Ratified Contract? Now, it's time for the home inspection.
Whether you’re buying your first house or your retirement home, Solid Ground offers a variety of inspection services to best meet your real estate needs:
Buying a House? Pre-Purchase Home Inspections
Our home inspection service will help you learn all about your future home -- giving you peace of mind that it’s built solid, in good working condition and free of major defects. A thorough home inspection will help put your mind at ease so you can feel good about your purchase, that it's just the right house for you, at closing time. As a result, we highly recommend that you attend the home inspection if you can -- this will be especially helpful if you’re moving to Charleston from out-of-state, if you're a first-time home buyer, if you’re buying an older/historic/renovated house or, if you’re buying a brand new house.
Each comprehensive home inspection will assess the Roof (shingles/metal/flat, gutters, flashings), Exterior (siding, windows, doors, porch/balconies, trim, fascia/soffits, etc.), Interiors (floors, walls, ceilings, doors, windows), Attic (roof structure, insulation, ventilation), Foundation (slab, crawlspace or elevated), Kitchen Appliances, Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC and Garage. To learn more about what your home inspection will include, please click here for 'What To Expect At Your Home Inspection'.
Where are you buying a house? We inspect homes all over Charleston and its surrounding neighborhoods including Downtown Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and Isle of Palms, Daniel Island, West Ashley, James Island and Folly Beach, Johns Island, Summerville, Ladson, North Charleston, Hanahan, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, Awendaw, Huger, Ravenel, Hollywood and Walterboro. If your neighborhood isn't listed here, just give us a call!
Moving to Charleston from Out-of-State? Relocation Inspections
Especially for home buyers relocating to the Charleston area from a different part of the country, there are a few things you'll want to know about how your new 'Southern' home works, how to live in it and how to maintain it. In fact, our home inspectors have lived in Northern states and are well versed in how a Southern home is built differently than those in the North. As part of your home inspection, we'll be happy to share with you what those difference are and what you'll need to know to keep your home working as it should in our hot and humid climate.
If you're not able to attend the home inspection, no worries. Just let us know when you arrive in Charleston and we can set-up time for an After-Inspection WalkThru with the home inspector to go over inspection findings and repairs needs along with how your house works in person (*there is a small additional fee for the WalkThru, please see fees below).
Buying your very first home? First-Time Home Buyer Inspections
If you're buying your very first home -- whether its a condo, townhouse or a single family house -- congrats! When house hunting for the first time, its exciting to be able to really look at the houses you've been dreaming of and to finally be able to put an offer on a home and then have it accepted by the seller. By the time you get the home inspection part however, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. There are a lot of steps in the buying process and a lot to learn! But you can relax -- we're here to help.
Once your contract is ratified, its time to schedule your home inspection. Since you are a first-time home buyer, we strongly recommend that you attend your home inspection if you can. We'll be happy to schedule your inspection on a day and time that works best for your schedule so you can attend. Even if you can't attend, no worries. The home inspector will call you at the end for a recap of his findings or, your Realtor may be able to go thru the home with the inspector and patch you in via Facetime. Plus, we'll take plenty of photos and videos to include in your report.
During your inspection, we're going to teach you all about the condition of your house and what repairs are needed. Plus, we'll show you how all the systems work together to create a safe and comfortable living environment for you and your family and how to take care of your home after you move in. Especially for first-time home buyers, you'll want to take a moment to look thru 'What to Expect At Your Home Inspections' because it contains valueable information such as:
The nature and scope of a home inspection
How the inspector will evaluate the home
What a home inspection does not include
Limitations -- what the inspection can't tell you
Selecting the best home inspector for the job
What you need to do before your inspection
Getting the most out of your home inspection
Making sense of the inspection report
What to ask the seller to repair before closing
Short and longer-term home warranties
After you move in
Three things to know before you close . . .
It’s helpful to keep in mind on inspection day that all homes –- even brand new ones -– have minor imperfections. Your inspection report will highlight the condition of the house and any items which need attention. If there are a number of items which need attention -- relax. There are really just three things you need to know about the house you are buying:
Does the house have any significant structural or mechanical issues that need to be corrected?
Is everything that you’ll need to live in the house comfortably in good working order?
Is the house a safe place to live?
Plus, your Realtor will help identify those items which need to be fixed before you close and those which can be attended to after you move in or down the road. Be sure to get estimates from the appropriate professionals (i.e. plumber, electrician etc.) once you have your inspection report in hand.
Buying an Historic Home in Charleston? Historic Home Inspections
Many home buyers simply prefer old homes
because they are totally unique in their style
and architecture, because they have gorgeous
mature trees and bushes which have taken
generations to grow and perfectly frame the
home and property and because many of them
are located in and around Charleston's charming,
historic downtown area which has so much to
offer. In fact, Summerville has a wonderful
historic district as well. We can certainly see the
As you might imagine, homes which have been
around for 200-300 years have been updated time
and again over the years. Our home inspectors have a talent for identifying the transformations a home has gone thru and we'll share those with you. When inspecting an historic home, we evaluate it in the context of the time period in which it was built relative to modern building practices and the overall quality of the home. Since old homes have simply been around a long time, we look carefully at the parts of the home that are exposed to the elements, such as the foundation, wall coverings and roof.
Additionally, our inspectors are very familiar with concerns you might have regarding the condition of an historic home regarding the electrical/plumbing/HVAC, age and condition of the roof, use/condition of old building materials relative to environmental concerns (lead paint, asbestos, etc.), condition of crawlspaces with lots of old wood under the house, and so on.
