Inspection FAQ

Questions you should ask

What is a “building inspection”?
A building inspection is a thorough visual non-invasive examination of the current physical conditions of a building’s structure and it’s operating components.  It is designed to provide detailed information about the building’s current condition.

What does your building inspection include?

The building inspection commonly includes examining major components of the property, such as: garage, driveway, patio, balcony, porch, service walks, retaining walls, roof, chimney, gutters, siding & trim, stairs, doors, windows, floors, walls, ceilings, electrical, heating-ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, attic, crawl space, foundation, and other visible elements. What will be covered in an Alpha Check home inspection?

Should I be be present at the inspection?

We strongly encourage our clients to be present during the ongoing inspection. We explain each system as well as provide suggestions for improvements which may make the building more comfortable or economical to “live” in. Defects or deficiencies will be explained as well as their implications while trying to keep these issues in perspective.

What happens if the inspector finds problems?
The inspector will provide an analysis of the problem and where possible, recommend a plan of action to improve the situation or alleviate the problem. This gives you an opportunity to make an informed decision once the inspection report is completed.

Do I need a Radon Test?

Testing or measurement is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from Radon. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for Radon.

How long has you Inspection Company been in business?
John J. Biegalski, Alpha Check’s Certified Inspector has over 30 years experience in the building inspection and construction industry.

What are your qualifications? How many home inspections have you completed?
John J. Biegalski, the only inspector for Alpha Check Inspections, has personally performed over 8000 inspections in the Delaware Valley. John’s previous construction experience involved everything from new construction to historic buildings.

What professional organizations do you belong to?
John J. Biegalski has been a certified member of several professional organizations.
They include:
– PaDep Certified Radon Testing April 1997.
– ASHI® Certified Inspector. December 1997.
– Environmental Solutions Assoc. Certified Mold Testing. October 2002.
– Boston Environmental Certified Tank Testing. August 2006.
– CMC Energy Home Authorized Tune-Up® Inspector. December 2007.
– Infraspection Institute Certified Level I Infrared Thermographer. February 2008

Each of the above associations are recognized as leaders in their respective industries.  Radon Testing is regulated by the state of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADep).

What type of insurance do you carry?
Error and omissions insurance per Pennsylvania regulations and $1 Million general liability insurance.

Are your prices negotiable?
Generally, no. However, a discount is offered on certain ancillary services if requested.

Can you provide costs for repairs of the problems you find?
Due to John Biegalski’s experience in the construction industry, he is able to provide cost projections for deficiencies and problems reported.

What type of report will be provided?
While some inspectors offer only a handwritten checklist and prepare it on site, Alpha Check Inspections takes the time to prepare a detailed, helpful and useful report. The report is prepared off site and e-mailed or faxed the next business day.

Do you take photos during the inspection?
Photos are the heart of the report. Photos taken include beauty shots of the major systems and shots of every issue identified that will need to be addressed by the client. The report is actually written from the pictures.

Do you solicit real estate agents for client leads?
As a Home Inspection Company and ASHI member, we follow the ASHI’s Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics and do not solicit nor do we perform any work that may be needed. We also are not affiliated directly with any Real Estate Office, contractor or any other repair company. This assures that our recommendations are totally objective.  We are however recommended by several Realtors who are aware of our experience and prefer to recommend the best professionals available.

What else you need to know.
Inspections are not a guarantee or warranty that no defects exist.  Areas to be inspected must be readily accessible and free of personal property, furniture and debris.  We do not inspect areas that we feel are hazardous or where damage could possibly occur as a result of our presence.  We DO NOT perform invasive or destructive inspections or tests and we will not disassemble or open any secured or sealed components.  The only exceptions to this rule are electric panel covers and furnace covers.

All inspections and testing that is performed is limited to the standards and protocols in place as dictated by that industry.  These standards and protocols allow for the inspector to refer the issue for further evaluation and analysis by the appropriate specialists.