Recommend energy audit be conducted.
SCOPE OF SERVICE: This is a limited, non-invasive visual inspection only, conforming to the Code of Mass. Regulations, 266 CMR 6.00 through 6.08. Standards of Practice for Home Inspectors, and as modified by the Contract and the limits set forth in the Contract. The report does not pass or fail a home / building, nor give it an overall rating. The Report is intended to provide an overview of the existing conditions at time of inspection only and should not be used as an indicator of future performance. No expressed or implied warranties or guarantees of any kind are given in conjunction with the inspection of the home. Photos included with this report will include some but not all defects uncovered.
DISCLAIMER: A. THIS IS NOT A CODE COMPLIANCE REPORT. ANY REFERENCE TO THE BUILDING CODE OR CODE INFRACTIONS IS INTENDED TO PROVIDE A PERFORMANCE BENCHMARK OF WHAT CONSTITUTES BEST PRACTICE. THE HOME INSPECTOR DOES NOT COVER ALL CODE COMPLIANCE ISSUES. YOU SHOULD CONTACT LOCAL OFFICIALS REGARDING CODE ISSUES.
PRODUCT RECALLS ARE EXCLUDED FROM THIS REPORT and can be researched at the Consumer Products Safety Commission web site: www.cpsc.gov
Be advised that NO HOME IS PERFECT, and a home inspector will not find every little problem during the hours spent at the site. Undisclosed problems are often revealed during repairs or after further evaluation by tradesmen.
A home inspector does NOT perform destructive testing, cannot see through walls, or move furniture or stored goods or predict the future. Only problems that are readily accessible and observable at time of inspection will be included in the report.
If the inspector recommends further investigations, any such investigations shall be at the Client's sole responsibility to schedule with experts of your choice and hire.
In all cases, repair of problems or conditions noted in this Report should only be done by qualified licensed and insured professionals in accordance with the requirements of the building code. Any negotiated repair work to be done by the homeowner is strictly at the Client's risk.
NOTICE: As part of your purchase research, I recommend that you visit the local building department and conservation commission and research public records for assurance that the building complies with applicable building codes, municipal regulations and any potential wet lands issues. Make sure a current up-to-date Certificate of Occupancy exists for the entire house as it is presently constructed, especially if the home is a multi-family building. A certificate of occupancy is issued by the local municipality after a home, or alterations to the home have passed all municipal codes and zoning regulations in force at time of construction.
Buying real estate is a speculative investment in spite of a limited visual home inspection. While you still incur some risk, the home inspection Report does represent an educated & impartial second opinion.
Any service provider or product web links or other web links included in the report are provided as a courtesy and are not to be construed as endorsements. The Inspector is not responsible for the accuracy of any information found at the linked web sites.
It is the Clients sole responsibility to personally perform a diligent visual inspection of the property after the seller vacates to insure that no "adverse condition" was concealed by personal property or stored items, or that any damage occurred as the owner moved out.
The Home Inspection Final Report contains specific information relative to this home. Make sure that it accurately documents the visual problems that were disclosed to you during the hours of the Home Inspection. If you have any questions or require any further clarification, please telephone for free consultation.
If you should desire a "return visit Inspection," please contact my office for a quotation based on minimum trip charge and hourly rate. If you were absent during this inspection or you do not understand the Final Report, please call the office immediately for clarification.
This Report is the copyrighted work of [COMPANY]. REPRODUCTION OF THIS REPORT WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE INSPECTION COMPANY IS PROHIBITED. The Report is not assignable to third parties and is NOT to be forwarded to the owner(s) of the property. Should this Report be sold or transferred to another party, all opinions are null and void and the Company disclaims any and all liability which may result from this Report and the opinions contained therein. The Company reserves the right to institute legal litigation against any party who distributes or shares information contained within this Report with other parties not involved in the sales transaction without our written and/or oral approval.
PHOTOGRAPHS: The digital photographs in this report are primarily meant as a visual aid for the Client. Pictures of every defect are not included and total inclusion of every photo is beyond the scope of this report. The fact that there is a picture of a defect does not directly correlate with its relative importance with respect to occupant safety, the extent of needed repairs or cost. Not all defects lend themselves well to photographic representation and may not be included for that reason. Pictures are also included simply to identify systems and components.
(Notice: As inspectors are NOT required to move furniture or stored goods, there is a potential for concealed problems that were not readily accessible and observable at time of inspection. It is critical that you perform a "pre-passing inspection" after the owner has removed all possessions from the home. If you need assistance with this objective, a "return visit inspection" can be arranged for a fee.)
The CLIENT was NOT PRESENT during the home inspection. When not present, clients tend to misinterpret the inspectors report and findings. You should review the inspection report very carefully and contact the Company with any questions or needed clarification.
Snow. All snow covered components should be listed in the contract of sale and should be guaranteed by the owner to be serviceable and operative.
Observation: Often, a mechanical system is found to be in a shut-down condition at time of inspection do to a lack of fuel, a pilot that is out, a mechanical defect or simply for the winter. Analysis: Be advised that while such shut-down items may appear to have no visual problems, their true operational condition is UNDETERMINED, and their inspection is EXCLUDED from this report. Further investigation is needed as home inspectors are prohibited from operating any system or component in a shut-down condition. Components or systems not readily accessible due to weather or other shut-down conditions beyond the control of the Company are accepted by the Client without additional burden to the Company. There is a risk of undetermined problems. Recommendation: The Company recommends that YOUR due diligence is to request that the Seller and/or the Seller's Representative demonstrate that those shut-down systems and/or components are functional or that they be further inspected by a professional of your choice and hire prior to expiration of the inspection contingency period. Consult with the owner NOW on any known deficiencies, request written assurance that the item / system is functional or place money in an escrow account for an agreed upon time period. For your protection, your realtor and attorney should be informed and you should request protective language in your purchase agreement until such time that all shut-down systems can be activated and inspected for operational condition and unknown defects. As with any binding obligation of such significance, it is recommended that you consult an attorney before entering into a contract for the purchase of a home, and that any contract entered into be made expressly contingent upon your attorney's approval of all terms and conditions contained in the contract. If you fail to heed this advice, you may suffer from the cost of unknown repairs or replacement. If you desire a return visit by the home inspector, contact this office when the systems have been repaired or seasonally activated. Note: A return visit fee will be charged.
