How much does a wind mitigation inspection cost in Florida

Living in Florida, you must be well-versed in how to protect your home from hurricane-related wind damage. Nearly everyone focuses on tasks that include securing doors and windows, clearing yards of loose debris, and filling up sandbags, but most people forget about their biggest line of defense against storms: their roof. Perhaps your home inspector or realtor recommended a wind mitigation inspection, but what is it? And why is it so important? 

Today, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about a wind mitigation inspection in Florida, including cost and benefits. 

What is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?

Wind mitigation inspections occur when certified inspectors check your home for wind-resistant features. Such features include window and door coverings and how your home’s roof is attached and sealed to prevent water intrusion. 

Though Florida does not require you have a wind mitigation inspection completed, it’s highly recommended that you do so. These reports look at seven key areas of your home to determine its capacity to withstand high winds and water intrusion. 

Inspection Areas of Wind Mitigation Inspection

These are the seven main areas of interest for a wind mitigation inspection: 

  1. Building Codes: When was your home built? This information will tell the home inspector how strict the building codes were when it was constructed. 
  2. Roof Coverage and Age: How old is your roof? What material was used as a covering? Tile, shingles, metal, or something else?
  3. Roof Decking: What type of decking material (what the shingles are nailed to) was used? The inspector will also look at the kind of nails used to secure the shingles and the distance between each one.
  4. Roof Shape: What’s the general shape of your roof? Does it have a slope?
  5. Roof-Wall Attachments: What method was used to attach your walls and roof?
  6. Opening Protections: Do you have any additional protections on other openings? These would include features such as garage doors, windows, skylights, etc. 
  7. Secondary Water Resistance: What type of material was used for the roof decking and between the roof coverings?

Who Performs a Wind Mitigation Inspection in Florida?

Wind mitigation inspections can legally be performed by licensed general contractors, architects, engineers, home or building inspectors, or building contractors. However, most people choose to hire certified home inspectors to complete these exams. So, when you buy a home in Florida, the same home inspector can do the general, four-point, and wind mitigation inspections simultaneously. Some even offer discounts for performing multiple inspections at one time. 

How Long are These Inspections Valid, and How Do You Prove You’ve Had One?

A wind mitigation inspection is valid for five years in Florida. Simply provide the inspector’s report to the requesting agency to prove you’ve had one. If you think you’ve had one completed but no longer have the paperwork, it’s wise to begin by examining your current insurance policy to see if you’re receiving discounts. If so, contact your current carrier for a copy of the wind mitigation inspection. 

Why Should You Have a Wind Mitigation Inspection in Florida?

As you know, Florida is prone to hurricanes and other intense storms. So, homeowners and homeowner insurance companies want to ensure that houses can withstand the rain and winds associated with such storms. To completely understand just how sturdy your home is, you must get a wind mitigation inspection. 

The premise began after Hurricane Andrew when laws were passed that required insurance companies to offer clients credits and incentives for building structures that reduce sustained damage caused by wind. However, the law also requires that a wind mitigation inspection is performed to receive the credits. The upside is that once you complete it, you’ll receive substantial discounts on your insurance premiums. 

Benefits of Wind Mitigation

In general, there are two significant reasons homeowners should focus on wind mitigation. The first is peace of mind, which is especially important if you plan to hunker in place and endure a storm in your home. 

However, second, and possibly the main reason most people get a wind mitigation inspection is for the savings on insurance premiums. Each state and insurance company can vary regarding the discounts they give. However, in Florida, you can expect to get discounts for the following items: 

  • A newer roof
  • Longer nails that are placed closer together
  • Hipped roofs
  • Upgraded materials
  • Higher-rated windows, shutters, and doors
  • Secondary water resistance

Legally speaking, insurance carriers have to provide you with discounts for receiving a “passing grade,” however, the more wind-resistant features you install, the higher the discount. 

What Can I Expect During a Wind Mitigation Inspection?

A wind mitigation inspection is much like any other visual examination of your home. However, unlike others, such as the four-point inspection, this one only focuses on your roof and the techniques that were used to construct it. 

For starters, it’s highly recommended that someone is home during the wind mitigation inspection because the inspector will require access to the attic so they can view the underside of the roof. The examination should last anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour, so be sure to set aside enough time. 

