Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Find Answers To Many Of Our Frequently Asked Home Inspection Questions.

As a result of thorough and ongoing inspector training, the meticulous nature of a Top To Bottom Services inspection, our standing in the industry, and the personal integrity of our inspection team, we are able to provide a 200% guarantee to all of our paying clients. This guarantee states that if we complete a home inspection, and you are not 100% satisfied, you have 72 hours to hire another licensed and insured inspector to perform an inspection on the same property. If the other inspector finds that we missed something of significance, not only will we refund our service fee, but we will pay you back for the second inspection up to the amount of our initial inspection fee.
Due to insurance industry regulations, we cannot provide a warranty (a form of insurance) on home components or systems constructed, manufactured, or installed by others. You can purchase home warranty coverage from independent insurance providers. The coverage that independent warranty providers give can vary greatly. Make sure to read the fine print!

You just did!
It is important to ask any home inspector what his or her qualifications are and how many home inspections he or she has performed. You can rest assured that Top To Bottom Services home inspectors are highly trained, certified, and have performed hundreds if not thousands of inspections.

In order to keep costs for our clients to a minimum, we charge reduced rates for condos, townhomes, and smaller homes. To make pricing as fair and equitable as possible, we scale our prices by dwelling type, square footage, age, and services requested. When you call or click to schedule an appointment, please be prepared to provide our office staff with the size, type, and age of the dwelling to be inspected so that we can allot the appropriate amount of time for your inspection.

We pride ourselves on the speed of our report turnaround given the quality and detail we provide! Typically, reports are delivered by 9 A.M. the following day via email as a .pdf available through a download link. If for any reason your report will take longer to compile (awaiting lab results, complexity of home, distressed buildings, appointments made for late in the day, etc.), your inspector will take into account your needs and deadlines when providing a timeline for delivery. With advanced notice, we can usually schedule our inspectors to provide a same-day report if needed.

As long as we have access to the building, we can perform a thorough inspection, even if you are not able to attend. On the other hand, our clients benefit greatly by attending the inspection because they get first-hand explanations of findings and can discuss and better understand maintenance needs, etc.. By prior arrangement, we can provide post-inspection conferencing with out-of-state clients for a detailed review of inspection findings.

Oftentimes we can! Just give our office a call to check availability.

A professional, independent, thorough, and impartial inspection provides crucial information for price negotiation, maintenance and repair budgeting, safety upgrades, and operation of building systems – a huge value in itself. Many of our clients report that our inspections have provided them with peace-of-mind when moving forward on such a large investment. In rare cases, an inspection uncovers significant issues, previously unknown to both the sellers and the buyers, that can impact the habitability or safety of a home, which has saved several of our clients from purchases they would have later regretted.

The size of each inspection report will vary depending on the square footage, age, complexity, and condition of the building(s) inspected. Our reports are detailed and include photos and descriptions of conditions and recommendations. Each inspection report also contains a summary which provides a synopsis of the report findings. On average, a report will be about 35 pages.

Yes! We offer FREE phone and email consultations for as long as you own the home! You can also take advantage of a FREE Home Concierge membership, courtesy of Porch and Top To Bottom Services.

Yes! Please visit our PDF’s Page for sample reports.

We highly recommend you have a radon test performed in any home or low-level condo. It is also recommended that you retest every few years, even if you have a mitigation system in place. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking, and if you smoke AND have high radon in your home, your chances of developing cancer are exponentially higher.

The answer is Absolutely! In addition to having required state licenses and general liability insurance, our inspectors are also protected by errors and omissions (E&O) insurance. As an ethical business practice, Top To Bottom Services has carried $2,000,000 of insurance since our founding, well before the state required inspectors to carry insurance. The amount of our insurance well exceeds the required minimum. Our insurance also covers real estate agents that refer clients to us. We would also like to point out that in 15 years of service we have only had 1 insurance claim, and it was in regard to a mold issue. Since then, ALL of our inspectors have been trained to provide a full suite of mold services.

You can verify the licenses of our inspectors by clicking on their license numbers on our Staff Page. The District of Columbia and Pennsylvania do not have licensing bodies at this time.
Please Note: Currently, not all of our inspectors are licensed to provide home inspections in Virginia or West Virginia. We have one inspector who is licensed to do new construction in Virginia, and only one inspector who is licensed in West Virginia and willing to travel to Pennsylvania.

Please visit our Services Page for more information. You can also read the InterNACHI Standards of Practice on our PDF’s page to understand what the minimum requirements are. Be advised, we go well above and beyond the standards during our inspections!

No. A home inspection is not a test, but rather an evaluation of condition. We do offer environmental tests and inspections, such as radon, water, and mold, that do have what are considered “acceptable” or “unacceptable” levels. Visit our Ancillary Services Page for more information.

Even the best general contractors cannot be present for all of the work that is done in every building. A home inspection provides a second set of eyes for quality control and to evaluate for proper installation of building materials and components. In addition, most builders expect that a homeowner will be knowledgeable about routine maintenance that is required to prevent deterioration of the building and its components. During a home inspection, your inspector will educate you about how to maintain and care for your home to ensure longevity of building systems and safety for your family. It is our experience that we routinely find issues at new construction inspections, ranging from minor to very significant, that are either overlooked or had occurred subsequent to construction supervisor and building inspector review.

For your convenience, we accept Cash, Checks, and all major credit cards (Visa, American Express, Mastercard, Discover). You can even pay online!*

*A $15 convenience fee will be applied only to online credit card transactions.

We schedule our inspectors for a length of time commensurate with the reported size and age of the building being inspected. A typical, modern, single family home of approximately 2,000 square feet should take between 2 ½ and 3 hours to thoroughly inspect. Condos take less time, and we have conducted inspections on homes and buildings of greater than 10,000 square feet where we assigned three inspectors for an entire day.

If the property is near the outer edge of our service area map, or is a substantial distance from your inspector’s previous appointment, it is possible we would charge a small service fee to help the inspector with gas, tolls, and vehicle wear-and-tear. We do advise calling one of our client coordinators to discuss anything fee-related for specific details.

No, we do not give repair cost estimates in our home inspection reports, but you can opt to purchase a Repair Estimate Report through our partner, For a relatively small fee, Porch repair cost estimators can compile a report for you based on everything listed in our inspection report summary. The prices given are relative to the area where the inspection took place, and Porch will guarantee those prices if you use their vetted contractors. The Repair Estimate Report turnaround is about 24-48 hours after your inspector uploads your home inspection report. Please ask a client coordinator or your inspector for more information.

There are many times where we do feel it is fair to charge an additional fee for a crawl space, but only if you want your inspector to actually crawl it rather than view it from the hatch. There are several reasons why we would charge for crawling an under-floor space, and reasons why we leave it up to the discretion of the inspector on site:
The inspector may discover an unsafe condition that would prevent entering the crawl space, so we don’t want to charge you ahead of time.
The crawl space often adds a lot of extra square footage and time to the inspection that did not get factored into the original quote.