What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a complete, primarily visual examination by a highly experienced and professional inspector, of the all the systems and physical structural elements of a home. Emphasis is on identifying existing or potential problems that could affect a purchasers buying decision.


What does a Home Inspection include?

Tepee's "Contract Compliance" inspection focuses on the FAR/BAR Section N of your typical Florida Real Estate contract. The report covers all the major systems and structural elements of the house. This includes the condition of the homes heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, foundation, attic and visible insulation, walls, doors, windows and all visible structures.

Why do I need a Home Inspection?

A home is the largest purchase most people will ever make. It makes sense to find out as much as possible about the house you are interested in before you buy. That way you can avoid costly surprise repairs 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, you aren't required to be there for the inspection. But we highly recommend that you participate in a walk-through and Q&A session at the end of the inspection. You can ask questions directly and the inspector can explain defects/deficiencies found as well as maintenance tips for specific areas. We feel you'll be able to best understand the finished report and get the most benefit from it by having an opportunity to speak with the inspector directly.

How long will the Inspection take?

The time will vary depending on both the size and condition of the home. For most homes, 2 to 3 hours is pretty typical. For larger homes, or if the house and appliances have not been properly maintained, it may take longer.

Does a newly constructed home need an Inspection?

Absolutely. A professional inspection of a new home is important. We can spot potential problems early, while they are still easy to correct. Also, just as when you buy a new car, you expect it to be "perfect". In the same way, your new home should be in "new" condition. After all, you can't drive it back to the dealer.

What is the cost of a home inspection?

The cost of a home inspection varies based on features, as well as its size and age. The cost can also vary when additional inspection services are requested, such as docks, seawalls, pools, well, additional structures, mold sampling and/or Infrared Thermography leak detection inspections. However, you shouldn't let cost be a factor in determining whether or not to have a home inspection performed or in choosing your home inspector. You should consider the money spent as an educational investment that will more than pay for itself. The most important consideration should be the reputation of the inspection company, and the qualifications, training and experience of the inspectors.

Why can't I do the Inspection myself?

You could. But chances are that even if you are very familiar with home construction, you still don't have the knowledge, training and experience of a professional Home Inspector. Tepee Inspections has inspected more than 20,000 real estate inspections since 1988. We are not only familiar with all the systems of a home, and how they work and need to be maintained, but we also know what to look for to tell us that they are getting ready to fail. But beyond the technical expertise and experience a professional inspector brings, it is important to remember that the inspector remains an impartial third party. If you are involved in buying or selling a house, it’s impossible for you to remain completely unemotional about the house, and this may cloud your judgment. The professional inspector will provide an objective outside reporting of the facts.

What if the Inspection uncovers problems?

No house is going to be perfect. Our computer generated report with digital photos, will describe for you the condition of the house, including needed repairs. It is up to you to decide how any problems the inspection uncovers might affect your decision to purchase. If major problems are discovered, you may want to try negotiating with the seller to have them repaired before closing the deal. Or perhaps the seller will lower the price, or offer more favorable contract terms. In the end, the decision rests with you, but knowing about potential problems, before you buy, gives you the power to negotiate and make the best decisions.

Will you fix the problems you find during the Inspection?

No. The code of ethics of The Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI) and The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) prohibits its members from doing repair work on properties they inspect. This assures that there will never be any conflict of interest by the inspector. Our purpose is to provide an unbiased, objective third party report on the condition of the home.

How can I, the homeowner, find a reputable contractor to work on my home?

It is crucial that your contractor be licensed and insured before any work is undertaken. Check with the state agency that handles the licensing of professionals and your local Better Business Bureau for any complaints on file. Be cautious about hiring contractors to repair or rebuild your damaged property. Keep in mind the old adage: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Tepee Inspections urges our friends to follow these common-sense guidelines:

  • Get estimates from at least three licensed, insured contractors. Beware of contractors soliciting work door-to-door. Be cautious for those who want payment before the work is started.
  • Ask for and check references for other work the contractor has done.
  • Ask for proof of insurance. If the contractor does not have disability and workers' compensation insurance, you may be liable for accidents on your property.
  • Ask for a written estimate. Read the fine print. Make sure it includes everything you expect the contractor to do.
  • Get a written contract covering exactly what work is to be done, when work will start, how much it will cost, payment schedules, and the quality of materials to be used. Once signed, the contract is legally binding on both you and the contractor.