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Written by Jake Miller, Certified Professional Home Inspector
One of the biggest purchases of most peoples’ lives is a family home. Most people spend years saving money for a down payment, hours and even days looking at online listings and in person showings, and then finally it happens: You find the perfect one. It checks all the important boxes and you just know it’s the one. After you share the listing and photos with your family and closest friends, get your signed purchase agreement, and do your little happy dance, now it’s time to really get to know the ins and outs of the home so that you know what you are purchasing.
This is where a home inspection comes in. Before you make one of the biggest purchases of your life, it’s best to have an outside, non-biased person inspect your new home, giving it a thorough look-through. Since all homes are not the same, sometimes additional services are needed in order to inspect some areas of your home. For example, if you have a fireplace, you may need something called a Level 2 Chimney Inspection. If you are buying a home in Minnesota, you likely will want to have a Radon test completed. You could call around to a variety of companies and coordinate all of these services yourself, or you could call one that offers add-on services in addition to the home inspection.
What is included in a home inspection?
We should begin by understanding what is included in a home inspection, so that you know if you need to seek additional services. Let’s revisit InterNACHI’s (the home inspection certification and governing body Marigold Home Inspections adheres to) definition of a home inspection:
“A home inspection is a visual examination of the home’s major structure, systems and components that are visible and safely accessible. The inspector should substantially adhere to a standards of practice that outlines what should be covered during a general home inspection, as well as what is excluded.” (1)
During a home inspection, we will inspect the entirety of the interior of your home, including bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, attic(s), kitchen, laundry room, mechanical systems (Furnace, AC, Water Heater, Electrical Panel), plumbing, any visible foundation, ceilings, floors, walls, windows, and chimneys. We will also inspect the exterior of your home including the roof, siding, soffits and fascia (the area where gutters generally are hung from), gutters, walkways, driveways, outside portions of the foundation, and the ground around the home.
When we do an inspection we are working for you, which means we are independent of all other parties involved in the transaction. At Marigold, this is a big deal to us because we want to provide the best service and support to you, our client. We understand that many of our clients are first time home buyers, and that many of us have few home transactions in our lives, so this is a fairly unfamiliar process to nearly everyone. It’s important to us that we explain things in a way that makes sense to you, that you are comfortable asking questions, and that our Home Inspectors take the time to answer all of your questions. We will provide you with a thorough and objective inspection of your home to help you understand its condition at the time of the inspection.
So what else could be needed?
Your home is built with a multitude of systems and your standard home inspection does not go in depth with some of these systems. Depending on the age of your home, where you live, and what components you have in your home, an add-on service may be considered. Let’s define what an add-on service is.
An add-on service is any service that is provided outside of the normal scope of a home inspection. These services may include, but are not limited to:
- Radon Testing
- Visual Sewer Scopes
- Level 2 Chimney Inspections
- Basic Tree & Tree Risk Assessments
- Mold Testing
- Intrusive Moisture Testing for Stucco
- Well Water Testing
- Well Yield Testing
These services are provided by a professionally trained inspector and give a more in-depth inspection of a particular system of a home. Each of these services include their own report that help you gain a better understanding of that area of your home. This information can be useful if you are purchasing a home and want to negotiate any repairs prior to the purchase of the home. Or, if you already own the home or will take care of any repairs, these services can help you to plan for them.
Why choose a home inspector that provides add-on services?
As you look at the list above, most inspection companies are not able to provide every service listed, so you are left with the tasks of calling and vetting multiple companies, coordinating arrival times with the homeowner, multiple payments, and compiling all the inspections together.
Each add-on service has its own unique requirements and timelines. For example, for a company to provide Radon Testing, they must be licensed by the State of Minnesota. A Radon test takes at least 48 hours to complete, so access to the home must be scheduled twice, one for drop off and one for pick up. Another example is water testing, which has its own parameters depending on what elements you’d like tested. Some elements require that water has not been run for a certain number of hours before the sample was taken.
This is where Marigold Home Inspections steps in. When you schedule your home inspection with us, you can select any add-on services you want, and we will take care of the rest. We will schedule all your required add-on services, take care of any rescheduling and property access requirements, process all of the add-on service reports and add them to your online client portal so you access all reports in one place, and you make one single payment.
By offering these services through one company, we are able to streamline your experience and save you time. We are committed to providing a great customer experience from convenient online scheduling to Home Inspectors that are friendly, knowledgeable, and thorough. Our team strives to be flexible and responsive to keep up with the pace of the market.
Those the logistical benefits of scheduling it all in one place. There’s another benefit that can’t be overstated – when you find a company and people you trust, a system you are familiar with, and especially when they come at the recommendation of a trusted advisor, that can provide a great amount of assurance and relief in the midst of a sometimes chaotic and confusing process. The majority of our clients come via recommendation, and we invite you to check out our Google reviews to read some of their feedback.
As you enter into the adventure of home ownership, take time to consider what your priorities are in understanding the state your potential home is in. We always recommend having any home that is being purchased be inspected, whether with Marigold or another home inspection company, and that you do your due diligence to become familiar and knowledgeable about the specific systems in your home.
If you did not have an inspection or some of these add-ons completed when you purchased your home, it’s never too late to get one and get a thorough understanding of the current state of your home and get the information you need to prepare for any repairs and maintenance that may need to be done.