(888) 652-4677

Frequently Asked Questions

General Home Inspection FAQ:

  1. Is the Property Inspection Report my property? or can I share it with others?

    The Property Inspection Report belongs to you. You may share the report with whomever you like, including your Real Estate Attorney, your family and friends, or your Buyer’s Real Estate Agent. We send the report to you only, unless you give us instructions otherwise (we can send the report to whomever you like). Confidentiality is of utmost importance to us. Also see Question #10 below re: transfer of report to another party.

  2. How long does the inspection take?

    Generally, 2-4 Hours. The time it takes to conduct a Home Inspection depends on the size, type, and age of the property. We take as much time necessary to fully and completely inspect the property.

  3. What do you charge for a home inspection?

    Our fees start at $385.00. The fee for a Home Inspection is based on the size, type, age of the property. Special considerations or outbuildings also can factor into the fees. For this reason it is only possible to get an exact quote by calling our office at 888-652-4677

  4. How quickly can we schedule an inspection?

    We usually can get to the property within two to three days, but that also depends on how quickly the schedule fills up. Call us when you know you are ready to move forward with an inspection (generally after your offer has been accepted), and we can take a look at the schedule and find a time that works best for you.

  5. What other services do you provide?

    Commercial Property Inspection, Homeowner property condition evaluations, Radon Testing (Radon in air using twin LS vial test or Continuous radon monitor; and Radon in water), Wood Destroying Insect Inspection.

  6. When will I get the report?

    Normally within 24 Hours of the end of the inspection, with a maximum time of 48 hours from the end of the inspection. Commercial Property Inspection reports are delivered within 3 working days of the end of the inspection. For radon testing reports, see radon FAQ below.

  7. How do you send me the report?

    Electronically. You will receive an email with a username and password, and a link to the inspection report. You will click on the link, enter your info, and voila! the report is available for your review. From there you can print it out, forward it to whomever you like, and also refer back to it as often as you like. The report will be archived for a minimum of three years should you need it until that time. We can also send you a paper copy or CD through the mail upon your request.

  8. Can I see a sample report?

    Yes. Click here.

  9. Do you report on the cost to correct any defects found in the home?

    No. Massachusetts Regulations for Home Inspectors (MA CMR 266) prohibit home inspectors from reporting on costs to repair conditions observed at the home inspection. We recommend that you obtain quotes for any item that requires repair or replacement. You may have a contractor or other tradesperson come to the property and provide an estimate before you enter into the purchase and sale agreement. Check with your real estate agent about scheduling any of these visits to the property.

  10. Can the report be transferred to anyone else for their use?

    No, the report is only considered valid for use by the client for the specific property inspected, at the time and date inspected. We will accept no liability or responsibility for use of the report by anyone else and for any other purpose.

  11. I am buying a property and the listing agent said I don’t need a Home Inspection because the previous buyer who backed out got one and now the agent will show me the home inspection report. Is that OK?

    No. See above regarding transfer of the Property Inspection Report. Additionally, the agent may not have had permission from the original client to distribute that report.

  12. Does the seller have to fix all the things you find in the Home Inspection?

    No. The seller is not required by law to fix anything observed in the Home Inspection report. We recommend that you consult with your Real Estate Attorney with regard to steps taken after receipt of the Home Inspection Report.

  13. How should I negotiate with the seller after the Home Inspection?

    We cannot advise you on how you should negotiate or move forward with your transaction. You should seek the professional advice of a Real Estate Attorney. It is our job to inform you of the condition of the property only.

  14. Are you Licensed, Certified, or Insured?

    Yes to all of the above. Morgan Cohen, Chief Inspector in the company, is Massachusetts Home Inspector License #635. We are insured with Errors and Omissions insurance as well as General Liability, far above the State requirements. Mr. Cohen is also an ASHI Certified Home Inspector. ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) is the most well-regarded home inspection association in the country, and has the most rigorous membership and certification process.

  15. How are you different? What makes you better than the competition?

    We’re different because we provide a high level of service. Your inspector is available before, during, and after the inspection for any questions you may have. Our reports are detailed, including photographs of the areas of concern. They are comprehensive, while at the same time easy to read. We do not pad our reports with meaningless wording that can be confusing. The report also includes “summaries” of each category of concern.

