About Triple M Inspection Reports
Residential Real Estate Inspection
The inspection report for residential real estate inspection are narrative type report, which means we describe our finding. We try to use common, every day terminology so that anyone can understand what we are talking about, you can also visit http://www.nachi.org/glossary.htm
(external link) For interNACHI´s online Inspection glossary for definition of inspection and construction terminology.
Our reports are divided into 17 sections, Sections 1 & 2cover general and site information; Sections 3 – 8 cover
structural and mechanical systems; Sections 9-11 Cover kitchens and bathrooms; Sections 12 & 13 cover the interior area; Section 14 cover the garage and any outbuildings or extras; Section 15 is your floor plan and sections 16 & 17 is the summary area.
The SOP (Standards of Practice) detail what is inspected and what is NOT inspected. We recommend reading through the SOP so you will have a better understanding of what is inspected, what is excluded
and any limitations there might be.
As a courtesy we include a floor plan with labeled rooms for reference to the inspection report. This can be helpful in knowing say what is bedroom 2 or hall bath 1 in the inspection report. The floor plan can also be helpful for interior design choices or for future remodeling. Just remember the floor plans are APPROXIMATE and should be double checked before ordering flooring, paint or other such items.
The Summary Section is divided into two parts; a summary page and an action item page.
The Summary Item Page is again divided into 7 headings; Life Safety, Structural, Energy Conservation, Mechanical Systems, Plumbing, Electrical Systems and Other. Not everything that is found in the report is listed on the summary items, cosmetic items like touch-up paint in a bedroom would be in the body of the report but not necessarily in the summary items, However paint peeling due to suspected water damage would be in the summary items, Like wise bathroom faucets that have a leaks around the base when you turn the water on would be in the summary items but a bathroom faucet that has a slow drip into the sink would be in the body of the report. Generally speaking the items in the summary list are my recommendation for energy improvements or items that should be addressed in the near future to make the house more comfortable, safer and prevent damage through preventative maintenance.
Action Items are items that can be dangerous, Can cause damage to the structure or could be fatal to you. We recommend Action items be repaired as soon as possible
I´m sometimes asked why was something listed on the summary page in life safety but not on the action items. Good question, we will use GFCIs as an example; new construction requires GFCI at all wet location and we recommend they be installed, they have been proven to help prevent electrical shock. Now say the house we are inspecting does not have them, we recommend they be installed and list it under life safety in the summary. Now let´s say the house has them but they do not operate properly, That would be an action item as you are operating under a false sense of security and the potential for electrical shock is increased so we list it under the action items and again in the summary items under life safety, all summary items and action items are also listed in the body of the report with a more detailed explanation of our recommendations and findings.
The reports we generate are usually quite large (40 to 60 pages) with colored photos. We´ve include the summary and action item pages to help you kind of see the house at a glance, But the Summary and Action Item pages are not stand alone documents. You should read the whole inspection report to make an informed decision on your purchase.
The Inspection report, verbal summary (given at the time of inspection), the pre-inspection agreement, the seller´s disclosure statement, any neighborhood covenants and the SOP should all be reviewed.
Remember a residential resl estste home inspection is not a code compliancy inspection. There are many reasons for this; Building Codes change every 3 years; Different jurastriction adopt and alter the code at different times; mainly though codes are only minimum construction standards; key word here is minimum, Just because a house is built to code does not guarantee that it is safe or structurally sound, likewise just because a house is not code compliant does not make it unsafe or structurally defective and remember the code is update and modified every three years, so even if you purchase a house today you have no guarantee that it will still be code compliant next year. Watch out for inspectors that are only looking for code violations they may miss something important.
It may sound as if I’m against the “code”, I’m definitely not, as a general contractor I appreciate and built to the code and beyond, again it is a minimum standard, like the difference between generic ice cream and Haagen-Dazs, they’re both ice cream but which would you prefer. To many times builders and inspector use the codes as a crutch and excuse to do sub-standard work. O.K. O.K. I’ll get off the soap box.
We try to make our inspection reports as user friendly as we can, and remember if you have any questions about an inspection report or home matters give me a call I would be glad to answer your questions and if I don’t know the answer I’ll gladly do the research and try and find it.
Duke F McGee, CMI, CPI, CESA, CMA