The trees on the site all appear to be alive and in acceptable condition.
About The Home Inspection:
A home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of the property, designed to identify areas of concern within specific systems or components defined by the Massachusetts State Standards of Practice, that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector at the exact date and time of inspection. Any and all recommendations for repair, replacement, evaluation, and maintenance issues found, should be evaluated by the appropriate trades contractors within the clients inspection contingency window or prior to closing, which is contract applicable, in order to obtain proper dollar amount estimates on the cost of said repairs and also because these evaluations could uncover more potential issues than able to be noted from a purely visual inspection of the property.
This inspection will not reveal every concern or issue that exists, but only those material defects that were observable on the day of the inspection. This inspection is intended to assist in the evaluation of the overall condition of the dwelling only. This inspection is not a prediction of future conditions and conditions with the property are subject to change the moment we leave the premises.
Not a Code Inspection:
The General Home Inspection is not a building code-compliance inspection, but a visual inspection for safety and system defects. The Inspection Report may comment on and identify as problems systems, components and/or conditions which may violate building codes, but although safety defects and building code violations may coincide at the time of the inspection, confirmation of compliance with any building code or identification of any building code violation is not the goal of this Inspection Report and lies beyond the scope of the General Home Inspection.
If you wish to ascertain the degree to which the home complies with any applicable building codes, you should schedule a code-compliance inspection.
Throughout the inspection report, you may see photos of different systems in need of repair or replacement, as well as other unfavorable conditions. Keep in mind as you look at these photos that they are only examples, others defects may and often do exist. We do not photograph every defect, it would be virtually impossible.
It's important that you remember when an issue is noted that some examples are shown, others may exist, check all areas and repair as needed. Further investigation by yourself or a qualified contractor is needed to locate all issues to be repaired.
An older home may not meet many generally-accepted current building standards. Older homes are inspected within the context of the time period in which they were built, taking into account the generally-accepted building practices of that time period. The Inspection Report will comment on unsafe conditions, but problems will be described as defects at the Inspector's discretion. Homes are not required to be constantly upgraded to comply with newly-enacted building codes but are only required to comply with building codes or generally-accepted standards which existed at the time of original construction. An exception may exist when a home is remodeled, depending on the scope of work. New work must usually comply with building codes in effect at the time in which the remodel work is performed.
The term "Appears Serviceable" means that an Item appears functional at the time of the inspection and we did not observe conditions that would lead us to believe problems existed with this system or component. Some serviceable items may show wear and tear. Other conditions may be noted in the body of the report. For example, a brand new home with a very expensive kitchen and an older home with a modest kitchen can both be rated as "Appears Serviceable".
The term "Repair as needed" or "Repair is recommended" is an indication that the noted item is in need of repair. Use whatever means necessary to repair the issue, either per the advice and services of a licensed contractor, or yourself.
The term "Near future" means that an item or system is at, or near the end of its useful life. The lifespan of construction materials and systems fluctuates, depending on many things. We cannot be sure when the component or system will fail. You should consider replacement of the item(s), or at a minimum, monitoring of the item(s).
Safety and Care:
While the inspector makes every effort to find all areas of concern, some areas can go unnoticed. During the course of the inspection, the inspector does not enter any area or perform any procedure that may damage the property or its components or be dangerous to or adversely affect the health of the inspector or other persons.
Timely Evaluation By Contractors:
Recommendations made by the inspector should be acted upon in a timely manner in order to receive the results of any further evaluation by contractors or engineers before the deadline for negotiation with the seller has passed. If you are unable to get the results of any necessary evaluations before the expiration of your Inspection Objection deadline, you should ask your agent to amend the contract to extend the deadline.
Municipal contacts are a good resource prior to purchasing a home.
The Fire Dept. can be contacted for prior fires in the house or flooding that caused them to pump out the house, or oil tank permits and records of removal.
The Police Dept. will have records of the community including registered sex offenders.
The Conservation Department. will have records for flood zone maps.
The Building Dept. will have records of additions.
