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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a visual inspection performed by a trained professional to determine the condition of a home’s main elements. The inspection usually takes several hours, during which the professional takes multiple photos and notes, tracking information for a final report. After the inspection, the pro will create a printed report, complete with photos and detailed information, summarizing the condition of the house. A home inspection is often used by potential home buyers prior to purchase to determine if there are larger issues (such as dry rot or a faulty foundation) that are not immediately visible to the untrained eye but that would cost a lot of money to resolve. Home inspections are also used by real estate agents and home sellers to address any concerns before putting a home on the market. Longtime homeowners can also schedule a home inspection to get a snapshot of their current home condition and identify any issues that need to be addressed. A home inspection is not a legal document that can be used for divorce or estate settlements, nor can it be used to secure loans or mortgages.

How do you find a good home inspector?

A home inspection should tell you the true condition of a home. A competent home inspector closely inspects your home’s structure and foundation, looks for termites and signs of problems like mold, checks the wiring to ensure it’s in good condition, and investigates the HVAC system, among other items. To find a good home inspector, first research whether home inspection is licensed in your area; not all states require licensure.

If there is no regulatory body that licenses home inspection in your state, there are other ways to make sure you are hiring a trustworthy professional. Carefully look into the person’s reviews and ask for references. Ask if they are committed to continuing education, and whether they are active members in any reputable home inspector organizations. Some organizations that recognize and/or certify home inspectors are the American Society of Home Inspectors, National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, and American Home Inspectors Training. Don’t be shy about asking to see credentials and licensing.

What should be included in a home inspection?

A complete home inspection involves a visual investigation of all major elements that make up your home. A home inspection is a vital part of buying or selling a home to ensure you’re not accidentally buying a termite-infested home or one with major structural defects. Paying for an inspection before purchasing a home can save you a lot of money in the long run. The national average home inspection cost is $310, with prices ranging higher or lower based on your location and the square footage of your home. After performing a walk-through inspection, the pro should provide you a printed report — complete with photos and recommendations — detailing what’s in good condition, what would benefit from minor repairs, and what needs immediate attention. Home inspection pros know how to spot trouble areas, but they’re not licensed contractors, electricians or plumbers, so they may suggest you hire a licensed pro to address specific problems. Here are the main components that a home inspection covers:

  • Home structure
    • Foundation, grading and drainage, roof covering, roof structure, interior and exterior attic walls, ceilings and floors, interior and exterior doors, windows, stairways, fireplace and chimney, porches, balconies, decks, attached carports, and crawl space.
  • Electrical
    • HVAC system, heating equipment, cooling equipment, ductwork and vents, fixtures and switches, branch circuits, receptacles, service entrance and panels.
  • Plumbing
    • Water heater and equipment, drains, waste systems, vents, and plumbing fixtures.
  • Appliances
    • Garage door openers, garbage disposal, dishwasher, exhaust range, range hood, bathroom exhaust fans, cooktop, oven and microwave.

How much does it cost to get a house appraised and inspected?

Home appraisals and home inspections both assess your home and provide a report summarizing the condition or value of your home based on key measurements. Unlike a home inspection for the sale of a property, a home appraisal is used for loan applications, property value assessment for sales or settlements (divorce, estate, etc.), and taxes and insurance. If you’re having your home appraised for lending purposes, you’ll likely need a state-certified appraiser, so be sure to your research their credentials. Nationally, the average cost for a home appraisal is $340.

If you’re buying or selling a home, having a professional home inspection can be an invaluable tool for price-setting and negotiation, as well as learning what repairs are necessary. The national average home inspection cost is $310, ranging higher or lower depending on the inspection company, your location and the size of your home. Other factors that can affect cost are additional inspection services and pathogen testing. Here are some examples of average home inspection costs in various parts of the country:

  • Home inspection in New York City: $425 or more.
  • Condo inspection in New York City: $200 or more.
  • Home inspection in Central Texas: $250 for homes up to 2,000 square feet.
    • $275 for homes from 3,001-4,000 square feet.
    • $300 for homes from 4,001-5,000 square feet.
    • $325 for homes 5,001 square feet and up, plus 10 cents per additional square foot.
  • Home inspection in Los Angeles: $199-$299 or more.

How long does it take to do a home inspection?

On average, you can expect a standard home inspection to take two to three hours. Your house size can affect inspection length, as can requesting additional services such as sprinkler system inspections, outbuilding inspections, radon testing, crawl space inspections, or pool house inspections. During the home inspection, the professional will be taking photos and looking in and around all parts of your home. The inspector will then compile a report that may be more than 20 pages. You should receive this report back within a few days to a week. The report should detail everything from minor imperfections and maintenance recommendations to major defects that need to be resolved as soon as possible, like structural failures or a leak in the basement. Your report should include photos and clearly outlined information about all major elements inspected, as well as recommendations for next steps.

