Frequently Asked Questions...
Here at ATEX Inspects LLC, one of our primary goals when meeting a new client is to answer all of their questions as best as we can. Here you will find our most common home inspection and commercial inspection questions.
So what is a home inspection going to do for me? (NEW home)
A builder had framed a house, put in the plumbing and had the floors laid, tile, in the master bathroom. One of the workers for the tiling sub-contractor had cleaned out his grout bucket in the toilet. Get the picture? The grout had gone deep into the pipes and solidified. The first time the new owner used the toilet, it overflowed. Plumber couldn't fix it. The builder took several weeks to come around. Then, they had to pull up the tiling, remove the toilet, grind through the concrete slab, this is Texas-no basements, houses are built on concrete slabs, replace the pipes, pour new concrete, fit the toilet back then re-tile the bathroom floor.
Do you think the new owner was somewhat put out about this? A simple home inspection would have revealed this problem and the builder would have fixed it tout suite. Why? Because the buyer wouldn't have paid the builder the rest of the money until it was fixed.
That's the point of a home inspection. It provides you, the buyer, with leverage over the builder. This leverage is crucial to not only having problems fixed in a timely matter, but it is also a new negotiating point.
Before you move into your new home, the builder will ask you to do a walk-through. This is the time to have a professional inspector with you. The builder will ask you to sign-off on the walk-through. Wouldn't it be nice to have everything fixed before you move in? Having construction workers tramping through your new home while you are getting settled in is not conducive to pleasant living.
Once a home has passed a city inspector's phased inspection, doesn't that mean that everything is proper and safe?
I have found countless homes that have been inspected by city or municipal inspectors that had several undocumented or overlooked items. See our sample reports (click here) to view our newly constructed home inspection in a suburb of Houston. Notice in the report, Oops ...there is not insulation in this home which has been on the market for almost a year. Go figure, right? City inspectors work on basically a quota system and might have to complete 10 or more inspections daily.
Should I have the home inspected during construction?
Most definitely, many times problems that would otherwise be difficult to identify and errors can easily be corrected during construction.
When is the best time to contact a Professional Real Estate Inspector?
It is never too late to contact a home inspector, however the sooner the better for you the new home buyer. You will want to start communication with your inspector as soon as you sign a contract with your builder. It is important to let your builder know right away that you intent to hire a third party, independent residential home inspector. Inform them that you want your inspector to work in conjunction with the builder during the building process. This will normally let the home builder know upfront that you are very serious about the construction of your new home. Most often, the builder's site foreman will pay special attention to your home's construction. No one likes to have flaws or defects pointed out in their own backyard.
How long does it take a complete an inspection?
There is no straight forward answer to this question. For instance, a 2000 square foot residential property inspection might take 2 hours or it might take up to 4 hours. It all depends on certain factors....the condition of the property and how well it is maintained, the age of the home, if we are inspecting additional items such as the sprinkler system or pool & spa, if the property is on pier and beam and many other influencing attributes.
COMMERCIAL INSPECTIONS follow about the same routine, if we are inspection a 40,000 square foot warehouse that has been kept in good condition or is fairly new it might not take nearly as long as if we are inspecting a 40,000 square foot office building that is serval stories tall with tons of cubicles and other features. P.S. Most office buildings are usually occupied which makes the job even more interesting!
How much does an inspection cost?
This is a very common question that is a little hard to explain without some basic information regarding the property. We base our prices on the square footage of the property and any additional services performed. We have had the same prices for the last 10+ years. We believe we offer a high quality product that will more than pay for itself it usual circumstances. If you want more details on how much your inspection will cost please (click here) to visit our prices page! We also offer free Thermal Imaging with all inspection services which can be a $200 value itself!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE THE REPORT?
On a typical inspection, we deliver our reports the same evening that the inspection is performed. If it is a more complicated report, it can take up to a day to complete. If this is the case we will inform you in advance, the only other situations would be because of an emergency or holiday reasons. Some larger commercial properties reports take a little longer and should be delivered no later than lunch time the next day. If you want to check out sample reports (click here) !
DOES THE REPORT INCLUDE PHOTOS?
Every report that we complete includes digital photos of the errors noted in the inspection. If we find something wrong with the property during the inspection we take a picture and make notes on what is going on. We then incorporate the photos in the report with a brief summary to make it easy to locate and identify the problem. We also take reference photos to identify certain aspects like the type of roof and foundation, also the age of the Air Conditioning Unit. You can check out some photo samples throughout our blog and also on most of the pages in the website.
CAN YOU SEND THE REPORT TO ANYONE ELSE?
When you hire us to complete your inspection, we our directly entitled to you the client. Our only mission is to help you feel more comfortable in your property purchase. We can NOT send the report to any other party regardless of how much they ask or say. The ONLY way we are allowed to forward the results to someone other than the client is if the client gives explicit permission to do so. For example if the realtor wants us to send the report findings to them, we have to have communicated with the client and received their word that they want that to happen.
DOES ATEX INSPECTS LLC CHECK PIER & BEAM FOUNDATIONS?
We do most certainly check Pier & Beam foundations. Actually it is in our benefit to check the elevated foundation for problems. We craw the whole foundation area (additional fee) and search for exposed wiring, falling insulation, plumbing leaks, shifting piers and much more! Almost always we find something that the previous owner was unaware of. All you need to do is inform us that the foundation is elevated when scheduling an inspection and we will take it from there ! Schedule your appointment today!
DOES ATEX INSPECTS LLC DO POOL & SPA INSPECTIONS?
We do inspect pools & spas as an optional system with the home inspection. It is not very economical for us to just perform a pool or spa inspection alone seeing how we can not make repairs or additions to these such systems. So we usually inspect them as a part of the home inspection service.
WHEN DOES ATEX INSPECTS LLC EXPECT PAYMENT?
As with almost any company that delivers services to clients, payment must be received before the report can be sent. Yes, we would like to think that if we sent the report on good faith that we would receive payment but that's just naive. We have done this in the past for previous clients who do lots of business with us and have been let down. As a result of this, we must insist that payment is received before we can release the report with the inspections findings.
DO YOU USE A THERMAL CAMERA DURING THE INSPECTION AND WHAT'S THE BENEFIT?
Yes, most companies actually charge an additional fee for using Thermal Imaging Technology during their inspection. Here at ATEX Inspects LLC we incorporate the tool into every service we provide to our clients. There are also companies that don't use Infrared cameras during their inspection. The companies that don't utilize this tool are lacking in a sense of preparation. They are either newer inspectors in the industry and haven't been able to make the expensive step to buying one of the cameras or just don't believe in the technology. Either way they usually bash and trash talk the proven results the IR camera has delivered.
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