Who Conducts a 4-Point House Inspection?
A 4-point house inspection examines the four main systems in your home, the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, along with the plumbing, the electrics, and the roof. The person who conducts the inspection, therefore, needs to be someone with a good understanding of all of these components. In Florida, there are regulations to ensure that your 4-point inspector is qualified to give a proficient assessment and identify potential risks.
Who Is Permitted To Conduct a 4-Point Inspection?
Under Florida regulations, only the following qualified professionals can complete a 4-point home inspection:
- A general, residential, or building contractor
- A registered architect
- A professional engineer
- A building code inspector
- A building code official with Florida authorization
- A home inspector
A licensed professional from a specific building trade can complete an inspection on their own trade component of the 4-point inspection but isn’t qualified to sign off on other parts of the form. An electrician, for example, would be able to complete the electrical portion of the check but couldn’t perform a valid roof inspection.
What Qualifies a Home Inspector To Conduct a 4-Point Inspection?
When it comes to 4-point inspections, home inspectors offer a one-stop shop and provide the most accessible and straightforward service. However, whatever kind of inspection you’re looking for, you’ll want to know that your inspector is an experienced and qualified professional who can be trusted to give a fair and accurate assessment of your home. Under Florida regulations, there are checks in place to make sure that this is the case.
Anyone who has obtained a license to practice as a home inspector has fulfilled a number of conditions set by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).
Education and Experience
To get their license, home inspectors have to undergo a rigorous training program. They must prove that they have undertaken at least 120 hours of learning that covers all of the following components and systems in a home:
- Building structure
- Electrical system
- HVAC system
- Roof covering
- Plumbing system
- Interior components
- Exterior components
- Site conditions
Following their training, a home inspector must undergo and pass a written examination provided by a nationally-recognized body. The examinations recognized by the Florida DBPR are:
- National Home Inspector Examination (NHIE)
- Florida Association of Building Inspectors (FABI)
- InterNACHI Florida Home Inspector Licensing Examination
- Association of Construction Industry’s Certified Home & Property Inspector Examination (CI-HPI)
All licensed home inspectors will have passed a background check, including fingerprinting.
As well as possessing the knowledge and skills, your home inspector has also provided proof that they have commercial general liability insurance worth $300,000 to ensure that you won’t be left out of pocket if mistakes are made. In addition to this, your home inspector will have to renew their license every year.
These regulations make sure that the person conducting your 4-point inspection is a qualified and knowledgeable professional in whom you can put complete confidence.
Why Do Qualifications Matter?
If you’re letting someone into your home, you need to be able to trust them. If your inspection is part of the process of gaining home insurance, a remortgage, or selling your house, then you need to know that your home inspector’s opinion will be valued and honored by the companies that you’re dealing with. An unqualified home inspector could cause major problems down the line.
However, you also need to know that your home is being checked by someone who knows what to look for. Nobody enjoys hearing about potential problems, but it’s better to get an early warning that will save the condition of your home, and your wallet, further down the line. With Frontline Inspections, you’ll be able to put your full confidence in a report by our qualified, professional team.
What Will Your 4-Point Home Inspector Look For?
With their knowledge and qualifications, a 4-point home inspector is equipped to evaluate the four most important systems of your home and identify whether they are working well or if they need attention.
What Are The “4 Points” in a 4-Point Inspection?
The four systems evaluated in a 4-point inspection are the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (collectively known as the HVAC), the roof, the plumbing, and the electrical systems.
The roof is one of the principal structures of your whole house, as it doesn’t just form a significant part of the building, but also affects air circulation and energy efficiency. Roofs have a finite lifespan, and signs of old age might include missing, cracked, or curling shingles. If it’s over 20 years old, then a replacement might be recommended.
As well as age, Frontline Inspections will assess the structure, flashings, skylights, gutters systems, vents, and stacks. We check the roof for any potential issues with leakage, and signs of deterioration and damage, such as water pooling on the surface of the roof. We also assess the shape of the roof to determine how well it will handle weather conditions such as high winds and snow.
To pass the electrical component of your 4-point inspection, the inspector will check that your electrical system meets code regulations. This means that the system should be of an appropriate size and well grounded. If your electrical panels are outdated or unsafe it could mean that your house fails the inspection, and uninsurable components such as knob-and-tube, cloth and sheath, or aluminum branch wiring will also mean that it doesn’t pass.
Faulty wiring can also cause a problem, but it might still be possible for your electrical system to pass the inspection with a code violation, depending on the nature, extent, and severity of the issue.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and these are among the most important systems in your home. Because they control the climate in your house, they ensure good air quality and prevent dampness, condensation, and dust accumulation, all of which might lead to health problems over time. To pass this component of the inspection, a licensed inspector will look for fully functioning and appropriately sized heating and cooling units in the house.
They’ll also gauge the age, condition, and maintenance of these to reach a decision, and may advise you to replace a system if it’s over 20 years old. It’s important to know that window air conditioning units, oil furnaces, and fireplaces are not considered to be part of the HVAC system. At Frontline Inspections, we’ll thoroughly evaluate your condenser, air handler, heat pump, and ducting.
For the plumbing component of the inspection, the inspector will look at the materials used in the supply lines and drainage systems of your home. They will also check the age of the system, and look to see whether the water heater is functioning well and distributing water effectively through the house.
They will also check for signs of leakage or water damage, and pipe deterioration. This is important and may lead to an inspection failure, as water damage is a key risk for home insurers.
What’s the Difference Between a 4-Point and Full House Inspection?
A full home inspection is more likely to be conducted as due diligence to check that a house is in good condition before you buy it, and is more holistic than a 4-point inspection. As well as the assessment of appliances, roofing, plumbing, and electrics, it also involves a rigorous examination of doors and windows, drainage and grading, the interior, and the exterior of the house.
A 4-point inspection gauges the integrity of any home over 20 years old with checks on the essential systems. It’s useful for gaining an awareness of any issues and for identifying potential problems that might need addressing in your house. While it isn’t as thorough or comprehensive as a full home inspection, it still requires a fully qualified professional with an expert eye to complete it effectively.
The Benefits of a 4-Point Home Inspection
Because it only involves a check of the four main systems in your house, a 4-point inspection is quicker and cheaper than a full home inspection, so it’s more cost-effective. However, it’ll still give you a clear idea about the condition of your house and will let you know if there are any issues before they develop into serious problems.
By choosing a licensed Florida home inspector, you’ll also be getting guaranteed expertise and a skilled assessment. You can’t put a price on your peace of mind, and a house inspection provides the knowledge that you need in order to have full confidence in the integrity and systems of your home.
When it comes to your 4-point home inspection, you need to know that your home is under scrutiny by someone who knows what to look for, so contact us at Frontline Inspections to get a quote for your inspection.