And don’t be alarmed when you see the inspector taking photos, as they must do this as part of the inspection. The photographs offer proof needed to strengthen the report’s validity, but doing so also helps prevent fraud, which can be rampant in Florida’s building industry. 

How Much Does a Wind Mitigation Inspection Cost in Florida?

Typically, the cost of a wind mitigation inspection is around $100. However, the price should be the least of your concerns. The most important thing is to choose an inspection company that’s experienced, reliable, and honest. 

How Much Money Will You Save With a Wind Mitigation Inspection?

The amount of money you will save depends on your home’s wind mitigation features and where you live. Living in Florida, you’ll find that this state offers the most substantial savings, but that’s because the Sunshine State requires insurance companies to provide such discounts. 

As an example, along the coast, wind mitigation savings can range from a couple of hundred dollars to more than $1,000. So, when you factor in the cost of the report at $100, you’re saving money no matter what. 

How Can I Get the Most From Wind Mitigation Discounts?

As you may have noticed, some wind mitigation factors can be simple additions, but others, such as your roof’s shape, are more challenging to change. With that being said, the following components usually offer the most significant insurance premium discounts, as they are considered “safest” for many homes. 

These include: 

  • Roofing installation and materials that meet state building codes
  • A roof-to-wall attachment that features double wraps. These metal connectors are secured to the wall frame and wrapped over the truss top. 
  • Having a hipped roof
  • Roof-deck attachments made from OSB sheathing or plywood with a thickness of no less than 7/16 of an inch attached to the truss using 8d nails that are spaced six inches apart. 
  • Installing secondary water resistance under your roof’s sheathing
  • Use impact-resistance coverings that offer protection from large missiles and cyclic pressure over every glass opening. 

Once your wind mitigation inspection is complete, the inspector can offer suggestions to improve the sustainability of your house. Then, the choice is yours; make changes or submit the inspection report as-is. 

And did we mention these features also add value to your property? It’s true, and this is always a good thing! Yet, you may save money whether you make changes or not, but your savings may be higher if you consider the inspector’s suggestions.

Other Inspections to Consider

Now that you understand why a wind mitigation inspection is a great idea, let’s discuss a few others you should consider before hiring an inspector. The truth is that most inspection agencies offer discounts when a homeowner orders more than one type of inspection, making this the perfect time to explore other options. 

The most common home inspections include wind mitigation, four-point, and general home inspections. However, if you have reason to believe your home contains radon, the inspector can also check for that. Another excellent option for those living in Florida is a home maintenance inspection. These visual examinations cover your home’s structure, systems, and mechanicals. They will reveal any areas of concern and provide you with ways to remedy them before they cost you more money. And keep in mind when buying a home that’s over 20 years old in Florida, you must obtain a four-point inspection, so if you’re doing this, you should have the inspector come to the property once and complete all reports at that time. 

The Bottom Line

In the end, strong storms and winds are part of living in Florida. You want to know that your home is safe and sturdy enough to withstand whatever mother nature throws at you. So, don’t wait – if you’ve never had a wind mitigation inspection completed on your home, do it now! Then, you can rest easy knowing your family is safe and you’re saving money on insurance premiums!

Who Is Qualified to Do a Florida Home Inspection?

When you get a Florida home inspection, you’ll want to make sure that your inspector is fully trained and highly experienced. Fortunately, there are certain rules and regulations that determine who can become an inspector. Every applicant must complete the required training program and pass an exam. That way, they have the necessary knowledge and skills to analyze your property during home inspections and make sure everything is in good working order.

While you should always check that your inspectors are fully qualified, a good education isn’t the only factor that matters. You should also look for professionals who offer various services to suit your needs, are always friendly and welcoming, provide a detailed report, and are able to give you advice about the next steps. Read on to find out how you can find a fully qualified inspector who will provide you with a high-quality service at a reasonable price.

Who Is Qualified to Do a Florida Home Inspection? 

Everyone who wants to become a home inspector has to complete a rigorous training program and apply for a license. What’s more, most good professionals work with experts for several months or years to get a better idea of what the job entails. Every inspector has to renew their license on a regular basis and demonstrate that they are still offering a quality service.

The Home Inspector Qualification 

Not everybody can claim to be a home inspector in Florida. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation states that individuals have to complete at least 120 hours of training and pass a state exam. There are various places, both online and in person, where inspectors can train and fulfill their requirements.

