What’s Included in a 4-Point Home Inspection?

If you’re considering selling your home or you want to get a new insurance policy, you might have been told that you need a 4-point home inspection. This is an inexpensive but helpful way of finding out whether any of your property’s systems are faulty. A good Florida home inspection also helps you determine the condition of your roof, and it can show you what types of repairs you need.

After your inspector has concluded their tour of your home, they will send you a report that shows whether the property has passed or failed its inspection. If the home has done well, you can use this document to prove to your insurance company that you are a low-risk prospect or to show potential buyers that the house is in great condition. Read on to find out more about inspections and how they can help you make the most of property ownership.

What Is Included In a 4-Point Home Inspection?

During a four-point home inspection, various systems and aspects of an existing property, including the HVAC system, the electrical system, the plumbing, and the roof, are examined. This is a common type of inspection that is popular with homeowners who need to get a new insurance policy and people who want to know what they need to fix before putting their property on the market.

Compared to a general inspection, the four-point inspection is quicker and cheaper. The exact duration of your inspection depends on the size and complexity of the property, but in most cases, it only takes two to four hours. Despite this, it can tell you a lot about your home, and it can guarantee the quality of your real estate, therefore making the property easier to sell.

The HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and it is one of the most important systems on your property because it controls the climate. If the HVAC system doesn’t work properly, the residents won’t feel comfortable, and problems such as mold and dampness can occur. What’s more, a lack of heating and air conditioning can lead to a range of physical health problems.

During your inspection, the professional will check that your heating and cooling unit is of the appropriate size and that it is fully functional. Although units such as fireplaces and oil furnaces will be examined, they aren’t considered primary heating and cooling systems due to their inefficiency. Once the inspector has determined whether your unit has passed or not, they can also inform you about its life expectancy and future maintenance requirements.

The Electrical System

A home’s electrical system needs to be kept in good condition because it could otherwise cause safety issues. Every area has certain rules and regulations, and your inspector will check that your home meets these criteria. For example, they will make sure that the size of the electrical system is appropriate for the size of the house and that all electrical outlets are properly grounded.  

Even if there is a problem or code violation, that doesn’t mean your system fails automatically. It all depends on the type of issue and how easy it is to fix. The inspector will also take the potential risk into consideration. If there are any parts of your system that are uninsurable, such as cloth wiring or a double-tapped breaker, your inspector might have to fail your system, in which case you’ll have to upgrade it.

The Plumbing 

The final system examined during your four-point inspection is the plumbing. This is crucial because faulty plumbing can lead to unsanitary conditions and put the residents’ health at risk.

The most important factors considered are the materials, the age, and the functionality of your drain and supply lines. Your inspector will look for any leaks and weak spots to figure out whether future problems are likely. Additionally, they will examine the condition of your water heater to make sure your water is distributed efficiently throughout the property.

The Roof

In most cases, the roof examination is the most comprehensive part of your four-point inspection. Your roof is a crucial part of the home, and it contributes to the property’s energy efficiency and safety. Your inspector will check for health and safety risks, such as the potential for mold accumulation, which could impact the well-being of those living on the property.

Age is an important factor because old roofs are less secure, and they were often built with unsafe materials. If your roof is poorly designed and prone to leaks, your inspector will ask you to have it replaced. They will also consider the shape of the roof since some shapes are more likely to withstand adverse weather conditions like heavy winds than others. Nowadays, hip roofs are considered the safest.

Who Can Benefit from a Florida Home Inspection?

As you can see, a 4-point home inspection is quite comprehensive and can help homeowners, insurance companies, and potential buyers understand the condition of the property better. So, when do you need to get an inspection, and is the four-point inspection always the best choice? The answer is that there are many reasons to get your property examined by a professional.

For instance, it’s always good to know more about the home’s condition if you’re considering putting it on the market. Similarly, an inspection might be required if you’re getting insurance or a mortgage. People who are worried about the condition of their home or those looking to purchase a newly built property could also benefit from the knowledge an inspection provides.

You’re Selling a Home

Getting a four-point inspection is a good idea for sellers because it gives them an idea of the value of their property. If your home is in great condition and passes all four points, you can expect to get a much higher price for it than if it is in need of serious maintenance.

