What Is A Buyer Home Inspection?

home inspection

A buyer home inspection is typically scheduled after the seller accepts an offer and before closing. The buyer is responsible for scheduling and paying for the inspection.

Home inspections can uncover issues that didn’t show up in the listing or during your initial tour of the property. These discoveries may lead you to ask the seller to make repairs or reduce the sale price. If you don’t know what to look for, talk to Axios Home Inspection experts.

home inspectionInspection Reports

Buying a home is a big deal, and buyers need to know as much as possible about the property before they close the sale. A detailed inspection report can help buyers understand the condition of the property and determine if any issues need to be addressed through negotiation with the seller or as part of the buyer’s contingencies in the sales contract.

Most inspectors will provide a written report after the inspection is completed, typically with a table of contents or section headings for easy navigation and reading. The inspection report will include sections describing home systems, such as electrical, plumbing, and heating/AC, as well as exterior, interior, and roof areas. The report will also likely note the presence of wood-destroying organisms and any other environmental issues.

A good inspection report will make note of major issues that need to be addressed right away, as well as minor issues that can be dealt with on a more long-term basis. The report will also usually include a section that outlines red flags found during the inspection, which may impact the safety or value of the home.

When reviewing the inspection report, it is important to read carefully and understand all of the information provided. Some reports are color-coded to make it easier for buyers to identify what each issue means, with green meaning everything is in good shape, blue indicating a moderate concern, and red indicating something that needs immediate attention or repair. The report will also list the cost and severity of each item identified.

Buyers should also pay particular attention to the notes and photos included in the inspection report. The inspector will likely take photos anywhere there is an issue, such as a missing roof shingle or signs of termite activity, and these will be documented in the report for reference. This will allow the buyer and real estate agent to reference these photos as they review the report and prepare for negotiations. Having clear, understandable notes and photos of any issues can help avoid misunderstandings and ensure all parties are on the same page moving forward with the transaction.


Many buyers choose to make their home purchase contingent on the results of a home inspection. This gives them a certain window of time to schedule the inspection and complete any follow-up evaluations, and it also allows them to withdraw their offer if the inspector discovers safety or structural issues that they aren’t comfortable with. Depending on the situation, the seller may be asked to fix the problem, give credit toward closing, or simply back out of the sale altogether.

Home inspections often uncover several minor repairs that need to be addressed. These include things such as missing doorstops, a broken window or light fixture, old paint on walls, and outdated appliances. Getting these items taken care of before the home is sold can save the new homeowner a lot of work and money after they move in.

When negotiating with the seller to address these issues, the buyer needs to be prepared to discuss how severe each one is and what the cost of making the necessary repairs will be. It’s also a good idea to bring a notebook and pen so that the buyer can write down notes about each problem as the inspector points it out.

Buyers should always hire a qualified professional for the home inspection, an expert says. Too many people go with whoever is recommended to them, rather than doing their research, and it could end up costing more in the long run. When choosing an inspector, he says, ask the person how long they’ve been in business and what their education and certifications are.

If the seller disagrees with an inspection report, they can either agree to fix the problems identified or accept the buyer’s offer with a credit at closing. If the sellers aren’t willing to agree to these terms, the buyer can back out of the transaction with their earnest money and find another property.

For the sellers, it’s important to disclose any known flaws in a house, says an expert. “People react more strongly to things they don’t know about, so it’s best to be upfront and honest,” she says. The sellers should also hire a professional to do the repairs, she adds. Attempting to DIY or hiring someone on the cheap can result in poor workmanship that will show up later and require more repair work.

Inspection Contingencies

A home inspection contingency is a standard clause that most real estate contracts have. While they can vary by city and state, most include the buyer’s right to have a home inspection done before closing. The purpose of this contingency is to ensure that buyers don’t unknowingly purchase homes with significant issues or defects. During a home inspection, the inspector can identify problem areas and give the buyers a chance to back out of the contract if they don’t want to buy the house.

If the inspection turns up major problems that the buyers aren’t willing to accept, the contingency gives them a way out of the contract without losing their earnest money deposit. But even in the best-case scenario, finding a perfect home isn’t possible, and there’s no guarantee that a property’s problems will be easily resolved once a sale is complete.

When creating the contingency, buyers should be sure to clearly define what the home inspector will be looking at. For example, many inspectors will exclude attics and crawl spaces from their inspection, but these can be the ideal places for mildew and mold to hide. Buyers should also make sure to include a time frame within which they must review the report and respond, with some contingency addendums giving them the ability to terminate the contract within that window and receive their earnest money deposit back.

