Frequently Asked Questions

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.


We also suggest including a second clause that say that “the Seller should provide approved municipal plans”  to ensure that you are being sold a legally built property.

Why do I need a property inspection?

A property is the largest financial purchase most people will ever make.

  • It makes sense to find out as much as you can about the property 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.)
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 property 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
third party.
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 is a property inspection?

A property inspection is a professionally performed assessment of the condition of a property and it's buildings, conducted according to industry accepted standards, and is carried out according to a tried and trusted formula based on our extensive experience.

The purpose is to identify existing defects and potential problems, understand their implications and suggest viable repair solutions. It is a visual inspection only and is non-invasive ie: it does not involve dismantling or moving any objects on the property, drilling into the walls or lifting up fitted carpets etc.

If safe, our inspectors will climb onto the roof of the house and inside the roof cavity.  The inspector will also enter and inspect the basement, cellar, attic, store rooms, warehouses, lofts and all outbuildings.

What does a property inspection include?

The following areas/components are inspected but are not limited to …

  • External: Roof, flashing, gutters, roof cavity, plumbing in the roof cavity, geyser installation compliance, eaves, super structure, windows, doors, balconies and patios.
  • Internal: Floor covering, skirting, windows, doors, walls, cupboards, fittings, cornices, ceiling. Bathrooms: shower, bath, basins, toilet, tiling, fittings.
  • Outbuildings: Staff quarters, storerooms, garages, swimming pool, water runoff, storm water drainage, gates, boundary walls.
What is NOT included in the inspection process?

The inspection does NOT cover electrical systems because, by law, an Electrical Certificate of Compliance (CoC) must be obtained when a property is sold and before the Local Authority will connect the electricity supply. This extends to an Electrical Fence Compliance Certificate as well.

It does NOT include borer (insect) infestations because, by law, a Borer Certificate of Compliance (CoC) must be obtained when a property is sold in Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal regions. If we see any of the aspects that we are inspecting are visually affected by borer, we will bring this to your attention.

Likewise, if the property has gas, a gas Certificate of Compliance (CoC) must be obtained when a property is sold.

And in the Western Cape, a plumbing Certificate of Compliance (CoC) must be obtained when a property is sold.  In 2011, the City of Cape Town introduced a local water by-law. In terms of Section 14 of the Water By-Law, “the Seller must, before transfer of a property, submit a certificate of compliance from an accredited plumber certifying that: The water installation conforms to the National Building Regulations and this By-Law, there are no defects, the water meter registers, there is no discharge of stormwater into the sewer system.

Read more in this article.


The inspections are a visual inspection only and are non-invasive ie: do not involve the dismantling or moving of any object on the property. (No drilling into the walls, lifting up fitted carpets etc.)

If a space is not safe, inaccessible or locked we will not inspect, however we will make a note in our report thereof.

What is your lead time for booking an inspection?

We try to book the inspections in within 2-3 days of you giving us the go ahead. This timeframe is dependant on matching the person who will be opening up the property, the current owners' availability and our inspection schedule for a suitable time.

How long does an inspection take?

Our inspections are thorough, taking approximately 2-3 hours to complete because the property inspection covers every aspect of the property from roof to boundary walls.

The size of the property, and the extent of issues found will both impact on the timeframes. A small apartment with great maintenance will take less time than a standard home with a long span of lack of maintenance or a warehouse and offices, and therefore could be as short as an hour, or longer than 3 hours, depending on the circumstances.

What type of information is put in your inspection report?

The Inspect-A-Home report is a comprehensive document that is written from scratch, specific to each propety inspected.

It is not a property inspection check-list or computer software generated report and therefore is customised specifically to detail the relevant aspects inspected, the issues found, and provide applicable expert suggestions for suitable fixes.

It also includes photographs of the aspects that were found to have issues, so that you as a client can see for yourself, the extent of the damage, and your contractor can see the exact area to repair, the extent of the damage, and be able to provide you with accurate repair quotes.


When will the report be available?

The report can take anywhere between 24 - 72 hours to generate, due to the detail and time and effort we put into making sure the report is as comprehensive as possible. 

We will send an invoice once the inspection has been completed, and will email the report to you, once it is ready, if payment has reflected in our account. 

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.

Simply put:

  • 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

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 property?

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.

Still need answers? Send us a note

for any other questions, please send us a message at
or call us :  0861 400 400