Home Inspections in Columbia Falls, Bucksport & Ellsworth, ME

Home Inspections in Columbia Falls, Bucksport & Ellsworth, ME

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a professional, complete visual examination of all the systems and physical structural elements of a home that are visible and accessible. An inspection will identify any repairs and problems as well as maintenance that will be required to keep your home in top condition. It will also give you a clear picture of the many systems and structural elements that make up the home.

In addition to the visual inspection, Jay uses an infrared thermal imaging camera to check for issues such as water leaks that have been covered up with a paint job, missing insulation, breaks in radiant floor heating, whether the bladder in an air bladder tank is functioning, or rodent nests within walls.

If you are a buyer, it only makes sense to find out as much about the house you are interested in before you buy.

If you are a seller, it will point out any potential problems that might be uncovered later by the buyer's inspector. Finding them early will allow you to address them and make for a faster and smoother sale.

If you are a homeowner, it will give you a complete profile about the systems in your home and a plan for repairs and preventive maintenance to keep your home in tip top shape.

What is included in a home inspection?

Jay Otis, your certified home inspector, will perform a thorough, visual examination of the structure and all the major household systems that are visible and accessible including:


  • Structure:
    Material of construction
    Basement & crawl space
  • Exterior:
    Exterior finishes
    Decks, balconies, porches
    Stoops, steps, railing
    Roof surface, flashing, & gutters
    Wall covering, flashing, trim & doors
    Driveway, walkway
    Grading & Drainage
  • Interior:
    Walls, ceilings & floors
    Stairways & railings
    Countertops & installed cabinets
    Doors & windows
    Solid fuel burning appliances
    Attic, ventilation & insulation
  • Systems:
    Heating & air conditioning

What is not included in a home inspection?

Much of a home's structure such as plumbing and electric are hidden in walls, ceiling, and underground. A home inspection is a snapshot of conditions at the time of the inspection and is limited to what can be seen visually. Some problems can only be identified over time once you are living in the home. For example, a pipe might not leak when it is run for only a few minutes during the inspection but might leak during a lengthy shower.

The home inspection, however, can eliminate much of the guesswork and will give you a pretty good idea of any major issues and a preventive maintenance plan as well as knowledge of the structures and systems within your home.

How long does a home inspection take?

Jay's inspections are very thorough. A typical inspection takes approximately five to six hours and varies according to the size and condition of the home.

Can I follow along during a home inspection?

Absolutely! The home inspection can be a valuable learning experience and all questions are welcome. If you are present during the entire home inspection, plan on a longer inspection time. If you prefer, you could come for the last part of the inspection and Jay will go through the findings with you and show you things about your home and answer your questions.

Why should I have a newly constructed home inspected?

With many different subcontractors working on a home at different times, things can be overlooked or forgotten. Plumbing stacks with test caps still installed rendering them useless, attics not completely insulated, non-functioning outlets, or vents exhausting into the attic are some examples. The inspection is also an opportunity to learn more about how your home works.

What is a manufactured home foundation inspection?

If you are selling or buying a manufactured home, then most likely a foundation certification will be required. For all FHA and VA loans, an engineer's foundation certification is required that states that the home is placed on a permanent foundation that complies with the "HUD Permanent Foundation Guide for Manufactured Homes", dated 1996 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). We have partnered with the engineers at MFD home certifications to provide a turn-key foundation certification service to you. You may place your order online by going to

Manufactured Home Engineering Certification

Buying a home?

A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often has the opposite effect. You are being asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time and this can be overwhelming.


Most of your inspection will consist of minor imperfections, maintenance that has been deferred, and useful information about the components of the home. The issues that really matter for safety and major repairs will be highlighted. Most sellers are surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect even newly constructed homes.

Keep things in perspective and enjoy your new home knowing you have a repair and maintenance plan in place.

We are very pleased with S & J Property Services. Jay was very thorough and professional throughout the inspection. He inspected the dwelling from a neutral point-of-view, showing respect for both buyer and seller. We accompanied him during the inspection where he explained his findings to us and documented them. The final report was comprehensive and detailed. We would definitely recommend this company to others.

Yvonne & Carl Perry Palmyra

The inspection Jay Otis performed on the summer home we are considering to purchase was first rate. He seemed friendly, knowledgeable, professional and most importantly THOROUGH. He not only took the time to do a good job, but he also took the time to explain to us what he was doing and why it was important. We feel so much more confident about moving forward on purchasing the property due to his efforts. I would not hesitate to recommend him to others in the future.

Tom D. Moosehead Lake