Our most frequently asked questions
We hope you find this list helpful.
EVERYTHING IS COVERED IN SNOW. CAN YOU STILL INSPECT THE HOUSE?
Yes, we can still inspect the house, but there will obviously be a few limitations, the largest being the roof covering. When roof coverings are buried in snow, they can’t be inspected. It’s a lot more work for us to inspect houses when there’s a lot of snow on the ground, but it’s OK. We don’t charge any more for the inspection when we have to trudge through the snow. For more on this topic, check out How do you inspect a snow-covered roof?
HOW MUCH OF A DISCOUNT DO YOU OFFER WHEN THINGS ARE SNOW COVERED?
We don’t offer a discount, but we also don’t charge more, despite the fact that it’s more work.
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?
We charge a little more for a home inspection than most of our competition. We conducted a survey of other home inspectors throughout Minnesota, and our price was approximately $80 higher, on average than other ASHI members in Minnesota. For the results of this survey, click here: Home Inspection Prices in Minnesota. For home inspections, our price is based on the size of the home being inspected, as well as the age.
Once you factor in the quality of our inspections and reports, paying a little extra to hire us is a no-brainer. If you read through the public online reviews left by our customers (see Google and Yelp), you’ll see that we’re not just making this up: most of our customers are not just satisfied with our service but are delighted, and they say so in their many reviews. In other words, we charge more because we’re well worth it. We also guarantee our work: if our clients aren’t happy with their inspection, they don’t pay us. No fine print.
Also, see Why do you charge more than your competitors? for our detailed explanation.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES A HOME INSPECTION TAKE?
We typically book a minimum of four hours for a single-family home. Larger homes take more time, as do multi-family homes.
WHEN ARE YOU AVAILABLE?
For the summer of 2023, we frequently offer same-day scheduling or next-day scheduling. For the fastest scheduling, please visit our online home inspection scheduling page, or give us a call if it’s during business hours, which are listed at the bottom of our website.
WHAT DO YOU INSPECT?
- For a buyer’s inspection, we inspect the major items that most buyers want to know about. For a full list, please visit our Buyers Inspections page. Any halfway reputable home inspection company will cover all of these items – it’s a pretty standard list. What sets us apart is our knowledge, experience, attention to detail, inspection report, and passion for our work.
- For a Truth-in-Housing evaluation (aka – City Inspection), we follow a strict set of guidelines given to us by the respective city in which we are inspecting. We’ve put together some excellent lists of the most common repair items for each of the cities that require repairs. You can view these lists on our Truth-In-Housing page.
DO YOU OFFER REPAIR ESTIMATES?
No, but we have a few helpful resources.
WHY DO YOU BASE YOUR PRICE ON THE YEAR A HOME WAS BUILT RATHER THAN THE YEAR IT WAS UPDATED?
Updated houses are more work to inspect than houses with all original construction. New interior finishes make things look pretty, but that’s not what the home inspection is about. We’re there to look at the home’s functionality and durability; a remodeled home with both old and new components is usually a much more complicated house. When houses are complicated, the potential for problems is significantly increased, which makes our jobs as home inspectors much more challenging.
DO YOU INSPECT POOLS?
No, but we work closely with someone who does. We will begin offering pool inspections very soon.
DO YOU INSPECT COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS?
Yes. We offer inspections of office buildings, restaurants, churches, apartment buildings, warehouses, and other commercial buildings.
ARE YOU LICENSED?
Yes! There is no such thing as licensing for home inspectors in Minnesota, but there is in Wisconsin, and we’re licensed there. Several of our inspectors are licensed Truth-in-Housing evaluators in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and several other cities.
CAN YOU INSPECT A HOME IN WISCONSIN?
Yes, we have three home inspectors who are licensed in Wisconsin. Bryce Klym, Corey Colburn, and Eric Larsen.
HOW WILL YOU GET INTO THE HOME?
We’ll use the same online software your agent used to get you into the home (Showing Time) and can access the lockbox to get the key to the home.
I’M GETTING AN FHA LOAN. CAN YOU DO THE FHA INSPECTION?