Once a future inspector has passed their exam, they have to apply for a state license. While some people set up their own firm right away, most high-quality inspectors first work with an established business to gain some experience. Here at Frontline Inspections, we always make sure new employees have the proper training, and we encourage them to work with more experienced team members during the first few months.

What Qualities Should You Expect from an Inspector? 

You should never hire the first inspector you find on the internet because a bad inspection can be a hassle and cost you a lot of money. Instead, look at various options and choose the person who is most qualified and provides an excellent service.

Some places to check are the firm’s website and the online reviews. However, you can’t always tell much from these sources. Instead, you should reach out to the inspectors to figure out whether they offer the service you need, their inspection reports are comprehensive and easy to read, and they provide a high level of customer service.

A Professional Service 

Choosing a qualified inspector gives you some reassurance that they will provide you with a professional service. The state’s training includes units on the technical details of inspecting, but it also teaches trainees how to conduct themselves when interacting with customers. For example, future inspectors learn about the pricing of their services and how to communicate quotes to homeowners.

What’s more, the professionals learn important concepts related to business etiquette, such as arriving on time, disclosing all relevant information to customers, and getting the right kind of liability insurance. Despite this, you should always read the customer reviews and examine the website. Not every qualified inspector is equally professional, and other people’s experiences can tell you a lot about the kind of service you can expect.

Various Options

There are various types of home inspections. A good company will offer several options, and they might even be able to customize their service to fit your unique needs. The most common product we sell here at Frontline Inspections is the four-point home inspection, which involves checking a property’s HVAC system, electrical system, plumbing, and roof. However, people who would like to buy a new house should get a more comprehensive general inspection.

This also includes an assessment of the property’s structure and foundation. If you’re a developer building new homes, you’ll need to work with inspectors throughout the construction process to make sure you’re adhering to the local and federal regulations. A high-quality inspection company will offer all these options as well as commercial inspections, pool inspections, and wind mitigation inspections.

Friendly Customer Service

When choosing a professional for your Florida home inspection, you should keep in mind that they will walk through your whole house and spend several hours analyzing every aspect of your property. To make sure you have a good experience, you must choose someone who provides friendly, consistent customer service.

Fortunately, it isn’t very hard to tell whether a company is good at customer service, and you can tell a lot from your first few interactions with them. Check that they reply to your communications promptly and in a friendly manner. When you ask the employees questions, they should be happy to respond to you and be able to explain their work in a way you can easily understand. Sometimes, online reviews can also tell you how good a firm’s customer service is.

A Detailed Report

At the end of the inspection, you will receive a report from the company. This document shows you whether you passed or failed the inspection, what the weak points of your property are, and what kinds of maintenance you will have to do in the next few years. If the home is in good condition, the report will prove to your potential buyers that your property is valuable, and it can also show insurance companies that you are a low-risk prospect.

Because this document is so important, you must check that the company you’re considering will provide you with an easily readable, comprehensive report. Depending on the reason for your inspection, it might even be worth asking the inspectors for a sample report to see what it looks like. Here at Frontline Inspections, we are happy to show you what you’ll get after your inspection, and we’ll also explain what it all means when you get your results.

Great Advice 

Once your inspection is over, the professionals will speak to you about their findings and your next steps. They might tell you whether small defects are worth fixing and where to find the best professionals for the job. You should always choose a company that has been operating in the area for a long time because they will have detailed knowledge about the local regulations.

What’s more, highly experienced inspectors will have professional relationships with others in the construction industry, and they can therefore refer technicians who will fix your home’s problems at a reasonable rate. Before you hire an inspector, make sure that they will be able to advise you about the necessary changes to your property.

How to Find a Professional for Your Home Inspections 

Now you know what you should be looking for in an inspector, you might wonder how you can find the best individual for the job. The easiest way to begin is to look at the websites of local inspectors. See if you can find information about the kinds of services provide and read through the various options. Then, ask yourself whether this type of inspection sounds right for you.

If the answer is “yes”, you should reach out to the company, either through the contact form or over the phone. The initial conversation can help you determine what customer service is like. Do you feel comfortable speaking with the staff? Are they able to answer your questions and give you detailed information about the services? if so, it’s likely that you will have a good experience working with them.