Another important aspect of the contingency is the right to hire additional experts for more in-depth testing and inspections. For example, a structural engineer may be needed to evaluate foundational damage or a radon expert to test for radon in the basement. Buyers will need to be aware of any potential additional fees for these specialized services.

It’s also worth noting that a home inspection contingency does not guarantee the buyer will get their offer accepted, especially in a competitive market. The sellers will still consider other offers. If the buyers are unable to waive their inspection contingency, they will either need to negotiate with the seller over repairs or a monetary concession, or they’ll have to find another property.


A home inspection is a key step in the purchasing process. It can reveal problems that you might not have noticed and give you an idea of the cost of repairs. Those issues may be so costly that it doesn’t make sense to purchase the property, or they could simply be a red flag that you should walk away.

Home buyers can negotiate with the seller to have some or all of the inspection findings addressed. The best way to do this is to be as specific as possible in your requests. For example, if the inspector notes that the roof needs to be replaced, you can ask for a percentage of the total cost of the replacement to be paid by the seller before closing. This can be a good option if you don’t want to ask the seller to repair it or are concerned about their response.

If you are requesting that the seller make major repairs before you close, it’s wise to get a quote from a reputable contractor and use that information as the basis for your counteroffer. It’s also a good idea to take a look at comparable properties and recent sales data, as this will help you come up with a fair offer.

As the buyer, you have the right to request any repairs that you feel are necessary, but it’s important to remember that the seller wants to sell their property and isn’t happy with a situation that delays or derails the sale. For this reason, it’s helpful to keep the negotiations “all business” and remove emotions from the equation.

It’s also a good idea to divide the defects found into categories. The most serious issues should be a top priority, followed by those that are less expensive but not trivial. For example, if there is evidence of mold, it should be at the top of the list of repairs. This isn’t just an aesthetic issue, but one that can cause health and safety concerns for the buyer. This will help you and your agent craft a reasonable request for the seller to address.

The Importance of Masonry Relieving Angles in Modern Buildings

pro angle masonry

Masonry structures work primarily in compression perpendicular to their bed (horizontal) joints. Unfortunately, masonry relieving angles in modern buildings often experience damage as a result of poor design and construction. Inadequate design and installation of steel shelf angles can lead to spalling, cracking, and staining of masonry veneer, water infiltration through the wall assembly, moisture-related damage, corrosion of fasteners and their associated components, and other problems. Go to https://masonrycharleston.com/ for more details.

pro angle masonry

Inadequate design, construction, and maintenance of shelf angles supporting masonry veneer on structural framing cause spalling and cracking of the masonry, corrosion of the steel angle, deterioration of interior finishes, and water leaks. These issues can be caused by various factors such as grade sizing, improper shimming, insufficient masonry reinforcement, using mortar rather than concrete for filling the joints, and lack of expansion space.

Relieving angles are a key component of brick, stone, and other heavy cladding systems in buildings that require wide openings, such as ribbon windows. These angles take on the load of the masonry, taking the weight off the structural framing members in a building. These angles must be properly designed, detailed, and sized to meet the design requirements of the building code for strength and deflection.

Traditionally, lintels and shelf angles are fabricated from steel, providing superior strength, durability, and corrosion resistance to other materials such as concrete and wood. However, a new generation of engineered materials, such as GFRP (glass fiber reinforced polymer), has emerged that can offer the benefits of steel at a lower cost and with reduced environmental impacts. These materials are used for many applications, including lintels and support for cladding systems.

Engineers size lintels and support angles to meet the building codes’ strength requirements. They must be able to limit the deflection between support points due to uncategorized dead and live loads to less than L/600 or 0.3″ and resist rotation of no more than 1/16″.

The sizing of the angle depends on the thickness of the masonry, but in most cases, it is set at two-thirds of the maximum thickness of the wythe. The tips are secured to the concrete or masonry structural system through anchor bolts. A detailed engineering calculation must be made for each type of attachment, and these calculations can be done using either a global FE model or a kinematic analysis.

The materials ‘ quality is important because the masonry-bearing wall is exposed to the elements. All frame members should be checked for size, straightness, edges, wood material, and color, and they should be free of shakes, dead knots, and decay. They should also be tested for flexural, shear, and compression strength.

Aesthetic considerations and design requirements for masonry building walls often require the addition of horizontal expansion joints and using shelf angles. These support structures help to distribute the weight of a barrier to various locations in the system so that one spot does not carry all the load on its own. They are often necessary for high-rise buildings and can be used with lintels or other structural components. To prevent these supporting elements from affecting the overall strength of the wall, they must be designed and detailed properly. Shelf angles must be connected to the concrete or masonry structural systems through anchor bolts. The bolts must be sized appropriately to prevent deflection due to uncategorized dead and live loads. The spacing of the anchors must also be examined, as a gap between anchors may allow movement that will weaken the veneer.

