Residential Inspections & Thermal Imaging throughout the Greater Seattle area including King County, Pierce County, & Snohomish County.
WA License #21003896
Preparing for an Inspection
In an ideal world all home inspections would take place while the house is vacant and unfurnished, giving the inspector unimpeded access to all rooms, appliances and systems. In reality this is often not possible; moving out prior to selling may not be an option, it may be a rental property with tenants who are still living there, or the house may have been staged for sale. Due to the risk of property damage and/or injury, an inspector should never be expected to move furniture, decorative items or personal belongings in order to perform their duties. If any area or system is inaccessible an inspector will simply note in their report that they were unable to complete that portion of the inspection and move on. Additionally, inspectors are not permitted to operate any utility shutoffs, supply valves or breakers so it is in the best interest of the client to make sure that everything is on and in working order. The following is a list of things to check prior to your inspection:
Crawl Space/Attic Access: Locate the access hatches for the attic and/or crawl space(s) and make sure they aren’t blocked. Attic hatches are often in closets; make sure there is room for the inspector to set up a ladder and that there isn’t anything that can be broken or damaged underneath the hatch. Bits of insulation will often fall down when opening the hatch so it is always recommended to remove all clothing from the closet.
Appliances: Make sure that the stove, dishwasher, clothes dryer and washing machine are all empty, plugged in and connected. Testing the basic functionality of major appliances is part of a standard inspection.
HVAC/Plumbing Systems: Provide clear access to all water heaters, furnaces, heat pumps and AC units and ensure that they are operational (shutoff valves on, etc). Make sure any air filters are clean; dirty filters are a sign that the system needs to be serviced and will be reported as such.
Clear Drains: Slow drains can be a sign of improper waste pipe plumbing, or they could simply be the result of a clog. Inspectors will not necessarily be able to discern which is the issue, and will simply recommend that a plumber correct the problem. If you have clogged or slow drains you should do your best to remedy them before the inspection.
Light Bulbs: Inspectors will test light fixtures by flipping their switches; if they don’t work they will be noted in the report as in need of evaluation. Replacing any burned out bulbs will prevent functional fixtures from being reported as faulty.
Defects: Home inspectors do not “pass” or “fail” houses, their main mission is to discover and document any defects that are deemed to be more than cosmetic and in need of correction. Regardless of age or condition, all homes will have defects; inspectors understand this and should not have any judgment about the worthiness of the home, its owners or the buyers. Do not attempt to hide or cover any defect before an inspection; this will immediately raise red flags and most likely cause the inspector to be suspicious of any deficiencies that might otherwise be considered of little concern.