The Tax Dept. will have plot plans.
The trees on the site all appear to be alive and in acceptable condition.
The lot appears to have adequate drainage to prevent water from ponding.
This inspection is not intended to address or include any geological conditions or site stability information. For information concerning these conditions, a geologist or soils engineer should be consulted. Any reference to grade is limited to only areas around the exterior of the exposed areas of foundation or exterior walls. This inspection is visual in nature and does not attempt to determine drainage performance of the site or the condition of any underground piping, including municipal water and sewer service piping or septic systems.
All exterior grades should allow for surface and roof water to flow away from the foundation.
The grade at foundation appears serviceable. There appears to be an adequate ground slope to remove run-off water from the immediate area.
Significant cracks were visible in the surface material at the time of the inspection. Large cracks should be filled with an appropriate sealant to avoid continued damage to the driveway surface from freezing moisture.
Displacement or cracks are typical. Recommend you repair and monitor in the future. If the situation continues, contact landscape contractor for cost options to repair or replace.
Landscaping is in contact or too close to the home. Trim plants away from the structure by at least 8 - 12". This space is recommended to prevent direct access to the structure by insects and to keep the bushes from damaging the siding.
The visible penetrations thru the roof appear serviceable.
The visible roof drainage system appears serviceable.
One or more skylights are installed.
The visible skylights and components appear serviceable.
During your inspection, our inspectors will make every effort to safely view the roof of the home from several vantage points. But, as per our company policy, our inspectors DO NOT walk on roofing.
There is the great probability that damage to the roofing material or other components on the roof may occur. In addition to that, the potential for injury to our employees is a chance we are not willing to take.
Therefore, the client is advised that this is a limited review and a qualified roofer should be contacted if a more detailed report is desired.
Lifespan factors (DISCLAIMER)
Because of the many variables which affect the lifespan of roof-covering materials, the Inspector does not provide an estimate of the expected long-term service life of any roof-covering materials. This is in accordance with all inspection industry Standards of Practice.
The following factors can affect the lifespan of roof-covering materials and its ability to shed water:
Roofing material quality: Better quality materials generally last longer.
Installation method: Improper installation may reduce lifespan.
The number of layers: Roofs installed over existing roofs will have reduced lifespan.
Structure orientation: South-facing roofs will have shorter life spans.
The degree of roof slope: Flatter roofs will have shorter life spans.
Climate zone (snow & rain): Harsh climates shorten roof lifespans.
Temperature swings: climates with large daily temperature differentials (within 24-hour cycles) will shorten roof lifespans.
Homesite conditions (overhanging tree branches, wind, etc.)
Roof color: Darker roofs absorb more heat which shortens roof lifespan.
Elevation: Homes at higher elevations are exposed to more ultraviolet (UV) light, which shortens roof lifespan.
Home orientation: Roofs which receive more sun deteriorate more quickly than roofs which receive less sun.
Roof structure ventilation: Poor ventilation shortens roof lifespans.
Quality of maintenance: Poor maintenance will reduce lifespan.
The visible roof covering material is in a condition that is consistent with its age and method of installation, showing no major deficiency or cause for immediate concern.
"Flashing" is a general term used to describe multiple products fabricated into shapes used to protect areas of the roof from moisture intrusion. Typical areas of installation include roof and wall penetrations such as vent pipes, chimneys, skylights and areas where dissimilar roofing materials or different roof slopes meet.
Organic growth in the form of mildew, lichen, or a combination of both was noted. This is a cosmetic issue and does not affect the shingles itself. If desired, contact a company familiar with "soft wash" roof cleaning to remove the growth.
Areas of the metal flashing are exposed to the weather and a potential of leakage could occur in wind-driven rain, usually, the side and top edges are covered by the roofing shingles. Further investigation and cost estimates to repair or replace are recommended.
Squirrel damage is noted. Repair is recommended to prevent water intrusion.
Joints in the masonry have deteriorated. Repointing is recommended. (Repointing is the restoration of the mortar joints in the masonry).
