What Is A Home Inspection ?

house1A home inspection educates the buyer and gives them an opportunity to learn more about the overall condition of the house they are purchasing. Through the home inspection process the buyer gets a better idea of some of the the strengths and weaknesses that the house has to offer. The buyer may then use this and other information to determine if the house meets their needs and situation. A home inspection is not a “Pass or Fail” test. All homes have need of routine maintenance and repairs. Some more than others.

Key provides thorough inspections using qualified inspectors.


A Typical Home Inspection Scenario

The process of getting a home inspection on a house usually starts by having the client or buyer contacting a home inspector to get information on the inspector’s qualifications, their availability and the inspection fees that would be charged. If the buyer is satisfied with the information obtained then they will schedule an appointment for a home inspection of their intended purchase. The inspector will then make the proper arrangements to gain access to the property for the inspection and on the scheduled date go to the house and perform his or her inspection. The buyer typically comes to the inspection as well where they gain valuable knowlege on the workings of the home. The results of the inspection are then documented in a home inspection report by the inspector which is then presented to the buyer or client. For confidentiality, a home inspector will not deliver a home inspection report to any person other than the client of the home inspector without the client’s consent. Then as needed the buyer can contact the inspector to clarifiy any question they may have regarding the findings in the home inspection report.

Key Building Inpsections Home Inspection

Key home inspections comply with the requirements set forth by the State of Pennsylvania.

The home inspections are performed by inspectors who are full members in good standing with the national association of home inspectors (NAHI).

Our reports, written in a clear and concise manner, are sectioned into major building systems with the respective subsystems inspected listed at the top of the report followed by the observation section documenting observed defects, adverse conditions and related recommendations. Every Key inspection assesses the physical condition of the home including:


  • Roofs, Gutters & Flashing
  • Foundation & Structure
  • Exterior & Interior Walls
  • Doors & Windows
  • Insulation & Ventillation
  • Heating & Cooling Systems
  • Electrical Systems
  • Plumbing Systems
  • Basement & Crawl Spaces
  • Site Location
  • Decks & Porches

The report includes color photographs to further clarify observations documented in the report. Key maintains insurance for general liability and against errors and omissions in the performance of a home inspection.

The Home Inspector

Pennsylvania passed a law that sets the standards by which an inspector must comply in order to perform home inspections associated with a possible residential real estate transfer in Pennsylvania. These include that the inspector be a member in good standing of any national association of home inspectors that: (1) Is operated on a not-for-profit basis and is not operated as a franchise. (2) Has members in more than ten states. (3) Requires that a person may not become a full member unless the person has performed or participated in more than 100 home inspections and has passed a recognized or accredited examination testing knowledge of the proper procedures for conducting a home inspection. (4) Requires that its members comply with a code of conduct and attend continuing professional education classes as an ongoing condition of membership.

The national associations of home inspectors then provide additional standards defining and clarifying the purpose, conditions, limitations, exclusion, and certain terms relating to an inspection.

Key inspectors are members of NAHI and meet all PA requirements for home inspectors.

The Home Inspection

A home inspection is a noninvasive, visual examination of some combination of the mechanical, electrical or plumbing systems or the structural and essential components of a residential dwelling. It is designed to :

  • identify visible material defects that would have a significant adverse impact on the value of the property or involve an unreasonable risk to people on the property
  • identify conditions that in the judgement of the inspector adversely affect the function and /or integrity of the items, components, and systems.

The fact that a structural element, system or subsystem is near, at, or beyond the end of the normal useful life of such a structural element, system or subsystem is not by itself a material defect. The inspections performed are not a compliance inspection of any code, government regulation or manufacturers installation instructions or procedures.

Key visually examines all the accessible systems of the home.

The Home Inspection Report

The home inspection report includes a description of any material defects noted during the inspection, along with any recommendations that certain experts be retained to determine the extent of the defects and any corrective action that should be taken. A “material defect” that poses an unreasonable risk to people on the property is conspicuously identified as such. The home inspection report is not an appraisal and should not be used as such for any purpose.

An estimate of the cost to repair any defect found during a home inspection may be included in a home inspection report if the report identifies the source of the estimate, the estimate is stated as a range of costs and the report states that the parties should consider obtaining an estimate from a contractor who performs the type of repair involved.

Key’s computerized report includes color photos of the systems of the home.