Is Your New House an Old Meth Lab House? Meth Houses in Birmingham, Alabama? In Alabama, we are a buyer beware state. Doing Home Inspections in the Birmingham, Alabama areas over the last 19 years, I have realized you have to do you own homework and at the end of the...
Home Inspections in Alabama – What You Need To Know
What is a Home Inspection and Why do I Need One?
Purchasing a home is often the largest financial transaction many of us will make. Would you buy a new car without a test drive? Chances are your home purchase will dwarf the cost of a new car. So, you want to protect your investment by working with an Alabama certified home inspector. Home Inspections are non-invasive examinations of the home. They are conducted by a professional inspector, and usually involve the sale of a home. Home inspectors have special training and we must maintain proper certification in order to perform inspections. An inspector will prepare and deliver a written report of the findings. At AB Home Inspections, we typically deliver your report at the time of inspection. We actually have the ability to print your report from the truck before we leave. Buyers use the knowledge gained from a home inspection to make a more informed decision about the property. It is very important to order an inspection before deciding if you want to purchase a home.
Home Inspections: What do they cover?
We’re generally looking at the condition of the home or property at the time of inspection only. An inspection does not consider the life expectancy of appliances or components. We also can’t guarantee the future condition or efficiency of your appliances, but we will make observations as appropriate. So, if your microwave stops working in three years, it’s not something that can reasonably be caught in an inspection since appliances do wear out over time. However, if the microwave is faulty at the time of inspection, a good inspector will discover it and include the problem in their report. We’re looking for things like improper wiring, non-functioning appliances, signs of water damage, mold, and other current issues with the property. A professional home inspection is all about peace of mind at the time of purchase.
One thing a home inspection often gets confused with is an appraisal. Appraisals determine the value of a property while inspections are simply looking at the condition. An inspection report does not take into account market conditions or other things used to determine value. Think of your inspection like kicking the tires and going on a test drive before you buy a car. The appraisal is more like doing your research on Kelly Blue Book to make sure the dealership is charging fair market value.
What are Home Inspectors Looking For?
Inspection requirements can vary from state to state. However, there is a minimum standard set forth by the American Society of Home Inspectors. You should expect at least the following to be checked by your inspector, no matter where you live:
1. Roofing: Your roofing and home inspector should check for properly functioning gutters where applicable. They should inspect the condition of shingles or the integrity of your metal roof. Any patches or repairs to flat roofs should be inspected, and damage to chimneys or vents will be documented.
2. Structural Conditions: The condition of your foundation that is visible will be inspected for evidence of sagging or bowing. Window alignment should be checked as it could indicate settling.
3. Exterior Surface Inspection: We’re looking for the correct clearance between ground and siding material. We want to make sure the condition of paint or siding is sufficient to protect against the elements. This is where we also check exterior outlets and lighting against defects.
4. Condition of Grounds: Your inspector will check for signs of a leaky septic system, proper drainage around your foundation, and the condition of sidewalks, driveways, and fencing.
5. Attic: The two primary concerns here are water and proper insulation. We are checking for signs of roof leaking and also making sure there is enough insulation. In Alabama, this is especially critical due to our hot summers!
6. HVAC: We check the current condition of the furnace, split unit, or heat pump. If your home has a fireplace we also inspect that as well. If we see things like a dirty coil or malfunctioning thermostat, it goes on the report. HVAC repairs can be costly, so you want to know what you are buying.
7. Electrical: Making sure your wiring and circuit breakers are up to code is a very important step in the homebuying process. We check for proper function of outlets, lights, fans, and verify that your GFCI outlets trip and reset correctly.
8. Garage: We want to make sure you have a solid foundation, framing and roofing. A working garage door opener and up to code electrical system is important, so we check all that as well.
9. Appliances: Does the timer on your stove work? Is there a leak in the washing machine hose? When you use the dishwasher is it draining properly? These are all questions you do not want to answer late at night when you’re exhausted from moving into your new house. A proper inspection ensures your appliance are working properly before you move in.
Those are the main areas covered by a professional home inspection. If you’re considering buying a house, be sure to have a licensed inspector check out the property before purchase. Find someone you trust or work with your agent to schedule an inspection. We’re here to help get you through the process. So, reach out to AB Home Inspections if you need help during the buying process.
Is your New House an Old Meth Lab House?
Greater Birmingham InterNACHI meeting
Great Birmingham InterNACHI meeting is coming up on Sunday 2 PM March 18, 2018 at Hoover Library.
Holiday Home Safety Tips from A B Home Inspections
Holiday Home Safety Tips The winter holidays are a time for celebration, and that means more cooking, home decorating, entertaining, and an increased risk of fire and accidents. InterNACHI recommends that you follow these guidelines to help make your holiday season...
A Guide to Engineered Wood Sheathing for Inspectors and DIY-ers
A Guide to Engineered Wood Sheathing for Inspectors and DIY-ers by Fran J. Donegan for The Home Depot The use of engineered wood sheathing has grown dramatically in residential construction over the past 30 years. Engineered wood products are often used for sheathing...
15 Tools Every Homeowner Should Own
This article by Nick Gromicko and Ben Gromicko was originally published on the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors website. You may read the original here: https://www.nachi.org/15-tools.htm The following items are essential tools, but this list is...
Building a Home – What do you need to know?
Building a Home If you want to build and move into a new home, there are things you need to know before you begin. Learn about construction standards and about buying land, so you know your rights. MPS Supplementing Model Building Codes The Minimum Property...
Attached Garage Fire Hazards
Attached Garage Fire Hazards Originally published by Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard on the InterNACHI website. The purpose of this article is twofold. First, at InterNACHI, we’d like you to take measures to keep your garage free from fire. Fortunately, there are...
Top Seven Articles on Energy Efficiency Birmingham Homeowners Should Read in 2017
Energy Efficiency Roundup: Seven ways Birmingham Homeowners can save money in 2017 Being an InterNACHI certified home inspector has its advantages! At A B Home Inspections we have access to an amazing library of homeowner resources from the InterNACHI article library....
5 Signs of Deck Damage
5 Signs of Deck Damage It’s Spring! That means grilling out and relaxing with a cold beverage on the back deck here in Alabama. I’m not trying to ruin your outdoor fun, but there are a few things you should probably do yearly to make sure your deck is safe...
Birmingham AL Home Inspections
Birmingham AL Home Inspections A B Home Inspections has been serving the Birmingham, AL area since the year 2000. A lot has changed since then! What hasn’t changed is our commitment to helping you know what you are buying. A new home purchase is probably one of...