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What is a Home Inspection?

What is a Home Inspection?

Originally published November 2020

Purchasing a home can be a complex and stressful process, but professional agents and other key players can help smooth the path and set your mind at ease. One of these key players in your court is your home inspector, and the evaluation and report they provide is one of your most powerful tools to understanding and protecting your investment.

What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a general, non-invasive examination of a home's structure and systems by a qualified inspection professional. Our inspectors strive to conduct an inspection and deliver a detailed report within 24 hours (if not the same day!) and remain available for further verbal consultation as needed.

What is a "general" examination?

Doctor taking patient's pulse
A home inspection is often compared to a medical check-up like the one performed annually by your family doctor. Just like your doctor, our nationally qualified inspectors perform a broad range of standard tests and are trained to recognize when there is need for higher level evaluation by a specialist. In the same way that your family doctor won't perform surgery or be able to speak to the most advanced cancer treatment, inspectors will conduct a thorough investigation but refer you to the experts in a particular field if or when appropriate.

It is important to know that a home inspection is different from a "Building Inspection". Building inspection is often related specifically to detailed regulatory building code. While building code informs many of the evaluations performed by inspectors, a home inspection is NOT a comprehensive code inspection, nor does it have any regulatory function.

An inspection is non-invasive:
Our inspectors are trained to follow nationally recognized standards for evaluating systems and structures. These procedures are meant to safely evaluate conditions and reveal defects. Inspectors are not permitted to do anything that may cause damage to the home or the owner's belongings. Inspectors do not move or touch belongings or furnishings, and only remove a limited number of access panels for evaluation of the HVAC and electrical systems, if they are accessible.

For these reasons, it is important that access to electrical panels, building systems such as HVAC and the water heater, and any doors or hatches to the attic or crawlspace are made available at the time of the inspection.

An inspection informs and facilitates discussion:
Your inspector's role is primarily to identify significant defects and findings that may influence negotiations, have safety, health, or financial repercussions, or influence how you proceed with planning maintenance of the home. They may advise you on some of the routine needs of your home, but cosmetic issues or items requiring minor repair have little weight and may not even be mentioned at all. If we were to continue with the analogy of the physician and the annual check-up, commenting on cosmetic or minor defects would be like your physician commenting on your hair cut or your chipped nail polish.

Lastly, a home inspection is a snapshot of conditions at the time of the evaluation. While the testing we perform can reveal defects or show us red flags, it does not guarantee future conditions, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.

A home inspection is only useful if it is read!
You would be shocked to learn how many people do not fully read their home inspection reports! Read your report, ask questions of your home inspector during your period of due diligence, and take actions on the recommendations made.


About Cingo: The name Cingo means to surround and secure, conveying the company's commitment to home protection. The company has been protecting families in the Southeast since 1974. It provides home protection services throughout Georgia and South Carolina, including Atlanta, Augusta, Charleston, Douglas, Dublin, Milledgeville, Savannah, Vidalia, Waycross and all points in between. Cingo was named a Best Place to Work in Georgia by Georgia Trend Magazine and listed as a National Best & Brightest Company to Work For. Learn more at www.cingohome.com.