About Our Home Inspections

PAGE CONTENTS
  • Covid-19 Protocol
  • Our Philosophy
  • What are Home Inspections?
  • What is Included in Home Inspections?
  • What is Excluded from Home Inspections?
  • How Long Will My Home Inspection Take?
  • When Will I Receive My Home Inspection Report?
  • What Will My Home Inspection Report Look Like?
  • What Will My Home Inspection Agreement Look Like?
  • How Do I Pay for My Home Inspection?
  • How Do I Schedule My Home Inspection?
  • How Can I Help Ensure a Complete Home Inspection?
  • Do You Perform Termite Inspections?
  • Do You Perform Radon Inspections?
COVID-19 Protocol

We usually encourage our clients and their agents to attend the inspection. We usually leave it up to our clients and their agents about whether the occupants remain in the home during the inspection.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask that nobody be present during the inspection. Please visit the ASHI website for more information about COVID-19 inspection protocol.

Our Philosophy

You’ve found the perfect home, your Dream Home. Once you decide to purchase your home you’re emotionally attached to it. After all, it’s perfect, right?

Then comes the home inspection, one objective of which is to find defects in your Dream Home. All homes have defects so we will find some; count on it.

At Dream Home Consultants, we understand that finding defects in your Dream Home can be troubling. That is why we use our professionalism, experience, knowledge, and independence to find major defects and help you put them into perspective.

We hope that we find no major defects in your Dream Home. If we do, you will probably wish to address them with the seller before you close on the home. Most defects we find are minor, and you may wish to address them after closing, or monitor them for future action. We will work with you, and with the agents and the sellers, to determine what is fair and reasonable.

Thank you for visiting our website. Please invest a few minutes to learn more about us and our services. When you consider our extensive experience and knowledge of construction and building codes, our thoroughness and attention to detail, and our professionalism and commitment to client service, we hope you will agree that Dream Home Consultants is the best inspection value in the Triangle.

What are Home Inspections?

A home inspection is an observation of specific readily accessible and observable systems and components as they exist in the home during the inspection. The objective of a home inspection is to identify most major defects that require immediate major repair. We may report minor defects that we encounter during our inspection, but we focus our efforts on finding major defects that may cost you a significant amount of money and time, or that may present a significant safety hazard.

You should understand several important aspects about a home inspection.

  1. A home inspection is visual. If a defect is concealed under a floor, behind a wall, behind insulation, behind or under owner belongings, or someplace else that we cannot see or access, we cannot report about it.
  2. A home inspection includes only readily accessible areas. Readily accessible means being available for observation without moving personal property, removing covers that are fastened in place, using inspection techniques that may damage property, and taking actions that may risk injuring persons (including the inspector) or damaging property.
  3. A home inspection reports on conditions during the inspection. Conditions change. A system or component that functions during the inspection may fail immediately after the inspection. This is especially true of intermittent defects.
  4. A home inspection includes specific systems and components. Please refer to the Home Inspections page for a description of systems and components included in your home inspection. Click here to go to the North Carolina Home Inspector License Board website to find out more about home inspections in North Carolina.
  5. A home inspection focuses on finding most major defects. We define a major defect as one that may cost more than $1,000 to address when a qualified and licensed contractor performs the work, or one that presents a significant threat of serious bodily injury during normal daily use. We may report minor defects, at our discretion.
  6. A home inspection reduces, but does not eliminate risk. Buying and owning a home means assuming the risk that unexpected and costly events will occur. A home inspection is only one part of your risk management strategy along with insurance and regular maintenance. A home inspection reduces, but does not eliminate, your risk that major defects may exist on the property. It also reduces the risk of minor defects, but because we do not focus on minor deficiencies, the risk reduction is much less for minor deficiencies.
What is Excluded from Home Inspections?

The following is a list of common systems, conditions, and components that are excluded from your home inspection. Please refer to our inspection agreement for more information about your home inspection scope and limitations.

  • Geological conditions and soil stability, such as expansive soils and sink holes
  • Structural stability and engineering analysis
  • Termites, all other pests, and toxic or poisonous plants
  • All environmental hazards, such as mold, radon, noise, and air and water quality
  • Recreational facilities, such as swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, and play equipment
  • Water softeners, water filters, and hot water pumps
  • Private water and sewer systems, such as wells and septic systems
  • Security systems and alarms
  • Low voltage and signal distribution systems, such as telephone, cable TV, computer wiring, audio wiring, intercoms, and low voltage lighting
  • Window treatments, such as screens, blinds, shutters, and curtains
  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Lawn irrigation systems
  • Refrigerators, clothes washers, and clothes dryers
  • Floor coverings, wall coverings, and interior finishes such as paint
How Long Will My Home Inspection Take?