What Kind of Inspection to Get 

A bad inspection company might try to sell you a more expensive option than you need. For this reason, it’s always best to know what you want ahead of time. If you are considering selling your property or you need a new insurance policy, a four-point inspection should be enough.

However, people looking to buy a property should consider a general inspection, which gives them a more detailed overview. Those who are buying a newly constructed property should speak to their inspectors directly because new construction inspections are different from regular inspections.

Learn More

When looking for a professional for your Florida home inspection, you should consider the types of inspections offered, the customer service, the kind of report you’ll receive, and the type of advice the experts are able to provide. Get in touch with us at Frontline Inspections to get a quote for your inspection. We will be more than happy to help you figure out whether your property is in good shape or whether it needs some TLC.

What are 5 very important things that are inspected in a home inspection

One of the first questions real estate clients ask is, “What do home inspectors look for?” And to put it simply, inspectors are looking for any issue with the home that a potential buyer should know about.

After you’ve found the perfect property that checks all the boxes and you get it under contract, scheduling a home inspection is the next step. Home inspections are the easiest way for the buyer and seller to learn about notable safety issues or repairs that are present. And since no home is perfect, inspection reports almost always include at least a few notes. 

Yet, knowing what a home inspection entails is crucial information that can help any buyer, but especially first-time home buyers. Think of the home inspection as your last opportunity, as a buyer, to learn about any significant problems with the home. This is your perfect chance to walk away or address the issues and negotiate a better price with the buyer.

The upside is that there are many ways to prepare for a home inspection, regardless if you’re a buyer or seller. So, in the following article, we’ll take a deep dive into how the home inspection process works, what they cost, and, more specifically – discuss 5 very important things that are inspected in a home inspection. 

What to Expect During a Home Inspection

Awaiting a home inspection can be stressful for the seller, worried if the sale will go through, and the buyer, who just wants to buy their dream home. As humans, we’re often scared of the unknown, so perhaps if you understand what to expect during a home inspection, it will ease the stress a little. 

With that being said, a home inspector’s job is to look at the exterior and interior parts of the home, including the foundation, HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, and roof. The entire inspection will take two to four hours, but this can vary depending on the size of the property. After the visual inspection is completed, the inspector will provide a report outlining all of the findings. Just be mindful that the report can take a few days to prepare. 

As we mentioned, very few properties are perfect, so don’t get too wrapped up by the number of defects. You’ll find many of them are insignificant and not worth fixing. But do pay attention to any serious problems that arise, as some are deal-breakers for most buyers. If serious problems are found, you should speak with your real estate agent or home inspector to learn more about steps moving forward.

Should the Buyer Attend the Home Inspection?

Absolutely! This is an excellent opportunity to explore your new home more carefully and ask any questions you may have. It’s highly recommended that you ask the home inspector if you can tag along and if they agree, do so. 

In fact, most buyers prefer to attend the home inspection because they learn more than only reading the report. Additionally, you can gain more insight into how minor or severe each problem is. 

How Long Will the Home Inspection Take?

As we briefly mentioned, a home inspection usually takes two to four hours. However, the length of time can vary based on these factors:

  • Number of defects
  • Home size
  • How much the owner prepared for the inspection
  • How thorough the inspector is

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, the average home inspection costs around $350 but can range anywhere from $250 up to $400, depending on how large the home is and where it’s located. 

Though, remember, as with most things, cheaper isn’t always better. So, make sure the one you choose is licensed, honest, and reliable. 

Are there follow-up costs?

Experienced buyers, or those alerted by inspectors, may decide to order further inspection reports looking for the presence of: 

  • Mold
  • Radon
  • Asbestos
  • Termites
  • Lead paint or pipes
  • Water damage
  • Other safety concerns

Yet, when it comes to safety concerns such as asbestos and lead, these are primarily concerns with older homes, as these items are banned in the construction of new structures. Some potential buyers even require inspections of the sewer lines and other plumbing components using a camera service.

Who Pays for the Home Inspection?

The buyer generally pays for the home inspection. However, with some offers, the buyer will insist that the seller pays. So, this item is up for negotiation. For this reason, some buyers will contract their own home inspection before placing the home on the market. This helps to reassure potential buyers and gives the seller plenty of time to make necessary repairs. 

It is important to note that not all buyers will accept a report that was paid for by the seller. In fact, most experts recommend that buyers find their own inspector, someone who’s not tied to the seller or the seller’s real estate agent. 

