Home Inspections For Buyers

A Home Inspection Protects Your Interests

The purpose of a home inspection is to provide a professional, good faith opinion of the apparent condition of components and systems of the real estate structure, on the date and at the time of observation.  Home inspection is an activity that is regulated in Wisconsin.  The inspection and report will conform to the current Standards of Practice set forth in Chapter SPS 131, Subchapter IV of the Wisconsin Statutes, and the administrative rules applying to that chapter.  The inspection is designed and intended to detect observable conditions of an improvement to residential real property, subject to certain limitations.  The inspection will cover all areas as required under Wisconsin Chapter SPS 131, Subchapter IV and its administrative rules.

The State of Wisconsin Standards of Practice for Home Inspectors, the State law, defines a home inspection as “A reasonably competent and diligent inspection of the readily accessible and installed systems and components [of a home] to detect observable conditions of residential real property.”  For a better understanding of the State of Wisconsin Standards of Practice for Home Inspectors (SPS 131), follow this link   https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/admin_code/sps/professional_services/131/131.pdf

Important Points of Clarification

• Depending on its size, condition and age, the inspection of an average home will generally take 3-4 hours. A detailed, written report will be prepared and furnished, usually at the conclusion of the inspection.

• Although Inspector Low is an engineer, Inspector Low is not performing the inspection as an engineer.

• Inspector Low is not a specialist in all trades and disciplines, and is performing the inspection as a “general practitioner” who, in certain cases, will recommend further evaluation by a specialist.  A “specialist” is a person, consultant and/or contractor that is an expert and/or specialist in a particular trade and/or is credentialed to practice the trade.  Selection and retention of a specialist shall be at the discretion and expense of others (not Inspector Low).

• Although not a code inspection, current building codes are used as a general guideline for identifying, describing and reporting hazardous conditions.

•Inactive utilities/utility systems (power, water, fuel, etc.), whether off at the main or branch sources, will not be activated by Inspector Low.  It is recommended they be activated by others prior to the inspection.  In the event some or all utilities/utility systems are inactive during the inspection, it is strongly recommended that the utilities/utility systems be activated and demonstrated, by others, to perform properly prior to closing.

• Pilot lights and fuels (for heating equipment, water heaters, fireplaces, etc.) will not be ignited by Inspector Low.  It is recommended they be ignited by others prior to the inspection.

• Operating and reporting on appliances, including kitchen and laundry units, is at the option of Inspector Low and is done only as a courtesy to client (Wisconsin law does not require their inspection).  Inspector Low is not responsible or liable for any operational, performance or other deficiencies.

• Cosmetic damages and/or poor workmanship that do not affect function are not reported.

• It is recommended that any heating equipment (furnaces, boilers, etc.) at least 18 years old be more thoroughly examined by an HVAC specialist.

• The inspection excludes opinions on:

  •     The compliance with codes, ordinances or regulatory authorities, building or otherwise;
  •     The life expectancy of a component of the property;
  •     The causes for needing any repairs or corrections;
  •     The methods, materials, or cost of making repairs or corrections;
  •     The suitability of improvements or components of improvements for a specialized use;
  •     The presence of fungi including mold, the type of fungi, the potential locations of fungi or the effects of fungi;
  •     The presence or absence of pests, including rodents, insects and wood damaging organisms;
  •     The presence of any hazardous substances, including fungi (mold), asbestos and lead.


An inspection will not be performed nor will an inspection report be furnished without the execution of an inspection contract.