What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual inspection of a house and its components. The components include the roof, the siding, doors, windows, the framing, the foundation, drainage, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling, chimneys, interior living spaces, ventilation, insulation, crawl spaces, attic spaces and in some instances, depending on the inspection company, an evaluation is made for wood destroying insects and fungi. Built-in appliances and plumbing fixtures are evaluated.
The home inspection should give the client a clear idea of the present condition of the property--it's informational only for the benefit of the client, and it's not a compliance inspection with regard to any law or statute. The information contained in the report is for the benefit of the client and may not, as per Oregon Statute, be shared with anyone not designated by the client.
At the time of this writing, the State of Oregon certifies home inspectors who have passed a series of tests designed to reflect the minimum amount of competence of entry level inspectors need in the profession.
There are some inspectors who have been deemed exempt from current home inspector certification laws as a result of political negotiation in the Oregon Legislature. These inspectors are not required to pass the home inspector certification tests and are not bound by the consumer protection provisions of Oregon home inspector laws. Consumers have less protection when they use an exempt home inspector who has not been certified.
The reality for consumers in the State of Oregon is that insurance requirements and regulation provide very minimal protection for consumers. Inspector certification is not a guarantee of experience or quality. Consumers should check the track record, the references and credentials of all inspectors before hiring or relying on their information in a business transaction.
The home inspection is not a warranty. At the time of this writing, professional warranty companies are prohibited from operating in the State of Oregon. Individual inspectors may warrant their work on a case by case basis and consumers are advised to fully understand all warranty details before agreeing to them.