Inspection Information

Remember that this transaction is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, transaction of your life. Hopefully this article will answer any question you may have concerning your inspection. Please read this before you contact me!



BOOKING YOUR INSPECTION: You do not need to call me to book your inspection. Booking online is simple and will provide pricing and scheduling options out 30 days for your review before you click on the button to reserve the time for your inspection. You can book your inspection online at any time by clicking here and filling out a simple form. Try it, and if you are uncomfortable using the online option, have problems or it simply doesn't work for you call me at (336) 816-7756.

VERIFICATION OF INSPECTION BOOKING E-MAIL: Shortly after you, or your agent, book your inspection (provided proper e-mail addresses were entered) you both will receive an e-mail verifying the information. Please respond if you find anything is not in order or if you do not receive this e-mail.

SECOND E-MAIL - LINK TO CONTRACT - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Before the time of your inspection, usually in less than 24 hours of booking, you will receive a second e-mail. This second e-mail will also verify that your inspection is set up and will have a link to our contract document. Additional information about your inspection will be included in this second e-mail. E-mail or call if you have any questions concerning any of the contents of these e-mails or the contract.

APPROVED INSPECTION CONTRACT REQUIRED: You must click on the link for our contract in this second e-mail, read the contract, check the “accept” box and click on the “submit” button. You should also print a copy for yourself. Be aware that modified contracts are not acceptable.
NO ACCEPTED CONTRACT – NO INSPECTION

HOW DO I MAKE PAYMENT? If you did not make payment online with PayPal when you booked your inspection, payment is acceptable by cash, personal check, or credit card at the inspection site at the time of the inspection. If you are unable to be present at the inspection, mailing the check is acceptable to Chris D. Hilton, 310 West Forth Street, Apt. 1806 Winston-Salem, NC 27101. If you would like to charge on a credit or debit card let me know and I can send a request for payment through PayPal which will allow you to make payment with a credit card online. You do no need to be a PayPal member. I am the member! Payment can be accepted at closing provided you are working with a Realtor and make arrangement with your Realtor to do so.

WHY MUST I APPROVE THE INSPECTION CONTRACT? The inspection contract (accessible at the link in your second e-mail) is required by the State of North Carolina. IT IS ILLEGAL FOR ME TO CONDUCT YOUR INSPECTION WITHOUT THIS CONTRACT REVIEWED AND APPROVED BY YOU. If you are unable to approve the contract online and be at the inspection with payment in the amount stated on your booking verification e-mails, at the time scheduled, you must make other arrangements. If, for any reason, you are unable to access our contract online, and you intend to be at the inspection, don't worry, I will have a contract on site at the inspection for you to sign.

WHO WILL RECEIVE THE REPORT? By approving our contract you authorize me to disclose any and all information from the inspection to interested third parties, at my sole discretion, otherwise not allowed by NC State Law. All e-mails accessing reports will be made available, as may be appropriate depending on the type of inspection, to both agents and the seller(s) involved in your transaction to expedite your inspection process provided e-mail addresses are available to me. I find this makes the inspection and repair process much smother if everyone has access to and is working from the same documents. If this is a pre-listing or end of one year warranty inspection this may not be an issue. If you prefer privacy, or wish to limit who receives information, you must let me know ASAP.

SHOULD I ATTEND THE INSPECTION? On site personal consultation is an important and integral part of my service and it will greatly benefit your understanding of the structures condition. If you are not present throughout the complete inspection you will not be receiving all that you are paying for. It is very important that all clients attend and be involved in the inspection to have a clear understanding of any issues addressed in the report.

SHOULD THE UTILITIES BE ON? Please verify that all utilities will be on for this inspection. If the utilities are not on you will not be receiving all that you are paying for.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE? Your inspection could take from 1.5 to 3 hours or longer depending on the age, size and condition of the structure.

WHAT SHOULD I DO DURING THE INSPECTION? I suggest you dress comfortably and encourage you to accompany me as we go through the structure. Keep your eyes open and ask questions. Be prepared for surprises both good and bad, there always are. There is no need to take notes during the inspection. I will provide you with a detailed written report. I trust you will find the inspection a pleasant and valuable experience.

WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY REPORT? The report will be made available when completed instantaneously to you (and if applicable) your agent, the seller(s) (provided I am furnished their e-mail address) and the seller’s agent within no more than three business days following the inspection. I often get it out the next day and sometimes on the same day. No paper, no snail mail. You will receive an e-mail with a link when the report is complete.

WHAT ABOUT A RADON TEST? If you booked a radon test you will receive the radon test report on the day the radon monitor is picked up. If you have not booked a radon test please be aware that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that everyone purchasing or selling a home have a radon test. I strongly urge you to visit my blog for detailed information on this issue and how it may affect you and your family. Here is a link:

http://todayshomeinspection.blogspot.com/p/why-pay-for-radon-test.html

If you change your mind about having a test please let me know so I can arrange to have a monitor available.

ABOUT YOUR RADON TEST: Your Radon test will have a 48-hour duration and be conducted using a "Radalink AirCat” continuous monitor meeting EPA protocol requirements. The home must meet “closed house conditions” for 12 hours preceding and during the test. This means that windows must be closed and that doors should only be used for entry and exit. It is important that you be aware that the occupant of the home, builder or the responsible party largely controls the accuracy of the test. The equipment I use records if someone tampers with it, cuts off the power (it has a back-up battery) and records temperature, barometric pressure and relative humidity as well as the radon level in the home hourly.

If “closed house conditions” are not followed or if extreme weather conditions are experienced, which might adversely affect the test, I can usually tell from the readings recorded and will declare the test void. We cannot be assured that the necessary conditions will be maintained throughout the test period. There can be uncertainty with any radon measurement due to statistical variations and other factors such as changes in the weather and operation of the dwelling. While I make every effort to maintain the highest possible quality control and include checks and verification steps in my procedures, NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND IS EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, for the consequences of erroneous test results. I can not be liable under any claim, charge or demand, whether in contract, tort, or otherwise, for any loss, cost, charge, claim, demand, fee, expense or damage of any nature or kind arising out of, connected with, resulting from, or sustained as a result of any radon test requested. If you have any questions about this testing procedure please feel free to call.

WHAT WILL BE INCLUDED IN MY INSPECTION? As part of your inspection the Inspector will observe and report on the following areas unless that area does not exist or has been marked for exclusion from the Inspectors services in the inspection report:

Areas To Be Observed and Condition Reported
  1. STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS – including but not limited to foundation, floors, walls, columns, ceilings, and roofs.
  2. EXTERIOR OF STRUCTURE – including but not limited to wall claddings, entry doors, decks, steps, eaves, driveways and a representative number of windows.
  3. ROOFING – including but not limited to roof covering, roof drainage systems, flashing, skylights, and chimneys.
  4. PLUMBING – including but not limited to interior water supply and distribution system, interior drains waste and vent system, hot water system, fuel storage and distribution system, and sump pump.
  5. ELECTRICAL – including but not limited to service entrance conductors, service equipment, main distribution panels, voltage ratings, a representative number of installed ceiling fans, lighting fixtures, switches, receptacles, ground fault circuit interrupters, and smoke detectors.
  6. SYSTEM HEATING – (weather permitting) including but not limited to permanently installed heating systems and its controls, chimneys, heat distribution system, pumps, ducts, and controls.
  7. CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING – (weather permitting) including but not limited to normal operating controls of the central air conditioning system and the distribution system.
  8. INTERIOR - including but not limited to walls, ceilings, floors, steps, and a representative number of cabinets, doors and windows.
  9. INSULATION AND VENTILATION – including but not limited to insulation vapor barriers, ventilation of attic and foundation, kitchen, bathroom and laundry venting systems and the operation of any readily accessible attic ventilation fan when temperature permits.
  10. BUILT-IN KITCHEN APPLIANCES – including but not limited to the observation and operation of dishwasher, range, trash compactor, garbage disposal, ventilation equipment, permanently installed oven and microwave oven.
WHAT WILL NOT BE INCLUDED IN MY INSPECTION?