What Are 5 Very Important Things That Are Inspected in a Home Inspection?

Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting – let’s look at the five most important things that are inspected in a home inspection: 

The Roof

The quality and performance of a roof can make or break a deal. After all, the roof protects the home from wind, rain, snow, and outdoor temperatures. A high-performing roof works well to keep the home insulated and provides adequate ventilation to ensure good indoor air quality. Yet, it’s also one of the most costly items to replace on a home, so it’s at the top of every potential buyer’s list of concerns. 

What does the inspector look for?

Most inspectors simply climb on the roof and conduct a visual inspection, but others may look at it from a ladder. You may even find that an inspector will use binoculars and do it from below during severe weather. 

During this step, they are looking at every component while ensuring it’s watertight and will last another three to four years after the inspection. 

The main things inspectors look for are leaks, moss growth, and missing or damaged tiles or shingles. However, their review also includes items such as gutters, skylights, flashing, vents, and proper attic ventilation. 

How much is the average roof repair?

In general, minor repairs can cost anywhere from $150 up to $1,500, while a total replacement can average between $6,000 and $12,000. 

The Foundation

The foundation is your house’s workhorse; it must support the structure, furnishings, and occupants. Unfortunately, foundation repairs can be extremely costly and are, therefore, a deal-breaker for most buyers. 

What does the inspector look for?

Home inspectors will walk around the home’s perimeter looking for cracks, sloping, and other settlement issues. If crawlspace is present, it will receive a good look for signs of mold, warping, and moisture that can lead to problems with wood supports. If there are previous foundation repairs, the inspector will also look at those to check the workmanship. 

How much is the average foundation repair?

The cost of foundation repair can vary widely. The nationwide average is $4,500, but it can be as much as $15,000 or more in some cases. 

The HVAC System

Unless you plan to replace it, you’ll want to know if the home’s HVAC system cools, heats, and ventilates the air properly. Just please note that home inspections do not cover every detail, so when you suspect a unit is older, you should hire an HVAC expert to do a more thorough examination. 

What does the inspector look for?

Among the first things, an inspector will do is check that both heating and cooling functions operate as they should. Most inspectors leave the system running during the inspection so they can also ensure the thermostat is working. 

How much is the average HVAC repair?

Again, the cost to repair a home’s HVAC system will vary based on the problem and how complicated the repair is. Typically, it costs anywhere from $150 up to $1,200 for a furnace repair or as much as $6,000 for a replacement. Air conditioners can set you back between $200 and $500 for repairs or $3,500 to $12,500 for a complete replacement.

The Electrical Systems

Did you know that electrical systems are the third most common cause of house fires? Therefore, overlooking issues with a home’s electrical system can be dangerous, so this is a primary concern of a home inspector. 

What does the inspector look for?

The inspector will thoroughly assess the home’s electrical panel to ensure it meets code requirements and all wires are correctly placed and grounded. The inspector will also look for proper amperage ratings and corroded wires. 

Receptacles and switches must work properly, and GFIs (ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets) should be installed in most rooms to prevent injuries and the risk of electrocution.

How much is the average electrical system repair?

Minor electrical repairs can cost between $150 and $500, while whole-house rewiring or panel replacement costs from $1,200 to $2,200 or more. 

Plumbing

Plumbing is the last of our five important things that are inspected in a home inspection. And let’s face it, few things are worse than a leak. When left untreated, water problems tend to cause a domino effect and can lead to severe problems inside a home. Not only can it affect the walls and floor, but it can also damage the subfloor and foundation. 

What does the inspector look for?

The home inspector examines everything that water effects, including bathtubs, showers, piping, sinks, toilets, faucets, and spigots. They check for cracked, leaking, or rusting pipes and any evidence of do-it-yourself repairs. Finally, home inspectors check the flooring, walls, and ceilings for evidence of moisture and areas of contamination or cross-connection issues. 

The Bottom Line

It may not seem like it at the moment, but the cost and headache associated with getting a home inspection are well worth it when everything is said and done. Regardless if you are the seller or the buyer, you should always be concerned with problem areas inside of a home. And with the help of a home inspection that’s completed by someone who’s licensed, experienced, and honest, you can save yourself a great deal of money and stress down the road.