Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does a home inspection by NorthWest Building Inspections include?

A: Our inspections consist of a complete visual evaluation of the home by a licensed and experienced inspector. The findings are presented in a narrative-style written report, which includes digital photographs of pertinent items. In addition, our inspectors help buyers become familiar with the home, educating them about the type of construction and the maintenance and operation of the various components. 

Q: Why do I need a Commercial or Home inspection?

A: A building inspection assesses the condition of a property, points out the need for repairs and identifies areas that may need attention in the immediate future. For a buyer, having a good understanding of the condition of a property is crucial to making informed decisions during a real estate transaction. For a homeowner, a home inspection will help prevent problems in the future by identifying deferred maintenance issues that, if left unchecked, could develop into expensive problems. For more information on the many benefits of having a thorough home inspection, click on any link below: 

Q: Can't I do the inspection myself?

A: A professional home inspector has the experience, depth of knowledge, training, and specialized tools and equipment to evaluate a home. We do this everyday! Our inspectors are familiar with the many elements of residential and commercial construction and their proper installation and maintenance. They understand how the structure's systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail. They have both training and experience in recognizing potential problems and are uniquely suited to interpret what their findings reveal about the condition of the property. Also, as a third party, our home inspectors are unbiased and can provide an objective report on the condition of a property. The results are documented in a report that is easily understood by all concerned parties.

Q: What qualifications and experience does a NorthWest Building Inspections inspector bring to an inspection?

A: Our lead residential inspector has extensive experience in residential construction, which gives him a unique advantage when evaluating a home and its components.  He is also highly trained and has performed thousands of home inspections. He is:

  • licensed by the state of Washington as a Licensed Home Inspector
  • certified by the International Code Council (ICC) to perform code inspections
  • trained in thermography; and experienced in providing expert witness testimony.

Q: Can a house fail an inspection?

A: No. An inspection is an examination of the current condition of the home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which only verifies compliance to local codes and standards. Our inspectors will not pass or fail a house. Our inspectors describe the physical condition of a property and indicate what may need repair or replacement.

Q: Do I have to be there?

A: While it is not necessary for potential buyers to be present, we strongly encourage you to join our inspectors for at least a portion of the time. This allows you to observe the inspectors, ask questions as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work and how to maintain those systems and components.

Q: What if the report reveals problems?

A: No house is perfect. When the inspectors identify problems, it does not indicate you should not buy the house. The findings serve to educate you in advance about the condition of the property. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are discovered during an inspection. Or, the seller may agree to make the repairs prior to close of escrow. If your budget is tight, or if you do not want to take on future repair work, the information gained from a thorough inspection is especially valuable.

Q: What if I have questions after the inspection?

A: We always allow time after the inspection to go over any questions you might have. We also encourage our clients to call us anytime for technical advice--even years after the inspection!

Q: How long will a home inspection take?

A: Typically, a complete home inspection on a single family residence takes about two to three hours. These times may vary depending on the size, age and condition of the home. We also allow for time to go over the findings after the inspection.

Q: Where are you located, which areas do you serve?

A: We are now located in Woodinville Washington. We serve all of the Greater Seattle area, along with locations outside the Seattle area. 

Q: What does an inspection cost?

A: We determine our inspection fees based on several criteria, such as the square footage of the home, age, presence of detached structures, and other unique and distinguishing features of a property. Therefore, a description of the property is required before an exact quotation can be provided. 

Q: Do you accept credit cards?

A: Yes, we accept VISA and MasterCard. And, no, we do not charge an additional fee for this convenience.