Specific Limitations and Exclusions

Special care has been taken to cover as much as possible in this listing of “Specific Limitations and Exclusions”. This is not purely a means of protecting the interest of the Inspector, but additionally to assist the Client(s) in determining other issues which should be considered outside of the confines of the Inspection and Report. Ask your Agent or Inspector if you have questions about any of these issues. You inspection and the inspection report and its findings are limited in nature and scope, and the following areas/items, systems and components ARE NOT INCLUDED, nor can they be accurately assessed by the Inspector during a limited inspection:
  1. Information regarding the advisability of this purchase, the market value of the property, the suitability of this property for specialized use, the life expectancy of any component or system.
  2. The inspection report will not include cosmetic items such as minor scratches, scrapes, dents, cracks, stains, soiled or faded surfaces on the structure or equipment, soiled, faded, torn or dirty floor, wall or window coverings, blinds, drapery rods or curtain rods.
  3. Design problems and adequacy, engineering, scientific or specialized technician test or evaluation or seismic safety
  4. Determining the operational capacity, quality, adequacy, efficiency or suitability for a particular use of any items, systems or components inspected.
  5. The draft on fireplace(s) or chimney(s) will not be checked.
  6. To prevent damage to units, air conditioning will not be checked when the outside temperature is below 65 degrees nor a heat pump in heating mode when the temperature is above 60 degrees.
  7. The Inspector has no liability for latent defects. This includes but is not limited to latent defects that cannot be observed through normal inspection or can be determined by normal equipment operation.
  8. It is specifically agreed and understood that: MECHANICAL DEVICES AND STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS MAY BE FUNCTIONAL AT THE TIME OF THE INSPECTION AND LATER MALFUNCTION; THEREFORE THE INSPECTORS LIABILITY IS SPECIFICALLY LIMITED TO THOSE SITUATIONS WHERE IT CAN BE CONCLUSIVELY ESTABLISHED THAT THE MECHANICAL DEVICE OR STRUCTURAL COMPONENT INSPECTED WAS INOPERABLE OR IN THE IMMEDIATE NEED OF REPAIR OR NOT PERFORMING THE FUNCTION FOR WHICH IT WAS INTENDED AT THE TIME OF INSPECTION; AND THAT THE INSPECTOR WAS NEGLIGENT IN NOT REPORTING THUS LEGALLY CAUSING A SPECIFIC LOSS TO THE CLIENT(S). Additional information and details concerning the nature of the inspection are found in the body of the Report, which should be read carefully.
  9. The Client(s) recognizes that there is NO REPRESENTATION, WARRANTY OR GUARANTEE on the future life for systems and items inspected. The Client(s) recognizes that the Inspector is not a guarantor or insurer of the inspected systems, components, and items.
  10. The presence or absence of dry rot, fungus, other pests, organisms, or rodents, determination of infestation and or damage related to woodboring/wood destroying insects and other insects. By law, only a licensed pest control operator can inspect for these conditions.
  11. Household appliances, which are not permanently attached including but not, limited to refrigerators, freezers, ranges, washers, dryers, microwaves and leisure appliances. Free standing heating stoves. Central vacuum systems. Through-wall air conditioners
  12. Insulation effectiveness or concealed insulation
  13. Internal gutter and downspout systems
  14. Air quality analysis. Humidifiers, air purifiers, motorized dampers, solar heating and hot water systems.
  15. Concealed wiring or chimney flues
  16. Fire escapes, security systems, locks, security devices, fire sprinkler systems, fire and smoke detection systems, automatic smoke vent dampers
  17. Acoustical tests
  18. Heat loss analysis, fan driven exhaust systems for central heating flues.
  19. Subsurface soil conditions below and surrounding the building.
  20. The toxicity and combustibility of all materials and finishes.
  21. Exterior plumbing components including: Private sewer systems, buried pipes, connection to public sewer lines, yard sprinkler systems, swimming pools and equipment.
  22. Water supplies including water wells, water-conditioning equipment, water quality, and volume of well water.
  23. Ancillary or low voltage electrical systems including but not limited to: switching systems, TV cable systems and antennas, intercom systems, speaker wires, automated equipment, landscaping lighting, lightning protection systems, heating cables, door opening and doorbell systems, fire alarm systems, security systems, telephone systems.
  24. Damage to Heat Exchangers due to the fact that the furnace is not dismantled to check the entire heating system.
  25. Structural analysis or load calculations of structural members.
  26. Repair cost estimates.
  27. Radio or computer controlled devices or automatic gates
  28. Thermostatic or time clock controls
  29. Gas appliances such as fire pits, barbecues, heaters and lamps. Main gas shut off valve. Any gas leaks. Decorative heat sources, such as gas logs. Gas lights
  30. Personal property
  31. Any adverse conditions that may affect the desirability of the property. Proximity to railroad tracks, airplane routes, garbage dumps or landfills.
  32. Unique/technically complex systems or components
  33. Detached or ancillary structures
  34. Playground, tennis courts or recreational equipment
  35. Systems which are shut down otherwise secured or winterized.
  36. Wood and coal stoves or related smoke pipes.
  37. Conditions located in concealed or inaccessible portions of the premises, such as items that are underground or contained within fixtures, walls or within other closed portions of the building, or concealed by furnishings, personal property or vegetation.
  38. Technically complex systems or devices such as self-cleaning ovens, heat exchangers, radiant heating or components, alarm systems, fire detection systems, solar systems, air quality control systems, radio or computer controlled devises, automatic timer controls, elevators, lifts or dumbwaiter components and shafts; satellite dishes.
  39. Easements, rights of way, boundaries, condition of title, zoning, previous use or occupancy determination, verification that existing structures and /or repairs were completed in accordance with local code requirements or that they were completed with a building permit, requirements of Americans with Disabilities Act (A.D.A.). The Inspector is not responsible for reporting compliance or non-compliance with any building, electrical, mechanical or plumbing codes established by municipal ordinances or otherwise on the building, systems, or items therein. Permit Research.
  40. Notification of product recalls.
  41. Private water or private sewage systems or related equipment, such as wells, septic systems, sewage pumps, water softeners, water purification systems.
  42. Building or property measurement and value appraisal; determination of life expectancy; cost estimates for corrective work.
  43. Swimming pools, hot tubs, spas, waterfalls, ponds, fountains, saunas, steam baths, or similar fixtures and related equipment.
  44. Cosmetic finishes and conditions; free-standing or portable equipment; landscaping, shrubs, trees, foliage; noise transmission; determination of odors.
  45. Unique systems with which the INSPECTOR is unfamiliar or any component that is specifically listed as not inspected on the inspection report.
Take note that: Recent and existing weather conditions may limit or restrict the results of the Inspection. The Inspector may indicate an item or system’s life expectancy but such estimates are general in nature, should not be relied upon and the actual life performance may vary widely. The Inspector urges the Client(s) to contact the owner of the inspected property to learn of the age of such items as the roof and any recent problems or known defects in the property. Any general comment which may appear about any of the items stated above are provided as a courtesy only and do not represent or form a part of the inspection. Maintenance and other items may be discussed and some less than major defects noted as a courtesy to the Client(s), but they are not within the required scope of the Inspection. If inspection is desired of any of the areas/items, Systems or components listed above Client(s) shall contact the appropriate professionals.

