something questionable, but outside of my scope… I will let you know and suggest a trusted local professional.
Warranty and Guarantee Overview
I purchase a 90 day home insurance policy for each of my home inspection customers. It covers everything that I said was in working condition… if in the first 90 days after my inspection, the furnace that I documented works, all of a sudden doesn’t work when you move in… they cover its repair or replacement. (It is a 120 day program for a seller inspection, that automatically extends longer until sold if needed) You will have the option to purchase an extended 1 year warranty on your home based on the results of my home inspection. It is optional and I get no compensation or kickbacks… You will receive an email (and possibly a single no-pressure phone call) from them asking if you are interested in their service to extend your warranty.
I also participate in a program through NACHI entitled the “Buy Your House Guarantee”. Essentially, if I make a mistake and miss something that I should have advised you of under the NACHI Standards of Practice that is then later discovered that significantly devalues your house, NACHI will buy your house for what you paid for it (up to 12 months later). There are some caveats, as with anything. The main one being if that were to ever happen, the situation is handled by lawyers in InterNACHI’s home state of Colorado. But it is the last backstop of my several levels of assurances. Training, experience, attention to detail, professional and complete reporting, and home warranty at my cost has made this service never need to be used. But if I were to miss something important that I should have seen, this buy your house guarantee would cover you. This is not something I pay for, but is part of my membership in the organization.
All combined, these programs give you the most peace of mind I could think of to offer. That being said, see section 2 of the NACHI Standards of Practice linked above to get an overview of what a home inspection is not.
Thermal Imaging Used to Maximum Benefit
I use thermal imaging camera (TIC) where appropriate… mostly to clue myself in to water and humidity leakage that my not yet have caused visible damage, and trust it to see problems I can’t see with my eyes. It doesn’t “see behind the walls” as I’ve seen other home inspectors advertise. It sees heat or more specifically changes of heat on the surface… and the usefulness in inspections is that it sees changes in heat when I manipulate the local environmental temperatures and airflow. It isn’t as much of a “there’s insulation there” or “look at these neat photos of your walls” tool… it’s a “there’s water infiltration starting there”, or “air/humidity is leaking here”. Not only am I a home inspector and general contractor, I am also a professional firefighter with nearly 20 years experience and arguably have more training and experience understanding both the use and limitations of this tool than any other home inspector in the area. I own this equipment and it costs nothing additional for me to power it up and employ it for you to see the unseen, so I don’t charge extra for it. I use it in a similar manner as I use a flashlight to light up dark areas… it shows me the IR spectrum which is invisible to the human eye and is just part of the way I inspect a house. Just as I wouldn’t consider inspecting a house without a flashlight, I don’t inspect without a TIC.
Real Chimney Inspections
In certain instances, construction methods, hidden areas that I suspect need a closer look. I will send a borescope in for a closer look, much like thermal imaging to see the unseen. No charge. I have the tools, and just like the Thermal Imaging, they don’t cost me anything to use them, so I use them when appropriate. Instead of just looking up the chimney and saying, “Have a chimney inspected by qualified professional before using” We’ll drop a camera down and up and take a look at the condition of the lining (among many other chimney checks to assess it’s condition). Again, I’ve been a firefighter for nearly 20 years… and have responded to and put out many chimney fires. It is as much for my peace of mind as it is yours. And I am a licensed chimney builder, a certified chimney inspector, and even a professional chimney fire-putter-outer. The only thing I am not is a chimney sweep. Why anyone would want to buy a house with a nice fireplace and pay for a home inspection to get report that says… nice fireplace, but have a qualified chimney inspector or chimney sweep inspect prior to using, if you choose to use it you are doing so at your own risk. I’ve even met people that bought houses with a fireplaces that had a home inspection (not by me) who never lit their chimney the whole time they lived in the house and it is used instead as a candle display out of fear of the inspectors report. We won’t do that to you. I’ll check it out (not just the face, but up it, down it, under it, and all around it) and let you know if it is usable, needs cleaning, or if it needs repair and exactly what repair it needs.
Why Don’t You Sell Radon Testing Services?