The shelf angle design is important to a brick wall’s overall stability. It should be placed where the maximum lateral force is expected to be applied, as this will determine the amount of energy that must be transmitted through it. It will be determined by the slope of the stress plane concerning the plane of the bed joints of the masonry. A low pitch of the stress plane will result in a higher tensile strength than what might be assumed for a given wall.

Traditionally, masonry buildings had thick load-bearing walls that carried the full weight of the building and provided support for openings such as doors and windows. Steel lintels or masonry arches spanned openings in these walls. However, skeleton frame building construction has allowed for wide ribbon windows across entire sections of a façade. This large window type requires a thin wythe of brick, stone, or other masonry to span the whole width of the opening. It can put a lot of weight on the masonry, and the support system must provide a means for this masonry to transfer its importance to the major elements of the building structure.

Moisture accumulation in masonry walls can cause physical and chemical damage to building materials and deteriorate the efficiency of building mechanical systems. Controlling moisture is, therefore, crucial to ensuring the longevity and durability of the cladding system. Moisture ingress is often caused by wind-driven rain (WDR), and a significant source of moisture ingress is water penetration through the interface between masonry and the building frame. It can cause many issues, such as ineffective insulation, freeze-thaw damage, biodeterioration, indoor mold growth, and structural failure.

The most common way to prevent WDR-induced moisture ingress is to ensure that the masonry is fully sealed at all edges, including the junctions with the building frame. It can be achieved in new buildings using a silicone-based sealant, e.g., Dow Corning® ProFlex® Silicone, around all penetrations through the masonry façade. Alternatively, a breathable membrane can be used to ensure that the wall is breathable and that moisture infiltrating the masonry can escape.

Another important factor in preventing WDR-induced moisture ingress is to ensure that the masonry is not attached to the structural steel elements in a way that will compromise the performance of the thermal envelope. It can be done using a structural thermal break assembly compatible with the masonry material or by incorporating a masonry insulating shim between the shelf angle and the concrete surface.

Masonry wall assemblies are usually constructed from different types of materials, and each material has its unique behavior in response to temperature, moisture, elastic deformation, and settlement. Designing, creating, and maintaining a masonry wall with all the components required for optimum performance is essential.

The main components of a masonry wall include concrete blocks, mortar, grout, reinforcement (vertical, horizontal, and joint), insulation boards, shelf angles, and veneer ties. Previous studies have shown that properly selecting and constructing these wall components can improve the overall R-value of a masonry wall.

The materials and artistry are the most critical factors for achieving good moisture resistance in a masonry wall. The masonry material’s quality, especially the mortar, is key to resisting moisture ingress. It is also crucial to ensure no cracks in the masonry wall and that the cannon is well-bonded to the masonry units.

The type of material used for masonry anchors and shelf angles is an important factor in the thermal resistance of masonry walls. A concrete block masonry wall’s thermal performance depends on many factors, including insulation, air gaps, and conductive structural components (such as concrete block ties and shelf angles). These elements’ effectiveness must be considered to meet stringent code requirements for masonry construction.

The concrete block masonry tie is a masonry structure’s most common conductive structural element. Using stainless steel, which has a thermal conductivity three times greater than carbon steel, can significantly reduce the effect of this conductive element. However, this method is usually only considered feasible in high-rise buildings and can be cost-prohibitive.

A better solution is to use a more resilient, corrosion-resistant material such as galvanized steel for these elements. It improves the thermal performance of masonry structures and enhances corrosion resistance in marine environments where exposure to salt is frequent.

Other subtle design issues that can impact the thermal performance of a masonry wall include the choice of material for concrete block masonry ties, the amount of exterior insulation, and the location of shelf angles in the backup wall structure. These elements must be designed to minimize thermal bridging, which is the primary cause of low masonry wall R-values.

 Insulating concrete may be placed in the backup wall structure behind the shelf angle, or continuous insulation can be inserted between the backup wall structure and the masonry veneer to improve the R-value of a masonry wall. The choice of a particular insulation strategy is dependent on project-specific considerations.

Steel shelf angles provide vertical support for masonry veneers and often act as an effective thermal break. However, the effectiveness of a shelf angle in reducing a building’s U-value depends on its location and connection to the backup wall structure. Studies conducted by Finch et al. found that directly attached shelf angles reduce a masonry wall’s R-value by up to 55%. In contrast, shelf angles supported with intermittent knife plates or HSS tubes result in a much less significant reduction (12%).