  16. I found someone who can do the inspection for a lower fee. I think I will go with them.

    Do what you must, but make sure you are comparing apples-to-apples, so to speak. Use our sample inspection report and compare it to this competitor’s. Also- is this other inspector available for questions, or is it a big company where your inspector will not be easily accessible? Will the inspector be there for as long as you need or will they have to rush off to another inspection? Do they provide a check-list of items or do they provide detailed, customized narrative for your property? Do they include photographs in their reports?

  17. My buddy’s a contractor. He said he’d swing by and take a look, and that I don’t even need a Home Inspection.

    Again, do what you must. You are not required to have a home inspection. BUT: If you have an inspection contingency, it will only be a licensed home inspector’s report that you may use to cancel your transaction. ALSO: Home Inspectors are trained to examine all systems of the home carefully and are trained to systematically report on of all of the systems and components identifying what is in need of repair. Your contractor friend may be knowledgeable, but they are not trained in home inspection. We have inspected hundreds of homes with this in mind, and are trained to report carefully and clearly on any and all conditions in need of repair. But don’t take it from us, call your Real Estate Attorney and ask them what they recommend, contractor-friend or licensed home inspector?

  18. You said I needed to have further investigation on one of the items. What do I do next?

    Further Investigation means that the condition observed requires more information and investigation to fully understand the scope of the repair. This could be because items were not visible or concealed, systems were shut down or inoperable, or specialized expertise is required because this item is beyond the scope of the home inspection. The report will indicate which type of specialist is required, or which systems need to be activated or completed so that they may be inspected or tested.

  19. Can I be present at the inspection? Can I ask questions?

    Absolutely. We encourage you to be present at the inspection so that you can familiarize yourself with your new home. Areas of concern and other conditions will be pointed out, so that you will be aware of them when you are reviewing the report. We also make the inspection educational, so that you understand how your new home works. We encourage questions during the inspection. It is important, though, that you get complete attention from your inspector, so we strongly suggest limiting the number of people who are walking along with the inspector to one or two. (Others can be present at the home)

  20. I can’t come to the inspection, is that OK?

    Sure (but we still wish you could be there). We provide a comprehensive and detailed report, which includes photographs of the items of concern. This makes it easier for you to see the conditions observed at the home inspection. We are also available after the inspection to review the ares of concern by phone or email should you request it. (A sample report can be seen here)

  21. Radon FAQ:

  22. Radon is not real. How do I know it’s there? Are you sure it is dangerous?

    Radon is real. And when it is present in excessive amounts it can lead to lung cancer. See the EPA website

  23. How do you test for Radon?

    We test for radon by using detection devices that measure decay products present in the air in the home. This allows us to determine the amount of Radon gas in the home. The radon gas is expressed in a value (pico curies per liter (pCi/L)). The EPA action level is 4.0 pCi/L (this is the level at or above which requires mitigation of the radon).

  24. Where can I get more information about Radon?

    Click here for the EPA guide to radon in the home. Also see this link for EPA description of Radon. Also see question #24

  25. What is different about Radon testing for a Real Estate Transaction?

    The EPA has developed a specific protocol designed for testing radon gas in the home for the purpose of a real estate transaction. We follow this when testing for our clients who are buying a home.

  26. The level of radon in the home is at or above 4.0 pCi/L. What do I do now? How do you correct for excessive Radon gas in the home?

    There are several ways to correct for radon in the home, but there will never be “no” radon present. Mitigation systems are designed for the particular home to ensure that they function optimally. The goal is to bring the radon down to a more acceptable level. If your home has an elevated radon level, a radon mitigation specialist should be consulted to design and implement a radon mitigation system. These systems are usually very successful and can be installed in a short period of time with little disruption to the home.

  27. Should I test for Radon in my drinking water?

    If the home is on a private well system, then you absolutely should test for radon in the water. If the home is on a municipal water supply, then you should be aware that radon and other contaminants are generally removed from the water supply. Check with the MWRA for more information about municipal drinking water supply.

  28. It’s the summer time, and I don’t think the seller will keep their windows closed for the test. What should I do?

    Radon testing in the summer months is difficult. This is because people open their windows and doors when it is hot.
    For homes without air conditioning:
    If it is hot outside and the occupant of the home will be there during the test, testing for radon can be unsafe for the occupant and is not recommended. Other arrangements will have to be made, such as testing when the occupant is not present. Keep in mind though, that if you do test after the purchase and sale of the home is completed, you may not have any recourse for correction or cancellation of the transaction, and mitigation may be your responsibility. You should consult with your Real Estate Attorney to provide advise and guidance about how to protect yourself if this is the case.
    For homes with air conditioning: If there is air conditioning in the living and bedroom spaces, it is our opinion that it is reasonable to request that the occupant keep the exterior windows and doors closed before and during the radon test.

