Why do I need a Licensed Inspector?
The purpose of licensing Home Inspectors in the State of Maryland is to provide the consumer some assurance that they are getting value in the expectation of having a knowledgeable person inspect the home that they are planning on buying or selling. A licensed inspector in the State of Maryland has had specific training in a formal classroom setting recognized by the Department of Education. This basic training covers all aspects of a typical home. Licensing includes an insurance coverage requirement. The legislation which defines the licensing requirements also includes a Code of Ethics for the Home Inspector as well as minimum Standards of Practice. Most professional Home Inspectors in Maryland who are licensed are likely to exceed the minimum requirements set by the Legislature. Regal Services is one of them.
What is a Home Inspection...
…an objective visual examination of the readily accessible elements of the physical structure and systems of a home, from roof to foundation. A home inspection is the equivalent of a physical examination from your doctor. When problems or symptoms of problems are found, we may recommend further evaluation or remedies. A home inspection summarizes the condition of a property, points out the need for major repairs, and identifies areas that may need attention in the near future.
Buyers and Sellers depend on an accurate home inspection to maximize their knowledge of the property in order to make intelligent decisions before executing an agreement for sale or purchase. A home inspection points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After an inspection, both parties have a much clearer understanding of the value and needs of the property.
Regal Services offers the Basic PlusTM home inspection which brings over 35 years of professional experience and engineering qualifications in construction safety, fire safety, and health into the assessment of the major elements which are evaluated in a basic home inspection.
|• Attic||• Foundation||• Bathrooms|
|• Grading||• Insulation||• Retaining Walls|
|• Ventilation||• Siding & Trim||• Ceilings, Floors, Walls|
|• Structural||• Trees & Shrubs||• Major Appliances|
|• Roof & Flashings||• Driveways & Walks||• Heating & Air Conditioning|
|• Gutters & Downspouts||• Doors & Windows||• Plumbing|
|• Basement||• Chimneys||• Water Heater|
|• Crawlspace||• Fireplaces||• Electrical|
Pre - Purchase
The most commonly thought of inspection by realtors and “new home” buyers, the pre-purchase inspection is only performed for and on behalf of the prospective Buyer. For most people, a home purchase is generally the largest investment they will make in their lifetime. Decisions made at this time have long lasting consequences. The home inspection provides important and valuable information about the home for sale. The information found during the inspection and documented in the inspection report enables the Buyer to make an informed decision about their pending investment and supports the Buyer’s peace of mind. Some good reasons a Buyer should have a home inspection:
Reason #1: It makes good business sense
- Consider the fact that a typical home can cost in excess of $300,000
- Consider that a new roof can cost from $4,000 - $25,000
- Consider that a new furnace can cost from $3,000 - $10,000
Reason #2: You will have greater peace of mind
- Buildings old and new need repairs, and; even on newer buildings, it is not common to have repair estimates into the thousands of dollars.
Reason #3: You will be better informed
- Being armed with the right information will help you make a good decision and feel great about it. There is no doubt that buying real estate is not a stress-free event. A home inspection will relieve some of the strain.
Reason #4: Learn about Free, short term warranties with your inspection
- Ask your Realtor or your inspector about short-term inspection warranties. These warranties provide valuable protection of your investment.
Reason # 5: Find out about after-inspection services to help you maintain your home
- Ask your Realtor or inspector about free services to help you maintain your home. These services often provide home maintenance tips, renovation planning tools, home guides, and other resources to help make your home more comfortable and valuable.
Pre - Listing
Simply stated, this is a home inspection requested by the Seller or Owner of the property before listing it on the market for sale. It includes everything a Buyer would receive if he requested a home inspection, and more.
So, why do them?
Everything has a time and a place, and now is the time for the Seller’s Home Inspection service. This service can be applied to adjust for seasonal changes in the market or for long-term economic trends. Either way, as the market changes and the “days on market” average climbs, there is no doubt that Sellers get nervous and want to differentiate their property from the competition. In order to compete effectively, Sellers have to make their property stand out in the “crowd.” Curb appeal, location, and price are the cornerstones of getting the foot traffic necessary to effectively market a property. And; there is often one overlooked component that can derail any amount of curb appeal, location, or price…the home inspection.
How will the parties benefit?
