Phone Carl at (715) 522-0225 or e-mail



What To Expect

      The on-site inspection work for the average home usually takes three to four hours. This time can vary greatly depending on the size and condition of the home. You are strongly encouraged to accompany the inspector and ask questions throughout the inspection. This will be the single best opportunity to learn about your prospective new home. I will take all the time that is needed to do a thorough inspection and answer any questions. If you or a representative cannot be present, a comprehensive inspection report is included with all inspections. After reviewing the report you are always welcome to give me a call with any questions, whether it be a week from now, a month from now or a year from now.

      A home inspection is a visual, non-invasive examination of the house and its components. As a home inspector I am a guest in the home. The host (seller) allows me to go through his house to perform the inspection and must be assured that I will not do anything destructive. For example, I can't make a hole in the wall to check for insulation. If I were to start tearing apart the house the inspection could take days and would be much more expensive. If the inspection is for the seller and he has a particular area of concern I may be able to dig deeper. The seller's privacy will be respected. If there are any areas or items that they do not want me to look at I will abide by their wishes.

      A thorough home inspection will give you a very good unbiased idea about the condition of the house, but because of the nature of a home inspection I can't catch everything. What I will be looking for are major defects and safety concerns, things that can easily be missed by the untrained eye.

      A complete explanation of what I must and must not do as a home inspector can be found in the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) Standards of Practice, or the Wisconsin Administrative Code RL 134.03 Standards of Practice.


      We will start with the exterior. The exterior part of the inspection covers the house itself and that part of the property which has a direct impact on the building. An example of some of the items inspected would be;
      • Siding, flashing and trim.
      • Exterior doors and storm doors.
      • Windows and trim.
      • Decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches, entryway and railings.
      • Eaves, soffit and fascia.
      • Vegetation, grading, surface drainage and retaining walls that may affect the building.
      • Walkways, patios and driveway.

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      Now let's move up to the roof. I will look at items like;
      • The type, quality and condition of roofing material used.
      • Roof drainage system.
      • Condition of flashings, proper installation.
      • Particular attention will be paid to penetrations such as plumbing vents, skylights and chimneys.
      Going to the inside of the house I will try to get into the attic, if accessible. Once there I will be looking for;
      • The condition and adequacy of the roof and ceiling structure.
      • Evidence of leaking.
      • Venting.
      • Insulation.
      As part of the interior inspection I will look at every room in the house. The focus will be on functionality and safety issues. Although cosmetic items are not part of a home inspection they may be mentioned as a courtesy. This part of the inspection includes, but is certainly not limited to;
      • Walls, ceilings and floors.
      • Steps, stairways, and railings.
      • Counter tops and a representative number of installed cabinets.
      • A representative number of doors and windows.
      In the basement and/or crawl space I will look for;
      • Evidence of moisture intrusion.
      • Settling and heaving.
      • The flooring system, including beams and columns.
      • Any Finished or livable area will be inspected just like any other room.
      The plumbing inspection includes;
      • Water supply.
      • Drain, waste and vent system.
      • Fixtures and faucets.
      • Hot water heater.
      • Sump pumps and related plumbing.
      • Fuel storage and distribution system.

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      The electrical components are inspected from where the power enters the house to the outlets and light switches. This includes, but again is not limited to;
      • The size of the service entrance wiring and main breaker.
      • If overhead entrance wiring, the condition of the mast and safe clearances of the wiring.
      • Grounding.
      • Distribution panel (breaker box), circuit breakers and conditions in the panel.
      • Switches, receptacles and GFCIs.
      The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) part of the inspection includes;
      • Installed furnaces.
      • The flue.
      • Vent systems.
      • Fireplace doors, damper, hearth and clearances.
      • Installed air conditioning units.
      All the components of the garage, whether attached or detached, will be inspected the same as the house. Items specific to a garage are;
      • The overhead door and automatic opener.
      • Fire separation.
      • Subpanels.
      • The floor and approach.
      This is only a partial listing of the literally hundreds of individual items that will be evaluated.


      After the field inspection is completed and all of your questions answered I will return to the office and prepare the Inspection Report. This is one of the many things sets Secure Home Inspections apart from other inspection agencies. Some home inspectors will hand you a carbon copy of a checklist at the end of an inspection, collect their pay and they are done. My report to you will be carefully and thoroughly constructed and will include photos outlining areas of concern. An e-mail version will be available immediately after completion and a hard copy will be mailed to you within a day or two of the inspection. After reading the report you are welcome to call me with any new questions. This is an open invitation. If you decide to buy the property and say a year from now you have a question or concern, you know where to find me.

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