Reviews for Ashburn home inspectors
Duane B.
I needed a home inspection scheduled quickly to close on a home quickly. Joey was out the following day, and was thorough, courteous, knowledgeable, and his pricing is great. I’d recommend Paramount Home Inspection to anyone needing a home inspection conducted.
Paramount Home Inspection of TexasParamount Home Inspection of Texas
Roberta U.
Mr. Chance contacted me immediately and was able to inspect the home the very same day. I met him at the property just before he was finished inspecting it. He was very thorough and friendly and explained exactly what would be in his reports. Both the inspection report and termite report were written and sent to me the same day as the inspection. I highly recommend Chance Home Inspection.
Chance Home InspectionChance Home Inspection
Thumbtack Customer
Joe was great, he explained the issues with the home in detail. He summarized everything in detail when he finished. He was on time. He did not rush the home inspection, for being a small home he took a good amount of time to do the home inspection. Worth the cost of having him inspect my home. He also had the report at the end of the day. He is very knowledgeable and professional in his line of work.
Inspect First Home InspectionsInspect First Home Inspections
Ryan P.
I am extremely pleased with the service provided by Vincent. He explained every detail that needed to be addressed for my home warranty inspection. He was prompt, friendly, and professional. I highly recommend him if you need your home inspected!
Hays Inspection Services LLCHays Inspection Services LLC
Thumbtack Customer
• I would HIGHLY recommend Joe Torres for a home inspection!! He was extremely thorough, very polite and knowleable with the questions that were asked. He did an outstanding job of showing and explaining to me his various findings and observations. Joe was quick in submitting his property inspection report with 24 hours of his inspection. Thank you for the service you provided. I will refer Joe to any of my friends who are in the market for a home inspection
Inspect First Home InspectionsInspect First Home Inspections
Thumbtack Customer
HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Joe brings years of experience and expertise in providing a thorough and detailed inspection for a home you may be thinking about purchasing. We are buying a newly built home and had Joe do an inspection after we had completed our walk-thru with the builder. Joe pointed out multiple issues that we did not catch ourselves. By far Joe has proven to be the best money we have spent in the home buying process. Joe arrived early to conduct the inspection and allowed us to participate in the inspection which gave us a greater insight to the home we are buying vs. just giving us a report at the end. He is a true professional and obviously cares about the service he provides (he even worked around the rain that day to check the roof). We are using him again to do a follow up for us after the builder corrects the identified issues and will certainly be recommending him to anyone who needs a home inspection. DO NOT BUY a home before you have Joe inspect it. It is too much of an investment not to have it inspected first and you will be grateful that you did!
Inspect First Home InspectionsInspect First Home Inspections
Maria S.
Vincent did an excellent job with our home inspection. He was very responsive, professional and thorough. His pricing is very good, and worth every penny. We would highly recommend Hays Inspection Services to anyone needing an inspection on their house! Thank you for great service!!
Hays Inspection Services LLCHays Inspection Services LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Joe did an excellent job inspecting home. Joe was very thorough going through and explaining his finding during the inspection process. His report was complete and very finely detailed. My realtor will use his services from here on out. We were impressed by his professionalism and attention to detail. If you are ever in the market to have a home inspection performed. I highly recommend him.
Inspect First Home InspectionsInspect First Home Inspections
Yvonne R.
William did a great job inspecting our home took the time going over everything with us and showing us all his finding. Took the time to look over and it showed on his pictures. Great job!! If it’s a home inspection your looking for this company is the way to go!!!
Superior Inspector INCSuperior Inspector INC
Kelsey C.
Amazing job! I had previously had a inspection done for a house before hiring them and I paid almost double and was given a bare minimum inspection.. The inspection was very detailed and covered everything a potential home buyer would want! Highly recommend! Great price for great work
Superior Inspector INCSuperior Inspector INC
Sekoya I.
I had a very informative experience with Noxid Home Inspection. The inspector was on time and allowed me to shadow him while he performed his inspection. He was very thorough and offered insight on everything he inspected throughout his visit. I learned a lot and I will definitely recommend all my friends and anyone else buying a home in the San Antonio surrounding areas to schedule services with Noxid.
Noxid Home Inspection ServicesNoxid Home Inspection Services
Randy And Maria C.
We are very please with the service and professionalism of Vincent when we requested for a home inspection. He did not only respond quickly but communicated well to us about the schedule and procedure to be done. He thoroughly inspect the home and explained to us about his findings. He also produce the report in a timely manner.