FHA loans require FHA appraisals, which are often confused with home inspections. You can read more on this topic here – FHA Inspections.
THE FURNACE IS REALLY OLD. SHOULD I HIRE A FURNACE GUY TO LOOK AT IT?
We typically don’t recommend hiring any other inspections right from the start, isn’t that what you’re hiring us to do? If we find a crack in the heat exchanger of a furnace, we’ll tell you to replace it, we won’t tell you to hire someone else to look at it. If we suspect a crack but we can’t prove it, we’ll recommend inspection by an HVAC contractor, but we’ll be specific about our concern, and we’ll write it out in our report. We’ll also include a photo if we can.
As you read through our inspection report, you’ll see that we don’t leave you with a silly ‘CYA’ list of a dozen recommendations for ‘further evaluation.’ Again, isn’t that what you’re hiring us to do? There are certainly some situations where we might recommend further inspection of a specific condition, but we don’t make those recommendations lightly. We appreciate the fact that these inspections cost a lot of time and money, so we only make those recommendations when we need to.
WHAT IF IT’S A NEWER STUCCO HOUSE?
If you’re buying a stucco home that was constructed in the late ’80s or newer, we’ll probably recommend having invasive moisture testing performed by a company that specializes in this service. We’re one of those companies, but we’re not the only one in town. To learn about why newer stucco homes are such a concern, click the following link: Stucco testing
WHO CAN SIGN THE MOISTURE AGREEMENT AND WILL YOU ACCEPT AN AMENDED PURCHASE AGREEMENT?
Aside from the seller, the only other person allowed to sign Structure Tech’s moisture agreement is the seller’s legal power of attorney.
We can’t accept an amended purchase agreement.
WILL YOU INSPECT GEOTHERMAL HEATING SYSTEMS?
No. We’ll check for the basic operation of the system, but that’s all. There is far too much that can go wrong with the design and installation of these systems. To anyone buying a home with geothermal heat, we recommend obtaining detailed installation and service records for the system, as well as an inspection by an HVAC company that specializes in geothermal heat.
WILL YOU GET ON THE ROOF?
As long as we can safely do it, yes. We carry big extension ladders on our trucks for inspecting two-story roofs. A lot of duplexes in Minneapolis and Saint Paul have roofs that can only be accessed this way. If the roof cannot be inspected by walking the surface, we’ll use multiple ladder settings at the eaves. If the roof cannot be accessed with a 28′ extension ladder, we’ll arrange for a free drone inspection.
DO YOU OFFER MOLD TESTING?
Yes! We have a team of mold inspectors that perform our mold testing and inspections. Click here for more information about our Mold Inspections.
SHOULD I TEST FOR MOLD?
If you have known mold problems it is a good idea to have a mold inspection done. We can find the cause of the moisture and suggest how it can be fixed. Mold Inspections are also helpful to determine whether or not a mold problem exists.
WHAT IF MOLD IS PRESENT?
Have it removed. More importantly, fix the conditions that are causing the mold. If you can see mold, you have a moisture problem. A large portion of our home inspections are focused on looking for moisture problems.
CAN I SEE THE INSPECTION AGREEMENT BEFORE YOU DO THE HOME INSPECTION?
Yes, we email the inspection agreement to our clients when we book the inspection, and we ask our clients to fill out the inspection agreement online ahead of time. Click the following link to view our inspection agreement.
CAN I BE THERE FOR THE INSPECTION?
Definitely. We encourage our clients to attend the last hour of the inspection, if possible.
WHAT TIME SHOULD I MEET YOU?
For a single-family home less than 4,000 sq ft, please arrive three hours after the scheduled start time. For homes greater than 4,000 st ft, please reach out to our office for the exact timing.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE THE HOME INSPECTION REPORT?
We’ll email a link to the inspection report within 24 hours after the inspection has been completed.
CAN MY DAD COME TO THE INSPECTION?
Sure, but he has to let us do most of the talking.
DO NEIL AND REUBEN STILL DO HOME INSPECTIONS?
Neil still does TISH evaluations. Reuben does not.