Frequently Asked Home Inspection Questions

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is a visual unbiased inspection of the structure and components of a home to find items that are not performing correctly or items that are unsafe.

If a problem or a symptom of a problem is found the home inspector will include a description of the problem and digital photos in a written report and may recommend further evaluation.

Why should I have my house or my future house inspected?

Because buying your home is possibly the largest investment you will ever make.  A small investment in purchasing a home inspection may save you thousands of dollars in the future.

No home is perfect, even new homes are not immune to issues. They can have problems with the roofing system, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, or the electrical system, just to name a few things.

And much older homes can have additional issues. You want to make sure you are investing in a safe, sound, and secure home.

If you are selling a home, having a home inspection done and replacing/repairing the defects before the house goes on the market is a good selling point, shows concern, and will help the buyer trust the home’s condition — making it more marketable.

When do I request an Inspector?

The best time to consult an inspector is right after you have made an offer on your new building. The real estate contract usually allows for a grace period to inspect the building. Ask your professional Real Estate agent to include this inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional inspection.

Should the inspector be licensed?

Yes, In the State of Tennessee, like your Realtor who had to complete extensive schooling and testing to receive his/her license, home inspectors are legally required to be licensed and Insured. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you hire a home inspector who is licensed.

How is the industry regulated?

In Tennessee all inspections should be performed to the standards adopted by the State. To become a licensed home inspector, your inspector must complete a 90hr course and pass a written examination and provide E&O Insurance to prove their competency. The training does not stop there, they must also complete 32hrs of continuing education every two years to maintain there license. NACHI and ASHI inspectors must participate in continuing education courses to maintain their certifications and/or memberships. NACHI and ASHI inspectors adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice.

What if the report reveals issues?

All homes, even new homes, have issues. Problems can be fixed, and a home inspection simply allows that problems can be addressed before the house closes.

What does a home inspection include?

Home inspections should include the systems and structure of a home. Items that we normally inspect:

* Chimneys

* Attic Insulation

* Attic Ventilation

* Roof Leak

* Condensation

* Main Electrical Panel

* Corrosion on Wiring

* Electrical Outlet Performance

* Electrical Outlet Wiring

* Heating Unit

* Heat Distribution

* Plumbing Fixtures

* Plumbing Supply Pipe

* Water Pressure Tank

* Water Pump

* Hot Water Heater

* Main Sanitary Drain

* Separate Drains

* Windows

* Doors

* Over grown Trees

* Flashing

* Exterior Siding

* Exterior Trim

* Storm Windows & Doors

* Driveway

* Foundation

* Visible Wall Rot

* Visible Sill Rot

* Visible Floor Rot

* Floor Sag

* Basement/crawl space water

* Basement/crawl space ventilation

* Bathroom ventilation

* Kitchen ventilation

* Main Electrical System Ground

* TV Antenna Ground

* Bedroom Egress Window Size

* Porches, decks, and steps

* Walls, ceilings, floors

* Stairs

* Smoke Detectors

* Fireplaces

* Small Animal Entry

* Insect Infestation

* Gutters and Downspouts

* Exterior Drainage

* Grade Clearance

* Roof Eaves

* Roof Surface

* Roof Structure

* Garage

We also offer additional services not included in a typical home inspection such as

* New home construction inspections

* Septic Dye test

* Mold Testing

* Radon Testing

* Exterior Finish and Insulating System

* Swimming Pool Inspections

* We now do Radon Mitigation Systems

Well pressure tests & Well water bacteria test

Should I be present at the home inspection?

Yes. It is very helpful to be there so the home inspector can explain in person and answer any questions you may have. This is an excellent way to learn about your new home.

But be sure to give the home inspector time and space to concentrate and focus so he can do the best job possible for you.

This is a great time to point out items/areas that are of special concern to you.

We have an inspection procedure that enables us to find, see, and record all of the information we need in just a few hours.

What if the home “fails” the home inspection?

There is no such thing as a failing grade for a home inspection.  The inspection is simply to find items that are not performing correctly or items that are unsafe — and then they are noted in the report.

How do I get the actual home inspection report?

We use the INS computerized home inspection reporting system which allows us to include digital pictures.

The home inspection reports are available to our Customers and their agents on the Internet as soon as the reports are completed. Reports can be viewed as often as needed and printed as many times as necessary.

To view and print these reports on the internet all that is needed is your web browser. There is no plug-in required or any other kind of reader needed.

You will be emailed a link to your report with a user name and password to view it. This email only contains a link to the report and does not have any attachments.

This means you do not need to download large email attachments and you do not need to worry about email viruses.

Do you provide cost estimates for repairs?

No, we do not.  After you have looked over the report, you should contact at least two or three qualified licensed contractors and get estimates.

What if I have questions or concerns after reading the inspection report?

If you need to discuss the report please call us at 865-986-2516, and I’ll be happy to talk with you.  There is no charge for phone consultations after the report has been posted online. You can also contact us by email at

What do you charge for your home inspection services?

This is sometimes the first question asked but tells the least about the inspector. Fees are generally based according to size. Inspection fees from a certified professional home inspector generally start at $325. A quality inspection backed by a company who’s been in business a long time, with a reputation for standing behind their work sometimes requires a higher investment but it’s worth it. You’ll avoid headaches later on down the line.

What happens if the inspector honestly miss something?

Errors & Omissions Insurance, typically comes with a very high deductible, this means your home inspector must be financially able to pay the deductible from his/her own pocket, if there is ever a claim. Do a little background check to make sure his/her reputation is good within the community. Ask for references and his/her inspector’s certification number and check them out.

How can I make payment?

For your convenience, we accept credit card payments online.  Please click here to make a secure online payment.  If you have any questions about your quoted price, please contact us at 865-986-2516

Compare Services and You’ll Choose Bentley & Associates, LLC Home Inspection Services.

Once I find a qualified inspector, what specific questions should I ask?

How long to complete the inspection?

A typical inspection will take about two and a half to three and a half hours depending on the size of the home and it’s components.

Ask if they plan to meet with you on-site to review the report.

This service is crucial to understanding your report and is an important part of any professional home inspection.

What kind of report will I receive?

Many reports are hand written on a few pages, they look very unprofessional, and are hard to read. Look for a report that is computer generated with digital pictures and color coded.