Someone once said, “what you don’t know, can’t hurt you.” Not so in real estate. I have seen it all too often, that horrified look of a Seller that, for the first time, discovers they have thousands of dollars in structural, electrical, or drainage repairs; and the once solid deal is pending a $10,000 credit. No one likes surprises; especially big financial surprises in the middle of a real estate transaction. Here is a list of how all the parties will benefit from a Seller’s Home Inspection:
- Eliminate surprises – what you don’t know can kill your deal
- Assistance with disclosure – nobody likes to be served papers and paying attorney’s fees
- Repairs cost less when you have time to call multiple contractors
- Buyers feel at ease when they have more information – less hedging their bets may mean a higher sale price.
- Agents can counsel their clients to make repairs or offer credits if cash is tight – take away the negotiating power of the Buyer.
- Agent and homeowner can accurately price property for market conditions…AND property conditions
The pre-listing package includes the Basic Plus™ home inspection with digital photographs, the complete report on CD, and more…
- Basic Plus™ Home Inspection (click here for more information)
- Digital photographs in a comprehensive narrative report
- A walk through and discussion of the report with the Buyer is available for a discounted fee – let me make them my client and they will be more agreeable to accepting your report.
- A 120-day home warranty is available upon request at additional cost that covers you during the escrow process (this is not the same warranty that is transferable to the Buyer for a year).
Q. Doesn’t the Buyer pay for the home inspection?
A. Everything is negotiable. Buyer’s have and will continue to pay for a home inspection. However; over the past few years, the trend has slowly been moving to where Sellers are more interested in having their own inspector give them the facts before accepting offers to minimize surprises during escrow.
Q. Does the report expire?
A. Technically, there is no expiration date on an inspection. That said; with the passage of time, the report is likely to be less accurate …conditions do change. Most people feel a report in the last 90 -120 days is acceptable.
Q. Why do you charge a fee for the Buyer’s walk through?
A. As a service company, our product is our knowledge and time. I can’t sell 12:00pm on Wednesday twice in a day.
Q. How will the Buyer benefit by paying for a walk through?
A. Trust is everything and Buyer’s do have a reluctance to believe all of what is in a Seller’s report. By allowing the inspector and the Buyer to discuss the report in person, they will begin to build a relationship based on trust and understanding which may put any concerns the Buyer may have with the report at ease. Anybody who has been in Real Estate for any length of time can tell you that there is a big difference in reading a home inspection report and discussing the condition on site with the client. Not everything translates well into the written word.
Pool & Spa Inspections
A well maintained pool and spa adds value to any home. A pool and spa that is neglected will cause the property to be less desirable and very often limit the marketability of the home. Nearly everything having to do with inspecting a pool and spa is safety and health related…personal exposure is greater.
Much like a home inspection informs you about the condition of the home you are interested in purchasing, a pool inspection informs you about the condition of the pool. The intent therefore, is to evaluate the current condition of all accessible pool components. That said, it is a generally accepted premise that the pool has been opened for the season by a professional pool maintenance service provider and is fully operational or is currently (recently been) in use before an inspection is requested. The inspection covers four major aspects:
1. Placement and Protection - relation to the home and interrelated components and systems… electrical wiring, outlets, fencing, gates, a screen enclosure, etc.
2. Vessel and Coping – includes deck surface condition, coping condition, anti-vortex covers, etc.
3. Equipment – lights, GFCI devices, junction box condition and location, pumps, filters, piping, timers, disconnects, heaters, controls, accessories, skimmers, electrical bonding, etc.
4. Equipment Operation – operation of the pump, inspecting for leakage, proper skimming and filtration, heater activation, filter pressure, operation of the spa blower.
A comprehensive, detailed report is provided with digital photographs summarizing the inspection findings. The report also includes general maintenance tips; and will identify areas in need of attention to facilitate pool operation and help the new owner to understand how to make the pool reasonable to maintain.
Less than 10% of your home is visible on a walk through.
“I don't need a home inspection, I'm buying new.”
Many people question whether they need a home inspection when they are purchasing a brand new home. After all, the municipal or county inspectors have looked at the home during construction; and the Builder assures the homeowner that anything that is noted during the final walk-through will be addressed.
