Frequently Asked Questions.

What is a "Home Inspection"?

A home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and mechanical systems of a home. If you’re thinking about buying a house, condominium, or multi-family, you should have it properly inspected before the final purchase by a licensed, experienced and impartial professional home inspector.

Why do I need a Home Inspection?

The purchase of a home is probably the single largest investment you will ever make. A home inspection helps you protect that investment.

A fresh coat of paint could be hiding serious structural problems. Water marks in the basement may indicate a chronic seepage problem or may simply be the result of a single incident. A home inspector interprets these clues and conditions and presents his or her professional opinion as to the condition of the property before you buy… to help you avoid unpleasant surprises after the fact.

Of course, a home inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a home, as well as explain the necessary maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you’ll have a much clearer understanding of the home you’re about to purchase, and you’ll be able to make that decision confidently.

What does a Home Inspection include?

A home inspection includes a visual examination of the house from top to bottom. The inspector examines the heating system, the central air conditioning system (when temperature permits), the interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure.

A home inspection performed by The Building Inspector of America includes a similar examination of any garage on the property, attached or detached.

What does a Home Inspection cost?

“You get what you pay for.” We believe this statement is true. Before you book an inspection, make sure you know who you’re about to deal with. Choose a company with experience, integrity and the reputation to back it all up. With more than eighteen years and 6,000 inspections under our belt, we consider ourselves as experts in our field.

Inspection fees vary depending upon the size and particular features of the house, age, other structures, etc. However, cost should not be your deciding factor in the decision whether or not to have a home inspection.

If you’re contemplating purchasing a property, please contact us and we’ll e-mail you a quote. Or, simply give us a call at 508-865-0600 for an immediate price quote.

Can I do the inspection myself?

Unfortunately not. The law states that home inspectors must be licensed. Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, and perhaps thousands of homes in his or her career. An inspector is equally familiar with all of the elements associated with home construction and with the proper installation, maintenance and interrelationships of those elements.

Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want. A professional home inspection will give the buyer a thorough and objective assessment.

Can a house "fail" inspection?

No. A professional home inspection is simply an examination into the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal or a Municipal Code inspection.

A home inspector, therefore, is legally prohibited from passing or failing a home. The inspector should simply describe the home’s condition (as well as the condition of the structural and mechanical components therein) and indicate which items are functional or in need of repair or replacement.

Why choose The Building Inspector of America?

You've found the company who has performed over 6,000 inspections in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island area. We're one of the most respected firms in the area and we are a full-time home inspection company, dedicated to our profession.

We never rush clients through the inspection process. We encourage our clients to join us during the inspection process. We’ll answer any and all of your questions – both during the inspection and beyond. We believe once you’ve chosen to be our client, you’re a client for life… even well after you’ve moved into your new home. Our inspectors and office staff are available to answer your questions anytime.

We provide a detailed, written report at the time of inspection.

When should I schedule a home inspection?

The best time to schedule the home inspection is after you’ve received an accepted Offer to Purchase and prior to signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

And remember: If you plan to sell your home, call The Building Inspector of America first to identify potential problems which may adversely effect the selling of the house!

What if the inspection reveals significant problems?

If the inspector finds significant defects during the inspection, a buyer can do one of three things. Accept the property in its current condition, you may be buying a “fixer upper”; Ask to renegotiate, remember this is not required by the seller no matter what an inspector discovers; Say you do not want to proceed with the purchase of the house. The choice is yours, and yours alone; a home inspector does not get involved with the decision making process.

If you’re selling your home you may be able to repair any problems in advance of putting your home on the market and maximize the potential sale price.

If the structure is found to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?

Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with peace of mind about the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. As a potential home owner, you may also have learned valuable information about your new home from your inspection report, which you’ll want to keep handy for future reference.

Above all, you’ll be assured that you’re making a well-informed purchase decision.

What will an inspection report look like and when will I get it?

Our comprehensive inspection reports are broken down into sections covering all major structural and mechanical components of the home or building. The report is given to you at the time of inspection.

How far in advance do I need to schedule an inspection?

Typically we are booking inspections one week in advance. If you’re hoping to work with a specific inspector, you should call to schedule an appointment as soon as you intend to make an Offer to Purchase.

My know-it-all brother in-law wants to come with me on the inspection. Who can or can’t I bring along?

Minimally, we suggest our clients and their significant others be present during the on-site inspection. Your presence is considered the verbal portion of our service and it should prove to be an invaluable learning experience.

You may invite family members or friends to tag along on the inspection with us. Your guests are welcome to ask our inspector questions about the home itself, but they must not interfere with the inspector’s process.

What are the benefits of a seller's inspection?

A thorough home inspection can identify existing problems which may devalue your asking price. Having a home inspection performed before you put your home on the market will enable you to repair the more superfluous problems we uncover during the inspection, while enabling you to adequately assess the true cost associated with rectifying more complex problems in advance of the negotiation process.

What is ASHI?

ASHI is an acronym for the American Society of Home Inspectors. Our company president was a long-standing member of ASHI until the State of Massachusetts adopted more stringent Standards of Practice in 2001. Because the Massachusetts standards actually exceed ASHI’s, the Building Inspector of America is no longer affiliated with ASHI.