Observation: The living spaces were greatly cluttered at time of inspection. Dirty conditions were prevalent throughout the house. Analysis: The clutter and dirty conditions obstructed complete inspection. There is a risk of concealed problems. Recommendation: You should be very diligent by re-inspecting the entire home during your pre-passing inspection.
NOTICE: ALL DIRECTIONAL REFERENCES (such as left side, right side, front or rear) are oriented as if you were standing at the street and facing the home.
Optional re-inspection (at an hourly rate) is only performed on items not readily accessible, not observable, no safe access or shut-down at the time of original inspection. Should you negotiate with the owner to have items repaired, I suggest they be performed by a licensed or qualified professional and NOT the homeowner as they cannot offer a warranty on their work. You need to decide for yourself if you or the seller's qualifications, experience and knowledge would allow the repair to be made without using a qualified licensed trade professional. All work must comply with applicable law, including local permit, inspection, and Certificate of Occupancy requirements. You should ask the owner to provide receipts for repairs performed by others. The documentation should include a written statement indicating the date of repairs, who performed the repairs, applicable permits and final verification of condition.
It is your job to judge what the house needs after the home inspection, and what it can become with budgeted repairs and upgrades. It is up to you to determine if the cost of needed repairs will add measurably to the cost of the home and if those costs are manageable in your budget. You should obtain cost estimates for repairs identified by your home inspector as soon as possible after the home inspection, and when necessary, you should request extensions to allow enough time to complete needed research prior to closing. These costs when added to the purchase price will reflect the true cost of the home. I hope that the inspection and report will help you understand the property you are buying and will help you enjoy your purchase in the future. If through your negotiations access becomes possible, components become readily accessible, repairs are done or systems are restored, you may desire to schedule a "return visit" inspection with this office, at an additional charge, prior to commitment.
The inspection of all EXCLUDED items in our Contract and in the Standards of Practice should be performed, directed and evaluated by other specialists of your choice of hire prior to commitment. Since this inspection company does not dismantle equipment or perform invasive inspections the contractor's subsequent examination and repairs may reveal additional required repairs. Photographs have been included to help you to understand what was observed during the inspection. When describing defects, photos are intended to show an example of a defect, but may not show every occurrence of the defect. When correcting these problems, you should have a qualified specialist carefully check for all similar occurrences. Based on my observations during the home inspection, YOUR DUE DILIGENCE should include interpreting the data in this report, contacting the Company for any needed clarification and contact the following specialists for further investigation of the ENTIRE APPLICABLE SYSTEM and /or components NOW in order to determine the cost of repairs or replacement and the impact on your budget:
Recommend energy audit be conducted.
Recommend energy audit to confirm presence of insulation.
Recommend confirming complete connection and annual cleaning of the entire venting material to prevent lint buildup and risk of fire.
GENERAL INSULATION/VENTILATION COMMENTS: A. FREE ENERGY AUDITS by local utility companies are recommended to further identify & estimate areas in need of energy saving improvements and available incentives. Visit www.masssave.com Contact Home Works 781-305-3319 www.Homeworksenergy.com B. YOU should re-inspect the attic space after the owner has removed all possessions as hidden problems may exist. C. New homes are now required to have a light in the attic. D. New homes are required to have a vapor barrier of 1.0 perm or less installed on the warm side of walls, ceilings and floors enclosing a conditioned space. E. Typical insulation requirements for residential applications include: Ceilings (R = 38), walls (R=28), basement (R = 12.5), basement wall R-10 3 1/2" fiberglass or equivalent, slab R-10 under. F. Typical ventilation requirements for new residential applications include: Attics with a ceiling vapor barrier shall have a screened opening of at least 1 SF of free vent area for each 300 SF of ceiling space. Attics without a ceiling vapor barrier shall have a screened opening of at least 1 SF for each 150 SF of ceiling area. G. YOU should ask the owner about any prior roof/flashing leakage and should monitor the attic to determine if corrective action is needed. Be advised that active roof or flashing leaks can occur at anytime regardless of the age or condition of the roof coverings and flashings.
DISCLAIMERS: All items listed in 266 CMR 6.04(3)(b)5. System INSULATION and VENTILATION plus the following are EXCLUDED from this report: A. The types(s) of/or amounts of insulation and/or its material make-up. B. Concealed insulation and vapor retarders. C. Venting equipment that is integral with household appliances. D. The venting of kitchens. E. The adequacy, uniformity and capacity of the in place system(s) to ventilate the various areas of the dwelling (Engineering/Heating services.) F. Attic/eaves spaces that had no safe access insufficient lighting, unsafe flooring or were not readily accessible and observable. G. Inspection for MOLD. I. NO GUARANTY AGAINST ROOF LEAKS IS IMPLIED. H. Systems and components obstructed by finished floor, wall or ceiling coverings.
GENERAL STRUCTURE COMMENTS: A. A dry basement cannot be guaranteed because a basement is a hole in the ground that is vulnerable to infiltration when exposed to prolonged rain, ground saturation, changes in seasonal hydrostatic ground water pressure and fluctuation in the water table. If you want a guaranty of a dry basement, then you should hire a basement waterproofing contractor to install a perimeter French drain system along the perimeter of the basement walls and connected to a sump pump with battery backup. Ideally, the site should have hard surfaces and soils that slope away from the residence, functional gutters & downspouts and a difference in elevation between the exterior grade and the interior floors. If the site does not live up to this ideal, then the Company disavows all responsibility for water penetration problems. Be advised that evidence of prior dampness is often concealed by the owner's stored goods, painted surfaces or finished surfaces below grade level. You should ask the owner about honest disclosure of any prior wet basement problems prior to purchase. Most basement dampness can be reduced by directing all surface water and roof run-off away from the foundation. B. You should request in writing that the basement, garage and attic be emptied and broom swept clean prior to purchase. Then you should return to re-inspect for concealed defects. C. Owners are required to maintain structural elements in good repair and fit for intended use. D. Be advised that any source of water penetration or ventilation imbalance can cause interior damage and / or mold. E. The condition of hidden wall substrate is undetermined as it is not readily accessible and observable for inspection.