The reality is that municipal and county inspectors do not have time to do a complete inspection of each and every home that they are charged with; and a full inspection is just not in the scope of what they do. Although most Builders are willing to make corrections to defects that are brought to their attention, if the defects are not discovered, they cannot be remedied. Builders have numerous trades people and subcontractors working on each home. Given the labor market in the Baltimore - Washington corridor, it is not uncommon that inexperienced workers are employed. Less than a decade ago construction was performed by people with years of experience.
There is a need for inspections of new construction. Defects can be discovered before they create long-term problems. If you spend any amount of time around builders, they will tell you how “strict” the local code inspectors are. It doesn’t matter where you live, the response is the same. The builders love to tell prospective buyers, “Oh, the county code inspectors make it very hard on us” followed by “Hey, we hire third party inspectors to look over your home also” or “You have nothing to worry about; you have a 1-year warranty!”
Many of you have asked “What type of things do you find wrong in New Home Construction or 1-year warranties?” A few examples of what we have found include:
- A bathtub drain not connected could have flooded a crawlspace and created collateral damage to the wood framing.
- Composite roof shingles installed by inexperienced workers forgot to install roofing felt paper which would have reduced the life span of the roof system and voided the warranty.
- A main electrical distribution panel was left improperly grounded which would have been a life-threatening electrical hazard condition and possibly caused prematurely burned out equipment motors.
- An improperly constructed fire-rated shaft may have resulted in a life safety hazard, caused a greater insurance risk, and devalued the property.
- A basement bedroom had no direct means of emergency egress to the outside from within the bedroom, creating a life safety hazard and preventing legal occupancy of the space as a bedroom.
In – Phase
In recent years, we have seen the quality of new construction decline dramatically, resulting in increased repairs and maintenance costs to homeowners in the early years of property ownership. Mistakes and oversights are increasingly common in new construction; even with the best of builders. This is contrary to what many buyers believe; that nothing can be wrong with their new home since it passed all the “required” municipal or county inspections. It is common knowledge among Builders, trades, and related professionals that municipal and county inspectors are often overwhelmed and simply do not have the time needed to conduct a thorough inspection of every home they encounter.
Although all reputable Builders attempt to provide good quality control during the building process, shortfalls sometimes occur. Quality control problems arise for a variety of reasons:
- Overloaded construction superintendents
- Over-reliance on municipal or county building inspectors
- Design or specification flaws
- Shortcuts to reduce costs and time
- Heavy use of sub-contractors ( and 2nd tier sub-contractors)
- Sub-standard materials
- Improperly trained and inexperienced workers
As a result of these problems, quality control can be inconsistent from one Builder to another; and even among homes built by the same Builder.
Building a home follows a logical order. Regal Services offers a range of services that are certain to reduce your anxiety throughout the home building process:
- Planning and Specification Review
- Foundation Inspection
- Rough-in Inspection
- Insulation Check
- Final Inspection
Planning and Specification Review
Communication between you and the Builder is critical at this stage. You must gain a thorough understanding of what you are purchasing and the Builder must understand what you expect to be built. Are the building plans and specifications sufficiently detailed to avoid disagreement once construction has started? Regal Services can recommend improvements
and clarify details which are often overlooked. These include the quality of materials and components used in construction, the efficiency of mechanical equipment, and even the management of site run-off. Most importantly, you will have a partner working on your behalf as you embark on the largest investment you may make in your lifetime.
The foundation inspection is conducted after the footings and foundation are installed. Before backfilling occurs, we schedule a damp-proofing inspection. Damp, or moisture-proofing, involves applying an asphalt coating or sheet of polyethylene to seal the surface. A visual inspection of foundation components is performed and measurements are spot checked against the building plans.
Framing begins with installation of the first level sub-floor, followed promptly by walls. Floor systems include joists of solid wood or engineered as “I” or truss web joists made from manufactured wood products or metal. The sub-floor is glued and nailed to the joists to minimize squeaks.
Rarely does a home go from foundation to completion without feeling the effects of some precipitation. The materials can withstand a considerable amount of weather. We watch for any effects that require
correction. Depending on the stage of completion and expected duration of precipitation, some builders will protect the structure with a roof tarp. This not only protects the product, but; minimizes later environmental problems associated with mold.
