Buying your own house can be an equally thrilling and overwhelming experience, as there is a lot to consider when making such a significant financial investment.
Before closing the deal, it’s crucial to perform your due diligence by making sure a residential building inspection takes place.
Completing this building inspection will help you learn more about the house you wish to buy and avoid unexpected costs later on.
Depending on your needs, various types of residential building inspections will get you the specific information you require to make an informed purchase decision.
Whether buying a home or building your own, keep reading to learn what residential building inspections are available and what the process is like for each.
When people think of a residential building inspection, they often think of the standard home inspection.
This type of inspection requires a qualified home inspector who can visually assess a home to identify any potential problems, repairs or maintenance required. Ideally, a home inspection should be performed by a Professional Engineer, which guarantees that the job is done to the highest ethical and legal standards.
Unlike an appraisal process, this inspection won’t tell you if you are getting a good deal on the house you’re considering purchasing. However, it will serve the purpose of uncovering any issues with the building that an untrained eye would typically miss.
What to Expect During a Home Inspection
A home inspection should occur when the seller accepts your offer but before purchasing the home.
A standard home inspection process begins with an on-site inspection that typically includes an assessment of the following interior and exterior factors:
- Windows and doors
- Basements and crawl spaces
- Kitchen Appliances
- Heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
- Insulation and ventilation
The inspection usually takes a couple of hours to complete. Still, the duration may vary depending on the size of the residence, the number of issues detected, and how extensive the inspection is.
A few days after the inspection, the inspector will send a written report evaluating the home’s current condition and detailing any defects found.
The Criterium-Jansen home inspection report also includes a Home Maintenance Plan that provides you with the projected state of the home in 10 years, so you know exactly what repairs and upgrades will be needed.
As a buyer, it is recommended that you attend the inspection to address any concerns and gain further insight into the home beyond what you would get with the written report alone.
To learn more about home inspections, check out our FAQ.
Not to be confused with the home inspection, a structural inspection is different, as it evaluates the house’s structural integrity. Due to this, they legally require licensed professionals like a Residential Structural Engineer who is qualified to assess the structural soundness of the building properly.
This inspection aims to identify safety concerns and evaluate its current condition. Anything that could threaten the structure of the residential building is considered a factor when performing these evaluations.
These inspections are crucial for older buildings or buildings that have experienced harsh weather conditions that cause severe damage. A home inspection may call for a structural inspection if certain defects point to deeper issues.
What to Expect During a Structural Inspection
Similar to the home inspection, a structural inspection will include an on-site assessment of the building.
The inspection may look at the entire structure as a whole or focus on specific components, including these elements:
- The Foundation
Following the inspection, the engineer’s written report that evaluates the structural soundness of the building is provided. It will also flag areas of concern, an explanation of damages found, and the scope of work to outline a plan for any fixes required.
Learn more about what a Criterium-Jansen Engineers structural inspection entails here.
Other Types of Residential Building Inspections
Depending on your situation, you may require another type of inspection beyond the standard home inspections or structural inspection.
New Construction Inspection
Rather than buying a previously-owned someone else, you may choose the option to build your own home.
A new construction inspection is perfect for this circumstance, as it allows you to learn of any issues or defects of a newly constructed home before you take full ownership.
There is also the opportunity to have progress inspections performed, including regular check-ups at predetermined stages, throughout construction. This can help monitor the quality of the build and prevent issues before they happen.
Speciality Home Inspection
In certain circumstances, you may require a specialty home inspection. This may be due to the age of the house, unique features included in the home or following up on the results from your initial standard home inspection.
These inspections look deeper into areas of a home not typically covered by a home or structural inspection. Some of these specialty inspections include…
- Environmental (mold, asbestos, indoor air quality)
- Landscaping and yards
- Soil analysis
- Pool and spas
- Decks and patios
- Lead-based paint
- Fireplaces and chimneys
- Sewer or septic systems
- Underground oil tanks
Contact Criterium-Jansen for Residential Engineering Services
The ability to make an informed decision when purchasing a home is key to protecting your safety, finances and peace of mind.
Whether you need a standard home inspection, structural inspection, new construction inspection or environmental assessment, the Criterium-Jansen team has the expertise to get the job done right.