DISCLAIMERS: All items listed in 266 CMR 6.04(3)(a)5.a-d, plus 6.04(3)(b)5a-e. System STRUCTURE plus the following are EXCLUDED from this Report: A. This report does NOT GUARANTEE A DRY BASEMENT. (see General Comment #A above) B. The Inspector is not required to enter under-floor crawl spaces or attics when entry could damage the property, or when dangerous or adverse conditions are suspected. Be advised that areas not entered may contain hidden defects. C. The Client understands that the inspection does not include invasive inspection or exploratory demolition. Structural components or mechanical systems concealed by finished surfaces or stored goods are inaccessible for visual inspection and are therefore EXCLUDED from this Report. Be advised that hidden problems may exist. D. The Client understands that the inspection & final report do not provide and engineering service or architectural service as assessing structural integrity of a building is beyond the scope of a limited visual inspection. A certified engineer is recommended when there are structural concerns about the building. No engineering calculations are performed during this inspection. E. The Client understands that the Home Inspection & Report do NOT INCLUDE A TERMITE OR WOOD BORING INFESTATION REPORT. No inspection was made by this COMPANY to detect past or present insect or rodent activity. Wood boring insects that can appear anytime, even if there were no signs of infestation or damage at time of inspection. This Company is NOT a licensed pest control company or exterminator. The inspection for rot is done by line of sight and is done in conjunction with the responsibility to examine structural condition. I ADVISE THAT EVERY HOME BE INSPECTED BY A LICENSED PEST CONTROL COMPANY NOW, PRIOR TO THE CLOSE OF ESCROW to protect your right to negotiate for repairs or chemical treatment if needed. I emphasize that your only assurance of arresting or preventing infestation, whether concealed or discovered, is to obtain treatment and a warranty from a state licensed pest control company. NOTICE: IF YOU ARE SEEKING A VA LOAN, A PEST INSPECTION IS REQUIRED.
NOTICE: IF REPAIRS HAVE BEEN DONE, YOU SHOULD SECURE THE INFORMATION FROM THE SELLER THAT THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AND PROFESSIONALLY REPAIRED. ASK FOR A COPY OF THE SPECIFICATIONS. RESEARCH THE PERMIT HISTORY AT THE LOCAL BUILDING DEPARTMENT.
Recommend sealing with hydraulic cement and polyurethane caulking.
Recommend sump pump with battery backup be installed for added protection.
GENERAL ELECTRICAL COMMENTS: A. Important Safety Note: Repairs attempted by untrained or unlicensed individuals to any electrical component may result in injury or death from electric shock or create a future and/or hidden safety hazard. It is recommended that all repairs or improvements be performed by a licensed electrician. Any electrical repairs attempted by the home owner should be approached with caution as personal injury or fire could result. The power to the entire home should be turned off prior to beginning any repairs, no matter how trivial the repair may seem. B. The main disconnect and individual circuit breakers or fuses were NOT opened or tested during the inspection for to do so would disrupt energized parts of the home and upset the owner. Upon occupancy and twice a year, you should trip the main breaker and circuit breakers as preventative maintenance. C. Be advised that a 100 amp electrical service is now considered the modern minimum for all single family homes. The Company recommends that all 60 amp services be upgraded. D. While older 2-slot outlets may be typical for an older home, they are rated as "poor" by the CPSA and updating to modern U-type tamper resistant receptacles is recommended for safety. If the home was built before 1940, there is a risk of concealed knob & tube wiring. E. Be advised that modern homes now have outlets within 6 foot reach to prevent the use of extension cords. F. Ground-fault-circuit-interrupters (GFCI) are now required at all water hazard areas such as outside outlets, swimming pools, garage, basement, bathrooms, all outlets above kitchen countertops, dishwashers and washing machines. Updating is advised if such devices are not present. G. Be advised that as of 2002, all new homes must have arc-fault-circuit-interrupters (AFCI) devices to protect all bedroom and general living space circuits from causing a fire. Older homes can be updated with such devices. H. Be advised that all electrical equipment has a finite life of approximately 40-years, after which all components should be evaluated for age replacement. I. Any flush-mounted ceiling light fixture installed before 1985 has a potential for brittle insulation in the outlet box above the fixture. Further inspection is advised for fire safety. J. The Company recommends that every home have a SURGE PROTECTOR installed for the protection of electronic equipment. K. The Company recommends that smoke & CO detectors be replaced every 8 years.
DISCLAIMER: All items listed in 266 CMR 6.04(4)(e) System ELECTRICAL plus the following are EXCLUDED from this report: low voltage systems, smoke & CO detectors, telephone systems, security systems & alarms, cable TV systems, intercoms, smart house wiring, speaker systems, landscape lighting, outside pole lamps, lightning protection systems, electrical de-icing cables or other ancillary wiring that is not part of the primary electrical distribution system. The Home Inspector will NOT test all switches, receptacles or fixtures; only a representative number are tested. The Inspector will NOT remove switch or outlet cover plates, nor will he trace wiring origins or destinations. DISCLAIMER: Per 266 CMR 6.00 STANDARDS OF PRACTICE 6.04(6)(e)6.d the inspection of smoke & carbon monoxide detectors is EXCLUDED from the inspection and report as the requirement is the "Sellers responsibility, M.G.L. c. 148 § 26E and 577 CMR 31.06)." Web Resource: A Guide to the Massachusetts Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Requirements http://www.mass.gov/eopss/docs/dfs/osfm/pubed/flyers/consumers-guide-w-sell-1-and-2-fam.pdf
GENERAL EXTERIOR COMMENTS: A. There is a risk of concealed defects behind any areas of wood rot, decay or wood in earth contact; further investigation is advised NOW if such conditions are reported on by the inspector. B. For safety and reduction in liability, the owner of a dwelling is responsible for maintaining all means of egress in a safe, operable condition at all times; and is required to keep all exterior stairways, fire escapes, egress balconies and bridges free of ice and snow. C. To prevent personal injury, a graspable handrail is recommended for every stairway regardless of the height or number of risers. D. Siding materials require maintenance and that those siding materials with Southern exposure usually age at a faster rate. Northern exposed siding is more prone to decay from moisture. Any source of water penetration or ventilation imbalance can cause interior damage and / or mold. E. The Company recommends that the finish on all untreated wood siding materials be restored at 3-5 year intervals, and that wood decks be water sealed annually. F. Monitor exterior drainage conditions annually to identify and reduce conditions that may cause wet basement problems. Lawns and gardens along the perimeter of the foundation should direct water away from the home by gravity flow at a pitch of 1"/FT for a distance of ten feet, and perimeter gardens should be at a higher elevation than the lawn. Likewise, downspouts should have base elbows & splash blocks or extensions to discharge roof water far from the home. G. Maintain a 2-foot clearance between all shrubbery & siding for proper ventilation, access and maintenance. H. WARNING - before the installation of new thermal replacement windows, old window sash & trim should be tested for LEAD PAINT. I. Purchase a shed and store firewood, gasoline and the lawn mower away from the home. J. Make sure that a 3-4 inch house number is mounted next to the front door and is visible from the street.
