What to Expect from Your Inspection and Report



Property Address:                                              



I understand that visual inspections are based on readily accessible and visible symptoms, clues, and tell-tales. Such an inspection cannot accurately or completely assess risk, detect all flaws, predict all occurrences, or make assurances. I accept a purchaser’s risk of buying property. I do not burden the inspector or Building Forensics LLC with any of that risk because they are providing an inspection.


I understand that it is not possible to reproduce in a written or verbal summary all the details the inspector discovers about a property during the inspection. I understand that is why the inspector requests that I actively participate in the inspection. I will participate at my own risk for falls, injuries, property damage, etc.

I realize that if I cannot attend the inspection, it is my responsibility to contact the inspector for a verbal summary; and that the usefulness of this verbal summary will be limited by my inability to see what the inspector is discussing.


The purpose of the standard visual inspection is to look for clear visual clues indicating the existence of major problems or significant safety risks, such as: settlements of foundations, major faults in structures, electrical, mechanical and plumbing system defects, amateur workmanship, and substandard maintenance.

Certain items are randomly sampled or checked during the standard visual inspection such as: window and door operation, hardware and locking devices, insulation depth, electrical receptacles, switches, lights, and GFI breakers, mortar, pointing, paint and caulking integrity, cabinet mounts and functions.

The standard visual inspection is subject to weather restrictions; for instance snow covered roofs and yards can not be seen. Unless specifically included (extra charges would apply) it does not cover checking or testing of the following: solar, security, intercom, antennae, phone and sprinkler systems, swimming pools and spas, or secured, disconnected or tagged equipment. Nor is the accuracy of thermostats or timers, the condition of furnace heat exchangers, the quality of the water or air, or the presence of toxic or allergenic substances evaluated. Roofs inaccessible with a 12 foot ladder, crawl spaces under three feet in height and smoke alarms without test buttons are not inspected. Expect to find only the utilities described in this report.

Typically, visual inspections will not be able to determine items such as; poor wire connections in unexposed locations; unexposed or small chimney liner cracks or breaks; leakage or seepage occurring intermittently or under unusual weather conditions or the presence of pests or chemicals without obvious evidence.

Nor will they detect mechanical systems or duct work that allow discomfort during unusual or extreme weather conditions, intermittent occurrences and inner workings (heat exchangers, compressors, etc.) of mechanical devices, underground pipes; etc.

Many problems may escape the standard visual inspection. Problems are cited only in the presence of clear physical evidence.

It is not the purpose of this inspection to determine or list every minor problem or condition that may exist in the building (cosmetic deficiencies are considered obvious and are not listed).

The following items are outside the scope of the standard visual inspection: building code and zoning ordinance conformance, site or engineering analysis, building value appraisal, public records, warranty or transfer disclosure statements, etc.. Also outside the scope of this inspection, is evaluation of geological or structural stability, environmental hazards, traffic density, noise, odors, etc.

No destructive or disruptive testing or assessment is performed. Water hose, flood, smoke, gas tracer, and other similar testing are not part of the standard visual inspection. Neither is lifting of carpets or removal of ceiling panels, insulation, vapor barriers, etc. Appliances, furniture, heavy, delicate, or personal items are not moved. Air conditioning equipment is not checked during inappropriate weather. Drained or secured exterior water faucets are not checked, equipment and component ages are guessed and installations are not checked against manufacturers recommendations.

I accept that repair/upgrade costs are approximations, expected to vary widely, that are given at the option of the inspector. I realize I am responsible for checking all costs with the appropriate professionals.


The inspector will not check any area that poses a threat to safety. Steep, slippery, or brittle roofs are not walked; attics with insulation that prevents safe/visible footing are not traversed; etc.

I accept that this standard visual inspection is not a substitute for a pre-settlement walk-through of the property, which is my responsibility to perform just prior to closing. I know that new damages may occur, mechanical items fail, and new symptoms, clues, or telltales may appear between the time of this inspection and my occupancy of the property.


I have read the preceding paragraphs and request a standard visual inspection of the property at the above address.

Yes         X     No        X

(Initial your choice)

If the client desires a more thorough and technically exhaustive inspection of the property and/or building, the client may pay an additional fee to receive an “In Depth” report. Building Forensics LLC will deliver this report in ten workdays. We will obtain reports from other experts as needed to satisfy your expectations. A 50% deposit in addition to today’s fee is required to begin the “In Depth” evaluation. See the attached “In Depth “ sheet for supplemental inspection services that we can perform.

I request the “In Depth” for an additional fee.

Yes         X     No        X

(Initial your choice)

I understand and accept that this is not a home warranty, guarantee or insurance policy although some jurisdictions may interpret an implied warranty. I will arrange a purchase of such protection from others if I desire it.


If I have any reason to believe that the inspection was done negligently, I will immediately notify Building Forensics LLC with a phone call and a written letter. I understand and accept that I waive all claims against Building Forensics LLC in the absence of diligently performing my pre-settlement walk-through, or failing to make a more extensive investigation and follow-through with a specialist on any problems noted. I accept that repairs or replacements accomplished without consultation with Building Forensics LLC relieve the company of any liability. I agree that any legal action must be brought within two (2) years from the date of the inspection or will be deemed waived and forever barred.


If a dispute arises, client and Building Forensics LLC agree to submit the dispute to binding arbitration under the rules of the American Arbitration Association, or other mutually acceptable dispute resolution means.

The inspection work will be performed and judged against the ‘Standards of Practice” as published by the American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. 85 West Algonquin Rd, Arlington Heights, Il 60005

All inspections will be judged against the performance of a reasonably fair and diligent inspection and not against results or occurrences. Property or equipment in dispute must be made accessible for re-inspection and arbitration. Arbitration shall occur at the property or building in dispute.

Arbitration Accepted

Yes         X     No        X

(Initial your choice)

Severability: If any tribunal determines that any portion of this contract is unenforceable, that tribunal shall enforce the remainder of the contract as though the unenforceable portion did not exist. If there is a dispute the winning party will be entitled to reimbursement for legal expenses and associated costs.

I have requested this inspection for my own use only. I indemnify the inspector and Building Forensics LLC against any liability arising from the use of this information by persons not participating in this property transaction.

Yes         X     No        X

(Initial your choice)

I authorize Building Forensics LLC to provide the information within this report to sellers, agents, lenders, insurers, and others who are participating in this property transaction. Information will be provided solely for clarifications, facilitation of repairs, etc.

Yes         X     No        X

(Initial your choice)

The following areas were not inspected, were inaccessible, or are otherwise disclaimed:


Acceptance of this report by the client constitutes acceptance of all terms of the entire contract “What to Expect from Your Inspection and Report”.

I have read, understand and agree to be bound by the terms of this contract, or have renegotiated them to my satisfaction.


One signature binds spouses, co-purchasers, etc.


Authorized agent:                                                     


©Building Forensics LLC, 2002