By Stephen Gladstone, Chief Inspector and President of Stonehollow Fine Home Inspections / Campus Director of The New England School of Home Inspection located in Stamford, CT. Steve was Managing instructor for The ASHI school in CT / National President of American Society of Home Inspectors in 2004.
What is involved in a typical inspection?
A careful and systematic evaluation of the mechanical (electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, and ventilation) systems within the home. Discussions with you about the quality & function of the doors, windows, roofing, drainage, siding, insulation, appliances and many other areas of importance. We discuss safety items, environmental issues, and discuss any plans you may have to renovate, or alter the home.
Do I get a written report?
Yes, you will receive your inspection report via email in most cases within 24 hours. The report has notes and comments from your inspection and additional information about repairs, costs, and maintenance. You will also receive a termite inspection certification, a walk through check list to be used the morning of your closing, and up to date home information, reference material, and useful home maintenance and cost information. The report will give you important information in relation to the conditions found at the home that day.The report is a combination checklist, narrative and reference. Comments are specific for the home needs, as are any recommendations made by the inspector. The report will be delivered by email, but we will give you a binder with many extras that we hope will become your “Home” book. A great reference and easy way to find your important papers.
Do I really need to be there?
We encourage you to attend the entire process. We also recommend you do it with as few distractions as possible. Allow yourself time to ask the inspector questions and show him your concerns. We recommend you follow the inspector around the entire survey of the home. You will learn the conditions, maintenance requirements, and safety information for your new home. We will teach you the important needs of the home. You will appreciate the difference between our level of care and other home inspection services.
When possible try not to bring your entire extended family for home tours at the inspection, and if you make appointments for additional contractors, decorators and such…have them arrive about 3 hours from the inspection appointment. Spend time with your inspector. This is the time to focus on the needs of the home and get a good handle on projected costs and equipment maintenance.
How long does the inspection take?
If you really want us to take a careful look at your home, and answer your questions you should figure approximately three hours, (or longer) for a home, (one to two hours for a condo). As with any detective work…it can go quicker if conditions are obvious, and slower if more complicated. Antique homes and homes with more equipment take longer. If you cannot attend the entire inspection we recommend you discuss all areas of concern with the inspector when possible.
Is there a warranty or guarantee offered with the inspection?
Unfortunately we cannot act as an insurance company, nor offer to cover damages that may occur over time on your new home. What you are buying from us is our opinion about the home. This opinion is based on a time specific and limited visual inspection of the home. What is hidden, non-accessible, and apt to happen over time; is not within the scope of the inspection. We do recommend that you carefully re-inspect the home the morning of the closing…before you sign the dotted line. We offer a helpful walk-through checklist in the report package, to help you with this process. We do however, offer a satisfaction guarantee. If you are not 100% happy with our inspection services we will do the inspection for free.
Do you give prices for repairs of items that are broken or need upgrading?
Ballpark prices are verbally discussed and you will be encouraged to get real prices from local contractors if an item is found to be deficient. Real prices are important for your negotiations and budgeting.
What about “free Telephone Consultation for as long as I own my home,” what’s that about?
If you get into a situation where you are advised to do something, or your home is ready for a piece of equipment or repair, feel free to call and ask our opinion, or advice.We do not charge for telephone consultation. We only charge for visitations. Should you require that, consulting costs will be discussed with you ahead of time. We have arranged a special unlisted client question line for you to get the fastest service. Just call 203-327-6824 when you need a question answered.
How do we pay for our inspection?
A personal check or cash is fine. You will receive a receipt by e-mail if needed, and explanation of any costs. We ask that you pay the inspector at the conclusion of the inspection.
When do we get laboratory reports on water/radon etc.?
Depending on the equipment used, some testing is done on site and results will be in the report, or they will be mailed, faxed, or emailed to you as soon as possible. All testing is documented with written certifications.
What additional services do you provide and what do they cost?
For clients that require special testing services, we are able to offer the following additional services:
Termite certifications–using the National Pest Control Association/H.U.D. form. Stephen Gladstone has his Supervisory License from the State of Connecticut for Termite Inspections. Termite certifications are $95.00.
