Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider a home inspection?

When performed by a qualified and experienced inspector, a home inspection allows for a non-biased, third-party evaluation of the property and provides an in-depth factual evaluation of the structure. We will check all the house systems such as electrical, foundation, plumbing, and lots more, after the inspection we will build a detailed report that is very easy to read. Click here to view a sample report. We pride ourselves in providing the report ASAP to the customer. When buying a home, you need to know that you are getting the value you are paying for, and don’t have any unexpected expenses after the closing.

Should I attend the inspection?

I encourage you to attend the inspection and ask all the questions you have. I want you to get utmost value from my services, so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision. I am a “people person” and love interactive inspections. Lead Inspector/Founder- Patryk Wolinski

In simple steps, what is the basic experience with Firehouse Home Inspections?

1. You can get an instant free quote online within a minute or from a member of our friendly team.
2. You will schedule online or via telephone or text.
3. If you do call us, you will have your call answered right away by my team where we will answer any questions you might have.
4. We will ask you for your address, square footage, age, and type of foundation, to determine the price of your home inspection depending on the home you are looking at. We will also ask for your number, the realtor’s number, and both emails so we can send an appointment confirmation to both parties as well as the final report.
5. We will ask if the house will be occupied, has all utilities on, and who is attending the inspection.
You will decide if you would like to add a radon test or level 2 chimney scope. If you are still confused please reach out to Patryk for more explanation for a no-pressure honest opinion.
6. Minutes after the booking, you and your realtor will receive an email confirmation with all info about the inspection, date, time, and an easy way to pay for your inspection via credit card, quickly, bank transfer, etc.
7. You will receive a text/phone call from Patryk, the lead inspector/owner so we can establish a direct line of communication. My private cell phone number that I will be calling from is different from our office/online number.
8. We do charge a small technology fee when paying with credit cards, different payment methods are welcome and will be given as an option in your email. Please pay for your inspection before the day of the inspection unless paying with a check- all checks can be made out to “911 Home Services, Inc”.
9. Please thoroughly read the inspection agreement and sign it ASAP, the agreement has to be signed the day before the inspection.  The agreement is not meant to frighten/confuse our customers.  It is simply a legal document demanded by Illinois between both parties of what is going to take place. This company’s foundation is integrity and the agreement is just part of the legal business transaction as written in the Standards Of Practice.
10. On inspection day, we will thoroughly inspect your home and you will have the info to make an educated decision about the biggest purchase of your life.

How much does a home inspection cost?

The home inspection charges are based on several variables such as square footage, age of the house, extra outbuildings such garages and in-law quarters. Some houses may have extra circumstances that can raise the price. For example, is it a new house or a 100 year old farm house that has not been updated in many years? Does the house have crawl space, zone-heating/cooling? (multiple furnaces/ac) Click here to get an online quote within a minute of answering a few questions. Call (847) 960-1000 to speak to our team if you’d prefer to chat over the phone, we’d love to answer your questions.

How long does a home inspection take?

Every property has its own peculiarities but in general, a small condo may take about 1 hour to inspect. A medium sized townhouse may take approximately 2 – 2 ½ hours. A 2,500 sq ft 2 story house can take 2 ½ – 3 hours, and a 4,000 sq ft plus sized home may take 3 hours or more. Special outbuildings, garages, in-law suites, crawlspaces, and Level 2 chimney scopes can add time to the inspection.

Do I need to be there for the inspection?

While you are not required to attend, if you can, I highly encourage you to do so. It is a good opportunity to have a trained expert point out where your water main is located, educate you about your electrical panel, and heating and cooling systems and teach you about other important homeowner maintenance ideas. You also get to see any issues with your own two eyes and speak with the inspector about them. Regardless, we are proud of our inspection reports. I had one realtor call it a “work of art”. If you cannot attend, no big deal, the report will be easy to navigate and I will guide you through the important issues over the phone. I will not let you walk away confused.

Does my realtor need to be at the inspection?