As part of the home inspection, we'll look for signs and symptoms that the structure may need repair due to deterioration of materials and/or impact from the floods, hurricanes and earthquakes they've survived over time. That said, we are not structural engineers. Especially for those historic homes which have not been remodeled in recent years (or decades), having a structural engineer conduct a follow-on inspection would be a wise investment. A good structural engineer can assess the home's structural integrity for your peace of mind and outline structure-related repair needs in greater detail which will be very helpful in determining if this is the right house for you as well as informing contractors and your repair/renovation budget.
So if you're buying an historic home, plan on being at the inspection if you can -- you won't want to miss what the home inspector has to tell you about it!
Buying a Fixer-Upper or 'Handyman Special'? Renovation Inspections
Especially for those home buyers who love older homes and have found a gem that needs to be updated, a home inspection can give you the knowledge you need about the condition of the home's key structure and systems (roof, foundation, plumbing, electric, HVAC) so you'll know how to allocate your renovation budget. Plus, there are a number of safety and environmental concerns to be aware of when buying an old home so you can proceed safely with your rehab. Whether you're buying an old home that's been nicely maintained over time but has never been updated or a house that is a total re-do down to the studs, a thorough home inspection will let you know what needs to be done to turn a project house into your dream home!
Buying a Townhouse or Condo? Condo Inspections
If you're buying a condo, the good news is that the HOA will take care of maintenance and repairs for the exterior, roof and foundation. That said, the condition of these can affect the inside of your condo too and you'll want to buy an a building that has been well maintained. As a result, if you're buying a top floor condo, we'll be sure to inspect the roof. If you're buying a ground floor condo or townhouse over a crawlspace, we'll inspect the crawlspace. And of course, you'll want to know about the condition of the interior including all appliances/equipment and systems (plumbing/electrical/HVAC) and any repair needs which need to be addressed.
Buying/Building a Brand New House? New Construction Inspections
"Absolutely awesome inspection company. Steve came with a deep understanding of Historic Charleston properties and was very thorough in going through the home. The communicated well and explained all of the potential issues as well as the things that wee different, but not concerning on the home. I have had many home inspections done through the years, and these were the most knowledgeable and professional inspectors I have met. Head and shoulders above the rest. Would not consider anyone else in Charleston!" -- Mike A. 10/12/21
When you’re buying or building a new house from scratch, you want to know that it’s being built right, right from the start. There are two times when new construction should be checked:
Phase I: Pre-Drywall Inspection
This early stage inspection takes place after the framing, roof, plumbing, electrical and HVAC have been installed and right before the drywall goes up. The purpose of this inspection is to ensure all systems behind the walls are built to satisfaction. Inspection Fee: $375+ based on square footage. Please call for a quote.
Phase II: Finished 'Pre-Closing' Inspection
This is a full inspection of the home in finished condition which takes place just before closing to ensure all systems are in good working order and that there are no defects. Inspection Fee: Based on square footage. Please see Pre-Purchase Inspection Fees. Not sure whether you should have it inspected or not? Please see the attached one sheet for more information about New Construction Inspections!
Phase III: 11-Month Builder's Warranty Inspection
Just Bought a Brand New Home? Especially for homeowners who didn’t have their newly built home inspected before closing, a home inspection can give you peace of mind that your home is built solid, in good working order and free of major defects. Just before the one year anniversary of your new home (generally around the 11-month mark), give us a call to schedule a good, thorough home inspection so that you can have any defects repaired while your home is still under the 1 year warranty provided by your builder.
"Ron did an inspection on a home we are buying. He was early and went ahead and inspected the roof even before the realtor arrived. He was so very helpful in explaining everything that we asked him. We are new home buyers and he was very patient with us and went over things step by step. I feel confident that he inspected the home thoroughly and did not leave any stone unturned. I appreciate his kindness so much. Buying a home is so stressful, but this inspection was anything but stressful. It was a pleasure doing business. I would recommend Solid Ground Home Inspections to anyone needed their services. Thanks again!" -- Catherine G. 2020
Will your new house have an in-ground Swimming Pool? Pool Inspections
Whether the home has a chlorinated or salt water in-ground swimming pool, our home inspectors can conduct a structural/mechanical/safety pool inspection that's great for those home buyers experienced in pool ownership.
The scope of our inspection includes a limited visual inspection of the pool electrical system, primary circulation system, pool barrier system, the pool interior surface and surrounding deck to identify repair structural, mechanical and safety repair needs.
That said, we do not dismantle components such as filters, pumps and heaters. We do not test water chemistry. We do not test or operate pool heaters, cleaning systems, control valves, chemical injectors or similar components or safety devices.
If you're an experienced pool owner, then we are happy to conduct a mechanical/structural/safety pool inspection. The fee is $125 and it can be done at the same time you have your home inspected -- just let your home inspector know!
If you've never owned a house with a pool, we recommend that you contact a pool company for a more in-depth pool inspection. Plus, the pool company will show you all the ins and outs of how to operate the pool system and how to maintain it year in and year out.
Other Types of Inspections You May Need -- what's not included in the home inspection
Many homes have a variety of additional features/systems/structures that fall outside the scope of the home inspection which you'll also want to have assessed to determine condition and repair needs. For an additional fee, many inspectors are trained to conduct the following inspections. At Solid Ground, we'll research the property to determine which of these systems are present and let you know if we can inspect them or if we recommend reaching out to a specialty company for inspection. When you click on the links below, it will take you to that section of our 'Contractors & Referrals' page for specific recommendations.
Detached garages, workshops and barns
Chimney inspections (for older and historic homes)
Septic tank systems (for rural homes)
Water wells (for rural homes)
Lawn sprinkler/irrigation systems and lawn wells
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