Many people have heard the term ‘inspection services’ and are confused about what this refers to. Most people believe that the inspection is performed by a certified home inspector that comes from the home building industry. That may be true for some situations, but not all. The industry is highly competitive, and it is also becoming an increasingly important market segment for third-party buyers and renters. The professionals are licensed to inspect your property. So what should you expect when hiring an inspection company?
One of the most important indicators that you can use is whether the company is licensed by the Association of Certified Home Inspectors or the National Building Standards Institute. There are many independent or for-profit companies that claim to be ‘CSI certified.’ These companies may not be CSIA accredited. The National Building Standards Institute has been educating home inspectors for over 30 years. A CSIA license means that the inspected party has met the highest standards of the building industry to show that the service provided was of the highest quality possible. In addition, an inspector who the NBSI licenses are well versed in the latest methods and standards related to both residential and commercial construction.
The Association of Certified Home Inspectors is an organization formed by the National Association of Home Builders. Their website provides a list of qualified members. They are affiliated with the National Apartment Manufacturers Association and the National Apartment Code Organization.
Apart from being a member of the associations, an independent inspector should also have evidence of state certification. This can come from one of several sources. It is advisable to ask the inspector whether they are members of either the NADA or CA board. The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors and the National Apartment Construction Industry Security Foundation offer affiliation to national and state organizations. As part of their affiliate programs, both offer free seminars and continuing education opportunities for those joining their associations.
A good inspector will first discuss the scope of their work before settling on a specific inspector to serve as a business representative for the company. Many inspectors will offer the names of other professionals they consult with. It is always wise to select a person with whom you have a good relationship. It would be best if you did not restrict the inspector’s choices to working only with you. He/she should advise you on various options that are open to you within the parameters of your building.
Once the inspector has reviewed the basic layout and condition of the apartment, he/she should then provide a detailed report of the current status of the structure. If necessary, the inspector should obtain permission from the landlord to conduct additional upgrades to the unit. The services performed by a certified inspector should be comprehensive. The inspector should cover some of the topics: structural integrity, roofing & ventilation systems, plumbing & drainage system, heating & air conditioning systems, electrical systems, smoke & stain, exterior conditions and siding, carpet and wall, and interior finishes and appliances.
Most companies do not include the cost of legal fees and professional fees in the service charges they quote. They also usually do not require a deposit or security for the services. However, some of these companies may require an up-front lump sum amount if you want to use the services in any particular area. Inquire with each company you are considering to determine the exact costs and requirements.
When you use the services of a professional inspection company, you can relax and know that your apartment is in good hands. You can also be confident that no matter what type of problems exist within your building, the company will address them urgently. They will leave nothing to chance, and you will be assured of excellent and safe living conditions for the next several years. It’s that simple.