Your agent is not required to be in attendance, although they can be a great resource to have on site during the inspection if we do have questions or potential issues arise. Sometimes real estate related questions come up that are outside of the scope of the home inspector’s knowledge base. Realtors will also be able to see any issues right at the time of the inspection.

Does the seller have to make repairs?

This is a great question for your realtor to answer, but it will depend on a few variables concluding how determined the sellers are to close the deal. The home inspection company’s responsibility is to address credible observations for you and your agent to make a decision in a particular home’s buying process and discuss it with the seller and seller’s agent. I will provide you with factual evidence to have those conversations.

If something is damaged or not working, can the inspector tell me how much it will cost to repair?

While a home inspector cannot tell you exactly what something may cost to repair, we can give you some general guidance. We always recommend that you get a qualified expert in the area of concern (i.e., roofer, electrician, plumber, HVAC) to evaluate and prepare an estimate of repairs. Think of your home inspector as a general practitioner who would refer you out to an endocrinologist, dermatologist, or cardiologist if they observed an area that required a more in-depth evaluation for treatment.

Is a home inspection the same thing as a home appraisal?

A home appraisal assesses the value of the property in contrast to other similar type homes in the area and is used by mortgage companies to make sure that the property you are interested in is accordingly valued/priced for the purpose of a loan. A home inspector determines the condition of the home and its working systems during the inspection. A professional home inspection will give you a great idea if you’re getting less than the value you are paying for and that you don’t end up with a lot of unexpected expenses.

My contract did not allow for a home inspection, can you still inspect my home after we settle?

Yes. In a seller’s market, some contracts have excluded home inspections. I highly recommend addressing your lawyer if there is any way you can include a pre-purchase home inspection on the biggest purchase of your life. We are glad to come out and evaluate your home after you have moved in. You will still be educated on every issue you have and preventative maintenance specific to your home. We perform many of these home inspections a year.

What are the limitations of a home inspection? What don’t you do?

A home inspection is a one-day, non-invasive extensive evaluation of the property. We do walk on the roof most of the time and will exceed Illinois home inspector’s standards. We do not damage or deconstruct any part of the property. Don’t forget, commonly home inspections are performed on a house that you do not own and we are merely guests.

What happens if the inspector breaks something on the inspection?

Every so often, home inspectors get blamed for breaking things, but more often than not home inspectors “reveal” an issue that was already damaged or inoperative. It is a rare circumstance that a home inspector damages anything on the property. But if it does happen, Firehouse Home Inspections will cover the costs of any damage repairs.

My personal favorite definition of integrity is “doing the right thing when no one is watching”.

What is the big deal about radon testing in Illinois?

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the decay of uranium and radium in the ground. Radon is a serious health risk and the #2 leading factor in lung cancer after #1 smoking.  The current average radon level in homes in Illinois is 4.4 pCi/L. · 40 % of the homes in Illinois that are tested for radon by radon measurement professionals were found to have radon levels of 4.0 pCi/L or more. · The national indoor average radon level is 1.3 pCi/L. · At a radon level of 4.0 pCi/L, 7 people out of 1000 non-smokers could get lung cancer. For people who smoke, the figure would be higher, at a rate of 62 people out of every 1000. The higher the exposure to radon, the higher the risk of getting lung cancer.

Why Is Infrared Technology So Important During A Home Inspection?
This is where thermal imaging or Infrared (IR) comes in. Somewhat like an x-ray of the home, Infrared can give us an understanding of what is going on in the inner workings of the home that our eyes cannot see.
Here are just some of the things IR can illuminate for a home inspector:

  • Moisture Intrusion
  • Overload Wiring
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Plumbing Leaks
  • Missing Insulation
  • Air Sealing Issues
  • Window & Door Issues
  • Pests
  • HVAC Performance
  • Appliance Performance
Let your home be inspected by a professional

Visual & Informative Reports

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High-quality images in HTML and PDF formats so you can quickly see what’s important.

Email Delivery

I will send you an email with a link to the report.

Reviewing Findings

I go through the report and findings with you and your agent after the inspection.

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The modern reports can be viewed on your phone or tablet.

Delivery Within 24 hours

My full, visual report is delivered within 24 hours of the inspection.