Ordering Inspection Services
You can ask your agent to order and schedule all the services you wish to have performed or you can make the arrangements yourself (recommended).
Decide Which Inspections You Want
The "Big 4" inspections are the General Home inspection, Sewer scoping, Radon testing, and Mold testing. Also, if there is a well and/or septic system, a Well and Septic inspection is required by ordinance.
The various inspections are described below.
General Home Inspection
This is the primary or core inspection where the inspector will examine the entire house, top to bottom, to ensure that everything appears to be in working and satisfactory condition.
There is no logical reason to skip the general home inspection even if the sellers say they won't fix anything because it is sold "as is" and that they will give preference to offers made without an inspection contingency. In fact, such statements are serious red flags. While the sellers may not be willing to fix anything, your inspector may uncover a hugely expensive deficiency which would make the house a financial disaster and cause you to cancel the contract. Failing foundations, structure, plumbing, etc. are not always easy to spot. Hidden costs here easily run up to $50,000 or more. For a complete description of a General Home Inspection, Read Description.
The next most likely item to cause you a huge expense if not caught during an inspection is a damaged sewer line, particularly if the damage extends beneath a paved public street. Costs to repair can reach $20,000 if a paved street must be opened and repaired to city specifications by licensed and approved contractors.
If you want, the inspector can advise you regarding trusted sewer scoping companies and even arrange for them to arrive during the inspection.
Radon is known to be the second leading cause of lung cancer. Regardless of what you have been told, there is radon in every home in Colorado. And, in many, the level of radon is frighteningly high . . . as much as 100 times the EPA recommended guideline. The exposure is the same whether the house has a concrete floor, a crawlspace, or a basement. If nothing else, it is simply prudent to discover whether you are exposing your family and yourself to a greatly increased chance of developing lung cancer. The problem can be easily mitigated once discovered, but it is costly. See Radon Hazard
If you want a radon test, the inspector can begin the test 48 hours prior to the inspection so that it will be completed on the day and time of the inspection. That will save you 2 days. Otherwise, the radon test can be started during the inspection and will be completed 48 hours later. A radon test can be requested or added to an inspection at any time before or during the inspection.
Mold testing is something you should consider if the inspector uncovers conditions that are conducive to the growth of mold. The presence of mold or airborne allergens can be a serious health hazard for some people. Mold mitigation can be extremely costly to eradicate, to correct the conditions causing the problem and finally to fix the damage.
Often this service is added during the inspection because suspicious conditions are discovered. This test requires 1 to 2 business days for the laboratory portion of the test to be returned.
A lead assessment may be required for certain types of loans for houses old enough to have possibly been painted with paints containing lead. Such paint can be a big hazard if it becomes exposed where dust may be inhaled or crumbs or chips ingested, particularly by children. See Lead Hazards
Your agent will inform you if this test is required by your lender.
Asbestos was heavily used in older home construction, particularly in vinyl floor coverings, ceiling insulation, "popcorn" ceiling treatments, exterior siding and roofing. This material is a carcinogen and is hazardous if disturbed in a way that allows it to become airborne. Your inspector will advise you if he spots potential asbestos containing materials. See Asbestos Hazards
You probably won't need this unless the inspector discovers a condition which concerns you.
The inspector will advise you if evidence is found that suggests methamphetamine use or manufacturing occurred on the premises.
Generally not needed unless the inspector finds evidence that methamphetamine has been manufactured at the property.