The report is the essence of the inspection.
There are almost as many different types of inspection reports as there are inspectors. We all have our own style and take on things. These range from simple uninformative check list to detailed, comprehensive, site specific reports like mine which include photographs and diagrams. My reports are very extensive. Reports range between 30 and 60 pages, and most importantly, the information in your report will be site specific. Many home inspection reports are packaged. The inspector buys a booklet and checks the items that you have in your house. They may be full of information that is useless and even confusing to you. For example, some report systems include a description of say 15 different types of heating systems. This can be confusing to say the least. Your report will be “Site Specific”. It will only provide information on the heating system that you have. If you have a gas fired forced air furnace, you’ll get a description, explanation and information of only that type of heating system. . Every sentence in the report that I provide you will be information about what you have, not what you don’t have.
At the beginning of the inspection I go over several items with the client to help them understand what I can and cannot do, and an explanation about how to understand the report. It’s an effort to bring your bring what I will /can do for you in line with your expectations.
Every report starts with the Inspection Agreement. I go over this with you at the beginning of the inspection. I sometimes call it our time to pay tribute to our legal system. Basically it’s an acknowledgement that I made an attempt to explain the perimeters of the inspection. What I can do, what I can’t do, what I’m responsible for and what I’m not responsible for.
Next I go over a sample report. Explain my grading system, what the summary will include, and where to find additional information on items that are in the summary.
The first portion of the report will be the summary. The summary will have the items that I feel are problems or defects and it “grades” them. It provides definitions for my grades. Items that are “Satisfactory” will not be in the summary. Information about those items will be back in the Main Report. Other grade include “Marginal”, “Poor”, and “Not Inspected”.
The last section of the report is the Main Report. There is a section for each system and its components, which are in the house or building your having inspected. This is also where you can view additional information, photographs and diagrams that will further explain the systems and any concerns I may have. The report can also be used as a guide or manual for your house. It gives you recommended improvements, things to watch out for and maintenance tips. It’s as close a manual just for your house as you can get. The report is e-mailed to you.
This is a sample of the inspection report you can expect when Scott Home Inspection does your inspection. Not all of my inspection reports are this long but yours would be just as complete and extensive. Reports average between 30 and 60 pages. As I mentioned, the information in your report will be site specific. That means that every sentence in your report is pertinent to your house. Not generic to every house in the county.
The first 10 pages are the summary which explains how I grade things and has the items that I have minor and significant concerns about. Next is the cover page and after that the main report which has all the system information. Names and photos have been changed to protect the innocent. I show, and go over a sample report with you so you know how to read it.