The HomeBook, now in its 31st edition, was first written and developed in 1983 in response to the overwhelming market demand for an accurate and easy-to-understand home inspection reporting system. The HomeBook remains unsurpassed in its clarity, simplicity, and insight as a reporting system that delivers a comprehensive and invaluable education to the homebuyer. This, in turn, allows the homebuyer to make a more educated and informed purchasing decision. The information and data in the HomeBook is broken down into the eight systems of the home. Within these eight systems, we determine what problems exist. Once the problems are reported, you can use the HomeBook to determine the best solution is and how to take care of your investment.Inspection Request Form
Each property is screened for approximately 500 problems that are grouped into eight major system categories. Problems, which typically cost $500 or more to repair- or constitute a significant safety risk- are color-coded red for "major." Less serious problems are color-coded white for "minor." Classifying problems as major or minor helps shape perspective by focusing on what is important. It can also help facilitate a purchase since many real estates sales contracts are contingent upon the discovery of major problems by a home inspector.
The HomeBook system provides timely, first-hand information by ensuring that all parties involved in a real estate transaction can receive copies of the summarized key sheets at the close of the inspection.
Most sales contracts have very short time contingencies and allow little time for review of the inspector report, so the inspector report remains available by telephone to address points of clarification. The HomeBook system also provides general background information and mitigation procedures for each problem. This method not only saves time, but also could prevent future legal liability.
Many years of exhaustive research went into the preparation of the HomeBook. While many home inspection companies are qualified to look at homes, their opinions vary a great deal. Without clear, working definitions, it is difficult to agree on what actually is a problem, let alone classifying it as major or minor. Opinions given without the support of an authoritative reference very frequently result in confusion or controversy.
The HomeBook reporting system was designed to solve this problem. It defines a problem as "something that does not function as intended." It provides the referenced consensus description of each problem and states the "what to" and "how to" of repair. Products useful in mitigating problems are also included.
The HomeBook details the maintenance for each significant sub-component in the home. The risks, warnings, and inspector limitations per component are also stated. If further investigation is recommended, it is noted in the report. When checking beyond the usual visual limitations is prudent, the customer is so advised. The HomeBook report also lists products useful in the mitigation of problems. Significant components with life expectancies are age approximated, and the replacement probability within the next 5-year period is estimated as High, Medium, or Low. If the replacement probability is High, a present-day replacement cost is approximated.
The HOMEBOOK covers almost every aspect of home maintenance by providing a prioritized weatherization guide, typical minimum contractor charges for repairs and upgrades, a buyer's guide for replacements and upgrades, useful background articles on house problems, a pre-settlement walkthrough guide, and a tax organization kit. The HOMEBOOK is a comprehensive reference source that can be used by homeowners long after their inspection.
The structure impacts every other aspect of the property. The inspector will look for cracks in foundations, walls, ceilings, and supports. They'll walk all floors, roof, attic and crawl spaces to feel for unevenness, sags, tilting, etc. and to look for damage, problems, or previous amateur work. It's also important they inspect the intersection of run off and water with the foundation and framing of the property.
The existing electrical system is checked for sufficient capacity and safety. The inspector evaluates the systems in terms of its current condition and considers its suitability for future intended use. Upgrades and repairs are recommended whenever appropriate.
The inspector assesses the capacity of the equipment to produce comfortable conditions. By considering the age of the existing equipment and the intended capacity, the inspector can approximate the life expectancy and recommend appropriate repairs or upgrades within a budget.
The piping and the fixtures throughout the house are checked for functional flow and life expectancies. The systems are screened for unsanitary conditions and potential repairs, such as freeze vulnerability or spillage/overflow. The laundry equipment, tile work, and domestic water heating equipment are surveyed as well. Useful upgrades are itemized and near-term replacements budgeted.
Water seepage probabilities and structural problems are evaluated and remediation advice is given. The inspector looks for circumstances that could cause future structural problems, such as poor soil, surface drainage, close tree roots, rotating stoops, etc.
Depending on age and usefulness, the inspector may a wide range of suggestions along with appropriate budgets for them. Your list may include preparations for repairs such as appliance malfunctions, damage to floor seams, or inoperative door springs. Your inspector will also discuss more comprehensive damage interventions with you, and if necessary your HomeBook will review more major repairs and complete renovation ideas.
The inspector scans the walls, floor, and ceiling surface for problematic conditions, such as visible evidence of water penetration, potentially dangerous or toxic materials, fire hazards, or security breaches. The ventilation and energy conservation aspects are checked and appropriate upgrades are itemized.
The inspector walks on the roof (wherever safe and appropriate) and notes preservation deficiencies. Roof runoff controls and landscape drainage are checked, and improvements are recommended wherever necessary. Stoops, steps, walks, and drives are checked for voids, surface problems, and safety hazards.