What to expect at your home inspection

Congratulations, you’ve just scheduled a home inspection! If you are reading this because you have chosen me as your home inspector, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to serve you. The home inspection is just one step of many in the escrow process, but it’s a critical one! Chances are you only saw the property for a short time during a showing, perhaps even through a virtual showing. Because of this, I urge you to be present for the entire inspection; this will allow you ample time to see what you are purchasing.

How to prepare for your home inspection

As your home inspector, I’m here to answer all of your questions you may have about your new investment. I recommend you take some time to write down any questions or concerns you may have beforehand so you don’t forget to ask while we are at the property. I’d like you to bring a pen and notepad to record any pertinent information that may come up as well as a tape measure to check for furniture clearances or maybe even remodeling ideas.


What to expect during our consultation

Our inspections typically take two and a half to three hours depending on size and property condition and cover everything from the roof to the foundation and everything in between. I’ll make a note of any issues I discover, whether they are significant problems or minor defects that could lead to bigger issues down the road. I’m here for you, so if you have any questions, please feel free to let me know and we can go over any concerns you have. I write my reports as I perform the inspection and also photograph all notable items as I go to ensure a timely report delivery, typically the same day. Our appointment will end with an In-person summary and Q&A session of everything I noted as a concern. I will go over the locations of major system components, shut-off valves and switches, along with recommended home maintenance tasks.


What to do after your home inspection

When you receive the report through your client portal, I urge you to read it in it’s entirety and go over it with your real estate agent to determine your next steps. Your agent is on your side and will guide you through the rest of the home buying process. If down the road you have any questions about the property or the information contained in the report, don’t hesitate to reach out, our relationship doesn’t end at the inspection.


Afci circuit breaker


AFCI circuit breakers monitor their respective electrical circuits for problems that could cause a spark. They sound a lot like their cousins called GFCI breakers. However, they work differently. GFCI breakers protect the home occupants from accidental shock, whereas an AFCI breaker protects against sparks and fires. 

AFCI circuit breakers use advanced electronics to “sense” normal conditions and for dangerous situations. Operating an electric-powered vacuum cleaner, for example, will produce small arcs or sparks. This is considered a regular operation and would not be flagged by the AFCI circuit breaker.

An example of a dangerous Condition is when someone switches a light switch and a spark is generated in the junction box, causing the protection device to cut power to the circuit. Other examples of dangerous conditions are short circuits from one wire to another are caused by damaged conductor insulation or poor installation.

What does the national electric code say about AFCI breakers

2017 and subsequent National Electric Code section 210.12 does not arbitrarily require homeowners to switch over to AFCI’s. However, suppose you are replacing components in your electrical panel or modifying the branch circuits. In that case, your electrician will also have to install AFCI breakers or combo AFCI/GFCI breakers to stay code compliant. Just replacing your panel enclosure does not necessitate having to replace your breakers, as long as no circuits have been modified in the process.

How to know if you have AFCI breakers, and what to do if they cut power to a circuit.

If you notice some of your outlets aren’t working, or some interior lights won’t turn on, one of your arc fault circuit breakers may have tripped. Go out to your electrical, carefully open the dead front cover and get a look at your breakers. Look for breakers with small buttons on them and a label that says “AFCI” on them. If you don’t see any buttons on them, then you don’t have any AFCI breakers. The buttons are “test” buttons. Pressing them will test the breaker’s functionality to cut power to a circuit.

Note where the levers are positioned; they should be all the way over to the “on” side. Find any breakers that have tripped and reset them. If they do not reset on the first or second try, time to call an electrician.

Should you replace your non AFCI breakers?

Should you replace your existing breakers with an AFCI circuit breaker? Well, that depends. Installing AFCI breakers on all 15 and 20 amp branch circuits in your home would be a significant safety upgrade if you don’t mind the cost of doing so.