The time required to conduct a thorough home inspection depends on the age and condition of the home, the size of the home, and the type of foundation on which the home is constructed. A newer home with less than 2,000 square feet of conditioned space and a crawlspace foundation usually takes about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to inspect. Most homes require between 2 1/2 and 4 hours to conduct our thorough inspection. Older homes, larger homes, and homes in poor condition can require significantly more time.

When Will I Receive My Home Inspection Report?

Our narrative inspection report with embedded pictures can take several hours to produce. We believe that our inspection report should be as thorough and professional as our inspection. Because we take great care and pride in our reports, we do not provide on-site reports.

Reports from a morning inspection are usually ready for email delivery by the end of the same day. Please let us know when you schedule the inspection if report delivery is time critical.

What Will My Home Inspection Report Look Like?

Your inspection report is a full narrative report with embedded pictures. The full report usually contains between 40 and 60 pages. The summary report, presenting findings that may require immediate attention, usually contains between 10 and 20 pages. We send your report as a PDF by email.

As the former Chair of the ASHI national Standards of Practice Committee, we are careful to ensure that our reports comply with Standards of Practice. Each finding presents a description of the situation or problem, a brief explanation of the potential risk that the situation or problem may present, and a recommendation about how we believe you should address the situation or problem. In some cases, we also include a description of the current accepted construction standard upon which we base our finding.

What Will My Home Inspection Agreement Look Like?

Your home inspection agreement is an important part of your home inspection. It contains our mutual understanding about the scope, limitations, and terms of your home inspection.

Your home inspection agreement must be signed before the inspection begins. We will send your agreement to you by email. Please read it carefully. Please initial the box on page two, and sign at the bottom of page two. Please return both pages to us prior to the inspection. If you have any questions about the inspection agreement, please call us before the inspection to discuss them.

If there is a swimming pool or spa on the property that you would like us to inspect, please also download and read our swimming pool inspection addendum.

It is less expensive if we perform both the home inspection and the pool inspection at the same time. If, however, you would like us to inspect only the pool, please download and read our swimming pool inspection agreement.

How Do I Pay for My Home Inspection?

Please have cash or a check available at the end of the inspection. We can accept credit cards, with a convenience charge added. Sorry, we do not carry the inspection fee to closing.

How Do I Schedule My Home Inspection?

Please call the office to schedule an inspection. We usually answer the phone every day between 8 AM and 9 PM Eastern Time. If we do not answer, please leave a message. We will return your call, usually within a few minutes, and almost always within a few hours.

We perform inspections every day, including Saturday and Sunday. We can usually schedule an inspection with two days advance notice, and sometimes with less notice. Please call us as soon as possible after you sign a purchase contract so that we can schedule your inspection within the inspection period.

When you call to schedule your inspection, please have the following information ready:

  • Client name(s).
  • Client contact information including phone numbers and email.
  • Address of the home to be inspected including zip code and street name (street, avenue, lane, etc.). The exact street name is important.
  • Builder name, subdivision name, lot number, and builder contact information (if new construction).
  • Name and contact information of the client’s real estate agent, if any.
  • Home description including:
    • conditioned square footage,
    • year home was built,
    • foundation type (slab, crawlspace, basement),
    • pool or spa on property,
    • barn, storage shed, or other attached or detached building on property.
How Can I Help Ensure a Complete Home Inspection?

We want to provide you with the thorough and complete inspection you deserve. Please help us by ensuring that the following tasks are complete prior to the inspection.

  1. Confirm that access to the home has been arranged by the seller or agent. We do not have multiple listing access.
  2. Confirm that all utilities (gas, electricity, water) are on and that appliances such as water heaters and furnaces are functioning and ready for inspection. Utilities are frequently off at foreclosure and other vacant properties, and may require one to three business days for the utility to turn them on. We cannot perform a thorough inspection without all utilities on.
  3. Confirm that locks have been unlocked or removed from gates, doors, electrical panels, and detached buildings.
  4. Confirm that a clear path exists to, under, and around the water heater(s), furnace(s), electrical panel(s), and all attic and crawl space access openings. Remove pictures, furniture, storage shelves, or owner belongings that block access to any of these appliances or openings.
  5. Confirm that any animals will be removed or restrained.
  6. Confirm that builder forms and requirements have been communicated to us so we can comply with builder requirements.
Do You Perform Termite Inspections?

No. We look for signs of termites during our inspection, and we will tell you if see signs, but we are also looking for hundreds of other things. We believe it is better for you to use an experienced and licensed pest control contractor that regularly performs termite inspections and can concentrate on that one important task. We can refer* termite inspectors that you can hire and pay separately.

Do You Perform Radon Inspections?

No. We can refer* radon inspectors that you can hire and pay separately.

* We do not accept referral fees.