DISCLAIMERS: All items listed in 266 CMR 6.04(2)(e) System EXTERIOR plus the following are EXCLUDED from this report plus the following: A. Components covered by SNOW. (True conditions are undetermined and require further research by you). B. Paint or stain finishes on siding & trim. C. The condition of unknown underlying siding materials. D. Outbuildings and detached structures such as sheds, barns, pool house, pump house etc., and all associated plumbing / electrical / heating systems leading to and inside these structures. E. The location of property lines. F. Swimming pools, pool heaters, pool decks, pool patios, pool liability protection and dedicated equipment
NOTICE: The inspection is limited to readily accessible areas within the inspected unit(s) ONLY. Common exterior areas and all related items are the responsibility of the condo association. All exterior areas are not applicable to our report and any reference within this section of the report is for courtesy only, based on visual / general observations only. YOU should consult with the condo association NOW on any known exterior deficiencies, litigations or planned improvements to exterior areas and all components. You should ask if the association has sufficient reserve funds for the maintenance and repair of the common areas of is there are anticipated "special assessments" planned to raise the needed funds. FYI: A new state fire safety regulation that requires property owners to keep mulch at least 18 inches away from larger buildings. State officials hope to prevent a recurrence of costly fires caused by the landscaping material, the Department of Fire Services said today. The regulation prohibits placing mulch close to the combustible exteriors of buildings, such as wood or vinyl siding. The regulation does not apply to residential buildings with less than six units. The new regulation comes in response to several mulch-related fires, notably careless cigarette disposal.
Recommend sealing gaps and voids with caulking.
SCOPE OF THE GARAGE INSPECTION: (Note: Home inspectors are NOT required to inspect detached garages. Any inspection of the detached garage is done so as a free courtesy only, with no consideration). The inspector shall observe the attached garage roof covering, structure, wall coverings, foundation, doors & windows, fire shielding, door operator and electrical outlets. The Home Inspector must Report on whether or not an automatic garage door operator will reverse or stop when it meets reasonable resistance during closing. The garage inspection is limited to those areas or components that were visible and readily accessible at time of inspection only. Concealed areas should be re-inspected by YOU prior to commitment.
GENERAL COMMENTS: A. For your protection, you should re-examine the garage after the owner has removed all vehicles and storage items as concealed defects may exist. Probing & sounding of the wood sills for hidden decay is especially recommended as their closeness to grade level often invites decay or wood boring insect infestation. B. All attached garages should have intact fire shielding on the inside surface of the wall adjoining the home and the ceiling if living space is above. C. The garage door operator "safety reversing mechanisms" should be tested monthly to prevent personal injury or property damage. D. For electrical safety, all garage outlets should be equipped with modern ground-fault-circuit-interrupter (GFCI) shock protection. E. Fire doors should have a optional self-closing piston or spring loaded hinges. F. Overhead door openers should be updated by installing infrared sensors when not present.
DISCLAIMERS: A. Stored goods along the perimeter of the garage walls usually limit access for visual examination of the garage structure. Be advised that hidden or concealed defects may exist that were not readily accessible and observable at the time of inspection. B. Locked or inaccessible garages are EXCLUDED from this report. C. The true condition of door operators, lights and outlets is undetermined if the electricity is shut-down at time of inspection. D. Overhead door openers will NOT be tested if a car is parked beneath, as malfunctions sometimes occur. E. Conditions behind finished wall and ceiling coverings are undetermined. F. The Company does not evaluate or measure the fire-ratings of the drywall / plaster in the garage or the rating of the door between the garage and the house. Ideally, there should be 5/8inch Type X fire rated drywall or equivalent on the walls and ceiling that separate the garage from habitable rooms, and a 20-minute rated door separating the house and garage. We check for voids or breaches in t eh firewall. G. We do not pressure test the garage door openers as there is a risk of damage to the overhead door.