Reference is specifically made to the standards of practice and code of ethics of the North Carolina Home Inspector Licensing Board for a comprehensive listing of those items which are not required and, unless specifically included, will not be part of this inspection. Further, the Inspector is not responsible for any misleading information provided by seller, seller or buyer agent or for any matter concealed or hidden from the inspector.

NOTIFICATION OF CLAIMS: Client(s) understands and agrees that any claim arising out of or related to any act or omission of the Inspector in connection with the Inspection of the structure, as limited herein, shall be reported to the Inspector and will require the following:
  • Telephone notification within (2) days of discovery of adverse conditions.
  • The Inspector and his agents shall have the right to re-inspect the claimed discrepancy within (5) five business days of receiving telephone notification.
  • The Inspector and his agents shall have the right to remedy, repair or replace said conditions at the Inspector’s option if negligence is proven.
  • In the event the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved within the time set for the above and the Client(s) desires to make a formal complaint, the Client(s) shall send a written complaint within (10) days to the Inspector fully describing which items are involved and the nature of the problem.
  • Client(s) agrees NOT to disturb, alter, modify, repair or have replaced any system or items related to the complaint, except in the case of an emergency relating to potential injury or damage to persons or property.
  • Client(s) agrees to allow the Inspector to personally examine upon reasonable notice the items involved in the written complaint prior to repairs or replacements being made.
  • Client(s) understands and agrees that any failure to notify the Inspector as stated above shall constitute a waiver of any and all claims Client(s) may have against the Inspector.