Hays Inspection Services LLCHays Inspection Services LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Joe has helped me with two home inspections and been really great about it. Awesome explanations and doesnt cut corners.
Inspect First Home InspectionsInspect First Home Inspections
Bart P.
Joe provides valuable insights during my home inspection. In addition to a standard inspection, he was able to arrange a termite inspection and set up a water analysis in ther well water. This helped me avoid having to call multiple professionals myself. Pricing is fair and not unreasonable. Report arrived quickly by email the day following inspection...about 16 hour turnaround. Report included many photos. Would not hesitate to hire him again.
Paramount Home Inspection of TexasParamount Home Inspection of Texas
Dave R.
Hays Inspection Service is professional and punctual throughout the entire transaction; from a quick response to the request for information, to arriving on time and completing the work in the established window. More so, they were friendly, polite, and ready to answer all my questions. I would highly recommend their home inspection service. A major thank you to Vincent and Cole for making this the easiest inspection ever.
Hays Inspection Services LLCHays Inspection Services LLC
Rachel B.
My home inspection with Luis was excellent! He was thorough, responsive, and a delight to work with. I will definitely recommend him to friends in the future, without question.
Superior Inspector INCSuperior Inspector INC
Thumbtack Customer
Great experience and I could feel how much he cared about his profession. Made my home buying feel safe after inspection
Ferrari InspectionsFerrari Inspections
Thumbtack Customer
Mr. Torres is a very professional and friendly kind of guy. As a first time home buyer, he made it very easy for me to understand what he was inspecting.
Inspect First Home InspectionsInspect First Home Inspections
Kyle V.
John was awesome!!! Very thorough inspection on short notice and at a very fair price. He was also helpful in explaining a lot of the issues with the home. Will definitely be using John again! A+++
Chance Home InspectionChance Home Inspection
Angela V.
Mr. Berry was very knowledgeable, and does an excellent job informing us of any issues/concerns. I would definitely recommend him if you are in need of a home inspection.
Berry Group InspectionBerry Group Inspection
Thumbtack Customer
Joe was very professoinal andextremely thorough, finding issues a previous home inspector didn't begin to mention. Unfortunately we didn't buy the home he inspected for us but we'll definitely be using his services for the next purchase we consider.
Inspect First Home InspectionsInspect First Home Inspections
Thumbtack Customer
One of the best decisions we could have made before purchasing our home. He was on time on our first appointment. I was able to walk with Joe during the entire inspection ( 4hrs )and he took his time to explain everything in detail. He is very courteous, well experienced and has all the tools necessary for the job. His report was available on the same day of inspection. He also made a second visit at short notice just before the day we bought the house to recheck on all the repairs. I would highly recommend Joe Torres for your home inspection.
Inspect First Home InspectionsInspect First Home Inspections
Thumbtack Customer
I called Joe on a Friday and he was willing and able to schedule my home inspection the next morning. I am truly grateful that he was available because the sooner the inspection was completed, the sooner my home buying process would be underway. Although the property is a newly built home, Joe found many items to be addessed by the builder. He identified several deficiencies both major and minor in nature. Joe was very thorough and took the time to explain all of his findings in great detail. In addition to the several hours he spent on my inspection, he was willing to come back to the property a second time to inspect a portion of the attic that was inaccessible at the time of our original appointment. Not only was Joe's fee reasonable but he also provided the report of his findings later the same day. Overall, I am very pleased with his friendly service and professionalism.
Inspect First Home InspectionsInspect First Home Inspections
Juan R.
Joe was very informative about any issues and what needed to be done to address it. Even with the heavy rain during the day of our inspection he was very thorough in and outside of the home.
Paramount Home Inspection of TexasParamount Home Inspection of Texas
Kia G.
Wow! Vince went above and beyond for our home inspection. He was very responsive, flexible, and accommodating- exceeding our expectations. His report was incredibly thorough and his insights were very useful. Will definitely seek out his services again. If you need a thorough inspection with pictures to support, Vince is your guy!
Hays Inspection Services LLCHays Inspection Services LLC
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Why you should hire a home inspector

A home inspector thoroughly inspects your home or property and advises you of any issues or damages you should address. For example, inspectors typically look for water damage, electrical issues, plumbing problems and much more. Many people usually get a home inspection during a real estate transaction or as a routine maintenance program for their rental home or rental property. If you need a home inspector, check out these professionals and ask for cost estimates. Hire a pro or company with good reviews, and make sure they offer the home inspection services you need.

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