GENERAL ROOF COMMENTS: A. Most 3-tab asphalt / fiberglass roof coverings have a 15-20 year life expectancy depending on brand, ventilation, installation and exposure. A roof covering is not designed to last the life of the home and future replacement should be budgeted. Estimates for any repairs or replacement should be obtained from a licensed & insured roofing contractor. B. The Company recommends that all chimneys be inspected annually by a certified member of the chimney sweep guild. Such safety precaution will ensure that harmful combustion gases are safely vented outside. C. Your responsibility is to continue to maintain the gutters and downspouts to direct water away from the home to prevent wet basement problems. Clean and inspect all gutters annually. Each downspout should discharge water away from the foundation to prevent wet basement problems. D. Evidence of water penetration or leakage is not required to determine if a roof has failed and needs replacement. E. A roof may lose shingles at any time due to high winds. Most roofs have no wind warranty. F. Be advised that any source of water penetration or ventilation imbalance can cause interior damage and / or mold. G. If the 1st owner can verify that the roof shingles are CertainTeed brand, you should register the roof with the company to obtain a 2nd owner warranty. Web resource: Web Resource: http://www.certainteed.com/forms/registerProduct.aspx
6.04:(d)1. "MA Home Inspectors are NOT required to walk on the roof unless in the opinion of the Home Inspector he/she is provided Safe Access, and the Seller and/or the Seller's Representative provides written authorization that relives the Inspector of all liability of possible damage to the roofing components, and in the opinion of the Inspector, walking on the roof will pose no risk of personal injury or damage to the roofing components." The method of roof inspection is a judgment call based upon access and the inspector's safety. The Client understands that roof coverings often contain hidden defects and that if this is cause for concern, a professional roofer should be brought in prior to the close of escrow to determine such defects. Unless otherwise stated, all roofing, flashing and chimneys are examined and conditions stated are as visible from ground level. Problems and defects may exist which could not be determined, from ground level, and for which the Company, and its inspectors, cannot and do not assume responsibility. The only way to insure that hidden problems or defects do not exist is to hire a professional roofer to climb and walk on the roof.
Chimney and Fireplace Inspections: 6.04:(d)2.b. "Inspectors shall not be required to Observe and Report On the interior of chimney flues." For that reason, the Company and the National Fire Protection Association, recommend an NFPA 211, Level II inspection of any chimney and fireplace when a home is sold. Such an inspection, performed by a qualified chimney sweep, might uncover additional problems that were not readily accessible and observable at time of inspection. For safety reasons, all chimney and fireplace problems should be corrected before use. A list of Chimney
Safety Institute of America Certified Chimney Sweeps' is available online at http://www.csia.org/. You should have a Level II inspection done NOW, before purchase. Web Resource: http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_inspection/autolink.php?id=9&script=showthread&forumid=7
DISCLAIMERS: All items listed in 266 CMR 6.04(1)(d) System ROOFING: plus the following are EXCLUDED from this report, plus the following: A. The true condition of roof components covered by SNOW is undetermined and EXCLUDED from this report. B. The inspector is not required to observe attached accessories including but not limited to solar systems, antennae and lightning arrestors. C. Because of the many factors contributing to the adequacy of a roofing installation, the COMPANY cannot warrant such adequacy and can only comment on those installation features that are readily accessible and observable by visual inspection, inaccessible areas or obstructed areas are EXCLUDED. Any additional investigation would require "destructive testing" of the installation to explore roof decking, underlayments, nailing schedules and many other factors not evident in a visual examination. D. THIS REPORT IS NOT A GUARANTEE AGAINST ROOF LEAKAGE as climatic conditions such as high winds, wind driven rain, snow loads, winter ice dams and sun degradation can cause unpredictable leakage with any roof. NOTICE: UNLESS THE ATTIC WAS VIEWED DURING RAIN, NO GUARANTY AGAINST ROOF LEAKS IS IMPLIED. YOU should monitor the attic area for signs of roof or flashing leakage after heavy rain or snow conditions. E. MA HOME INSPECTORS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO INSPECT AND REPORT ON THE INTERIOR OF A CHIMNEY. Any information provided is done so as a courtesy only. We recommend installing proper liners in all unlined chimney flues NOW for modern fire safety. Install chimney caps on all chimneys NOW. F. The suitability of a chimney for the fuel that it vents is EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED from this report. G. The type and condition of roof covering fasteners (nails, staples, etc.) are undetermined as they are not readily accessible and observable without destructive testing.
NOTICE: IF ROOF COVERING, FLASHING OR CHIMNEY LEAKS ARE DISCLOSED AS REPAIRED, YOU SHOULD SECURE THE INFORMATION FROM THE SELLER THAT THE PROBLEM HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AND PROFESSIONALLY REPAIRED. ASK FOR A COPY OF THE SPECIFICATIONS.
Recommend installation of a roof drainage system to help protect the home's foundation and siding.
It is very important, therefore, that surface runoff water be adequately diverted away from the home. Lot grading should slope away and fall a minimum of one (1) inch every foot for a distance of six (6) feet around the perimeter of the building.
GENERAL HVAC COMMENTS: A. Equipment that is "SHUT-DOWN," not seasonally functional, out of fuel or does not respond to normal operating controls cannot be functionally evaluated. Reappraisal by a heating or air conditioning technician is recommended prior to purchase. B. As preventative maintenance, all heating and cooling systems should be inspected and serviced annually by a HVAC technician. Annual service and repair contracts and automatic fuel delivery agreements are recommended. C. If you buy the home, I recommend that you have the heating & cooling systems completely evaluated and fully serviced to establish a base date of good annual maintenance. D. Owners of rental property are required to keep heating systems in good working order and to provide adequate heat between September 15th and June 15th, unless lease agreements define occupant responsibility. E. Today's construction requires that the "emergency shut-off switch" be located outside of the basement or boiler room so that the door remains closed for safety. Relocation of older nonconforming switch locations is advised. F. Be advised that when the outside temperature is less than 65 degrees F., the inspector cannot operate the central air conditioning system due to possible damage to the compressor. G. Be advised of the following average appliance life expectancies depending on brand, maintenance and use: hot air furnace 15-20 years, steel boiler 20 years, cast iron boiler 30-40 years, compressor unit 10-12 years. H. Consult with the owner NOW on any known underground, abandoned oil tanks or oil leaks or hazardous waste on the property. You should purchase optional oil cleanup coverage from your insurance company. Any known problems should be discussed with your attorney NOW. I. Set back/programmable thermostats are now required in every occupied building (780 CMR 6 and 7th edition). J. If the permit for the heating system is not posted, the inspection Company recommends you secure a copy of the permit from the Owner to ensure that the installation has been inspected and approved by the municipal fire department. Note: In the event of a fire, the insurance company can require a copy of the permit as a requirement prior to making payment." K. If a metal chimney is present, the inspection Company recommends that you ask a licensed HVAC contractor to determine if it is appropriate for the fuel source, furthermore, the Inspection Company recommends only the use of an "all fuel" stainless steel chimney.