A small crack is noted where the chimney foundation meets the house foundation. Recommend monitoring for future movement.
Joints in the masonry have deteriorated. Repointing is recommended. (Repointing is the restoration of the mortar joints in the masonry).
The exterior trim and flashing materials appear serviceable.
The exterior window trim materials appear serviceable.
The exposed portions of the exterior foundation perimeter walls appear to be satisfactory.
The visible and readily available exterior wall materials appear serviceable.
The stair(s) have some minor separation. Repair is recommended to prevent moisture intrusion and freezing that could possibly damage the stair material.
Railing design made the handrail system climbable. Balusters should be installed with spacing no more than 4" between vertical balusters. Safe building practices dictate that the handrail system should not be climbable (especially by children). This condition may be hazardous to small children. Repair as needed
The wooden stair(s) are missing risers. Risers are the vertical boards that rise up from one tread to the next. Repair is recommended.
Accessible areas of the sill appear serviceable.
The visible main beam installed appears serviceable.
The exterior exit/entry door to the basement appears serviceable.
Accessible areas of the basement floor appear serviceable.
Areas hidden from view by finished walls or stored items cannot be judged and are not a part of this inspection.
Minor cracks are typical in many foundations and most do not represent a structural problem. If major cracks are present along with bowing, we routinely recommend further evaluation be made by a qualified structural engineer.
All concrete floor slabs experience some degree of cracking due to shrinkage in the drying process.
In most instances, floor coverings prevent recognition of cracks or settlement in all but the most severe cases. Where carpeting and other floor coverings are installed, the materials and condition of the flooring underneath cannot be determined.
The visible posts supporting the overhead beam(s) appear to be adequately installed and serviceable.
Viewing was restricted by finish materials and wall coverings.
Viewing was restricted by stored items.
One or more sills were partially inaccessible at the time of inspection.
One or more floor joists were only partially accessible due to the noted item(s).
One or more areas of the subfloor were only partially accessible due to the noted item(s).
Viewing of one or more of the structural beam(s) was limited due to the noted condition.
One or more posts were enclosed by finish material, only the exposed posts were inspected.
One or more areas of the foundation were inaccessible at the time of inspection due to the noted item(s).
Areas that are covered with rugs, vinyl tiles, ceramic tiles, wood, etc. are inaccessible.
The open side of the stairway is missing a graspable handrail. When the handrail is installed, balusters should be included and spaced no further than 4" apart for safety. Repair is recommended.
The stair risers are of various heights and pose a potential tripping situation, all risers should be no more than 8-1/4" in height. You may get used to these conditions but may have difficulty navigating stairway. If possible, updating to present standards is recommended.
Cracks in one or more joists were noted. Additional support or replacement may be needed. Repair is recommended.
One or more areas of moisture damaged wood were noted. Further investigation and or repair is recommended.
The door has a deadbolt that is keyed on both sides. This is a potential safety hazard if you need to exit the house quickly and there is no key readily available. Repair is recommended.
This basement had no means of window egress. As a result of the lack of egress, the areas should not be considered as living space nor used as a sleeping area for safety reasons.
To comply with generally-accepted current standards, this basement should have a means of egress in addition to the stairway to the main floor. Means of egress are safe pathways to the exterior such as windows, window wells, etc. installed to allow escape and rescue in the event of an emergency such as a fire in which escape using the stairway is not possible. Proper egress openings have the following requirements:
Window requirements are as follows:
1. Minimum width of opening: 20 in.
2. Minimum height of opening: 24 in.
3. Minimum net clear opening: 5.7 sq. ft. (5.0 sq. ft. for ground floor)
4. Maximum sill height above floor: 44 in.
The window opening and any bars, grilles, grates or window well cover may be installed, but must be operational from the inside without keys, tools or special knowledge and must still provide the minimum clear opening.
