Home Inspect America LLC
Home Inspections in Leavenworth, Lansing, Basehor, Shawnee and Surrounding Areas

"A Quality Home Inspection Creates a Knowledgeable and Confident Buyer"  


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation. But you will receive a written report stating the condition of the systems and its components inspected. It is not a warranty or guarantee of life span or future performance of any system.

 What does it include?

 The standard home inspector’s report will review the condition of the homes heating system; central air conditioning system (temperature permitting); interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, floors, ceiling, doors and windows; the foundation, basement and the visible structure.

 Why do I need a Home Inspection?

 The purchase of a home is a large single investment. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for major repairs before you buy to help eliminate unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards. Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good condition. After the inspection you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase.

If you are already a home owner, a Home Inspection may be used to identify the problems “in the making” and to learn preventive measures which may avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have an inspection prior to placing you home on the market. This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer’s inspector and the  opportunity to make repairs that will put your house in better selling condition.

 Can’t I just do it myself?

 Even the most experienced home owner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a Professional Home Inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, and their proper installation and maintenance. He or she understands how the home’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail.

Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information it is best to obtain an impartial third party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.

 Don’t I need an engineer to do a home inspection?

You need a home inspector.  Hiring a Home Inspector is hiring years of experience who has training and experience in the residential industry.  It is the job of the Home Inspector  not only to evaluate the condition of the major systems of the house and the its structural condition, but to evaluate how these systems work together and identify areas n=in need of repair or replacement.

Should the Inspector identify need for a costly detailed analysis of the houses’ systems or structure, the inspector will recommend the appropriate professional, which would be a licensed contractor or licensed technician or occasionally - a professional engineer experienced in analyzing a particular system or structural component. The need for this kind of expensive, detailed analysis is rare.

Hiring a Professional Engineer may be disappointing. The term engineer does not mean that the individual has training or experience in home inspections. To my knowledge there is no degree in residential construction or analysis in any University.  A Home Inspection does not involve engineering analysis.  Therefore, hiring an Engineer to complete a home inspection costs more, and may not give the results you deserve or desire.

 Can a house fail the inspection?

NO.  A professional Home Inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A Home Inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.  We assist in educating the buyer allowing them to make educated buying decisions.

 What is the American Society of Home Inspectors?

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the oldest and leading nonprofit professional association for independent Home Inspectors. Since its formation in 1976, ASHI’s Standards of Practice” have served as the Home Inspector’s performance guideline, universally recognized and accepted by professional and government authorities alike.

Copies of the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics are available free from ASHI.

ASHI’s professional Code of Ethics prohibits Members from engaging in conflict of interest activities which might compromise their objectivity. This is the consumer’s assurance that the inspector will not, for example, use the inspection to solicit or refer repair work, where there is potential of financial gain. In order to assist Home Inspectors, in furthering their education, ASHI sponsors a number of technical seminars and workshops throughout the year, often in cooperation with one of its many Chapters.  ASHI also serves the public interest group by providing accurate and helpful consumer information to home buyers on home purchasing and home maintenance.

 Since Kansas has Licensing of Home Inspectors do I really need an ASHI Inspector?

Not all Home Inspectors are equal.  ASHI American Society of Home Inspectors Membership is what places them above the Kansas State Licensed Home Inspectors.  So be sure to ask if he or she is licensed and if he or she is and ASHI Certified Inspector, ACI.

An ASHI – ACI -  Certified inspector requires More hours of Continuing Education and a minimum of 250 Home Inspections completed, where State licensing requires no previous home inspection experience, simply complete an 80 hour training course, and 16 hours of continuing education per year.

 Who Belongs to ASHI?

Members of ASHI are independent professional Home Inspectors who have met the most rigorous technical and experience requirements in effect today. To become an ASHI Member and attain the ASHI Certified Inspector (ACI) designation, the inspector must pass two written examinations. One exam covering, component identification, technical competency and trouble shooting, a second exam covers the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Performed 250 professional fee paid inspections a sampling of that  have been reviewed for substantial compliance with the ASHI Standards of Practice. They have also signed that they will perform inspection according to the ASHI Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.

Members are also required to acquire 20 hours of continuing education, annually, in order to keep current with the latest in building technology, materials and professional skills.

When do I call the Home Inspector?

A Home Inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been accepted and is often available within a few days. However, before you sign be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional Home Inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

 What if the report reveals problems?

No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If your budget is tight, or if you do not wish to become involved future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.

 Do I really need a home inspection?

The answer is – YES, and that is not only because we are in the business. Many families today have to scrimp and save to have the money to buy their first home or to move up to a larger home that meets their needs. When your budget is ready stretched to the max a home inspection just makes good sense. Knowing as much as you can about the condition of a home can help prevent unpleasant surprises down the road. It the household budget is already stretched, an unexpected problem or condition may very well destroy your budget.


Can’t I just get my friend who works in construction to take a look at the house?

Sure you can, but are they trained to use a systematic approach to examine the home and its components. Our inspection takes from two to three hours to complete as we work our way through the home system by system and room by room. Will your friend provide a written report that you can use to make decisions about asking for repairs to be made or negotiating the final sales price? Our inspection and final report provides you with information you can use to make informed decisions about the home you are considering.

 We are getting a FHA loan and we were told that FHA inspects the house. Do I still need an independent inspection?

YES.  The FHA Appraiser will come out and look at the home to determine its value. They have a short list of items that they “inspect” to make sure the home meets the minimum standard that the FHA allows in order to make a loan. The FHA knows that its minimum standards check is not the same as a professional home inspection and that is why they strongly recommend that you have a separate  professional inspection of the home.

 Should we attend the inspection?

Please do! Attending the inspection is not required but it is strongly recommended. By attending the inspection, you will see things the inspector sees first hand. You will be able to observe the inspection process and ask questions directly as you learn about the condition of the house, how its systems work, and how to maintain it.  You might also find the written report easier to understand if you attend the inspection.

 What can we do if problems are found with the house?

 When problems are found with the house, you should discuss the findings of the inspection with your REALTOR, attorney and other financial advisors to determine how to best proceed. Most real estate contracts have provisions about inspections and making repairs. It is important that you understand the provisions of the contract concerning inspections before you sign the contract.

Your options may include:

            Asking the seller to make repairs.

            Asking the seller to adjust the purchase price.

            Paying for the repairs on your own.

            Deciding not to buy the home.

If you request that the seller make repairs, we always recommend licensed professionals make all the needed repairs and get copies of the paid invoices and warranties for the repairs. 

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