Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Home Inspection and what's the difference between that and an Appraisal?

A: A home inspection is not an appraisal, and an appraisal is not a home inspection. An appraisal tries to establish a 'market value' for the house, while an inspection evaluates the actual physical condition of the house. Some folks think an appraiser 'inspects' because they have to look at the overall condition of the house. But while they are an integral component in the real estate industry, appraisers don't provide you a detailed report about the conditions of the house. Also, an appraiser generally reports to the mortgage lender, whereas you hire the home inspector, and we work for you.

A home inspection provides an objective visual examination and assessment of the physical structure and systems of a house. It does not evaluate whether the home complies with local building codes (which are subject to periodic change) and it couldn't possibly guarantee that an item inspected might not fail in the future. Nor should it be considered a "technically exhaustive" evaluation, but rather an evaluation of the property on the day it is inspected, taking into consideration normal wear and tear.

What will the Inspection cover?

A: A thorough home inspection covers everything from the foundation to the roof. All licensed inspectors must at least conform to the standards set by the applicable governing body , which are available upon request. Better inspection firms, like Metrolina Inspection Services, consistently strive to exceed that.

Examples of items items that are included...
  • Attic
  • Insulation
  • Ventilation
  • Roof & Flashings
  • Gutters
  • Basement
  • Crawlspace
  • Foundation
  • Grading
  • Retaining Walls
  • Siding & Trim
  • Driveways & Walks
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Walls
  • Doors & Windows
  • Chimney
  • Fireplace
  • Major Appliances
  • Electrical System
  • Water Heater
  • Plumbing System
  • Air Conditioning
  • Heating

How long will the Inspection take?

A: Most inspections take about two to four hours. These times may vary depending on the size, age & condition of the home, and on whether any ancillary inspections/testing are requested.

Q: How do I choose a Home Inspector, and who makes the best Inspector?

A: Ask around. Ask your family, your friends, your Realtor. Your Realtor can often recommend 2 or 3 inspection firms for you to contact, that way you can see what best meets your needs. You can arrange for the home inspection yourself or ask your real estate agent to assist you.

There's no single background or education that is necessarily the best for home inspection, but having a familiarity with how a home is constructed and how all of its systems interact is imperative. In North Carolina, since 1996, all inspectors have to satisfy certain education and experience requirements and pass a state licensing examination. You'll find that every home inspector will promote their strengths, as they should. A structural engineer certainly knows the most about structural issues, but an electrician would similarly know the most about your electrical systems, and a roofer about your roof. But any one of these might not be as knowledgeable in HVAC or with plumbing. So whom do you choose?

Many home inspectors are generalists, kind of like your family doctor. Your family doctor is very knowledgeable about many aspects of your health. The same is true of the home inspector about your home. If we happen to find something beyond our expertise and training, we will recommend further evaluation. But if not, why spend big bucks on the specialist if you don't have to?

So it comes down to training and experience, service and reputation, the quality of their work, the services provided, and the ability of the inspector to communicate his/her findings. This is where Metrolina Inspection Services stands apart !!

Why can't I have someone in my family who is very handy or a contractor, inspect my new home?

A: You could. However, while the person you are considering (father, brother, contractor friend, etc.) may be very skilled, they are not likely trained or experienced at professional home inspections. Professional home inspection is a unique skill like no other. Professional inspectors get what we call an inspector's instinct for problems. That instinct takes extensive training and lots of experience to develop. By using the services of a licensed Home Inspector, you'll gain a better understanding of the condition of the property, especially whether any items do not "function as intended" or "adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling" or "warrant further investigation" by a person who specializes in the item in question. We also highlight safety concerns for you and your family.

Should I be present during the Inspection?

A: You'll get more value from the inspection if you join us. It's better for you, and better for us. We like it when you're there and share the exploration with us. That way we can make sure you have a clear understanding of what we're talking about. The inspector can review the results of the inspection with you and point out any problems found. We even have extra coveralls and gloves for you in hopes that you'll join us in the attic or down in the crawl space.

However, if you can't come to the inspection, don't worry. We send you a Summary Report (which you can also access directly via our website), usually within 24 hours. We also provide a complete inspection report within 1-3 business days. The summary does not necessarily include all items that have been found to be defective or deficient. Therefore, do not just rely on the summary. Carefully read and understand the entire inspection report.

Are all inspection reports the same?

A: Certainly not. While the governing bodies in North and South Carolina have established minimum requirements for items to be inspected and/or report-writing, reports can vary greatly from inspector to inspector. These variables can range from a very limited "checklist" of the systems and components to a full narrative evaluation, or any combination of the two. Metrolina Inspection Services provides an extensive but easily understood narrative-style report, complete with digital photographs to enhance particular findings. We not only identify the specific concern, but give you an idea of the implications so that you may make an educated decision about something you've never heard of before.

Do You Offer any Guarantees?

A: Well, let's see… we guarantee to do our best. We guarantee the most professional service. We guarantee that we strive to meet or exceed the standards set by the applicable governing bodies (North and South Carolina).

What we 'sell' is our professional opinion of the condition of the house on the day we see it. We do this every day…day in and day out. But we know from experience that we can't see every square inch of a house, so there's always a chance that we could just plain miss something. It's not likely, but it can happen.

There's also the chance that something that looked good on inspection day, could break the day after the inspection. Life is funny like that. If you come across an inspection company that offers a guarantee, we strongly recommend that you read their fine print. In fact, it seems contrary to us that any inspection company would even consider offering a warranty program. It's as though they're saying, "We checked, but just to make sure why don't you buy some insurance from us…"

What if I feel something was missed, or I have questions after the inspection?

A: Before any repairs are made (except emergency repairs), call the inspector or inspection company to discuss the problem. Many times the inspector can answer the question over the telephone. This also gives the inspector a chance to promptly handle any problems that may have been overlooked in the inspection. Regardless, we encourage you to call us (or email) and discuss any aspect of your new home whenever you like. Our service to you is a long-term investment.

If, following the home inspection, the seller repairs an item found in the home inspection, can I have the Home Inspector perform a "re-inspection"?

A: Yes. Some repairs may not be as straightforward as they might seem. Metrolina Inspection Services can help you evaluate the repair, but you should be aware that the re-inspection is not a warranty of the repairs that have been made.

What about payment?

A: Unless otherwise agreed upon with the seller or your agent, you will be responsible for payment of the home inspection and any subsequent inspections (we provide re-inspection services to verify things have been done and done right). Payment is due at the time our services are rendered. For your convenience we take cash, check or credit cards (VISA & MasterCard).