Radon testing following the EPA protocols is performed on most houses either during the inspection and collected in 48 hours or can be pre-installed 2 days before the inspection if desired. We use state of the art continuous monitor computers for most homes… Stonehollow will place one of these tamper resistant units in the home for the test period and we will go back to the home & retrieve the machine and download the data in 48 hours. The fee for this service is $195.00.
Stephen Gladstone is Nationally Certified to perform radon tests.Carbon Monoxide testing of the heating system can often diagnose leaks and maintenance needs that can lead to health and safety concerns. Comprehensive testing of the home can be performed for $115.00.
For those concerned about water quality, we offer several testing services including water potability and mineralization, lead in water, radon in water, and well flow and volume testing. Samples are rushed to a State approved laboratory and results will be e-mailed as soon as they are received.
Pricing for water testing are as follows:
CT Profile Water Testing – $290 Includes Potability, Radon, Lead, Minerals, and a Flow test.
Uranium & Arsenic Testing – $185
Where are we located?
Stonehollow’s office is located in Stamford, Connecticut. We perform inspections in most towns from Stratford to Scarsdale on the coast, and from Newtown to many towns in Westchester County. You can call us in Stamford at 356-9611, or toll free at 1-800-356-9611, or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stonehollow Inc. 154 Overbrook Drive Stamford, CT. 06906
What are the Inspectors experience and credentials?
Stephen Gladstone, ACI comes to inspecting with a Masters and 6-year degree in Education & Counseling. He owned and ran a successful contracting business for over 17 years before opening Stonehollow Fine Home Inspections. Stonehollow, now in its 35th year, has a reputation of being very thorough, and is known for providing a higher level of service to its clients. Mr. Gladstone is a State Licensed Supervisory Level Pest and Termite Inspector, A retired State of Ct. Deputy Fire Marshal & Fire Code Inspector. He is licensed as a Home Inspector in Connecticut, New York, & Massachusetts. He has lectured nationally and internationally on many subjects in the home inspection industry. He offers first time home buyer seminars, and teaches home inspector & realtor educational courses. He is a Past President of the Southern New England and Coastal Ct. Chapters of The American Society of Home Inspectors, and was National President of ASHI in 2004. He has run schools for Inspection Training Associates, Kaplan Professional Schools and the American Society of Home Inspectors School in CT. In 2014 he created The New England School of Home Inspection LLC. Which is currently the only “hands-on” classroom venue for achieving a home inspection license in Connecticut. The School is now approved in CT, NY, and VT.
For the last fifteen years he has produced & hosted his weekly radio show “Around the House with Steve Gladstone.” Sat. mornings 8-10 on WGCH 1490 AM and on the internet at http://www.wgch.com.
Listen to him on the Radio, Saturday Mornings on WGCH 1490 am from 8 am to 10am
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.
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.
Do we have Insurance?
Of course, we carry insurance to cover errors and omissions, and liability insurance in case something becomes damaged at the inspection. All inspections are performed with written contracts that specifically explain the scope and limitations of the inspection. The contract can be faxed or e-mailed to you on request, before the inspection. All inspections are performed in accordance with the Code of Ethics and the Standard of Practice of the American Society of Home Inspectors and CT or NY Standards.
Why an ASHI Inspection?
In order to become a certified member of ASHI, members must successfully pass a written examination. They must perform at least 250 paid inspections following the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the Society and must maintain educational credits annually to remain in good standing. Stephen Gladstone has been a Member since 1986, and has personally performed over 15,000 home inspections.
ASHI inspectors must provide written reports, and must remain objective and independent of the sale. Our code of ethics forbids any commissions, or financial relationships that might be construed to influence a real estate transaction.
Simply put… there will always be others out there that can do a job quicker, cheaper, and find a way to cut corners. In home inspection our philosophy has always been to provide the highest level of service for our clients. We inspect carefully, systematically, and maintain close scrutiny on all testing and documentation. Our reputation is critical to our longevity in the industry, and we try our hardest to protect our clients. Remember we offer independent objective inspections so that you will know the conditions and costs associated with the home you are considering. We work only for you, and have no interest in whether you buy or not…just that you understand what you are buying.