Requesting an inspection for your Atlanta home is always a great idea, but only if the inspector can actually provide the services you need. Ensure that any Atlanta home inspector you work with can meet your expectations with a quality of service that makes their fee worth every cent.
Many people are unfamiliar with the details and scope of home inspections, so they may feel at a loss when it comes to evaluating the person they hire — “inspecting the inspector,” so to speak. To help you feel confident in your inspector choice and make certain that they can fulfill the job you need, ask them the following six questions before agreeing to their services:
What Are Your Credentials?
Not just anyone should be a home inspector. They must have both technical knowledge and field experience so that they can apply careful observation to look out for signs of deeper problems.
Ask about the experience of the inspector you will be working with their membership in ASHI, recent field work and other qualifications that would make them a great choice for evaluating the Atlanta home you wish to buy.
Do You Have an Area of Emphasis?
Inspectors come from all sorts of different backgrounds, and they all hold key interests. Some may be experienced contractors and more keen to look for work mistakes or deterioration that needs repair. Others may be architects or engineers and more apt to notice general design or structural problems.
Let the interests of the inspector you hire fit your main concerns about the home, or at least try to hire someone with a wide scope of knowledge. The last thing you want is an inspector to give you an “A Ok!” on a property, only to find out they barely glanced at the AC unit.
Are You Certified and Insured?
Georgia currently does not have a regulatory board that licenses home inspectors, so it is up to the person who hires a home inspector to determine whether that inspector is qualified. Luckily, certifications from organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the International Code Council (ICC) can prove at a glance whether the inspector truly knows their stuff.
Ask for any certifications, and also make sure that any Atlanta home inspector you work with is bonded and insured. The last thing you want is a liability problem arising from accidental damage the inspector caused on site or an omission during their inspection.
Do You Keep Up to Date with the Latest Practices?
Construction is an evolving art, and while building codes are not as much of an “art” they, too, are evolving in light of new knowledge and practices.
The best inspectors keep up with these developments by seeking out continuing education. Ask about their recent industry experience outside of inspections and whether they attend classes, seek out new certifications or simply read up on new best practices for their field.
How Detailed Can You Make Your Report?
Make sure you know what the inspection report will look like so that it can actually be useful to you instead of confusing. A paragraph or two summary of the home’s condition along with some sentences explaining each problem the inspector noticed can make a world of difference in your understanding of their findings.
This level of detail may take more of the inspector’s time, but it can also save them from follow-up questions or complaints down the road.
Do You Give or Accept Referral Fees?
Having your inspector recommend someone to perform repairs seems like a generous service, but unfortunately it can also indicate back-end deals. When an inspector has a monetary incentive to send someone work, they may no longer be objective when looking for problems. These conflicts of interest are why you should ensure that your inspector is not directly connected with a contractor or similar service that could benefit from them sending extra business.
The best inspectors are neutral and only recommend services from their own knowledge, not as a result of shady business connections.
The answers to these questions can be a great starting point when looking for an inspector who is honest, knowledgeable and thorough. Champia makes the search even easier by presenting our inspectors’ certifications and qualifications right on our website. Take a look at our experienced Atlanta home inspectors and contact us if you have any follow-up questions by calling (770) 953-0767.