A home inspection gives you more options and allows you to consider the best way forward. Depending on the results and your desired outcome, you can leave the issues for the new owner to fix, or you can make the necessary repairs and sell the property for more money.

You’re Worried about the Condition of Your Home

Even if you’re not ready to move out, you might need to get a Florida home inspection if you’re worried about the condition of your home. Owners who notice issues with their HVAC system, their electrical system, their plumbing, or their roof should contact a specialist as soon as possible to find out what the faults are. The inspector can determine the current condition of the property and then make suggestions for its improvement.

You Need to Get Insurance 

Most insurance companies will require you to get a four-point inspection if your home is more than 20 years old because older homes are more likely to experience problems than newly built ones. An inspection helps the insurers to define the risk they are taking on.

If your property is in great condition, the inspection can be beneficial for you as a homeowner because you will pay a lower premium. If not, you should consider upgrading your property’s systems and replacing the roof in order to lower your insurance costs and make sure you don’t run into problems in the future.

You’re Building a Home or Buying a Newly Built Home 

Newly built homes are usually in good condition, and it’s likely that many of the systems come with a warranty. Despite this, getting the home inspected before you purchase it or move in is always a good idea. A new construction inspection can tell you a lot about a property, including its small defects and future problem areas. Buyers who are still negotiating with the developers or sellers can use the results of the inspection to negotiate a better price.

You’re Buying a Home

When you’re buying a home, you should consider getting a general inspection, not just a four-point inspection. While this option is more expensive, it is almost always worth it because it allows you to know as much as possible about a property before you commit to purchasing it.

In addition to the four aspects mentioned above, a general inspection also includes the foundation and structural components of the building. The inspector will walk around the outside and inside of the home for several hours, examining it in detail. The resulting report can tell you whether there are any serious problems and how much you’re likely to spend on repairs in the next few years.

Find Out More With Us!

A 4-point home inspection includes your HVAC system, your electrical system, your plumbing, and your roof. It is a great option for homeowners who would like to sell their property, and it is also appropriate for those who need to get a new insurance policy. To figure out if a Florida home inspection is right for you, you should get in touch with the experts. Call us now at Frontline Inspections. Our friendly staff will be more than happy to welcome you.

How Long Do Home Inspections Take?

The home-buying process can be stressful and difficult. Once you’ve finally found your new house, you’ll want to sign on the dotted line as soon as possible. But don’t be tempted to skip the inspection because it could prevent you from making a mistake that ruins your financial future. So, how long do home inspections take? Will the examination significantly delay the buying process?

Fortunately, most general inspections only take a few hours, so they can fit into even the busiest schedule. If you’re looking to buy a commercial property, you might have to wait a bit longer, since there are more elements to inspect. Today, we’ll have a look at the various inspections offered by Frontline and discuss how long they might take, so you can figure out which one is right for your situation.

How Long Do Home Inspections Take?

There are various types of property inspections, and the time they take depends on the size of the building, the complexity of its structures, and the level of detail required. The quickest option is the four-point inspection, which might only take one to two hours. A more comprehensive solution is the general inspection, which is suitable for individuals considering a home purchase.

People who are looking to open a business in a new location must get a commercial inspection, which can reveal any problems with the business’s building. This can take much longer, especially if the company is large. A new construction inspection is the most comprehensive, and inspectors often work together with developers for weeks or even months to make sure the property is constructed solidly.

A General Frontline Inspection 

A general inspection is usually performed on a home before you buy it. The aim is to check all the readily accessible components for issues and therefore give you a better idea of the condition of the property. The time it takes for this kind of inspection varies depending on the size and accessibility of the home. On average, you can expect the inspector to remain at the house for about 2-2 1/2 hours. If you have a condo, they might be done within 1-1 1/2 hours.

During this time, they examine both the inside and the outside of the property and check the electrical components. The inspection isn’t designed to address cosmetic defaults but rather issues that could affect the safety, resale value, and livability of the home. Once the process is complete, the inspector will send you a report of their findings, and you can decide whether the property is worth buying.