DISCLAIMERS: All items listed in 266 CMR 6.04(6)(e)1-7 System HEATING and 6.04(7)(e)1-7 System Central Air Conditioning plus the following are EXCLUDED from this Report: A. The Inspector is not required to operate systems when weather conditions or other circumstances may cause equipment damage. B. The Inspector is not required to operate automatic safety controls. Systems shall be operated using normal operating controls and shall be observed via readily openable access panels. C. The Inspector is not required to ignite or extinguish fires or pilots. D. The Inspector is not required to observe non-central air conditioners. E. The uniformity of the supply of conditioned air to the various parts of the structure is not calculated. F. No representation is made regarding line integrity or coolant charges since the inspector does not perform pressure tests on coolant systems. G. The Inspector does not check the electric draw (current) or the systems. H. Testing is only performed on those systems that will respond to user controls during appropriate prevailing temperature, humidity and climate conditions. I. Systems known to be or appearing to be faulty, defective, unsafe or shut-down are not tested. J. The Inspection and Report do NOT include determination of adequacy of any system with regard to personal comfort needs, nor do the Inspection and Report include any determination of the efficiency of any system with regard to energy usage. K. Except where otherwise noted, we do not judge compliance with manufacturer’s instructions or regulatory codes, test specialized accessories, determine clearance to combustibles, or verify adequacy of combustion air. L. Product recalls are Excluded. M. The determination of combustion efficiency, heating capacity cooling system tonnage and their compatibility are excluded as being "engineering services" that exceed the scope of this limited visual home inspection. N. The suitability of a chimney for the fuel that it vents is EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED from this report. O. THE INSPECTION AND REPORTING ON LATENT DEFECTS, SUCH AS RECALLED SYSTEMS AND COMPONENTS IS EXCLUDED FROM THIS REPORT.
DISCLAIMER: THE EVALUATION OF OIL TANKS AND HEAT EXCHANGERS IS EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED FROM THIS REPORT PER MA RULES & REGULATIONS AS STATED ABOVE, AS THEY ARE NOT READILY ACCESSIBLE FOR COMPLETE VISUAL INSPECTION. OIL TANKS CAN BE INSPECTED BY ULTRASONIC TESTING BY SPECIALISTS OF YOUR CHOICE & HIRE.
DISCLAIMER: PER 266 CMR 6.00 (6)(E)1. STANDARDS OF PRACTICE, "the Inspector shall not be required to Observe and Report On the following: Test and or inspect the heat exchanger. This requires dismantling of the furnace Cover and possible removal of controls. (Engineering services/Heating services)." THE EVALUATION OF A FURNACE HEAT EXCHANGER IS EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED FROM THE INSPECTION AND REPORT AS IT IS NOT READILY ACCESSIBLE AND OBSERVABLE. THE COMPANY ADVISES THAT YOU HIRE A HVAC SYSTEM PROFESSIONAL TO PERFORM DIAGNOSTIC TESTING OF THE HEAT EXCHANGER PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE INSPECTION CONTINGENCY PERIOD. IF YOU FAIL TO HEED THIS ADVICE, THEN THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT THE UTILITY COMPANY WILL DISCOVER A FAILED HEAT EXCHANGER DURING A CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP AND "RED TAG" THE APPLIANCE AS BEING UNSAFE AND IN NEED OF COSTLY TOTAL APPLIANCE REPLACEMENT. (Note: A furnace may be rated at functional by the home inspector and still have a defective heat exchanger.)
NOTICE: The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will require blower-door testing for new buildings and duct-blaster testing for air conditioning and heating air ducts.
Recommend full concrete pad with designated heat pump metal leg stands.
Consult users manual of specfic system.
GENERAL PLUMBING COMMENTS: A. New England public & private water supplies tend to have a high mineral content that is slightly corrosive to copper pipes, fittings, valves, boilers and hot water heaters. There is always a possibility of future leaks or blockages that did not exist at the time of inspection. You should inspect your plumbing system annually for greenish or whitish signs of corrosion and perform maintenance repairs as required. Expect future repair or replacement of faucet & toilet components through normal wear & tear. B. If your prospective older home has a remaining old steel service pipe, the future replacement will be your financial responsibility. The lifespan of old water service pipes is unpredictable but weak water pressure may be a telltale sign of needed age replacement. C. Be advised that the main shut-off valve was not tested during the inspection as they often can develop maintenance leaks or upset the owner. You should test the valve if you buy the home. D. Be advised that well pumps have an average life expectancy of 10-12 years. E. Be advised that new homes now have 3/4" dia. water lines across the basement and 1/2" dia. piping leading to each fixture. Older 1/2" piping systems or brass of steel water piping are candidates for age replacement. E. Older homes may not have local fixture shut-off valves, P-shaped traps and re-vent connections. While appropriate for an older home, such old plumbing will have to undergo required major updating to comply with current codes during any kitchen or bathroom remodeling. F. Be advised that hot water heaters have a short 5-12 year lifespan depending on brand, budget for eventual age replacement. Set water temperature control no higher than 130 degrees F. max. at the faucets and 112 degrees F. max. at the shower heads to prevent scalding. G. Private waste disposal systems should be pumped out for general maintenance at least every three years to protect the leaching field. H. If your prospective new home has a "tankless coil" at the boiler for domestic hot water production, then updating the system by installing a modern "indirect or instantaneous water heater" is highly recommended to insure adequate hot water and to reduce expenses. I. Homes built before 1987 are likely to have 50:50 lead / tin soldered joints in the copper water pipes. Be advised that lead is a health hazard in high concentrations. There is a controversy that the old lead solder is not a problem as it has been coated by minerals within the pipes over the years that prevent the lead from leaching into the water. Be further advised that this argument may be correct but true lead content in the water supply is undetermined. If you have health concerns, then suggested options include: further testing of the solder for lead content, further
testing of the water for lead content or replacement of all old lead soldered joints if present. J. If the home has a public sewage connection, then you should verify the disclosure with the local public waste disposal department. K. If the home has a private waste disposal system, then the owner is required to give you a complete copy of the Title 5 inspection report. L. If well water is present; the Company advises that you have the water tested NOW for its chemistry, bacteria and radon levels. M. Fixtures are only briefly tested for functional flow and drainage. There is a risk that prolonged fixture use could reveal undetermined leaks or drainage problems. The Company advises that you ask the owner / occupant about any known current or prior plumbing problems in the home NOW. N. "If the permit for the water heater installation is not posted, the Company recommends you secure a copy of the permit from the Owner to ensure that the installation has been inspected and approved by the municipal fire department. O. In the event of a fire, the insurance company can require a copy of the permit as a requirement prior to making payment." N. The company recommends that a self-balancing, thermostatic mixing valve be installed at all water heaters to prevent scalding and Legionella Pneumophila. Important Note: Repairs attempted by untrained or unlicensed individuals to any plumbing component may result in malfunctions in the supply and waste piping or water leaks that can lead to hidden damage, including mold. It is recommended that any of the listed repairs or improvements below be performed by a licensed plumber in accordance with the requirements of the plumbing code.
