top of page
  • What is typically done during a home inspection?
    A home inspection is performed to assess the functional and structural conditions existing in a home at the time of the inspection. Cosmetic issues are not typically a part of an inspection unless they are indicative of some underlying condition that a buyer needs to be made aware of. Arkansas inspectors are required to follow the ASHI standard of practice (SOP). It is important for a home buyer to realize that the the SOP is a minimum standard; while obviously not obligated to, conscientious inspectors frequently exceed the required standards. What does all this mean to you, the buyer? Simply that all inspectors are not equal even if they are expected to follow the same (minimum) standards. In basic terms, a home inspection is a visual inspection of the structure itself and its mechanical systems. Also included are items such as exterior drainage. Ancillary systems such as intercoms, central vacuum systems, telephone and TV wiring, alarm systems, sprinkler systems, and similar low-voltage systems are not included in a standard inspection. The ASHI standards are available through this link: American Society of Home Inspectors Standards of Practice
  • What is the format of your report?
    My report is a narrative style listing the type of construction found in the home as well as a listing of defects/deficiencies and recommendations for continuing maintenance to keep the home in top shape. It IS NOT a simple checklist with generic content that's not specific to your home. It is delivered via email and digital photos are embedded in the report to further assist you in understanding the issues presented. The photos can also aid in identifying whether repairs have been made by simply comparing "before and after" views. There is a sample report available under the Services tab of this website. Here's a simplified list of the items covered: 1. Grounds, grading, and miscellaneous exterior: This covers drainage issues, paving conditions, etc. 2. Exterior: This details such issues as exterior wall surfaces, trim, decks, windows, doors, etc. 3. Roof and attic: Pretty much what it sounds like! Info on roof age and condition, attic structural issues, insulation levels, animal problems, etc. 4. Crawlspace and foundation: Here you'll find out some important structural information, as well as information on moisture issues, plumbing leaks, etc. This is the area of their home which most homeowners diligently avoid, but one which is also the source of many of the pictures you can see in the Photo Galleries on this site. 5. Electrical: Lists service capacity, and gives information on the types of, and any problems present in: wiring, breakers /fuses, receptacles, etc. With older homes your insurance carrier often requests this information. 6. Heating: A description of the type of heating system and a listing of performance and age issues with it. 7. Air conditioning: Gives you age and performance data on the system(s) in the home, sizing of electrical service to unit, ductwork condition and type, etc. 8. Plumbing/gas: Here you will find general information on types of fresh and waste water service lines, leaks, safety issues (gas), water heater age and size info, etc. 9. Interiors: Provided here is information on flooring, windows and doors, fireplaces, garage, stairs, and interior wall and ceiling conditions. 10. Kitchen: A listing of built-in appliance types and functional condition, plumbing and cabinetry issues.
  • How much should I expect to pay?
    The cost is figured based on home size, age, location, foundation type and a few other factors. A firm price can be given over the phone if this information is available. With all the variables involved, I don't believe that listing a payment chart is practical, so I invite you to call me. I know some websites list flat fees based on the size of the home. Frankly, I find this somewhat questionable. It didn't take me long to figure out that an older, smaller home takes longer to inspect than a newer, larger one. (Technically, the inspection doesn't take longer. Writing up a thorough, documented report does.) A one-price-per size approach to pricing simply doesn't work if you are going to devote the proper time to do the job right. That 70-plus year old 1200 square foot home can take over twice the time as one the same size but only a few years old. If you are hiring an inspector who charges essentially by size, are you comfortable that he will spend the time necessary to fully document all problems in your older home? If your home is only a few years old, you may be paying too much under a pricing plan based on square footage. If you are buying a newer home, my fees are frequently lower than the competition, especially for larger homes. I charge based essentially on the time I anticipate the job will take, not what I perceive as your ability to pay as determined by the cost of your new home.
  • Why should I hire you?
    While all inspectors operating for compensation in Arkansas are expected to follow the same standards of practice, the fact is that methods and knowledge levels vary tremendously. While there are some experienced inspectors in the central Arkansas area, there are also several with less experience who came into the profession from unrelated backgrounds. Arkansas only requires that an inspector pass an accredited two week course to become eligible to perform home inspections. The number of inspectors locally has grown dramatically in the last few years. I began building homes in 1982, the year I graduated college. I believe that my 24 years of experience as a custom homebuilder gives me a working knowledge of construction methods which is simply not obtainable through a classroom course. I began inspecting homes late in 1998, working alongside my father, who was himself a builder who had taken up home inspecting in 1990. Having the benefit of his training and experience as an inspector in addition to my own as a builder was certainly beneficial. Lastly, to improve my proficiency I spend several hours a week in uncredited (voluntary) online continuing education.
  • Why don't you do onsite reports?
