Top Questions to Ask When Hiring a Home Inspector

Hiring a Home Inspector

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Do you walk the roof, enter crawl spaces and attics?

In Mississippi the standards and practices require an inspector to “look” at the roof – but does not require them to walk on the roof. They do have to include in the report how they inspected the roof. Many Brandon, Mississippi home inspectors choose to look at the roof through binoculars or other means. Alpha Inspectors walk the roof whenever possible. If the roof would be damaged or it is an unsafe condition for roof walking the inspectors put ladders up in various locations around the roof to get the best possible view.

Crawl spaces and attics are areas where structural information can be obtained. Be sure your home inspector will actually go under the house or through the attic. Again, looking in is all that is required. And once again – Alpha goes as far as physically and safely possible in these two areas.

What will my inspection report look like?

The top Brandon, Mississippi home inspectors don’t produce handwritten reports or checklists. Alpha Building Consultants provide a computer generated report with narratives and explanations. Technology has evolved where you should expect to receive a full-color report less than 24 hours after the inspection with digital photographs of the issues discovered during the course of the inspection. At Alpha we promise your report by 8:00am the following morning unless you need it earlier. Your inspection report will include “Summary Pages” for you to quickly see the information in the report. You will receive a link to an online system to view your report. You will be able to have continued access to the report throughout the life of your home.

You can view a sample report here on our website so you’ll know what you can expect for your time and money. After all, you are the client!

To view a sample report click here.

What type of follow up do you offer?

You want to be sure your Brandon home inspector is available to answer questions directly after the inspection and even further down the road. Alpha Building Consultants wants to be your personal building consultant for life. Calls are welcomed a week, month, six months, year and even years later. We really do have people who call back a year later with questions about their home – not the inspection but just things going on in their home. Wouldn’t it be great to have a place to get answers without having to pay – just to find out who you really need to call? All our phone consultations are free. This has been estimated at a value of at least $250 a year.

We also offer this service to agents. You can call about your own home or one you are listing. Sometimes you just need an answer to a quick question.

What is your professional training and background?

When choosing an inspector you want to know where they received their training. There are several great schools throughout the country and of course a number of correspondence courses. You want a home inspector who had hands on training and has a background in construction. Charlie Sessums, the lead inspector at Alpha Building Consultants has a background in both commercial and residential construction. Lee and Allen both have construction background and have been through a ‘hands on training systems’ and direct training from Charlie.

What is your experience inspecting homes?

Each month there are new Mississippi home inspectors who finish their 60 hours of course work, pay their fees and are set out as “licensed” inspectors. Most of these inspectors have no field or hands on experience. They set up shop and are ready to inspect your home, usually for a low, low fee. Do you really want their ‘in the field training’ to be at your expense?

Did you know it takes a full time inspector at least 100 inspections to develop the eyes, ears and nose for hunting down problems. First-time home inspectors simply don’t have the experience in the field to have developed that radar. So be sure to ask how many inspections the inspector conducts annually and how many years he/she has been doing them.

Other inspectors are willing to inspect your new construction yet do not have the special license to do so. In Madison, Jackson, and Brandon Mississippi an inspector must have a New Construction License (Their license number will end in NH) to inspect any home still owned by the builder, even if it was built in a previous year.

Also, the success of the business depends on exceeding your expectations for quality and professionalism each and every time and you just don’t get that level of service from un-experienced inspectors. So be sure to get an inspection from an experienced, established company insuring your Total Satisfaction!

Am I allowed to attend the inspection?

This is a very important question to ask. You want to be at the inspection if your schedule will allow. The inspection should be more than a check list of items to consider when buying a house. The inspection should be a time to learn about your new home. As an educated home owner you will help systems to last longer and work more efficiently. At Alpha we encourage you to come to the whole inspection. Our goal is for you to be an educated, peaceful home owner. Here is a quick video explaining why. CLICK FOR VIDEO

Are you a member of any professional organizations?

This is an important question because professional organizations provide a great support system and they usually require additional continuing education. As a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors referred to as ASHI have a great support system and are required to obtain twice as many continuing education hours as we do for the state.

What are your office hours—when can I call with questions?

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to call with a question or concern and not being able to reach anyone. Often questions arise after hours, when you’re done with your work day and can finally sit down and think about your new home. So, our phones are answered! We answer our phones from 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM. You are always welcome to call with questions.

How quickly can you fit me in the schedule?

When you are buying a home you may find you have a tight time line for scheduling a home inspection. Usually your agreement with the sellers will say “7 – 10 days”. Alpha Building Consultants has more than one inspector to try to accommodate your needs. When necessary we will inspect after 5:00 PM or on Saturday.

How easy will the paperwork be? How can I pay?

You have enough to think about when you are buying a home. One thing you don’t need is extra paperwork. To make your life easier, Alpha Building Consultants uses an online system where you can read and sign your inspection agreement, make payment, read your report and share the information with your agent. You can even pay by credit card if you prefer. If it is easier for you, you can bring a check to the inspection.

What do others say about the company?

Quality Professional Home Inspectors ask their client’s to complete a feedback form upon completion of the inspection. Professional Inspectors want to know what they are doing right, as well as what might need improvement. If the inspector can’t or won’t provide client referrals, you need to avoid him! To see what others have said about Alpha Building Consultants visit our “Client Testimonials” page.