Home Inspections

CURRENT REPORT TIMEFRAME: Reports are on-schedule and being delivered by the following business day.

Top To Bottom Services provides home inspections in Maryland, Northern Virginia, D.C., parts of West Virginia, and even into Pennsylvania. Even though a home may appear to be in good shape, our experience tells us that in addition to typical minor problems, significant deficiencies and safety hazards affect many homes.

It is important to understand that a home inspection is meant to check “serviceability” of the home and its components; it is NOT meant to check for building code compliance. Due to the fact that building codes are constantly changing, vary based on jurisdiction and may have been completely different from modern codes compared to when the home was built, it is not possible to inspect each home to its own unique standard based on whatever codes may or may not have been applicable when it was built. Homes can be deemed “serviceable” even though they do not meet current codes (or may not even be desirable for modern lifestyles).

So, What Is Involved In A Home Inspection?

A home inspection in Baltimore, MD, is a thorough, non-invasive evaluation of the accessible areas of the building at the time of the inspection. Our inspectors are going to be examining the major components of the home, as outlined by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and State Licensing Board standards of practice. 

Examples of what we are going to be inspecting include:

Please Note: Inspectors are not REQUIRED by the States we operate in, nor InterNACHI to walk on roofs; overall height, slope, visual condition, and other environmental factors will help the inspector determine if they will be able to walk the roof. If unable to walk the roof, inspectors will view from the ground with binoculars, and examine the underside from the attic—which typically reveals more than from above.

Please Note: For Fireplaces and Chimney, our inspector will be looking at the Hearth, Firebox, Dampers, Smoke Shelf and Chamber, and as far up the flue as visible by eye. A “Level 2 Chimney Inspection” (Full Camera Scoping) is available through one of our vendors for an additional fee.

All-in-all, the InterNACHI standards of practice provide a comprehensive guideline for a thorough 500+ point inspection.

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Ok Then, What Is NOT Involved In A Home Inspection?

Unfortunately, there are going to be items that our Baltimore home inspectors cannot assess. For example, above, we mentioned that they will “assess the primary function of major appliances.” This means, for example, during our home inspection, an appliance like the dishwasher, our inspector is looking to ensure it turns on, supplies water, and runs. We cannot determine anymore by letting the appliance run through a full cycle. The inspector will then press the cancel button to force the appliance to drain while they are still present in the room. This allows us to identify leaking/failure of the drain immediately as opposed to having the appliance run a full cycle and drain when no one is present in the kitchen.

Other examples of components that are outside the scope of a home inspection include:

Please Note: Swimming pool and Sewer Line inspections—along with several other types of services outside our scope—can be added to your inspection order and will be performed by our trusted vendor partners. Our team will assist in scheduling anything you need!

How Long—And How Many Inspectors
Will It Take To Inspect The Home I Am Purchasing?

You may have heard some other companies bragging that they send “multiple” inspectors; based on the training and average tenure of that company’s inspectors, that may work for them. However, at Top To Bottom Services we have learned that with proper training and a methodical approach, a single inspector can perform most inspections within a reasonable timeframe; outlined below is our general rule of thumb when it comes to scheduling multiple inspectors.

We do not charge extra for additional inspectors. The act of sending an additional inspector is solely for time management while at the property