    Because I like to get pretty detailed with my comments, and I prefer to work at my desk rather than hunched over someone else's kitchen counter. Simply put, the more comfortable I am the easier it is for me to produce a detailed, useful and informative report for you. The reports are sometimes delivered by the end of the day of the inspection, but at the latest you will receive your report by the end of the next business day. This is somewhat variable based on my workload. The reports are sent through an email, making it easy for you to send them to other interested parties as well as to print as many copies as you want. If getting the report back the same day is a priority, please notify me at the time the inspection is scheduled and I will do all I can to get it to you as quickly as possible. In general, the older the home, the longer it takes to generate a proper report. I'd be at least a little wary of inspectors who deliver reports on site every time. For a newer, or smaller home with fewer problems this is more easily accomplished. But since I like to be as precise as I can in the report, generating one for a typical home takes a bit of time. Also, unless the client can't be there, I give a verbal report on-site immediately after the inspection is completed. You will leave the inspection with a good feel for the general condition of the home.
  • Can I be there while the inspection is being done?
    Certainly. Nothing I do falls into the if-I-told-you-I'd-have-to-kill-you category! However, since there is essentially unlimited time for your questions during the walk-thru phase done after completion of the inspection, I request that you hold questions until that time. This is not done to limit your ability to ask questions; it is done to allow me to perform a more thorough and accurate inspection without too many distractions. I have a set procedure I follow during an inspection and it is easy to overlook something if engaged in conversation.
  • How soon after my offer is accepted should I schedule an inspection?
    A standard real estate contract typically specifies that the inspection has to be done within ten working days after acceptance of the offer. My workload varies with the season, but in general it is the best policy to arrange the inspection as soon as possible after learning that your offer has been accepted. This will give you the best chance of getting the inspection done within that window, and it can also give the seller more time to make repairs. As a side benefit, it reduces stress on all parties involved!
  • The home I'm buying is brand new and has a warranty. Why should I get it inspected?
    There can be defects which are not immediately obvious to a buyer, and they may not show up until months or years after your warranty is up. In fact, they may not be discovered until you go to sell the home and the inspector hired by your buyer finds them. Since these defects weren't corrected by the builder at the time of sale, costs for repairs will then come out of your pocket. Not all new homes have significant defects, but it is more common than you probably suspect. I've never walked away with a blank report! Lastly, don't forget that homes in smaller communities may not have had ANY municipal inspections, and even some city inspections tend to be minimal, mainly looking for major safety issues. I also believe that, as a builder myself, I am more aware of new materials and techniques than the average home inspector. This can prove valuable in assessing their use. Building materials remained roughly similar from the early 20th century until about 1990. After that time, far more engineered materials and composites came on the market. These materials do not install the same way as older products, and you need an inspector who understands their use. Many buyers of brand new homes hire me for an "11th month inspection" where a home is inspected prior to the expiration of the warranty. This is especially recommended if the home was not inspected prior to purchase. Often, these can be done at a reduced cost if the owner only wants certain issues looked at during the inspection.
  • Is a home inspection a guarantee against any sort of problems?
    Not exactly. They may offer a warranty -- with the cost added in to the inspection fee -- but that is not a guarantee. It simply means that you may find yourself arguing with a third party warranty provider if something breaks. No one can legitimately guarantee that nothing will go wrong within the next 60, 30 or even 10 days. They can't even guarantee that something won't fail the very next time it's called into use -- even if that is the day after the inspection is done. As an easy example, think about light bulbs: You turn them on a few hundred or thousand times and then, one day, they cease working with absolutely no advance notice. Mechanical things can be funny that way -- especially when there's electricity involved. A home is comprised of hundreds of components. Ultimately, just about all of them will show some type of failure. My report will advise you as to the age and normal life spans of your mechanical systems, roofing, etc., so you will have a better understanding of when to expect an increased chance of age-related failures. Of course, detectable current problems will be noted also. It will also alert you if there are any structural issues which have become evident. What I can just about guarantee you is that you will experience some sort of unexpected problems--and the expenses associated with them--if you do not have an inspection done. When you consider what you pay for even one service call from a tradesman, it isn't hard at all to justify the cost of an inspection. Truthfully, I can count on one hand the number of inspections where I didn't find problems for which repairs would cost well over the cost of the inspection itself. In those rare cases, consider the value of the peace of mind generated by a clear report.
  • Why shouldn't I just use the inspector my agent recommends?
    Maybe you should. the risk of stepping into a minefield, there's a little more that I suggest you consider. A real estate commission can be tens of thousands of dollars. That can be a strong motivator for some people. While I am absolutely not saying that all agents are untrustworthy, it has been my observation through the years that some are seemingly more interested in pushing the deal through than in looking out for the best interests of their clients. I'd be especially alert if the inspector the agent recommends is significantly cheaper than the other quotes you get. That may signal that a minimal inspection will be done, pointing out fewer problems and making a successful sale more likely. These inspectors may be in the group who view the agent as the one they are trying to please, not you. If that's the case, they may be less likely to do a thorough job which could sour the deal. If this is the case, you could find yourself facing problems after taking possession that you didn't anticipate.
  • What methods of payment do you accept?
    Cash, personal checks, credit card (with a transaction fee), Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, and Cash App are accepted.
bottom of page