Sample Home Inspection Reports
(These samples are scanned copies of our actual reports, thus the visual quality isn’t as good as the real reports. They are not the entire 30-50 page reports, but only excerpts of a few pages from them.)
Below are links to pages of some of the more interesting or in-depth issues we run across on our home inspections. These should give you a pretty good idea of the level of experience we bring to each inspection as well as our attention to detail. Our inspection reports accurately reflect the current condition of the property. As you will see, we do not vaguely describe issues or soft sell the actual problems. Our reports are designed to educate the client and/or homeowner so they have a solid understanding of the issues at hand. Each report typically will include 100-200 photos depending on how clean or rough the home is. We will have the home inspection report ready typically by the same evening of the inspection or the following morning. Putting together such a detailed report can not be done on-site.
When purchasing a house, if the foundation is bad, the rest of the home inspection findings are irrelavent. Not many people have $20,000 to $30,000 dollars to replace a foundation and still break even on the purchase. When looking at a home, always get down on your hands and knees and eye down the foundation walls from corner to corner. If they bow, you may want to pass on that house and save your inspection money for the next one. Sometimes, finding the foundation problem isn’t so easy. Here are some real examples our clients were faced with. Note: the first house had estimates of repair in the 6 figures!
Ultra high-end older home – Entire house settled 5″ front to back
Flipped 1920’s home – Failing brick foundation covered up
Typical 50’s & 60’s house – 4 concrete block foundation walls bowed inward
Inspecting Furnaces Is Our Strength
We are constantly being questioned by agents about our knowledge on furnaces. It’s always entertaining how many furnaces we find cracked heat exchangers on when the furnace was supposedly just serviced. This is yet another area our competitors are no match for us. When they inspect a furnace, they should be inspecting the general installation, cycling the furnace on and off, watching its operation, testing for carbon monoxide, and testing for combustible gas leaks. Some competitors don’t even test for CO gas or combustible gas leaks. We go beyond all that with our training and determine if there are any cracks in the heat exchanger. We want to make sure the occupants of the home are going to be safe from carbon monoxide poisoning. The other home inspection companies only refer out an HVAC Contractor to further evaluate when they notice it isn’t operating normally or when the furnace is older. They never definitively determine if the heat exchanger is cracked. They never condemn a furnace. We do. How can we be 100% certain the furnace has a cracked heat exchanger? We bring the training, knowledge, and 15 years of experience in finding cracks in furnaces to every inspection. You can see for yourself that we know what we’re doing! Here are samples from our reports depicting various types of cracked heat exchangers complete with photographs:
Serpentine heat exchanger – Dimple cracks on a Carrier 80% furnace
Serpentine heat exchanger – Cracks at eyelets on Armstrong Air 80% furnace
Serpentine heat exchanger – Vertical crack on Tempstar 80% furnace
Clam shell heat exchanger – Vertical cracks by rear seam on Lennox 70% furnac
Serpentine heat exchanger – Crack at eyelet on Tempstar 90% furnace
Lennox Whisper Heat – Holes through draft diverter box on Lennox 70%
Over 40% of the properties we inspect have 1 or more structural problems (excluding the foundation.) Some can be very costly to remedy, while others are a simple fix. The first example is easy to deal with. The other 2 were found on new construction and the Builders weren’t laughing when they received our reports.
1900’s home – Post in wrong location causing floor to settle
Custom built home – New construction with entire main floor ill-supported
Tract built home – New 2-story home with settled cantilevered wall
Electrical problems can catch your house on fire, potentially electrocute or shock you, or damage your expensive flatscreen TV or computers. Most of the newer homes check out fairly clean thanks to our local Code Departments staying on top of the installations. But when the homeowner researches YouTube and decides he can handle an electrical project without pulling a permit, that’s when these houses don’t check out so well. The older homes run the gammut from being perfect to needing an entire electrical system upgrade. Some of what we find is down right scary! Below are examples of what we can find and the detail we go into to document them:
Fuse system- Fuse panel over loaded
Semi-updated electrical on 1900’s home – Knob-n-tube wiring improperly spliced
Our goal with a chimney system is to inspect the chimney from the top looking down as long as its safe to do so. We will try to remove the chimney cap and reach down inside the clay-tile liners with a mirror & flashlight. Most of our competitors will not do this. We want to see if the liner is cracked, shifted, or has deteriorated mortar joints. We then will inspect it from the fireplace, firebox, and smoke shelf upward. We aren’t a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep conducting a Level 2 inspection, but if we find issues, that is exactly our recommendation. Wood burning fireplaces burn much hotter than natural gas and pose a much greater threat of catching your house on fire if the flue is bad. Natural gas fireplaces are still a threat of carbon monoxide poisoning if there is a breach in the liner. These are the main reasons why we make the extra effort to inspect the chimney system.
Brick chimney with clay-tile flue – Breached liner, bad concrete crown, etc.
Direct vent fireplaces – CO leaking into house from both fireplaces
Roof Coverings, Flashing, Decking, & Ventilation
When it comes to hail, homes in Omaha average a new roof every 7 years. Certain neighborhoods are hit with hail more frequently while others are hail free. You have to physically walk the asphalt-composite roofs to see most hail damage. You have to be able to run your hand across the surface of the shingles and get up close & personal to truly find it and document it. Inspecting a roof with a drone won’t find the hail unless the hail has major impacts or the camera gets lucky and catches sun glare from the exposed Fiberglass backing. I bring this up because one of our competitors is using a drone and no longer walking roofs. It sounds cool until you realize how much he’s missing on his inspections!
2016 Hail storm in Lincoln – 35 yr Fiberglass asphalt shingles with hail damage
2015 Hail storm in Omaha – 35 yr Fiberglass asphalt shingles with hail damage
When you have a deck built, make sure the licensed Contractor pulls the permit before they start and have them prove it to you. The purpose is so the City gets involved to make sure the deck is built safely. You’d be amazed at how many issues we find with newly constructed decks!
Treated lumber deck – Old deck neglected for too long
Large Trees On Property
Mature trees on a property make for great shade to reduce your cooling bills in the hot summer months and provide protection for your roof during a hail storm. When they are planted too close to your house or in your front yard, they can pose problems. The tree roots can grow into the sewer line, push the foundation, and uplift driveway or sidewalk panels. During high winds, large limbs can land on your house, power lines, or your car. We’re not Arborists and you can bet we’ll refer them in if we see any problems. Below are 2 entertaining trees we ran across:
Threatened garage and power lines – Hollowed out large tree trunk
Damaged house and garage foundations – Massive tree grew tight to foundation