Rough-in of Mechanical Systems
This review is generally referred to as the “pre-drywall” inspection. It is performed after the basic structure of the house is complete; the framing is up, the windows are in, and the electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling systems have been installed, but; are still exposed. This is the first phase of installing these systems.
In this first phase, the mechanical trade contractors install parts you do not see when the home is complete. The ducts, pipes, and wires that circulate power, convenience, and comfort to various parts of your home are ultimately concealed inside the walls. Metal plates cover where plumbing or electrical services passes through wood studs. This protects the waterline and electrical circuits from screws or nails during later work.
Fiberglass batts look like big blankets and come in various thicknesses. Blown insulation is loose so it can fill to any depth, usually with the help of a large hose. This technique works well for places where installing batts is impractical, such as in an attic. Batts work well between studs. Most interior insulation today is of cellulose or fiberglass. With energy efficiency on everyone’s mind, there is a trend beginning where sprayed- in foam (SIF) is being used in place of the more traditional batt and blown insulation types. In some cases, a combination is being used. SIF insulation has superior air sealing capabilities than the traditional insulation and can repel moisture, making it an excellent vapor barrier in both directions. This is a significant advantage in the mid-Atlantic region in addition to its contribution to energy efficiency.
Insulation is rated based on its “R-value”. This is the measure of a material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, generally the better the insulation. The thickness and material the insulation is made from determine its rating. Disturbing insulation can also negate its effectiveness. For example; ongoing work by one of the mechanical trades might result in disturbing blown-in insulation in an attic space, causing it to be compressed. Left in this state, the insulation no longer provides the original “R-value”.
The Final Inspection is the most frequently requested service for a newly constructed home. The Final Inspection consists of a Basic PlusTM home inspection, conducted according to Standards of Practice established by the State of Maryland. This inspection is typically performed prior to closing when all systems are functional and available for testing. However, the timing of the inspection may depend on the level of access granted by the Builder. If Builder restrictions do not allow full access, the Final Inspection can be conducted after the closing.
Today, more buyers are being proactive in protecting their investment by taking the initiative to utilize a third party pre-dry-wall inspection. By walking the home prior to insulation, Regal Services’ third party inspection will help you obtain a clearer understanding of the material, applications, and components of the newly built home. There will not be a better time to make discoveries of deficient workmanship and material which can often be missed or hidden in the walls, attics, and floors.
Pre-drywall inspections are vital to a well-built house. Once dry wall has been installed, electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilating, and most framing problems are hidden from view. Correcting these now can save you time and frustration later. A short list of inspected items include:
- Square, level, and plumb walls and floors
- Bracing, fire-stopping; roof and roof/attic framing
- Plumbing and sewer rough-in
- Mechanical rough-in
- HVAC duct work rough-in
- Electrical rough-in
- Exterior siding, doors, windows, and other penetrations
- Flashing around all doors, windows, and roof lines
- And much, much more
We will spend quality one-on-one time with you to answer your questions at the frame stage of your home. Regal Services will provide a simple but effective outline to you along with commentary of our discoveries. The outline is your tool to utilize while reviewing your options and components with your Builder. Your report will be emailed to you within 24 hours or less.
Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to partner with us, to be well informed, and to understand the expectations of your newly built home. Before you walk the framing stage of your home with the Builder, consider Regal Services’ third party pre-drywall inspections. The reasons are numerous, but; a few questions and answers from past clients might help you understand this process better:
Q. We are currently under construction with our new home. The home building process is new to us; and some days it can be quite overwhelming. We want to be confident, not only with the finished product, but; also with the construction inside the home’s walls. Is this a service you provide?
A. Regal Services provides both pre-drywall and pre-closing (Final Inspections) for newly built homes. Our objective is to educate our clients and to answer questions about the home building process to elevate their awareness of construction methods, material application, and new home ownership.
Q. Our Builder promised to provide a pre-drywall walk-through with us already, but; because we are new at the homebuilding experience, we are uncertain what to expect and what to look for. Will Regal Services be able to go over the process and clarify some areas of concern?
A. Many builders will provide a pre-drywall walk-through with their customers. But, often the builder’s walk-through is of limited time only to review and verify upgrades and locations of telephone, television, or electrical outlets, etc. Regal Services will spend unlimited one-on-one time with you inspecting the entire exterior and interior of the home. We provide an outline of discovered discrepancies along with commentary to be used at your walk-through with the Builder.