A 4-Point Inspection 

A 4-point inspection is shorter and less comprehensive than a general inspection because it only includes your HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and roof. Therefore, your inspector might not need to stay for more than one to two hours, and they won’t charge as much. The 4-point inspection is often required by home insurance companies because it allows them to better assess your risk levels and give you an accurate quote.

It can also be a good idea to complete this type of inspection if you’re ready to sell your home. That way, you’ll know whether any repairs are outstanding and what price you should charge for the property. However, the 4-point inspection isn’t a great option for people looking to buy a new house because it isn’t comprehensive enough, and a structural problem might be overlooked.

A New Construction Inspection 

While a home is being built, quality control is crucial. To help developers stay on track, we also offer evaluations of building schedules, either before, during, or after the construction process. This type of inspection can make sure that plans for newly built homes are sound, and it can indicate whether the building works have been executed to a high standard.

In addition to having a look at the home’s structures, including the foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, we can evaluate a site’s location, drainage, orientation, and more. That way, there won’t be any surprises once the property is built. Because a new construction inspection is more extensive and may involve several visits, it can take much longer than general inspections.

A Commercial Inspection

Commercial inspections work just like general inspections. They are designed to evaluate commercial buildings, such as malls, shops, and factories, before they are purchased by a company. Our inspectors can help you determine the condition and life expectancy of a building’s foundations, roof, floors, walls, ceiling, HVAC, electrical system, and plumbing.

The inspector will create a report about all of these systems and structures, and they will also double check the property’s documentation to make sure everything is in order. The time a commercial inspection takes varies greatly depending on the size of the building and the complexity of the setup. A small cafe or office might be examined within one to two hours, but a large hotel, factory, or mall might require several inspectors to work for several days.

What to Expect from Your Inspection 

Now we’ve answered the question “how long do home inspections take?”, you might wonder which parts of your property will be examined. During a standard inspection, the professional walks around both the outside and the inside of your home and observes the structures related to your roofing, exterior and interior walls, electrical system, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning.

At the end, they will produce a report that details the findings. If there are any problems, you can ask your inspector for more details and for an estimate of how much the repair will cost. Because our employees are highly trained and have extensive experience with a variety of homes, they can judge whether a house is in good condition and needs minor repairs or whether there are major issues that could make it a bad investment.

Exterior Inspection 

Your inspector will closely examine the exterior of the home to find out whether there are any problems such as leaks. They will check for issues with the sidewalks, driveways, gutters, walls, fences, patios, decks, and gradings. Then, they will move on to the roof and make sure that the flashing, coverings, skylights, and vents are all in working order.

It’s also important to note that a home inspector can evaluate the structural integrity of a home’s foundation. This is extremely useful, since problems with a property’s overall structure aren’t always easy to spot unless you are a trained professional. By finding issues with the property’s foundation, your inspector can let you know whether the house will be safe and reliable long-term.

Interior Inspection 

Once the outside has been examined, the inspector will move indoors and walk through every room of the home. They will look at the walls, windows, ceiling, stairs, floors, doors, and smoke detectors. If there are any issues with the insulation, such as insufficient air and vapor barriers, your inspector will be able to point out the problem and potentially suggest solutions.

Your inspection also includes all the systems that provide you with your utilities, including the plumbing, your electrical system, the heating, and the air conditioning. The professional visiting your home will make sure that all the circuits are intact and that there aren’t any issues with the installation of these systems.

How to Choose an Inspector 

To find the best inspector in your area, you should visit providers’ websites and have a look at their “About Us” information. Great companies have extensive experience and offer detailed reporting, but they also focus on good customer service. Since getting a quote is free, you should reach out to see what your inspection will cost. If the inspector gets back to you with a reasonable offer within a few hours, it’s likely that they will provide you with a great service.

What to Do with the Results 

During the inspection, the professional will highlight both the issues and the positive aspects of the home. They might give you an indication of whether the property is a good buy, but ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you’d like to purchase the building. Before going ahead, you should find out more about any unexpected issues that were uncovered. How much will it cost to fix them? Will you have to find alternate accommodation in the meantime?