EXCLUSIONS: All items listed in 266 CMR 6.04(5)(e)1-6 System PLUMBING are EXCLUDED from this Report. The determination and inspection of private waste disposal systems is excluded from this inspection and report. The Company advises that you consider hiring your own Title 5 Inspector to evaluate the system, plus complete a "sewer line lateral pipe inspection or video scan" prior to expiration of the inspection contingency period. The home inspection Company itself does not provide any direct evaluation or determination of water quality, purity and chemistry. The following are EXCLUDED: water filtration & treatment systems, lawn irrigation systems, house fire sprinkler systems, central vacuum systems and laundry appliances.
RECOMMENDATION: If you are purchasing a used home, the Company advises that your due diligence is to replace all washing machine hoses, dishwasher hoses and refrigerator hoses for security against leakage and property damage. The company cannot predict the life of fill hoses, washers and fittings. All new hoses must of the type recommended by the manufacturer’s specifications.
GENERAL INTERIOR AREAS COMMENTS: A. Not all problems will be found as the inspector is NOT required to move furniture, stored goods or other obstructions to view interior spaces. When the owner has removed the obstructions, it is imperative that YOU return and examine the entire home for concealed problems that were obstructed at time of inspection. You should consult the home inspector if problems are found that were not readily accessible and observable at time of inspection. Consultation is free, but a fee will be charged for a optional "return visit." B. Fireplace & wood stove & chimney flues should be inspected by a member of the chimney sweep guild as not all interior flue areas are readily accessible and observable during a limited home inspection. C. You should ask the owner to provide you with a copy of the wood or coal stove "building permit," documenting that the appliance and the installation meet all fire code, safety and UL requirements. This documentation is needed for your homeowner’s insurance file. D. In MA, the owner of the property, not the home inspector, is required to have the fire department examine and evaluate smoke detectors, fire alarm systems and CO detectors prior to purchase and to provide you with documentation indicating compliance at time of closing. E. Small cracks & nail pops in walls and ceilings are usually minor cosmetic defects caused in part by the expansion & contraction of the wood frame beneath the drywall or plaster wall covering and by wood frame vibration. Unless the wall or ceiling coverings are in danger of falling, the repairs are of a cosmetic nature and should require maintenance patching, caulking, priming and painting. F. The condition of walls and framing behind wallpaper, drywall, paneling, other coverings and furniture cannot be determined. There is a risk that drywall installed before the 1980's may contain asbestos. G. Determining the presence of asbestos in floor tiles, acoustic ceiling tiles or sprayed ceilings is beyond the scope of this inspection. H. The inspector will not determine the origin of odors or stains in carpets. I. All closets and cabinets should be further inspected for concealed problems after all storage is removed. J. A "Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon" is available at: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/radon/pubs/hmbyguid.html K. The Company recommends having all fireplace(s) / flue(s), solid burning appliance(s) and gas fireplaces cleaned, inspected and serviced NOW, (a LEVEL 2 inspection) and annually by a licensed & certified chimney sweep. (Resource: www.csia.org) Obtain ALL proper permits and instruction manuals NOW on the installation and use of solid fuel appliances and gas fireplaces. Do NOT use gas fireplace(s) or solid burning appliance(s) without proper servicing and / or signed installation permits. L. The Company recommends "indoor air quality testing" NOW, if you have the slightest concern about mold, mildew or any other potential respiratory irritant. Any potential contaminant or environmental hygiene problem that may affect health is a deeply personal responsibility that requires further investigation by specialists. Such testing is beyond the scope of this limited visual inspection. M. The inspection and reporting of minor, easily correctable, or cosmetic defects and deficiencies is not the intent or focus of the inspection; if such conditions are reported it is as a courtesy only. If certain conditions are mentioned, verbally or in the report, it is not meant to imply that there are not other unreported conditions.
EXCLUSIONS: All items listed in 266 CMR 6.04(8)(e) System GENERAL INTERIOR CONDITIONS plus the following are EXCLUDED from this Report: A. Paint, wallpaper or other finish treatments on the interior walls, ceilings and floors. B. The condition of walls & floors beneath wall or floor coverings or where hidden by furniture. C. Carpeting. D. Draperies, blinds, or other window treatments. E. Portable appliances. F. Recreational facilities. G. Alarm, security, intercom and stereo systems. H. Fire sprinkler or alarm systems & smoke & CO detectors. I. Inaccessible fireplace or chimney flue spaces. J. Central vacuum systems. K. Determining odors or stains. L. Determining the condition of thermopane window & exterior glass door seals when the glass is dirty. M. Determination of type or brand of drywall, Chinese drywall, gypsum wall board or paneling materials and the condition of concealed floor, wall or ceiling coverings and framing. N. Firewall rating. O. Household appliances. P. Wine rooms. Q. INSPECTION, IDENTIFICATION AND REPORTING ON MOLD, INDOOR AIR QUALITY, RODENTS, BED BUGS AND VERMIN.
