If you’ve ever ordered a home inspection, you know that the most valuable takeaway is the inspection report, which acts as the home’s operations manual, detailing deficiencies, safety concerns, system shut-off locations as well as maintenance suggestions. That’s why it’s so important to understand how to read the report.
Following are some key tips for getting the most out of your inspection report.
1. How will the Inspection Report be delivered?
A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections (ABCHI) reports are delivered in a digital PDF format and via a web URL. This allows our clients to view/zoom in on photos, look at external links and even watch videos the inspector took – all within the report.
2. Inspection Report summary
This summary appears at the beginning of the report. It details findings including safety hazards, deficiencies requiring major expenses to correct or items the inspector would like to draw extra attention to for the client. If you click on a summary item, it will take you directly to that section of the report so that you can see further details.
3. Text colour significance – clearly identifies levels of concern
Black text indicates general information, and descriptions of the systems and components installed at the property.
Blue text indicates observations and information regarding the condition of the systems and components within the home. These include: comments about deficiencies that are less significant but should be addressed; comments that further expand on a significant deficiency; and comments regarding recommendations, routine maintenance, tips and other relevant resource information. Limitations that may have restricted the scope of an inspection – such as vegetation and personal possessions – within a specific area of the home’s interior or exterior will also be listed here.
Red text indicates comments of significantly deficient components and/or conditions that require attention, repair or replacement. These comments are also duplicated in the report summary section.
Green text provides a link to additional information regarding a variety of different subjects important to your home that are discussed in the report.
Yellow highlighted text allows you to place your cursor over the word for definitions or additional information regarding terms used in the report.
4. Individual sections
Each section is clearly labelled and divided up into subsections, which include extra information about a particular item or component. For instance, lighting fixtures and receptacles can be found under the electrical section.
If repairs or improvements are recommended within a particular section, one or more high-resolution photos, along with a description, will be displayed in a colour-coded box. Clients can further view photos in a full-screen lightbox to examine hard-to-see details. Lengthy comments and descriptions are stored in expandable text boxes to keep the report clean and understandable.
5. Scope of the Inspection
All ABCHI home inspections are conducted following the InterNACHI Standards of Practice, which define what must be inspected within the scope of the home inspection. All items in the standards are inspected but may be reported in a section of the report under a different heading. It’s recommended that you read the information at the following link to fully understand the scope of the home inspection: www.nachi.org/sop.htm.
6. Important items to note
We appreciate the opportunity to conduct this inspection for you. Feel free to call us after you’ve reviewed your report so that we can answer any questions you may have.
Properties being inspected are not given a “pass” or “fail”. The report is based on an inspection of the visible portion of the structure. Inspections may be limited by the presence of vegetation and possessions.
Depending upon the age of the property, some items like GFI outlets may not be installed. The report will focus on safety and function, not current code. The report also identifies specific non-code, non-cosmetic concerns that the inspector feels may need further investigation or repair.