What is a “Home Inspection”?

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found, the home inspector may recommend further evaluation. Home inspectors do not perform any destructive testing. Consumers should not expect their reports to include the condition of every nail, wire or pipe in the home. Although our inspectors are thorough, we are primarily concerned with pointing out major concerns and/or safety related items rather than cosmetic items, which are considered readily apparent to the consumer themselves.

Can I do it myself?

Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation, and maintenance. He or she understands how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail.


Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may have an effect on their judgment. For accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial, third-party opinion by a professional in the field of home inspection.

Can a house fail a home inspection?

No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value. It is not a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need major repair or replacement.

If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?

What is ASHI?

Since 1976, ASHI has worked to build consumer awareness of home inspection and to enhance the professionalism of its membership. The ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics serves as a performance guideline for home inspectors, and is universally recognized and accepted by many professional and governmental bodies.

Why do I need a home inspection?

Why do I need a home inspection?
Buying a home could be the largest single investment you will ever make. To minimize unpleasant surprises and unexpected difficulties, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the newly constructed or existing house before you buy it. A home inspection may identify the need for major repairs or builder oversights, as well as the need for maintenance to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will know more about the house, which will allow you to make decisions with confidence.

If you already are a homeowner, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and suggest preventive measures that might help you avoid costly future repairs.

If you are planning to sell your home, a home inspection can give you the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.

When do I call in the Home Inspector?

A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the sales contract, making your final purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. The clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

What if the report reveals problems?

No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or make repairs if major problems are found. If your budget is tight, or if you don’t wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be very important to you.

Do I have to attend the inspection?

It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but is recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions directly, as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you have seen the property first-hand through the inspector’s eyes.

Who belongs to ASHI?

ASHI is an organization of independent, professional home inspectors who are required to make a commitment, from the day they join as ASHI Associates, to conduct inspections in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, which prohibits engaging in conflict-of-interest activities that might compromise their objectivity. ASHI Associates work their way to ASHI Certified Inspector status as they meet rigorous requirements, including passing a comprehensive, written technical exam and performing a minimum of 250 professional, fee-paid home inspections conducted in accordance with the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Mandatory continuing education helps the membership stay current with the latest in technology, materials and professional skills.