Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know if Pacific Northwest Building Inspections is the right inspection company for me?
A: Call and ask about Pacific Northwest Building Inspections’ credentials and expertise. Pacific Northwest Building Inspections wants you to feel confident that we are qualified, experienced, and attentive of your needs before you hire us.

Q: What qualifications or credentials should an inspector offer?
 When choosing an inspector, begin by making sure they licensed, bonded, and insured as well as a member of one or more Building Inspector Associations, such as NACHI – National Association of Certified Home InspectorsASHI – American Society of Home InspectorsNSHI – National Society of Home Inspectors, or NAHI – National Association of Home Inspectors. Besides having been in general contracting for over 30 years, Pacific Northwest Building Inspections’s certification includes:

• Certified Building Inspector by National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI)
• Certified Building Inspector by North American Associated Inspectors (NAAI)
• Certified by American Real Estate Inspectors
• Certified Exterior Insulation and Finish System Inspector (EIFS)
• Certified Mold Inspector
• Certified Indoor Air Quality Inspector
• WA Licensed Building Inspector

Q: What will the inspection cover?
Pacific Northwest Building Inspections’ examins all the major systems and structural elements of the property. This includes the condition, at the time of the inspection, of the property’s landscaping, siding, heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical systems, roof, foundation, attic and visible insulation, walls, doors, windows and all visible structure. For more information, see Residential InspectionsCommercial InspectionsInfrared Inspections, and Mold Inspections.

Q: How long will the inspection take?
The time varies, depending on the size, age, and condition of the property. Most inspections take between two to three hours but for more expansive or older properties, or if additional services (such as infraredmold, or air quality inspections) were requested, it may take longer.

Q: Should I be present during the inspection?
 Pacific Northwest Building Inspections recommendations that you are present at the site of the inspection, from start to finish. This allows you to observe the inspection and ask questions as you learn about the condition of the property. Pacific Northwest Building Inspections will explain how the property’s systems work, how to maintain those systems and components, and what potential issues may need repair. For first time buyers, Pacific Northwest Building Inspections takes extra time on this so the new property owner will be fully aware of the functionality and maintenance.

Q: What if I have questions after the inspection?
 You can call Pacific Northwest Building Inspections and discuss all the aspects of the property whenever you like. Pacific Northwest Building Inspections’ service is a long-term investment.

Q: Why do I need an inspection?
 A building inspection assesses the condition of a property, points out the need for repairs, and identifies areas that may need attention in the immediate future. For a buyer, having a good understanding of the condition of a property is crucial to making informed decisions during a real estate transaction. An inspection may help prevent problems in the future by identifying deferred maintenance issues that, if left unchecked, could develop into expensive problems.

Q: Can’t I do it myself?
 There is no legal requirement to have a building inspection. However, a professional building inspector has the experience, depth of knowledge, training, and specialized tools and equipment to evaluate the property. Pacific Northwest Building Inspections is familiar with the many elements of residential and commercial construction and their proper installation and maintenance. We understand how the structure’s systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail. We have both training and experience in recognizing potential problems and are uniquely suited to interpret what the findings reveal about the condition of the property. Also, as a third party, Pacific Northwest Building Inspections is unbiased and can provide an objective report on the condition of a property. The results are documented in a report that is easily understood by all concerned parties.

Q: What if the report reveals problems?
 When the inspectors identify problems, it does not indicate you should or should not continue with the real estate transaction. The findings serve to educate you in advance about the condition of the property. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are discovered during an inspection. Or, the seller may agree to make the repairs prior to close of escrow. If your budget is tight, or if you do not want to take on future repair work, the information gained from a thorough home inspection is especially valuable in your decision making.

Q: What does an inspection cost?
 Pacific Northwest Building Inspections’ uses a highly competitive flat fee structure for home building inspections of properties of 3,000 sq. ft. or less. For larger properties, the fee will vary, depending on the square footage. Pacific Northwest Building Inspections prices commercial inspections based on the criteria of the property: square footage, number of buildings, accessibility, structure, and other unique factors of the property. Pacific Northwest Building Inspections also provides InfraredMold, and Air Quality Inspections for a nominal fee. Please call 206-782-8969 for more details.

Q: Why is knowing the condition of the property so important?
 The condition of the property can have a huge financial impact on the purchase decision. Real estate prices have changed substantially over the years and so has the cost of home repairs. Today’s buyer must consider not only the cost of buying the property, but also the cost of owning and maintaining it. Nothing can be more devastating, both emotionally and financially, than to purchase a property, only to face thousands of dollars in unexpected repair costs.

Q: What does a building inspector do?
 A professional, well-trained inspector can provide you with the information you need to make an informed purchase decision and a good investment. A comprehensive inspection report will detail the property’s condition including the heating and cooling systems, the plumbing and electrical systems, the roof and siding, as well as the framing and foundation. In addition, many inspectors will provide or can arrange for additional environmental inspection services that may be required or desired. For a sample report click here.

Q: Once I have a building inspection, then what do I do?
 After the inspection, you can complete your real estate transaction with confidence. This valuable information gives you the ability to factor any needed repair costs into the purchase equation. In the end, a professional well-trained building inspector can provide you with peace of mind that you’ve made a sound and intelligent investment decision or know that the buyers of your property had all the findings of the inspection disclosed and thus avoid potential legal and financial headaches.

Q: Does a building inspection come with a warranty or a guarantee?
 No. An inspection is a written professional opinion of the condition of the property at the time of the inspection and the inspection itself is limited to what is visibly accessible at the time. Pacific Northwest Building Inspections cannot predict or forecast the life expectancy of currently working systems.

Q: What if the inspection uncovers issues?
 Pacific Northwest Building Inspections’ report will tell you the condition of the property at the time of the inspection, including any needed repairs. No property will be perfect. It is up to you to decide whether any issue the inspection uncovers might affect your decision to buy or sell. You may also try negotiating with the seller to have problem areas repaired before closing the deal or perhaps the seller will lower the price or offer terms that are more favorable. Part of your Realtor’s job is to help you decide the best course of action for your transaction. In the end, the decision is yours, but knowing about potential issues before you buy gives you the power to negotiate and make the best decisions. For a sample report click here.

Q: Will you fix the issues you find during the Inspection?
 Pacific Northwest Building Inspections does not do any repair work on properties inspected. This is for your benefit as it assures that there will never be a conflict of interest by the inspector. Pacific Northwest Building Inspections’ purpose is to provide an unbiased, objective third party report on the condition of the property at the time of the inspection.

Q: Will I get an inspection report on site?
 A report is generated on site using the latest technology to ensure that the client and realtor have the report in a timely manner. This includes digital photos of any deficiencies as well as a home house manual.