A: Payment is due at the time of inspection and we prefer our clients pay the inspector directly with cash, check or money order. However, if they would choose to use a card, we will provide a secure link or take credit card information by phone; if choosing to pay after the inspection is completed (credit card), the report(s) are unable to be released until payment is accepted. S.A.F.E. accepts Mastercard, Visa, Discover and American Express.
Q. When should I call to schedule my inspection?
A: As soon as possible after your contract is ratified (accepted by seller). There are deadlines in sales contracts that allow a certain number of days to have the inspections completed (this is different from how many days until settlement) and return a reply to the seller. It is best to allow as many days as possible to complete this. S.A.F.E. will work with you to find the first available appointment and promptly get a completed report to you and your realtor (if applicable). S.A.F.E. typically can accommodate appointment times within 5-7 business days of your call (sometimes sooner).
Q. How long will it take after the inspection for me to get the report?
A: Inspection reports are typically sent out within a few hours of finishing the inspection (provided payment is received at the time of completion of the inspection) however we continuously provide inspection reports within 24 hours of the appointment. Please note that radon testing takes at least 48 hours and/or 2 business days to complete, mold testing is tested/confirmed by a 3rd party independent laboratory and water testing (depending on what the testing parameter is) can take as little as 2 business days or up to 7 business days. So the sooner you call the better!
Q. Do your reports contain images?
A: Yes! We always include pictures and in some cases, video. Our documentation also includes arrows on pictures and captions with the location of findings.
Q. Are you licensed and insured?
A: Yes. In the Commonwealth of PA it is required to be licensed by an accredited national inspection organization and to be insured with liability and E & O (errors and omissions) insurance coverage. Our inspectors are ASHI and InterNACHI certified and always carry the amounts of insurance coverage currently required. It is also required to maintain current PA Department of Environmental Protection certifications for radon testing as well as PA Department of Agriculture certifications for wood destroying insect inspections. Copies of our licenses, certification numbers, etc. can be made available upon request.
Q. Where does most of your business come from?
A: Most of our inspections are performed for buyers of residential homes and occasionally commercial buildings. We receive a large number of word-of-mouth referrals and buyers also tell us they did their research through our Google reviews online.
Q. Can you inspect the roof?
A: If the inspector deems the roof to be safe, he will walk the roof for the inspection. There are times when that isn't feasible so we utilize other means such as binoculars as well as a drone (weather permitting).
Q. How long will the inspection take?
A: Typical home inspections take 2-4 hours depending on the size/layout and the condition of the home. We strive to keep our clients informed of findings as we move through different 'zones' of the inspection so our clients are as informed as their inspectors are before leaving the property. Clients will see inspectors on the phones taking pictures, videos and generating sections of the report as they move through the inspection process. Inspection reports are typically 30-60 pages and are fully interactive with hyperlinks for quick access to particular sections of the report.
Q: What are 'zones' of a home inspection?
A: There are typically 4 different 'zones' of the S.A.F.E. Inspection process: Zone 1: Roof & Exterior Zone 2: Attic Zone 3: Interior/Main floors and garage areas (if applicable) Zone 4: Basement/Crawlspace S.A.F.E. Inspections sections out different zones of the home to keep our clients informed of the path in which we move through a home, beginning at zone 1 and moving to zone 4 which also allows our clients to get a better understanding of the progress made during the inspection.
While we encourage our clients to attend inspections, we also encourage clients to make themselves familiar with the home; take measurements, generate questions and review any 'to-do' or wish list items with your realtor. This will allow the inspectors to remain focused and provide the best possible inspection. Should our clients not be with inspectors at the time of a completion of a zone, inspectors will search out the client(s)/realtor within the home and provide a zone 'tour' (safely; no ladders, crawlspaces, etc.) to the clients/realtor to go over findings, and answer any questions/concerns that pertain to that particular zone.
Q. Are you ok with me meeting you there during the inspection?
A: Buyers are always welcome at the inspections.
Q: Am I required to be at the inspection the entire time?
A: No, if you are unable to attend the inspection at all and/or for the entire duration, the inspection report will document all information that would have been reviewed at the time of inspection which will include pictures with arrows and in some cases, videos. Should any questions arise during your response period/while reviewing the inspection report, you are encouraged to reach out to S.A.F.E. Inspections by phone or email to have those questions/concerns addressed.
Q. Do you email the report?
A: All reports are emailed and remain available through the link that it is sent through. All pertinent documentation for the transaction that involved S.A.F.E. Inspections will be contained in that link as well. (just scroll down). These are also available to your realtor, if applicable.
Q. Do you work on weekends?
A: While our typical work week is Monday through Friday, we understand the need for flexibility, so we do accommodate weekend appointment requests with a small after hours fee.
Q. I am selling my home. Is there anything I should do on my end prior to the inspection taking place to ensure it can be completed properly?
A: Thank you for being such a helpful seller! We appreciate your willingness to assist in making this a smooth process and will do our best to be respectful of your home. Here are some tips: 1. Be sure all light bulbs and/or batteries are in working order. Be sure to label remotes/switches, etc., so the inspector/buyer understands what should be working what. 2. Be sure all pilot lights are lit. Due to insurance restrictions, the inspector will not light them for you. 3. Imagine you are the buyer and think about the things you would want the inspector to check for you. Be sure all areas that need inspected are accessible. For example, remove clothing from closets that have attic access in them; move personal items from in front of your electric panel, washer/dryer, basement access/crawlspace (be sure to note their location and remove access panels as well), etc. 4. If the property you are selling is vacant, please be sure all utilities are turned on. This includes the water main supply. Please make sure we are aware of any security systems, etc. It is preferable that you disarm/re-arm but if clear directions are given, most of the time it is a non-issue for our inspectors. 5. Inspectors do their best to return the home to its original state before leaving the property; locked vs. unlocked windows/doors, lights/fans on/off, interior doors opened/closed, A/C or Heat temperatures, etc. Inspectors will lock all exterior doors if no instruction is provided especially if there is a lockbox on site. 6. If you are having a septic inspection (especially if the home is vacant or you are planning to vacate soon) PLEASE DO NOT HAVE YOUR SEPTIC TANKS PUMPED PRIOR TO THE INSPECTION DATE. Inspectors need to see the tanks before, during and after the pump. For your convenience, S.A.F.E. also offers septic pumping. Our rates are extremely competitive, but please call our office for pricing. Another very important part of preparing for the septic inspection is to have all 24" manhole lids of all septic tanks/pumps located and exposed. Septic inspections and pumping won't be performed through any other access pipe. S.A.F.E. can sometimes assist with this and fees are assessed on a case by case basis. 7. All pets should be removed or crated for the duration of the inspection appointment. This is for the safety of your pets as well as our inspectors. 8. As always, we are available by phone or email to answer your questions or address your concerns. 717-919-1752 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If a dishwasher is installed, be sure to load it with dirty dishes and prep with detergent before leaving the home as inspectors are required to test/inspect the dishwasher if it conveys with the home.