Window wells must:
5. Allow the rescue window opening to be fully opened.
6. Provide 9 sq. ft. of "floor area," with a minimum dimension of 36 in. in width and in length.
7. Contain a permanently affixed ladder or steps for climbing out if the window well depth exceeds 44 inches in depth. The ladder must be at least 12 in. wide and project no less than 3 in. from the window well. It can't be obstructed by the open window or encroach on the required window well dimensions by more than 6 in.
8. Window wells may be made of rust-resistant metal, treated wood, wood naturally resistant to decay, concrete, masonry, or plastic. Some window well designs have steps built or molded into them.
9. If an egress window is located under a deck or porch, the code requires at least 48 inches between the top of the window well and the bottom of the deck or porch joists.
A dehumidifier was installed at the time of the inspection. It was not on or not working at the inspection.
The dehumidifier is easier to maintain if it drains constantly. If there is no sink that can be used as a drain, sometimes the heating system or A/C system in the basement will have a small condensate pump. this is a good location to allow drainage from the dehumidifier tank to drain into, the pump will come on as needed to evacuate any dehumidifier condensation. Pumps can also be purchased separately.
This is a visual observation only, we do NOT test valves for operation.
The sewage pump appears serviceable.
The visible drain, waste and vent pipes appeared to be in serviceable condition at the time of the inspection.
One or more sewage pumps are installed.
A sewage ejector pump, also called a pump-up ejector system, is used when a bathroom, laundry room or any other type of plumbing fixture is located below the level of the main sewer or septic line flowing from the house. Because the flow of drain-wastewater depends on gravity, plumbing systems in which these fixtures are located below the level of the main sewer line all require some means of elevating the wastewater so it can flow properly.
This unit requires periodic maintenance and should be connected to an alarm to warn of failure.
Water supply lines were only partially accessible at the time of inspection due to the noted issues.
Water supply lines were only partially accessible at the time of inspection due to the noted issues.
Storage below the sink area restricted viewing. Further investigation is recommended at final walk thru.
Corrosion was noted in one or more areas of the water supply system. A visible build-up of mineral deposits or encrustation is an early warning sign of future leakage. Consider repair of the affected areas before leakage becomes an issue.
Keep in mind, the average lifespan for a hot water tank is anywhere between 8 and 12 years. This unit was manufactured in 2003 and is considered older and near its maximum lifespan. Expect to have to replace it in the near future.
The toilet made a high pitch screeching noise while refilling the tank. Further investigation and or repair is recommended.
The faucet was leaking. Repair is recommended.
A wide variety of electrical systems have been installed over the years and electrical systems have been affected by the following:
The Electrical Code requirements which existed at the time the home was built or additional electrical work was performed.
The abilities and inclinations of the system designer and installers
Original construction budget.
Changes made over the years
Home inspectors are generalists, and although familiarity with electrical systems is a fundamental part of the home inspection, inspectors are not electricians, and will not be familiar with all electrical systems and components installed over the years. Electrical standards and codes have evolved over the years and home electrical systems and their components are required to comply only with codes which were in effect at the time the home was built or the additional work was performed.
A Home Inspectors concern with electrical systems is not it's code compliance but the degree to which the installed electrical system safely provides for the electrical requirements of the home. The home inspectors concern will be commenting on safety and system defects, not code violations. Some conditions commented upon may not be code violations and some code violations may not be commented upon.
If in the opinion of the Inspector, the installed electrical system or any of its components is failing or may fail to safely provide for the electrical requirements of the home, the Inspector will recommend evaluation and/or correction by a qualified electrical contractor.
Any electrical recommendations should be considered high priority items since all electrical issues are safety concerns.
Any electrical repairs attempted by anyone other than a licensed electrician is not recommended. Always hire a licensed electrician for even the smallest repair.
Home branch circuit wiring consists of devices such as switches, outlets, connections for permanently-wired appliances and the electrical conductors which supply them with electricity. Most conductors are hidden behind the floor, wall and ceiling coverings and cannot be evaluated by the inspector. The Inspector does not remove cover plates and inspection of branch wiring is limited to the proper response to testing of switches and electrical outlets.