Q. What is the ideal time to perform the pre-drywall inspection with Regal Services?
A. Before your own pre-drywall inspection with the Builder. The roof should be stocked and loaded with shingles; and the siding should be installed on the outside of the home. The home should be ready for insulation but not insulated, pending a municipal or county inspector’s clearance.
Q. Why is the pre-drywall inspection so important?
A. With thousands of homebuilding permits issued annually in the greater Baltimore-Washington area and throughout Maryland, a private, third party inspection for pre-drywall has become the norm among savvy buyers and investors of newly built homes. You will not have a better time to review the entire interior and exterior of the walls. To have an opportunity to be educated and confident in your new home is priceless.
Conditions change, sometimes without warning!
Intended for the busy professional or the retiree who may not be aware of the impact time and weather events are taking on his home. That is why Regal Services has designed a basic annual inspection program for the homeowner…to maintain the Continuity of Service provided during the initial home inspection. This annual service is based on a four-point screening inspection that actually involves nearly ten specific areas. The four-point inspection includes:
- Structure & Foundation
- Mechanical systems
- Exterior & Grounds
During the screening inspection, you will be advised of any indications that may be cause for further action or investigation such as wind damage, moisture damage, etc. A complete report of findings including digital photographs will be emailed to you within 24 hours of the inspection. Other features of the Continuity of Service are:
- Free telephone consultation at anytime you think there may be a problem. Often, a telephone conversation will provide sufficient information to resolve the concern without further investigation.
- Regal Services has specialized diagnostic tools for optional comprehensive building analysis. Some of these tools include a thermographic infrared imaging camera that can detect concealed moisture leaks, damaged insulation in walls, and “hot spots” in electrical distribution panels; and equipment for assessing Indoor Air Quality that may have changed from an unforeseen or unexpected event.
- Regal Services offers an easy monthly debit payment plan that permits affordable annual service without incurring additional cost at the time of service.
"Retiring-in-Place"... a popular concept facilitated by Reverse Mortgages. The home you love after years of making it just the way you want. Why move?
Consider having your home evaluated for retirement by asking yourself some important questions:
Q. Can I afford to live in this home?
A. Your home may have been completely or partially remodeled to the way you enjoy the most. But; now the cost of keeping it like unexpected maintenance and the ever rising cost of energy (heat and electric, etc) is becoming a burden. Whether having been remodeled or existing construction, these rising costs may not have been planned for now that it is a good time to retire. You may still be able to afford to retire in your home with a few economical energy saving improvements. Some of these improvements are not always obvious and can be difficult to see and understand.
Regal Services specializes in building science and is certified as a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater. With a Comprehensive Energy Audit, Regal Services can determine the energy efficiency of your home and how efficient it will be after a few economical improvements, making your home affordable and comfortable.
Q. What about Maintenance? How do I keep up?
A. Regal Service has a "Continuity of Service" program designed to help you know when maintenance is needed. And; Regal Services can suggest resources, if needed, to help.
The Purpose of a Due Diligence commercial or industrial class building and property assessment is to report the condition of the building structural systems and building operating systems adequacies, remainder of serviceable life expectancies and needs for maintenance, upgrade, repair, or replacement.
Highlights of ASTM E-2018
Due Diligence commercial or industrial class building and property assessments assist investors, companies, developers, and lenders in the decision making process when indicated for:
- Asset Management
Our Assessment is thorough:
- Begins with the structure…foundation and building envelope including special attention to the roof.
- Inspect in great detail, the electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and HVAC systems.
- Evaluate the condition of interior walls, ceiling, and building finishes.
- Inspect for environmental concerns including mold and mildew, PCBs, asbestos, lead paint, and chemical products usage and storage.
- Visually survey the property for potential hazards.
- Evaluate conditions that may affect how you plan to use the building.
- Forecast maintenance, repair and replacement to help you effectively manage your property.
The ASTM E-2018 Standard offers guidelines for performing a baseline Property Condition Assessment (PCA) and completing a Property Condition Report (PCR).