CONSENT FOR RELEASE OF INFORMATION: This inspection and report is conducted and prepared for the sole, confidential and exclusive use and possession of the Client(s) and the Inspector. The Client(s) agree that they will not transfer or disclose any part of the inspection report to any other person with these exceptions:
  1. One copy may be provided to the current seller or buyer of the property but only upon the express condition that the recipient covenant to use the inspection report only in conjunction with the Client(s) transaction, and agree not to transfer or disclose the report to any persons other than their real estate agent.
  2. One copy may be provided to the real estate agent representing the Client(s) and/or a bank or other lender for use in the Client(s) transaction only.

CANCELLATION POLICY: So that I may better serve my clientele by scheduling their appointments within often-rigid deadlines, and to maintain reasonable fees for my service, I regret that cancellations within 48 hours or "on site" must be charged a cancellation fee. All appointments canceled within 48 hours prior to the scheduled inspection time will be charged a fee of $175.00. Appointments Canceled “on site” will be charged the quoted inspection fee plus the $175.00 cancellation fee in order to rebook the inspection. These charges are due and payable on site or upon receipt of billing.

Re-BOOKING OPTION / CANCELLATION FEE WAVER: Because we value our clients, the cancellation fee will be waived if an inspection is re-ordered and performed within 14 days of the cancellation date. If an inspection is not ordered within this time frame, our cancellation fee will be charged to the party ordering the inspection, as outlined in the above policy.

FOLLOW-UP INSPECTION: The fee for follow-up on single family residential inspections provided there is a two (2) day notice and free access to the property (Combo or E-Box) will be $200.00 payable on site at the time of the inspection. If an appointment or key pick-up is required, the fee will be $225.00. This Inspection will be verbal only and the client must provide a list of the items to be checked prior to the follow-up inspection. Commercial follow-up inspections are charged at the rate of $200.00 per hour.

STRUCTURAL LETTERS: Due to an opinion rendered by the NC Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors, inspectors, who are not also Professional Engineers, cannot provide certification that a building is “Structurally Sound”. A Registered Professional Engineer must render such certification. Most of the requests for these letters involve damage from wood destroying insects. This inspector, who is also a retired licensed General Contractor with over thirty years of experience, provided there are no visible structural impairments from wood destroying insects, will render a letter titled “Specific Inspection Report Damage Analysis – Re: Wood Destroying Insects”. This letter will state the inspector’s observations and that there is not visible structural impairments resulting from insects. The underwriter may or may not accept this letter. There will be no charge for this letter requested by the lender as part of a inspection, provided no significant visible structural damage was observed, unless a return visit is required. Please be aware, if there are visible structural impairments resulting from insects, it is very likely that the underwriter will demand that they be repaired and that the adequacy of such repair be certified.

NEW CONSTRUCTION: With frequency, we arrive to inspect new construction and find the property not ready to inspect. It is not fair to our clients to provide less than a full inspection, but this is not within our control. In this case, the inspection will proceed as scheduled to inspect whatever portions of the property are deemed by the inspector to be ready for inspection. The client will be Expected to pay the full quoted cost of the inspection. A return visit to complete the inspection, if requested, will be invoiced at $200.00 per hour. You can avoid this situation by giving us two business days notice in advance of the scheduled inspection that the property will not be ready, in which case we will reschedule for you at no charge. “Ready” means that all building inspections have been passed, all utilities are on, mechanical systems have been started and a certificate of occupancy has been issued. Please note that these same “ready” conditions are necessary for radon testing plus the property must have been closed for twelve (12) hours prior to the scheduled start of the test.

RETURN CHECK FEE: Any check not accepted or returned from the bank unpaid will require a processing fee equal to all charges required from our bank plus a $20.00 in house processing fee.