Aluminum wiring requires periodic inspection and maintenance by a licensed electrician.
Operation of time clock motors is not verified.
Inoperative light fixtures often lack bulbs or have dead bulbs installed. Light bulbs are not changed during the inspection, due to time constraints.
We recommend regular testing as per Fire Department guidelines.
The items above appeared serviceable at the time of inspection. Notable exceptions will be listed in this report.
The meter socket was rotted thru in one or more areas. The source of moisture needs to be identified and resolved. Replacement is needed.
Multiple grounds are attached to a single "foot lug" screwed into the panel. This is not up to current standards. Further evaluation and or repair is recommended.
The breakers locations on the legend are not marked as to the rooms, areas, or appliances controlled. It is recommended that they are noted as soon as possible.
One or more filler plates were missing from the panel cover. A gap in the dead front cover of the main electrical service panel where a circuit breaker was missing may allow a person to come into contact with energized electrical components. Repair is recommended.
Two or more wires were connected to a breaker designed for only one wire. This is known as a "multi-tap" and is a defective condition. Further evaluation and or repair is recommended.
One or more over-amped breakers were found. Over-amped means that the breaker is rated to carry more amperage than the wire attached to it. An overdraw condition could cause melting, insulation overheating, or fire. Further evaluation and or repair is recommended.
One or more neutral (white) wires are under a single screw, this is not up to current standards. There should only be one neutral wire under each screw. Further evaluation and or repair is recommended.
Older wiring techniques were noted. Consider having a qualified contractor update to current standards.
One or more uncapped wires are noted. Further evaluation and or repair is recommended.
One or more areas of the home do not have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt outlets installed. The age of the structure may predate the required installation; however, for safety considerations, it is strongly suggested that one is installed.
One or more outlets in the room included ungrounded 2-prong electrical outlets. These types of outlets are not generally considered to be safe as modern grounded outlets. Consider updating the existing condition to meet generally-accepted current safety standards
One or more outlets are damaged. Replacement is needed.
One or more outlets are not grounded. Repair is recommended.
The heating system thermostat or control appeared serviceable.
The inspector is not equipped to inspect furnace heat exchangers for evidence of cracks or holes, as this can only be done by dismantling the unit. This is beyond the scope of this inspection. Some furnaces are designed in such a way that inspection is almost impossible.
The inspector can not light pilot lights.
Safety devices are not tested by the inspector.
Thermostats are not checked for calibration or timed functions.
Adequacy, efficiency or the even distribution of air throughout a building cannot be addressed by a visual inspection. Electronic air cleaners, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers are beyond the scope of this inspection. You should have these systems evaluated by a qualified individual.
The inspector does not perform pressure tests on coolant systems, therefore no representation is made regarding coolant charge or line integrity.
Subjective judgment of system capacity is not a part of the inspection.
Normal service and maintenance are recommended on a yearly basis.
Determining the condition of oil tanks, whether exposed or buried, is beyond the scope of this inspection. Leaking oil tanks represent an environmental hazard which is sometimes costly to remedy.
During this inspection, it is impossible to determine the condition of the interior of the flue. The interior of the flue may be deteriorated, but during a visual inspection, we were unable to see the interior walls.
Asbestos materials have been commonly used in heating systems. Determining the presence of asbestos can ONLY be performed by laboratory testing and is beyond the scope of this inspection.
One or more boilers were a hot water system.
The heat is distributed through the home by a fluid which is heated by the boiler. This fluid is then circulated through pipes which are exposed to room air where they radiate their heat to objects in the room, including people. Pipes, typically situated along the baseboard, are hidden from view behind metal covers.
Many times the heating system is assembled so that thermostat setting in various areas of the home could be set individually. These areas are called heating zones.
One or more electric wall heaters were installed.
An electric wall heater uses a heating element and is powered by electricity, rather than oil or gas. Electric wall heaters are available in two models that come with and without a fan. Heaters that incorporate a fan pull air into the heater, then push the air past heating coils, before pushing the air back into the room.