Property Condition Assessments apply the ASTM E-2018 standard baseline PCA process. This standards guideline covers:
- Documentation reviews and interviews
- On-site walk-through survey
- Preparation of probable costs to remedy physical deficiencies ($3,000 per incident or $10,000 in aggregate)
- Property Condition Report (PCR)
Property Condition Assessment
The ASTM Standard outlines procedures for reducing the scope of the PCA, recognizing that some projects have time and/or budget constraints. The PCA process as defined in ASTM E-2018 is also more appropriate for large projects as it is less invasive, making the process reasonable in scope and time.
The assessment includes physical deficiencies defined as “the presence of conspicuous defects or material deferred maintenance of a subject property’s material systems, components, or equipment observed during the…walk-through survey.”
“This specifically excludes deficiencies that may be remedied with routine maintenance, miscellaneous minor repairs, normal operating maintenance, etc. and excludes de minimus conditions that generally do not present material physical deficiencies.” These items are included in the Regal Services’ Property Condition Inspection protocol.
NOTE: ASTM Standards state the following regarding deviations from E-2018:
“This guide also recognizes that there are varying levels of property condition assessment and due diligence that can be exercised that are both more and less comprehensive than this guide, and that may be appropriate to meet the objective of the user. Users should consider their requirements, the purpose that the PCA is to serve, and their risk tolerance level before selecting the consultant and the level of due diligence to be exercised by the consultant.”
This provision allows you to specify deviations that meet your individual needs and building type. These deviations would be mutually agreed upon and clearly stated in the engagement documents and final report.
These deviations may reduce the scope of the assessment due to financial and/or time constraints, or; they may exceed the assessment standards and include dismantling and operation of readily accessible key systems like HVAC, maintenance suggestions, long term replacement schedules and cost to remedy defects with no minimum cost threshold for reporting.
Property Condition Inspection
If your short term budget does not allow for any surprises during the first year or two of ownership, you may want to consider an inspection protocol. This process is generally more invasive and inclusive than an assessment.
A property condition inspection is appropriate for small apartment buildings (up to 12 units), industrial buildings up to 10,000 square feet, strip malls, storefronts, offices, and lofts under 5,000 square feet. Regal Services offers four (4) alternatives to adjust the scope of your inspection which include:
1. Full Investment Inspection
A full investment inspection normally includes dismantling and testing of accessible HVAC units, furnaces, electric service panels, elevator equipment rooms, etc. The ASTM threshold for costs to remedy deficiencies is eliminated. The investment inspection includes the Regal Services’ Complete Building Inspection report, and; it includes cost estimates for items in need of repair or replacement, projected ten year cost analysis and overlay, written and documented solutions for current problems or deficiencies, digital photo documentation of inspection processes and findings, and on-site consultations with other necessary specialists we may bring in. With a complete inspection, all observable non-standard maintenance deficiencies are addressed regardless of cost. This process takes up to four weeks to the completed report.
2. Complete Building Inspection
This inspection is less invasive than the full investment inspection. Our client receives a full written report covering the grounds, site work, foundation, structure, roofing, gutter system, exterior components, electrical system, plumbing, retaining walls, and any other operational systems pertinent to the building. Regal Services’ commercial inspection report will define and identify inspection findings for the working components and operating systems of the building and surrounding site work. We will also identify, investigate or exclude any observed hazardous or unusual conditions. Pertinent digital photo documentation will be included as part of Regal Services’ findings for clarification.
Regal Services will perform a limited inspection of the interiors as a reference for building structural integrity; and for any visual plumbing or electrical problems. We also perform basic testing of operational systems. It is not the intent of Regal Services to perform an in-depth engineering analysis nor to conduct technically exhaustive studies. We will not perform any invasive testing without written consent from selling agents or as agreed upon for further evaluation. The Complete Building Inspection report will come in a narrative form in a presentation binder with digital photos for reference. This process typically takes two weeks to the completed report.
The Consultation Walk-Through is for the investor who needs help deciding upon the nature and scope of the services they require. A Regal Services consultant will usually spend a day with the client providing a general overview of the property in question with a verbal summary upon completion and a time for consultation after the initial inspection. Typical items covered are the condition of the main structure, functionality of the site work, general interior and exterior components, drainage and functional water flow, and a basic overview of the electrical, plumbing and roofing systems. Regal Services will also spend time with the client addressing any repair or replacement recommendations and basic cost analysis of repairs. This level of inspection does not come with a full written report, but; Regal Services can provide a brief written summary of our findings; or anything else that is of concern to the client. The cost for this service will vary and can be set up at the client’s convenience.