In some cases, you might be able to negotiate with the seller, who will either lower the price of the property or pay for the repairs. It’s important to remember that every deal is negotiable, and an inspection gives you the information you need to obtain the best result.

During your inspection, the professional will walk around the outside and inside of your building and run various tests. That way, they can figure out whether the home’s foundation is strong, the structure is durable, and all systems are working well. Get in touch with us at Frontline Inspections to find out more about the various options or to schedule a property inspection.

What Do Home Inspectors Look for?

Home inspections can make or break the sale of a home. Inspectors are trained to look for problems throughout the house and its structure, so potential buyers are aware of the home’s condition. So, what do home inspectors look for? The answer is more complex than you might think. Here’s what you can expect a home inspector to evaluate in your new home.

Exterior

A home’s exterior does more than make a strong first impression. It also keeps the house protected against intruders and the elements. Cracks, gaps, rot, and decay in the exterior walls can lead to severe problems like potential water damage. Before heading inside, a home inspector will take a close look at the outside of your new home and the surrounding area, including:

  • Grading
  • Coverings
  • Decks
  • Patios and patio covers
  • Sidewalks
  • Driveways
  • Doors and windows
  • Window trims
  • Gutters
  • Retaining walls
  • Fences and gates

Structure

A house can’t stand steady and firm without a strong foundation. Any cracks, damage, or gaps between walls and floors could be cause for concern. That’s why home inspectors spend a considerable amount of time examining a house’s structure by checking the following:

  • Foundation
  • Crawlspace
  • Footings and columns
  • Floors
  • Chimneys
  • Walls

While structural problems and foundation issues can occur in homes of any age, they’re more prevalent in older homes. As a home “settles” over time, cracks in drywall and concrete can compromise the structure’s integrity. No matter how old your new home is, a home inspection will verify if it’s on a solid foundation.

Roofing

A strong roof is necessary to protect the house beneath it from wind, water, debris, and other damaging factors. Replacing a roof is no small task and hardly something you’d want to undergo right after buying a new home. Instead of being surprised when your roof springs a leak, you can get some peace of mind from a thorough home inspection.

A roofing inspection takes a close look at factors like:

  • Structure
  • Coverings
  • Flashings
  • Skylights
  • Vent/stacks

The inspector will note signs of roofing problems like missing shingles, moisture in the ceiling, cracks or rust, and unevenness. A deteriorating roof can lead to extensive issues down the line, making this a vital part of a home inspection.

Interior

So far, we’ve covered the exterior aspects of a home inspection. But what do home inspectors look for once inside the home? Luckily, the interior portion of a home inspection is just as thorough as the outdoor portion. The inspector will take a close look at:

  • Ceilings
  • Stairs
  • Fireplaces
  • Smoke detectors
  • Walls and floors
  • Doors and windows

Electrical

An outdated, faulty, or poorly wired electrical system can spell danger for any home. Research shows that electrical malfunctions were responsible for 13 percent of US structural fires between 2015-2019. Since electrical fires are a serious concern, the home inspector will take great care to ensure everything is in optimal shape. This includes inspecting the following:

  • Grounding
  • Panels and sub-panels
  • Service entrance
  • Branch circuits
  • Outlets
  • Circuit integrity
  • GFCIs

HVAC

Your new home must stay comfortable no matter the weather outside, so a home inspector will examine the A/C and heating systems thoroughly. Some of the HVAC systems and components checked during a home inspection include:

  • Combustion system
  • A/C components
  • Supply and discharge lines
  • Ductwork and registers
  • Controls and thermostats
  • Venting

First, the inspector will take a moment to conduct a visual inspection of the air conditioner, furnace, and heat pump systems. Then, they’ll run the systems to ensure everything’s working as it should. Finally, the inspector will look for signs indicating dangerous gas or carbon monoxide leaks.