COMMENT: Make your new home SAFE FOR KIDS: www.safekids.org
SCOPE OF THE KITCHEN INSPECTION: The Inspector shall observe: countertops and a representative number of installed cabinets, plumbing fixtures, lights and outlets, walls, floor and ceiling. 266 CMR 6.00 STANDARDS OF PRACTICE, 6.09 Interior System (8) (e) c: General Interior Conditions: Home inspectors are NOT required to inspect household appliances. In the event that the Inspection Report or oral statements made by the Inspector supply any information about any of the forgoing, this information shall be deemed to be informational only and supplied as a courtesy to the Client without consideration, and shall not be deemed to be an amendment to or waiver of the exclusions listed in the Contract or Report.
GENERAL COMMENTS: A. The inspection of appliances of is EXCLUDED in the MA Standards of Practice, as kitchen appliances are subject to unpredictable life expectancy and may require repair or replacement although functional at the time of inspection. B. Appliances cannot be moved or run through "full cycles" and timers cannot be evaluated during a limited visual home inspection. C. You should question the owner regarding the age and maintenance of each appliance NOW, prior to purchase. D. Be advised that while functional, the plumbing to older kitchen fixtures or appliances may not conform to modern requirements. During kitchen remodeling, a plumber may be needed to update the fixture supply lines, shut-off valves, and DWV piping. E. Be advised that "a kitchen must contain a kitchen sink, space and proper facilities for the installation of a refrigerator and, unless otherwise stated in the lease, a stove and oven in good repair". F. If any fixtures or appliances were shut-down or not operational at time of inspection, further research is advised. G. You should examine the interior of ALL cabinets and closets during your pre-passing walk through as you may find defects such as water damage, mold, leakage, rodents or vermin that were hidden by storage and were not readily accessible and observable at time of inspection. H. Self-cleaning and continuous cleaning operations, timing devices, clocks, thermostat accuracy and lights are not checked during this inspection. I. The ability of the dishwasher to wash dishes is not tested. The Inspector does not test any device requiring the use of special keys, codes or combinations. The inspector does not operate any programmable feature of devices. J. You should consult with the owner NOW on the location and operation of any kitchen & bathroom exhaust lines and clean and inspect such lines NOW and annually. K. When observable, legible appliance data is recorded for the water heater, furnace or boiler and central air conditioner only, not for kitchen appliances. L. The Company advises that your due diligence is to replace all washing machine hoses, dishwasher hoses and refrigerator hoses for security against leakage and property damage. The company cannot predict the life of fill hoses, washers and fittings. All new hoses must of the type recommended by the manufacturer’s specifications.
DISCLAIMERS: All items listed in 266CMR 6.04(8)(e) System GENERAL INTERIOR CONDITIONS plus the following are EXCLUDED from this report: A. Household appliances, appliance timers & thermostats. B. Water filtration devices, ice makers and instant hot water makers. C. Clothes washer & dryer operation. D. Areas obstructed by storage. E. The functional evaluation of fixtures or appliances that are "shut-down" is undetermined and EXCLUDED from this report. F. MA home inspectors are NOT required to report on "venting equipment which is integral with household appliances." G. Fixture over-flow devices. H. Central vacuum systems. I. Lawn irrigation & house fire sprinkler systems and controls. J. Product recalls. K. Microwave ovens. L. The structural capacity of the floor frame and cabinets to support the weight of heavy granite or other stone countertops (requires engineering). M. Oven function is EXCLUDED due to the time needed to pre-heat the appliance and to evaluate timed baking and broiling options. N. An appliance rated as functional at time of inspection is not a guaranty or warranty of future performance.
DISCLAIMER: HOME INSPECTORS CANNOT GUARANTY THE SERVICE LIFE OF A KITCHEN APPLIANCE. IT MAY HAVE BEEN OPERATIONAL AT TIME OF INSPECTION, BUT DEFECTIVE WHEN YOU MOVE INTO THE HOME. YOU ARE PUT ON NOTICE THAT YOUR DUE DILIGENCE IS TO CHECK THE FUNCTION OF EACH APPLIANCE DURING YOUR "WALL-THROUGH INSPECTION" BEFORE PASSING PAPERS
SCOPE OF THE BATHROOM INSPECTION: The Inspector shall observe: Plumbing fixtures, means of ventilation, functional flow & drainage, and readily accessible and observable floor, walls, ceiling lights & outlets and cabinets. GENERAL COMMENTS: A. A bathroom is required to have either a functional window or exterior vented exhaust fan as a means of ventilation. Fans must be vented outside and NOT into the attic. Be advised that improper bathroom ventilation is often a cause of moisture deficiencies in the home. As the home inspector may not always be able to determine the outlet for the bathroom fan, you should question the owner. B. Bathroom facilities must include a toilet with a toilet seat and a bathtub or shower. These must be situated in a room which allows a person privacy, which is fitted with a door capable of being closed and which is not used for the purpose of living, eating, sleeping or cooking. In addition a washbasin other than the kitchen sink must be located either in the room containing the toilet or near the entrance to that room." C. Be sure to examine the interior of all cabinets and closets during your pre-passing walk through as you may find defects that were hidden by storage at time of inspection. Call the Company for free consultation if additional problems are discovered.
DISCLAIMERS: All items listed in 266CMR 6.04(8)(e) System GENERAL INTERIOR CONDITIONS plus the following are EXCLUDED from this report: A. The condition of hidden supply, drain, waste and vent piping hidden within wall cavities is undetermined as they are not readily accessible and observable for visual inspection. B. If the water service or service to any fixture was shut-down at time of inspection, then the true function of that fixture is undetermined and is EXCLUDED from this report. C. No warranty against leakage is offered regarding the condition of a shower stall pan as it is not readily accessible and observable for inspection. D. The inspection and reporting on fixture overflows is EXCLUDED as fixture flood testing is beyond the scope of this limited visual inspection. To accurately test fixture overflows for leakage, it is necessary to "flood test" each sink, tub and shower stall fixture, placing the Company at risk of a claim for interior water damage. Your due diligence is to ask the owner or the owner’s representative or the builder to demonstrate that each fixture overflow device is functional, or otherwise assume all risk for concealed problems. E. Reporting on systems and components that are obstructed by finished wall, floor and ceiling coverings is EXCLUDED from this report.