Partial Building Inspection
Occasionally, there may be an individual element or component of a property that is of concern to a client. We often perform inspections of specific areas such as the roof, electrical, plumbing, or other individual aspects. The report format is similar to our main inspection services, and; will define, identify, and include inspection findings as well as identify, investigate, or exclude any observed hazardous or unusual conditions. The cost of this inspection is determined by the nature and scope of the work; and can vary from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
ASTM E-2018 Standard…HIGHLIGHTS
Baseline Property Condition Assessment Scope
Purpose – The ASTM E-2018 guideline defines good commercial and customary practice in the United States of America for conducting a baseline property condition assessment (PCA) of the improvements located on a parcel of commercial real estate by performing a walk-through survey and conducting research as outlined within this guide.
Physical Deficiencies - The ASTM E-2018 guideline defines good commercial and customary practices for conducting a baseline PCA, the goal is to identify and communicate physical deficiencies to the user. The term physical deficiencies means the presence of conspicuous defects or material deferred maintenance of a subject property’s material systems, components, or equipment as observed during the field observer’s walk-through survey. This definition specifically excludes deficiencies that may be remedied with routine maintenance, miscellaneous minor repairs, normal operating maintenance, etc., and excludes de minimus conditions that generally do not present material physical deficiencies of the subject property.
Walk-through Survey – The ASTM E-2018 guideline outlines procedures for conducting a walk-through survey to identify the subject property’s deficiencies, and recommends various systems, components, and equipment that should be observed by the field observer and reported in the property condition report (PCR).
Document Reviews and Interviews – The ASTM E-2018 guideline includes procedures for document reviews, research, and interviews to augment the walk-through survey so as to assist the consultant’s understanding of the subject property and identification of physical deficiencies.
Property Condition Report – The work product resulting from completing a PCA in accordance with the ASTM E-2018 guidelines is a PCR. The PCR incorporates the information obtained during the Walk-Through Survey, the Document Review and Interviews sections of this guide, and includes opinions of probable costs for suggested remedies of the physical deficiencies identified.
Objectives – Objectives in the development of the ASTM E-2018 Standards are: (1) define good commercial and customary practice for the PCA of primary commercial real estate improvements; (2) facilitate consistent and pertinent content in PCRs; (3) develop practical and reasonable recommendations and expectations for site observations, document reviews and research associated with conducting PCAs and preparing PCRs; (4) establish reasonable expectations for PCRs; (5) assist in developing an industry baseline standard of care for appropriate observations and research; and (6) recommend protocols for consultants for communicating observations, opinions, and recommendations in a manner meaningful to the user.
Multiple Buildings – Should the subject property consist of multiple buildings, it is the intent of this guide that only a single PCR be produced by the consultant to report on all of the buildings on the subject property.
To obtain additional information, please contact:
100 Barr Harbor Drive
West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959
Or, call Regal Services at 410.982.1996 for a copy of the ASTM E-2018 Standard Guidelines
In the natural course of accumulating years of experience, it is evolutionary to establish means and methods that of themselves become valuable in the context of client relations. This value becomes part of the culture and product conveyed to the client as additional service benefits and capabilities that make Regal Services stand out among its peers.
Among the many service offerings, the following are a value added that every client may benefit from:
- Free color digital photographs in every report.
- Free list of service providers, screened for reputation based on quality and cost.
- Free telephone consultation at anytime you think there may be a problem. Often, a telephone call will provide sufficient information to resolve the concern without further investigation.
- Free 90-day Home Warranty (for short escrow periods) offered through our Brinks Security affiliation.
Regal Services offers capabilities not available from other services. These include:
- Internationally certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, specializing in construction safety code compliance.
- Extensive experience in Fire Protection Engineering and Life Safety Code issues.
- Augmented background in Industrial Hygiene and related concerns for Indoor Environmental Health.
- Established the Basic Plus™ inspection protocol which exceeds the minimum requirements for licensed home inspectors set by the State of Maryland.