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BLUE HORIZON HOME INSPECTIONS
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Serving Northern Virginia
There are many reasons to get your home inspected. Even if you are not selling or buying a house, it is a great idea to get your home inspected every five years or so. Think about it, you get your vehicle inspected every one to two years. But your home is much more complex and you spend significantly more time in it. And it's a much larger investment as well.
Pre-Purchase Home Inspections
Once your offer on your new home has been accepted, you are "under contract" to purchase the home, which occurs at settlement. Your real estate professional (buyer agent) has certainly put in a clause for a home inspection. After all, how much time did you spend in the house before you made the offer? 30 minutes? An hour?
Now is the time to do a detailed visual inspection of the property. We will go through and check the systems, wiring, plumbing, foundation, roof, and attic - if they are accessible - all according to the ASHI Standards of Practice.
Consider us similar to your family doctor, but for your home. We will observe the conditions and recommend a specialist, if warranted. Although our inspection is not technically exhaustive, it is also accordingly affordable. If you hired a plumber, roofer, electrician, HVAC, general contractor, and structural engineer to each inspect the respective parts of your home, it would be exceedingly cost-prohibitive.
New Residential Structures
New Construction Inspections
During construction is the absolutely best and most unique opportunity to inspect your new home. We can see potential issues and even point out excellent workmanship that would be impossible to see otherwise.
The most common approach is a three-phase inspection: Pre-Drywall, Final Inspection, and 1-year Warranty Inspection.
The Pre-Drywall Inspection may be the most important inspection you can have done. Up to 50% of the structural issues we find in existing homes were present from the time of build. The primary focus of this inspection is on the structure. To that end, conducting the inspection is best done before the insulation is installed. Our Pre-drywall inspections are second to none.
Your new home should be perfect, but that is rarely the case. The Final NRS Inspection will verify all systems and appliances are in working order, inspect all visible insulation, assess the lot grading, and check to see if all finish work was performed in a workmanship-like manner.
Your builder is required to provide you a 1-year warranty (unless specifically excluded in your contract) - see the law here. It is always a good idea to perform a Warranty Inspection before the 1-year anniversary to make sure all issues are addressed.
Pre-Listing Inspections - Selling your home?
No one likes surprises. Especially bad news. So save yourself from potential grief and get some peace of mind with a Pre-Listing Inspection before you put your home on the market.
Having Blue Horizon Home Inspections examine your home before you list it lets you know what needs to be corrected, and gives you the confidence that the sale will go through smoothly. You receive a full written report with photos that meets and exceeds the ASHI standards. This also provides a balance of leverage with the buyer and any issues their home inspector observes.
Alternatively, we can perform a consultation. No report is provided, but this can be a more cost-effective way of finding those hidden and unwanted surprises.
Any residence sitting on a foundation should have a radon air test every few years. Even if the home has a slab foundation (i.e., no basement or crawl space), radon gas can still make its way through undetected cracks in the slab.
We use continuous radon monitors (CRM) for testing. These units take hourly measurements of the radon levels. But they also have a number of anti-tampering features. They also measure barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, and whether the unit has been disturbed. This ensures that your test has the most accurate measurements possible.
Radon is the second most frequent cause of lung cancer, and it is the number one cause among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in all soil, rock, and ground water. You can’t see or smell radon. Testing is the only way to know your level of exposure. The good news is that it is almost always easily mitigated.
If your primary water supply is from a well, you should have your well water tested for radon, too. Paradoxically, your greatest exposure threat from radon in water is not from drinking it - it's from showering in it.
The EPA's website on radon.
The National Radon Safety Board's consumer info.
Technically detailed information about radon in an excellent wikipedia article.
Bank Draw Inspections
Home Safety Inspection
First year Builder's Warranty Inspection