  29. When do I get the test results?

    You will receive the results at the time the device is picked up, or the following day after the radon test kit is received by the radon lab, depending on the type of radon test you choose to have done. Your inspector will email you the radon results and an interpretation letter within 24 hours of the time the test results are available.

  30. What is a Continuous Radon Monitor?

    A Continuous Radon Monitor is a machine that frequently measures radon gas present in the home (hourly). This machine is placed in the lowest livable space in the home and is activated for testing radon. When the test is completed, the machine will print out a graph and a listing of the hourly readings so that your measurement professional can interpret the radon gas performance as well as the average level of radon. This machine is more resistant to tampering and can detect unusual radon gas performance because it is sensitive to the fluctuations of radon and will show if the radon levels suddenly drop (This could mean a window or door was opened, or other conditions may have prevented a successful test.)

  31. What is Charcoal Liquid Scintillation?

    Charcoal Liquid Scintillation (LS) testing is a type of radon test. It is a set of two passive plastic vials that are set up in the lowest livable space in the home. During the test period, the charcoal vials are opened and absorb the radon decay products. They are sealed at the end of the test period and they are sent to the lab for analysis. Radon levels in the home are derived from the analysis of the vials through light that is projected into the charcoal. This type of test is considered very accurate and provides an average level of radon in the home.

  32. Are you certified for Radon testing?

    Yes, We are NEHA (National Environmental Health Association) certified for residential testing. ID# 104647 RT

  33. My Real Estate Agent said they could set up a kit they bought for me at a hardware store. Is that OK?

    Ask them if they are NEHA certified and if they plan to follow EPA protocol for radon testing in a real estate transaction. There are currently no licensing laws, regulations, or certification required in Massachusetts, so if you go with someone who is not certified or is not aware of the EPA protocol, then you may be getting incorrect or unreliable results.

  34. Someone involved in the transaction said that only the basement doors and windows have to be closed for the radon test. Is that true?

    No. In order for a correct radon test to be conducted, all of the exterior windows and doors have to be closed 12 hours before the start of the test, and during the entire test period.

  35. Other FAQ:

  36. What is a wood destroying insect (WDI)? Do you perform wood destroying insect inspections?

    Termites, Powder Post Beetles, Carpenter Ants, and Carpenter Bees are wood destroying insects. We do inspect for and report on WDI as an additional service. This requires an additional fee. We use the NPMA-33 form to report our findings and recommendations. Click here for a sample report.

  37. What about lead? Do you test for lead in paint used in the home?

    We do not test for lead in paint. Any home built before 1978 may have paint on surfaces that contains lead. We suggest that you have a lead test completed by a licensed lead inspector.

  38. What about mold? Do you inspect for or test for mold?

    We look for the presence of mold or mildew on visible and accessible surfaces. We also examine areas for conditions that could cause or contribute to mold growth. If we see mold or conditions where mold may be concealed, we will report these findings, and recommend a mold and/or indoor air quality specialist. Testing the home for mold is beyond the scope of a home inspection. This type of testing requires special expertise, so be sure to hire a very qualified specialist. If you have a particular allergy to mold we recommend that you have a mold and indoor air quality test performed on your prospective home.

  39. What about Asbestos?

    We do not test for asbestos content in materials in the home. We are trained to identify many types of building materials that have been used in the past that may contain asbestos. We will notify you if there is any suspect material identified in the course of the home inspection and recommend that you have an asbestos specialist test the material. If we do not identify any suspect materials in the course of the home inspection, this does not mean that the home does not contain any asbestos.

  40. Do you test well water?

    Yes. We perform testing of well water upon your request. We will take a water sample and send it to the lab we work with. We recommend at the least a comprehensive scan of the water quality. This is a very detailed analysis. A standard scan is recommended yearly after that.

  41. Do you inspect wells?

    No. If there is a well on the property, we recommend that it be tested and inspected. This is a detailed inspection of the well and test of the well function. We do check water pressure and functional flow at fixtures during the inspection.

  42. Do you inspect recreation equipment, pools, saunas, or hot tubs?

    No, We recommend that you have these items inspected and tested by a specialist prior to purchase of the home.

  43. Do you do Infrared Thermography?

    No. We recommend that you consult with a qualified specialist in this technology if you would like this type of analysis performed. Please let us know what your concerns are with the home that are causing you to be interested in this type of analysis.