  • Rust around the unit
  • Leaks around the unit
  • Cracked or leaking ducts
  • Furnace flame that won’t light
  • Malfunctioning A/C or heating
  • Dirty air filters

Plumbing

What do home inspectors look for when they examine a home’s plumbing? First, inspectors are concerned with making sure there’s no damaged plumbing that could lead to water damage or mold. They’ll document any issues they find with plumbing systems, such as:

  • Fixtures and appliances
  • Main supply line
  • Distribution lines
  • Functional flow
  • Vents, traps, and drains

Insulation

With energy efficiency on everyone’s minds, you may wonder: What do home inspectors look for when it comes to evaluating insulation, and how can this impact the energy usage of a home? To get an accurate idea of how much or how little insulation your new home has, an inspector will take a look at the following:

  • Attic
  • Crawlspace
  • Ductwork
  • Air and vapor barriers
  • Floors and walls

Inspecting the attic is a significant part of this phase of the home inspection process. This is because the vast majority of heat loss in a home passes through the attic. Therefore, to keep energy bills low and home comfort high, a home inspector will ensure the attic and the house are adequately insulated.

Common Questions About Home Inspections

Is a Home Inspection Mandatory?

Generally, no. Some mortgages may require you to have an inspection, but they’re typically not required. While a buyer can choose to forgo an inspection, this is not recommended. Without an inspection, you won’t have a complete picture of the home’s condition. Any hidden problems or unwelcome surprises will be your responsibility.

Buying a home is likely the most significant investment you’ll ever make. So do your due diligence with a home inspection before you sign on the dotted line.

Who Pays for a Home Inspection?

Buyers are responsible for scheduling and paying for home inspections. The inspection aims to give the buyer vital information about the property they plan to purchase. The seller is only involved in the process if the buyer chooses to negotiate the costs of any repairs uncovered by the inspection.

How Long Does the Inspection Take?

This depends on the size, condition, and characteristics of the home. The average single-family home inspection takes between 2-4 hours to complete. Usually, you’ll receive your inspection report within 24-48 hours after the inspection.

Should the Buyer Attend the Inspection?

Attending the home inspection is a great way to get an up-close and personal look at the inner workings of your new home. Many inspectors are more than willing to talk with you during the process and show you their findings firsthand. This is also a prime opportunity to get any of your questions about the systems in your new home answered.

What Happens if the Inspection Finds Problems?

It’s virtually guaranteed that the home inspector will find various problems and issues. After all, it’s their job to leave no stone unturned in order to provide a full and complete assessment of the home. Many of their findings will be minor cases of wear and tear or other easily fixable issues. However, if the inspector finds anything significant, they’ll bring it to your attention when you receive their report.

Who Pays for Repairs?

Taking care of minor repairs and problems usually falls on the new homeowner. However, if the home has significant damage, you may be able to ask the seller to cover the cost or negotiate a discount on the price of the house.

What’s the Difference Between a Home Inspection and a Home Appraisal?

An appraisal is not a substitute for a home inspection. Mortgage lenders use home appraisals to verify that your home is worth the amount they’re lending you. You can think of a home appraisal as an estimate that tells you how much your home and property are worth.

While both home inspectors and appraisers evaluate the home’s condition, an appraiser isn’t as concerned with the nitty-gritty details. Instead, an appraiser only evaluates the home’s square footage, features, and general condition of the home.

How Can I Find a Good Home Inspector?

Your real estate agent is a good source for inspectors’ recommendations in your area. You can also search the American Society of Home Inspectors or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Both organizations only recommend quality inspectors, so you’ll know that you’re looking at the best of the best.  If any of your friends and family own homes nearby, you can ask them to point you in the direction of the inspection company they used as well.

The Benefits of Frontline Home Inspections

With so many inspection companies around, why choose Frontline Home inspections? The answer comes down to our superior service and dedication to quality results. You can count on us to use our expertise to provide a detailed report on the condition of your new home.

From the start of the inspection to the end, the Frontline Inspections experience is second to none. We go above and beyond industry standards with a unique thermal infrared scan that detects problems invisible to the naked eye. You can trust our inspectors to find issues both big and small!

The home buying process is often long, but reaching the inspection phase means the end is in sight. Now that you know the answer to the common question “what do home inspectors look for,” you’ll be better prepared for your home’s inspection. For expert home inspections in Central Florida, contact Frontline inspections today!