445 San Juan St.
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Before You Hire an Inspector in Pagosa Springs

Before You Hire a Home Inspector

Home Inspectors

For most people, buying a home, condominium, town house, manufactured home, or mobile home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Shouldn’t that decision be an informed one? Here is a list of questions to use as you search for a home inspector:

  1. Is home inspection your only business? Make certain it is! That’s the only way to avoid any potential conflicts of interest. Many independent inspectors only work on a part-time basis to supplement their real businesses as contractors, roofers, etc., and their report findings might be suspect.
  2. Do you carry all the necessary insurance, including professional liability (Errors & Omissions or “E&O”), general liability, and worker’s compensation, and are they bonded? E&O is the number one priority, says Warren Boroson, co-author of the Homebuyer’s Inspection Guide. “This malpractice-type insurance protects the inspector (and indirectly the homebuyer and those referring the inspector) against post-inspection legal problems.” General liability covers personal liability not covered by the basic E&O policy; and worker’s compensation covers the safety of the inspector during the inspection.
  3. Does your firm offer a written guarantee on the inspection? It’s best to hire an inspection company that offers a formal, written guarantee along with the inspection, although not many do.
  4. How long does the inspection take and can I accompany the inspector? A professional inspection of the average house takes about two to three hours. Be skeptical of home inspectors who don’t want you to tag along. Inspectors who invite the homebuyer along will often offer valuable maintenance tips.
  5. What type of a report will I receive and when will I receive it? There are various types of reports given by professional inspectors, including typed narrative (sent to the homebuyer within a week) and on the spot written reports for those who need or want the information as soon as possible. Don’t accept a verbal report without a written backup, since you will have no record of the inspector’s findings for future referral. Blue Ribbon Home Inspectors has a format, which is filled out on the spot and is presented to the client at the time of the inspection.
  6. Is the inspector trained or certified in home inspection by a recognizable organization, such as the National Institute of Building Inspectors (NIBI), or the American Home Inspectors Institute (AHII), or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)? With no official government regulation of the home inspection industry, certification by one of these organizations ensures that the inspector meets strict guidelines set forth by the largest and most reputable home inspection organizations in the country.

The Right Place for Your Family

Looking for the right house, condominium, or other type of residential property can be a difficult process for those who are not experienced in the many technical aspects involved. Most purchasers have to make a number of decisions, which are both emotional and technical in nature; and the best and easiest way to complete a successful purchase is with the help of a real estate licensee who has the training and experience necessary. There are many things for prospective purchasers to observe and consider when looking at the many options that are out there. Whether it be a home, condominium, townhome, manufactured home, mobile home; even duplex, triplex and fourplex homes.

Looking at the Outside

  • Siding: Look for cracks, loose pieces, lifting, or warping.
  • Paint: Look for peeling, chipping, blistering, stains, and any indication of damage.
  • Foundation and exterior surfaces: Check for cracks and holes, areas not level or uneven, loose or missing stucco or mortar.
  • Porch or entrance area: Examine steps, handrails, posts, and look for loose or unsafe features.
  • Roof: Look for worn or bald spots, any missing shingles or tiles; determine age.
  • Chimney: Look for tilting, cracks, and any missing bricks or mortar.
  • Gutters and downspouts: Check for signs of leaks, rusting, and condition of joints.
  • Windows and screens: Look for broken glass or screens, crank handles, if any; check for proper caulking.
  • Walls and fences: Look for holes and any missing fencing or rotted posts.
  • Driveways and sidewalks: Check surface condition and look for holes or cracks; check for levelness.
  • Proper drainage: Water from rain should flow away from property.
  • Lot and landscaping: Check condition of grass, shrubbery, plants, and trees. Check root condition of especially large trees close to any buildings.

Looking at the Inside

  • . General plan: The traffic pattern and layout of rooms is important. Observe the general condition with respect to maintenance and repair.
  • Living/dining/family room areas: Size and design should be large enough for particular requirements and conveniently located. Any fireplace should have a damper that works and a clean chimney.
  • Bedrooms: Number should be adequate for present and future uses, with each having an outside window, proper closet space, and entry off a hallway.
  • Bathrooms: An adequate number of bathrooms is very important and every floor should have a bathroom facility. Check for cracks in tiles, signs of leaks, how long it takes to get hot water, and proper ventilation.
  • Kitchen: Check appliances such as stove, refrigerator, disposal, dishwasher, and microwave for age, and inquire about present age, condition, and any warranties in effect. Check amount of shelf and counter space, electrical outlets, and storage areas. If a separate breakfast room is not available, there should be adequate space for a kitchen eating area.
  • Walls and ceilings: Look for major cracks, loose or falling plaster, and any signs of leaks or stains.
  • Windows and doors: Check to see that windows and doors have adequate locks and open and close properly.
  • Floors: Walk and jump lightly on floors to determine any movement; check for levelness or bowing.
  • Stairs: Check for any loose treads or handrails.
  • Basement: If applicable, basement area should be checked for signs of water leaking, dampness, flooding, dry rot, termites, and for adequate lighting.
  • Attic: If applicable, the attic should be checked for signs of leaks and any rodent or insect infestation, and if insulated, check type and quantity.
  • Plumbing system: Check type of water pipes and sewer lines, that can be seen, look for rusting or leaking; turn on faucets to test water pressure; look for clogged or sluggish drains or dripping faucets.
  • Electrical system: Check load center and observe if there are fuses or circuit breakers; check age and look for signs of wear or exposed wires.
  • Heating system: Check the type of heating system such as warm air, hot water, or electrical, and determine age and condition. Check for gas leaks and cracked heat exchanger.
  • Water heater: Check for signs of leaking or rusting. Determine capacity and recovery rate, age, and condition.
  • Air conditioning/cooling system: If applicable, check type of air conditioning or cooling system, age, condition, freon, and leaks.