We recommend that you call on an inspector who has years of experience inspecting homes in your area, one who has experience with homes of similar age and construction technique as the one you are looking at, and one who is a Certified Member of The American Society of Home Inspectors (“ASHI”). Look for the ASHI logo and ACI after their name.
ASHI qualifications are based on experience and educational requirements. ASHI Certified Members are required to pass a very difficult and comprehensive exam, have completed over 250 fee paid professional inspections and must maintain on-going continuing educational credits annually to remain current as ACI members.
A strict Code of Ethics must be followed to maintain membership. This offers the home buyer an inspection without fear of conflict of interest or lack of objectivity. No home inspector should offer contracting services as part of his inspection. The Standards of Practice of ASHI are the internationally accepted Standard for the Industry.
Costs of Inspections vary, but this area usually reflects minimum costs for inspections for homes in the $500.00 range plus testing, and often reflects higher fees based on the size, price, age, and conditions of the home. Additional fees for Radon Testing, Termite Inspections, Environmental and Water testing can also raise the fees… but as we are all, more focused in regard to potential hazards and environmental issues, the Home Inspector now has to address more areas of critical concern then ever before… including concerns about lead paint, mold, asbestos, environmental issues, and buried fuel tanks.
The critical issue is not whether the Inspections should be done, but by whom. Most referrals come from Realtors and Attorneys, and many from word of mouth. Some from advertising in the yellow pages, internet sites and brochures. Ask for an inspector who will look carefully at the home and focus on your concerns. Ask about the scope of their inspection. Its typical length and the format of the report. To assure you of the value you will receive for your money, you should question the inspector before you engage him, and feel comfortable with their style and the services he or she offers.
Try to attend the inspection so you can be a part of the process. Have your questions and concerns answered. And try not to have distractions at the time of the inspection pull your attention away from the task at hand. Try not to bring the kids, conduct tours for the relatives, or measure the rooms at that time. Focus on the inspection and the information you need to know about the home. This is really important!
The money you spend carefully investigating your new home may save you thousands, but more importantly, the inspection process should reassure you that this house is the right one for your family’s happy future! Happy House Hunting!
Stephen Gladstone, ACI is the Owner and President of Stonehollow, Inc. Fine Homes Inspections. He was ASHI’s National 2004 President and sat on the National Board of Directors for over 11 years. He is a Contributor and Editor to various National Publications. He has been a home inspector since 1983 and a member of ASHI since 1986. He received his Masters Degree from L.I. University and a 6-year degree from the University of Bridgeport. He teaches continuing education classes for realtors, appraisers and home inspectors and is a highly respected lecturer and radio personality. He has had a tremendously popular weekly radio program for the past eleven years in Norwalk Ct. His new book the Graphic Standards Field For Home Inspection is available at Amazon & Borders.com. He resides in Stamford.
Naoki Hirabayashi, ACI is a CT licensed ASHI home inspector servicing the Fairfield and New Haven counties. Naoki has worked with Steve over the past 6 years first as an apprentice and then as a licensed home inspector and now as an Ashi certified inspector. He specializing in residential home inspections, providing detailed reports. With a strong focus on servicing the customer and providing the information to make an educated decision in regards to the property purchase.
Matthew Gladstone, ACI is a State of Ct. Licensed Inspector and has been working for Stonehollow as an Inspector for the last 15 years. He has a Masters Degree in Bilingual Special Education and is fluent in Spanish. He is a Certified Member of ASHI and the Home Protection Network. He is a graduate of the ITA/Kaplan home inspection Classes and a Certified ASHI Inspector.