Frequently Asked Questions
What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual assessment of the condition of a home or property. The inspection is carried out according to a tried and trusted formula based on over 22 years experience in the field. The purpose is to uncover existing faults and identify potential problems.
Why do I need a home inspection?
A home is the largest financial purchase most people will ever make.
- It makes sense to find out as much as you can about the house you are interested in, before you buy.
- That way you can avoid costly surprise repair bills and problems with your new home.
- Our report will also advise you of what maintenance is required to keep your home in top condition.
- A professional inspection will give you a clear picture of the many systems and structural elements that make up the property.
- If you are selling your home, a listing inspection will point out any potential problems that might be uncovered later by the buyer’s inspector.
(Finding them early will allow you to address them before listing your home, making for a faster and smoother sale.)
What does a home inspection exclude?
The inspection does not cover electrical systems because, by law, an Electrical Certificate of Compliance must be obtained when a property is sold and before the Local Authority will connect the electricity supply.
Do I need to be there during the inspection?
No. We can arrange access via the estate agent if required.
An inspection may take several hours and the report will be thorough and easy to understand.
Does a newly built home need an inspection?
Absolutely. A professional inspection of a newly built home is very important.
We inspect many houses that builders have completed and we often find serious problems they have missed.
Very often poorly skilled labourers and lack of supervision lead to shortcuts and substandard workmanship.
Our inspectors have no reason to tell you anything but the absolute truth. They can be trusted to check that everything has been done correctly and provide an impartial report.
Our inspection ensures that you will not be faced with unexpected repair costs months after the builders have handed over.
Why can't I do the inspection myself (or ask a builder friend)?
Chances are that even if you are very familiar with home construction, you still don’t have the knowledge, training and experience of an Inspect-A-Home inspector.
We inspect thousands of homes every year and are true professionals.
We are familiar with all the systems of a home, how they work, and how they need to be maintained.
Beyond the technical expertise and experience a professional inspector brings, it is important to remember that the inspector remains an impartial
The professional inspector will provide a thoroughly objective, unbiased reporting of the facts.
Can Inspect-A-Home do the repairs or recommend someone who can?
No. Inspect-A-Home does not do repairs or give referrals to repair companies / building contractors. This ensures that there will never be any conflict of interest with the inspector.
What should the "subject to inspection" clause say when adding it to my purchase offer agreement?
The offer to purchase should have a clause stating:
“Subject to a favourable property inspection report on any serious defects found with the structure of the building/s, roofing problems including structural and/or roof leaks, or serious damp issues (water ingress/rising damp/storm water management)”.
This clause covers most serious problems, but gets away from the pedantic issues like damaged cornices, light plaster cracks and minor damp etc.
Does the inspector come back to inspect the remedial work?
Yes, for a nominal fee, Inspect-A-Home will perform a re-inspection to ensure repairs were completed and carried out correctly.
Doesn’t the NHBRC conduct regular inspections?
The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) was mainly established to protect the interest of housing consumers and to regulate the
home building industry. In practice, the NHBRC inspectors have a heavy workload and it is not always possible for them to visit every site as often as they should or spend enough time on the sites they do visit.
The NHBRC inspectors communicate with the builder and not with you the (future) homeowner.
Considering the amount of money you are spending building a home, it is definitely better to have a professional inspector dedicated to looking after
your interests and providing you with regular feedback throughout the construction process. See Building Progress Inspection (Quality Control)
Am I not covered by the NHBRC’s warranty if things go wrong?
An extract from the NHBRC Home Builders Manual:
The NHBRC’s warranty scheme is only concerned with:
- minimum norms relating to strength, stability and serviceability;
- resistance to rain penetration;
- the protection against harmful substances; and
- behaviour in fire, insofar as it relates to the structural stability of the housing unit.
The NHBRC’s warranty does not cover every aspect of the home. It is best to identify and address all defects during the construction process (while they can still be easily and inexpensively be addressed). We recommend that a thorough inspection be conducted and defects remedied before the occupation date.
What does the NHBRC warranty cover?
Click here to download the full NHBRC’s Warranty Cover document.
- It only applies to new mortgagable houses built by a registered NHBRC builder.
- The builder must “timeously” rectify all defects identified during the construction phase (from effective contract date to occupation date).
- In the first 3 months following occupation, the builder must rectify any defects in workmanship and materials during a 90 day period from occupation date.
- During the first 12 months following occupation the builder must repair any roof leaks that occur.
- During the first 5 years following occupation the builder must rectify any defect of the patent or latent nature, in respect of the substructure, the superstructure and the roof structure.
The NHBRC head office can be contacted on (011) 317 0000 or from www.nhbrc.org.za
Does Inspect-A-Home do valuations? (Assessments / appraisals)
No. A home inspection does not determine the value of a house or property.
Inspect-A-Home will never give you advice on whether or not you should purchase a property or what you should pay for it.
How will the inspector inspect my house?
The inspections to be performed are a visual inspection only and do not involve the dismantling or moving of any object on the property. (No drilling
into the walls, etc.)
If it is safe to do so, our inspectors will climb onto the roof of the house and inside the roof cavity.
They will review the major systems of your house using normal operating controls such as operating taps, lights, fixed appliances, etc.
The operation of all doors and windows and cupboard doors and drawers will be checked.
The inspector will enter the basement, cellar, attic, storerooms and all the outbuildings. (You may want to anticipate this and make provisions for easy access for the inspector.)
You do not need to be present for the inspection, although you may want walk around the property for a few minutes discussing any particular areas of concern. Most inspectors would then prefer to be left alone to concentrate and focus entirely on the inspection.
Why use Inspect-A-Home instead of an engineer or other specialis
An engineer is specialised in his/her field, whereas our Inspectors look at every aspect of the whole property, not just focusing on one characteristic. If there is a particular aspect of the inspection that requires it, we can draw on the appropriate professionals expertise.