Nevada is a regulated state. Home inspectors are required to follow the statute NRS.645D – NAC.645D while conducting a home inspection. Here are some questions people should ask when looking for a home inspector.
1. How long will the inspection take? :
a) There are a few factors that need answering to furnish an answer. Is the house occupied or vacant? An occupied home takes less time because of personal belonging in the structure may be blocking full view of whatever is being inspected. Home inspectors do not move furniture or other personal belonging while conducting a home inspection. As a rule of thumb, it typically takes 1 hour per 1000sqft of space.
b) Age of the home plays a large factor. The older the home is, the longer it should take due to subpar repairs over the years. Unfortunately, people don’t always call the most knowledgeable contractors to make repairs or in some cases, attempt to do it themselves. They do get what they pay for.
2. What kind of work did you do before becoming a home inspector? :
You’ll find most home inspectors don’t have a residential construction background. Do you really want someone that used to clean carpets or pools performing one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make?
3. How much is a home inspection going to cost? :
Typically home inspectors charge per SQFT and there’s other factor’s as well. As I mentioned earlier, the older the structure, the longer it will take. Pools, detached structures such as garages or casita’s also add to the cost if the house is equipped. Reputable inspectors charge roughly the same for the same size and age. If you get a quote significantly lower than anyone else, this probably means you’ll be getting the cheap, 1 hour inspector that won’t report on anything. In reality, how much can be found in one hour or less unless the home being inspected is less than 1000sqft.
4. What other services do they offer? :
a) Depending on your loan, you may need a termite inspection. This is not part of a Nevada home inspection and needs to be on a separate report.
b) Mold and other environmental conditions. Under the statute NRS.645D.120 – NAC 645D.470 “Prohibited Acts”, home inspectors cannot mention these unless they are licensed or certified to do so. Even then, make sure they are insured for these types of inspections. Insurance for mold is very expensive. These too should be on a separate report unrelated to the home inspection report. Some inspectors are getting a certification but aren’t getting additional insurance for that service.
c) Thermal imaging is becoming more popular with home inspectors. The problem is they aren’t getting the essential training needed to operate the camera. This also includes the camera itself. A low resolution camera should not be used on a home inspection. It’s all about using the right tool for the right job. Home inspectors should be at minimum level 1 certified from a reputable training organization. This is important; there is a difference between level 1, 2, or 3 and just being certified. Level 1, 2, or 3 means they follow ASNT guidelines and can also perform commercial and industrial inspections. ASNT does not recognize non level 1, 2, or 3 training. There are some mini 2 day classes that teach basic skills but home inspectors shouldn’t use a specialized tool like an infrared camera without a minimum level 1 certification.