One or more electric wall heaters did not respond when tested. Further investigation and or repair is recommended.
In accordance with our standards, we do not attempt to enter attics that are not readily accessible, or walk on the exposed and/or insulation covered framing members, in which case we would inspect them as best we can from the access point.
In regard to evaluating the type and amount of insulation on the attic floor, we are not required to report on either and we do not sample or test the material for specific identification.
One or more bathroom exhaust fans appeared serviceable. Notable exceptions will be listed in this report.
The upper attic, if present, was not inspected. There was no attic hatch provided.
Installed insulation, either in the living area ceiling joists or roof rafters limited viewing of the structure.
The attic appeared to be un-vented. Further investigation and cost estimates are recommended to add ventilation to the attic.
Our inspection of living space includes the visually accessible areas of walls, floors, cabinets and closets, and the testing of a representative number of windows and doors, switches and outlets. We do not evaluate window treatments, move furnishings or possessions, lift carpets or rugs, empty closets or cabinets, nor comment on cosmetic deficiencies.
We may not comment on cracks that appear around windows and doors, along lines of framing members or along seams of drywall and plasterboard. These are typically caused by minor movements, such as wood shrinkage, common settling, and seismic activity, and will often reappear if they are not correctly repaired. Such cracks can become the subject of disputes, and are therefore best evaluated by a specialist.
Floor covering damage or stains may be hidden by furniture, and the condition of floors underlying floor coverings is not inspected.
Determining the condition of insulated glass windows is not always possible due to temperature, weather and lighting conditions. Check with owners for further information.
Testing, identifying, or identifying the source of environmental pollutants or odors (including but not limited to lead, mold, allergens, odors from household pets and cigarette smoke) is beyond the scope of our service, but can become equally contentious or difficult to eradicate. We recommend you carefully determine and schedule whatever remedial services may be deemed advisable or necessary before the close of escrow.
The windows appeared to be in serviceable condition at the time of the inspection. Notable exceptions will be listed in this report.
Most of the interior walls of the home appeared to be in generally serviceable condition at the time of the inspection. Notable exceptions will be listed in this report.
The interior ceilings of the home appeared to be in generally serviceable condition at the time of the inspection. Notable exceptions will be listed in this report.
The visible areas of the floors of the home appeared to be in generally serviceable condition at the time of the inspection. Notable exceptions will be listed in this report.
The interior rooms of the home had a functioning heat source at the time of the inspection. Notable exceptions will be listed in this report.
The entry door(s) to the structure appeared to be in generally serviceable condition at the time of the inspection. Notable exceptions will be listed in this report.
Stairway components appeared to be in serviceable condition at the time of the inspection.
Inspection of stairways typically includes a visual examination of the following:
- Treads and risers
- Angle of stairway
Notable exceptions will be listed in the report.
The kitchen and bath cabinets, drawers, and countertops were in serviceable condition at the time of inspection. Notable exceptions will be listed in this report.
The noted items obstructed viewing the primary floor material. Observations are based on visible areas at the time of inspection.
One or more doors are tight does not close properly. Repair is recommended.
One or more striker plates need adjustment to latch door closed, repair is recommended.
One or more areas of the ceiling had unrepaired staining that indicates current or past moisture leakage at the ceiling(s). The stain(s) was dry at the time of inspection.
Check with current owner as to the history of moisture and or repair in these areas.
The food garbage disposal appeared serviceable.
As per our Standards of Practice, our inspection of appliances is limited to permanently installed cooking appliances, dishwashers, and garbage disposals.
The interior firebox appears serviceable.
Per the Massachusetts Government website, you need a building permit before installing fireplaces, wood, pellet or coal burning stoves. The local building inspector must inspect new fireplaces, wood, pellet or coal burning stoves before they are used as required by the Massachusetts State Building Code.
Check with current owner as to whether they have a permit. If not, it is recommended a permit be obtained.
One or more fireplace dampers need to be adjusted so that it will have the full range of movement. Repair as needed.