We’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions.
We hope you find this helpful.
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.
We don’t offer a discount, but we also don’t charge any more, despite the fact that it’s more work.
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; our customers are always at least satisfied with our service, but most are delighted.
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.
On average, between two and four hours. We typically spend another one to three hours typing each report off site.
As of February 2018, we’re booking out approximately three to five calendar days. For the fastest scheduling, please call our main office number.
- 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 that is given to us by the city we’re inspecting in. 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.
No, but we have a few helpful resources: https://structuretech1.com/repair-estimates/
No, but we work closely with someone who does.
Yes. We offer inspections of office buildings, restaurants, churches, apartment buildings, warehouses, and other commercial buildings.
There is no such thing as licensing for home inspectors in Minnesota. We are, however, licensed Truth-in-Housing evaluators in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and several other cities.
No, we cannot inspect homes in Wisconsin. This is outside of our service area, and we are not licensed in Wisconsin. That’s right, those cheeseheads have licensing for home inspectors but we Minnesotans don’t.
We’ll set up the inspection with the listing agent or seller, typically. We’ll get the lockbox combination from them. If it’s an electronic lockbox, no problem; we have electronic keys.
FHA loans require FHA appraisals, which are often confused with home inspections. You can read more on this topic here – FHA Inspections.
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 a leak seek test 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 evaluation 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.
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 here: Stucco testing
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 who specializes in geothermal heat.
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.
Yes, we offer mold testing. It takes two to three days to get the results. A mold test will identify what types of mold were present and the spore count at the exact moment in time that we took the test, and in that exact location. It does NOT say that mold is harmful or if there is a harmful level of mold present. A small percentage of the population has a severe reaction to certain types of mold but most people have no reaction at all. There are no EPA guidelines for the presence and levels of mold.
No, unless you have a very compelling reason to do so. Please read this article for an excellent explanation of why we don’t recommend testing for mold: http://www.ashireporter.org/HomeInspection/Articles/Home-Inspectors-and-Mold-Sampling-Hype-or-Help-/1994
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.
Yes, we email the inspection agreement to our clients at the time we book the inspection, and we ask our clients to fill out the inspection agreement online ahead of time. Click here to view our inspection agreement.
It’s been done before, but it usually doesn’t work well. Here’s the problem we usually run in to with email scheduling: we receive an email asking about our next opening for a home inspection; between the time the email was sent and the time we read the email, we’ve already booked several inspections via phone. We reply with our next available opening, emphasizing it’s first come, first served. We book several more inspections via telephone, then receive an email asking for a time that is no longer available. It’s frustrating for everyone. The best way to schedule an inspection is via telephone.
Definitely. We encourage our clients to attend the entire inspection, if possible. To read why, click here: The Buyer Should Be There
See above. We’d love to have you there for the entire inspection, if you have the time.
We’ll email a link to the inspection report either later the same day or very early the next morning.
It takes us a long time to type up our reports. We don’t produce generic check-box reports with three ring binders; we actually sit down at the computer and take the time to write out our reports in plain English. We’ll often spend more time writing the report than we do inspecting the house. We provide a lot of detail in our reports, and we try to write them for you the same way we would for a friend or family member. After you read one of our inspection reports, we think you’ll understand why we don’t produce the reports on site.
Sure, but he has to let us do most of the talking and explaining. No chest puffing allowed.
Heck yes. Neil still does them full time. Reuben spends a fair amount of time managing the business, blogging, and teaching classes, so his appointments are frequently booked out a week or two, but he still does inspections.