Because short term radon testing is unreliable to assess in the short period of time that is necessary during a real estate purchase. Even though I am certified to perform radon assessments and it is a good idea that a test be done to every home you live in… I didn’t do them prior to any home I myself (or any of my family or friends) have purchased, so it would be disingenuous to recommend you do one prior to your home purchase. It does cost for the testing and requires a second and sometimes third trip to the property (cost time/money also), certain setup and controlled conditions during the test which can be affected if you are the buyer and the current owner is accidentally (or otherwise) opening doors and windows. So I would be charging you for something that is inherently inaccurate as a short term only measurement that can be made more inaccurate by others who are outside of my and your control.
It’s presence is not something that I think should prevent a home purchase. A short term 48 hour test in itself would not indicate a need for mitigation (unless the readings were oddly way off the charts… which would still just indicate the need for two more concurrent short test and confirmation of the oddly really high numbers)… mildly elevated numbers from a short term test would indicate that a year long test should be performed which would then be the only test that would indicate whether mitigation measures should be taken. I would suggest simply purchasing a very inexpensive long-term (1 year) test kit that you can do yourself after moving in (and repeat maybe every 5 or so years thereafter) and mail the kit into a lab. If it comes back at high levels, fairly inexpensive (usually under $2000) mitigation measures should be taken.
If someone in your family is or was a smoker (increasing the risk of radon related health problems) or if someone is going to sleep year-round in a bedroom in the basement… consider performing a DIY or professional radon test within the first months after you purchase your home. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, call us after you are moved in and we can certainly set up both short and long term tests for you.
Mainly for peace of mind. I am not a water tester, and the water supply in our area comes from the same place that is tested and passes at the water plant and various places in your respective city multiple times per month. But while I am inspecting, I provide you with a non-certified home water test kit that tests for lead and bacteria that you may either take home to test your water at home or test the water at the prospective property, while I inspect the rest of the house. Since it is not certified and you performed it, I can’t include the results in the report, but you’ll have immediate results and again, inexpensive peace of mind. The municipal systems in our area regularly test and ensure safe drinking water. A reading of lead would most likely indicate that the plumbing system is very old (and that will be obvious without a water test by noting lots of original plumbing and the year the house was built and will be included in my report) and it is generally remedied by a plumber replacing lines and fixtures.
Bottom Line : Great Inspection, No Nickel & Diming
Some inspectors advertise a lower price (around $300) and increase that based on things like:
- the square footage of the home upcharges of $50 to $100
- homes built before 1950 upcharge of $100
- detached garage upcharge $50
- thermal imaging upcharge $50
- water testing upcharge $50-200
- radon test scare and upcharge $150
- home warranty upcharge $50
- kickback advertising for home alarms and other things
- and then can even keep contacting you to sell their services annually.
We don’t do ANY of that. If you are about to invest a large sum of money into a piece of residential real estate… spending approximately 0.3% of the total cost (our $400 flat rate) gets you a professional certified home inspection by a knowledgeable and licensed homebuilder, who doesn’t play a nickel and dime game to use any of the tools or knowledge that I have, who doesn’t scare you into paying additional fees, who guaranties their inspection, and warranties what they inspected. I let my home inspection services stand alone and let the quality speak for itself and generate word of mouth referral.
Fill out our online scheduling form (or go to that page and phone us) to schedule an inspection.
I recommend being on the phone with your realtor to be sure they are available or can make the house available at the time you request when you schedule it. I encourage you to tag along and learn about your potential house first hand. You are welcome to bring anyone you’d like, a buddy in construction you trust, a family member, whomever. I block out 4 hours for an inspection on my calendar, but it includes the longest time I expect (3 hours) and 30 min travel and 30 min prep time before my next job. An inspection generally takes 2-3 hours, more people there or other factors sometimes slows it to 3 or 3.5 hours, but that perfectly OK. I like to say “It takes as long as it takes.”
The evening of the inspection (sometimes the next day) I will complete and upload a professional report. You will get an email when it is ready with instructions on how to login to pay for my service and view the report.