Frequently Asked Questions
How long does a home inspection take?
A home inspection usually takes 2.5-3 hours, but it depends largely on the size, age and condition of the home. Homes over 3000 square feet may take longer.
How much does a home inspection cost?
You can view our pricing guide for current pricing.
Should I attend my home inspection?
We encourage it.
Many home buyers find it educational (especially first time homebuyers). We will verbally walk you through our findings which usually adds important context for most buyers. We will also have time to point out important items like where the shutoff is for the water supply.
If you have a difficult work schedule and can only show up for part of the inspection we encourage you to arrive around 2 and half hours after the start of the inspection. If you can’t attend (or don’t want to) you will still receive the written inspection report detailing the findings and we will discuss the findings with you by phone at your convenience.
I work a regular full time schedule, are you available to perform inspections on nights or weekends?
With a family at home we try our best to reserve these periods for family time. Our regular schedule is Monday – Friday with an inspection at 8:30am and another at 12:30pm, our average inspection lasts for 2.5-3 hours (plus drive time & report writing). If this schedule does not work for you AND you want to attend the entire inspection, please reach out to us and we will try to accommodate you.
Can you get me in on short notice I only have X days to get my inspection done?
We live on short notice in the home inspection industry, it’s very common for a buyer to need an inspection completed within 2-7 days per their contract. The more notice the better, but we can usually work something out.
Can a property fail an inspection?
During a home inspection the inspector observes and reports on items, neither the house nor its individual systems can pass or fail. A home inspector will describe the properties physical condition and indicate what components and systems may need repair. In its most basic form the inspection is simply a list of problems and maintenance items, it is up to the buyer to decide what to do with the information. Every buyer is different and has different wants and needs for their future home. Any individual problem identified by the inspector may be a mountain for one buyer and a molehill for another.
Is Brightside Home Inspections a franchise etc. or a locally owned small business?
We are 100% a locally owned small business, built from scratch in Camillus.
What is the difference between a home inspection, a code inspection and an appraisal?
A home inspection: Is a visual, non-invasive assessment of a property. It is concerned with the homes safety, operation and condition as it appears on the day of the inspection. Home inspectors do not concern themselves with building code as homes do not need to retroactively comply with current building codes. Additionally a home inspector will not recommend whether or not you should purchase a specific home or know the value of a home.
A code inspection: Verifies local building code compliance. Code inspections verify that recent construction or remodeling was completed to the current local code standards.
A home appraisal: Determines the value of a home and property. This is typically performed by an agent of the bank or lending institution that will hold your mortgage to confirm your purchase price does not over value the property.
Do home inspectors need to be licensed?
Yes, in New York state home inspectors must be licensed, have liability insurance, and receive 24 hours of continuing education every 2 years to keep the license.
Why should I have a home inspection?
The purchase of a home is probably the single largest investment you will ever make. As a home buyer it’s only natural to be excited when you find your dream home. It is for this very reason that a professional home inspection is crucial. No home is perfect, and as the buyer it is very difficult to remove your emotions regarding the home to assess the home as a neutral observer.
A licensed 3rd party with your interests in mind -who is not emotionally attached to the home- is exactly what is needed. Additionally, an experienced inspector will be able to identify a variety of issues that even skilled contractors might miss. Inspecting and contracting are very different fields.
When will I receive my home inspection report?
It will be emailed the same day as your inspection.
What if the inspection reveals a problem?
All homes have flaws, there is no such thing as a perfect home. Fortunately, every home problem has a solution. Solutions vary from routine homeowner maintenance to basic handy-man repairs to $10k+ repairs that only an experienced specialist contractor should perform.
What is included in a home inspection?
A proper and comprehensive home inspection will review the home from the basement to the roof, which includes the following major systems and areas:
- Structure & Foundation
- General Exterior & Grounds
- Electrical System
- Heating & Cooling Systems
- Insulation & Ventilation
- Plumbing System
- General Interior
- Kitchen & Laundry Appliances
Within each of these major systems there are dozens of items and components that are inspected, we have a 217 point inspection checklist. We also offer additional services not included in a home inspection but that can aid in determining the safety of a home such as radon testing and thermal imaging.
Do you have Supra key access to unlock a lock box?
Is a radon test included in a home inspection?
No. Radon testing is outside the scope of the home inspection, but is an additional service we offer.
Do you test for lead paint?
No. Lead paint testing is outside the scope of the home inspection. At the time of writing there are no home inspectors in Syracuse that offer this service. This is because as long as the lead paint is painted over (or has been since the 70’s) the lead paint is considered encapsulated and not a hazard. The exception to this would be during remodeling if a project cuts into walls or ceilings.
It is likely a home has lead paint if it was built before 1960 as this EPA chart illustrates. Lead paint was banned by the federal government in 1978 but was banned by New York state in 1970.
If you are concerned about lead paint it is recommended that you hire an environmental contractor.
What is excluded from a home inspection?
There are a number of items that aren’t inspected during a home inspection. Most of those items include:
- Pools and hot tubs & components
- Septic systems & components
- Well water systems & components
- Underground Municipal Sewer Lateral
- Outbuildings (aka sheds, barns etc.)
- Wood Destroying Insects (according to the Pest pros we don’t have termites in CNY)
- Asbestos confirmation (needs to be done by a lab)
- Radon testing (available as an additional service)
- Lead paint confirmation
- Mold confirmation (needs to be done by a lab)
- Electric Generators
- Cosmetic issues
- Central air conditioners when it is below 65 degrees
- Geothermal Systems
- Wood Burning Device Flues (aka the inside of wood fireplace chimney)
- Solar Systems
- Snow Covered Roofs
What is a sewer scope?
A sewer scope is an inspection using a special camera that is pushed through the sewer lateral. The sewer lateral is the drain pipe that connects the house’s plumbing to the city sewer system. It runs underground from the house to the street.
Any age sewer lateral can experience issues but homes built before the 1970’s that utilize cast iron pipes and older homes that may use clay aka terracotta are especially at risk. Tree roots, poor installation, low quality material, and the passage of time can increase issues with any drain pipe material. Since the pipe is underground sewer lateral repairs can be costly.
Blockage of the sewer lateral can cause raw sewage to flood a basement. Since the sewer lateral is underground it is expensive to replace. A sewer scope is not a service that we personally perform, we schedule a contractor on your behalf to perform this service during your home inspection.
Inspector’s Note: In many areas of the U.S. sewer scopes are standard practice when purchasing a home, for some reason that is not the case in CNY (especially given our old housing supply). Since I’ve seen multiple homeowners with $10,000 bills for sewer lateral replacement and sewage cleanup I feel this should be done on every home purchase. I personally would not purchase a house without a sewer scope inspection.
P.S. Home owners insurance does not typically cover sewer lateral replacement unless you pay extra for ‘buried utility’ coverage
Still have questions? Give us a call at 372-0965