Unfortunately, there is currently no licensing or regulation of the home inspection industry in Florida. This makes selecting an inspector difficult. Asking the following questions can be helpful in making your choice.
1. Is the inspector ASHI certified?
The American Society of Home Inspectors is the only nationally recognized home inspection organization. They set minimum requirements for inspector qualifications, standards of practice and ethics. Although many claim to meet or exceed ASHI standards, only ASHI certified inspectors have met the minimum requirements. Only ASHI inspectors should be considered.
2. How many years of home inspection experience does the inspector have?
Performing home inspections is unlike any other profession. Although contracting, engineering and architecture are good backgrounds for an inspector to have, they are entirely different fields. An inspector should have at least four or five years of home inspection experience.
Both of our inspectors have over 13 years of inspection experience.
3. Does the inspector have any related Florida Certifications?
Although there is no state licensing, many lenders and insurers require information about the home from a licensed person. Don't end up paying for a second inspector because the one you selected is not acceptable to your lender or insurance company.
Both of our inspectors hold state certifications.
4. Who will be doing the inspection?
Many inspection companies have trainees or other employees that perform the inspections. Although the credentials cited by the company may be good, will the inspection be done by the person with the credentials or by someone with lesser qualifications? Always verify who will be doing your inspection.
Only the two company owners perform our inspections.
5. Do you make repairs or recommend contractors?
Never select an inspector that does either. This is a conflict of interest and will generally invalidate the inspection to sellers and real estate agents.
Advanced Building Inspections does not repair the problems that inspectors discover.
6. Does the inspector do termite, radon or other related inspections.
An all-in-one inspectors may be convenient, but are actually a bad idea, sort of like asking a surgeon to perform dental work. Pest control (termite), radon, lead-based paint and other types of inspections are very specialized and separately regulated professions. Virtually all home inspection companies that provide these services do not have the necessary qualifications or licenses. They are usually working semi-legally with other companies to provide these services. Kick-backs and conflicts of interest are typically involved. We recommend independent specialists.
Advanced Building Inspections does not do any other types of inspections.
7. Is a written, narrative inspection report provided?
A home inspection is almost useless without a written report. Additionally, the report should be written specifically for the house that you are buying. Avoid pre-printed checklist reports. They are difficult to understand and are usually prepared for northern homes that are not constructed the same as Florida homes. Although all inspectors use "boilerplate" to some extent, a good inspection report is individually written for each inspection.
We provide on-site computer-generated reports that are specific to your home.
8. Does the inspector provide life expectancies and estimates of repair costs?
A roof may be leak-free at the time of inspection, but wouldn't you want to know if it would need replacement in the immediate future? Shouldn't you know if a problem will cost $100.00 or $1,000.00 to correct? A good inspection report should provide this information.
Our reports estimate the life expectancy of major items and systems as well as estimates of repair costs (where possible).
9. How much does the inspection cost?
As with anything, cost is a factor in selecting a home inspector. But saving a little money on an inspector can be extremely costly if a poorly qualified inspector fails to notice a subtle but serious structural problem. Don't be penny-wise and dollar-foolish. The best value is an inspector that is reasonably priced, AND done by a qualified inspector.
Our inspections are not the least expensive, but are reasonably priced and a great value.