Frequently Asked Questions

Electrical Inspection
Electrical Inspection
Inspect the electric service to the house, identify the location of the service panel and the main disconnect; determine the grounding system method and the overcurrent protection devices used; determine if the main service panel amperage rating is sufficient; identify the predominant branch circuit wiring method; test a representative amount of receptacles; check switches and lighting fixtures; inspect the electric service panel for issues such as burned wires, rust and overcurrent protection; test ground fault receptacles (GFI) for proper function.
Plumbing Inspection
Plumbing Inspection
Test the plumbing system by checking fixtures, flushing toilets and running faucets; check for leaks and water flow; drain operation; inspect toilets, sinks, showers, and major appliances for leaks; describe the main water entry pipe material and identify the main water valve location; determine the materials used for the water, drain and waste pipes; inspect the water heater, determine its approximate age and service life; identify gas pipe materials and fuel shut off valve locations; identify gas venting methods.
Heating Inspection
Heating Inspection
Test the heating system response to the thermostat control; inspect the heating equipment and heat distribution; inspect vents, flues, and chimneys for any obvious defects; identify the fuel source and heating system type; determine the approximate age of the heating equipment and average service life.
Air Conditioning Inspection
Air Conditioning Inspection
Test the air conditioning system response to the thermostat control in temperatures above 60 degrees; describe the cooling distribution; determine the approximate age of the cooling equipment and average service life; air filters; identify the location of the condensation water drain; check to make sure that the exterior unit is level, clear of obstructions and the refrigerant line insulation is in place; check to ensure that each room has air conditioning vents; test the temperature split or delta between the supply air temperature and intake air temperature.
Foundation and Framing Inspection
Foundation and Framing Inspection
Inspect the foundation and identify the type of materials used; check for cracks and visible deficiencies; check for water seepage, moisture marks and stains; inspect the framing and identify the components used for the floor structure, wall structure, and framing; identify observed wood boring insects; determine if there is a sump pump system; check for insulation, vapor barriers and ventilation methods.
Kitchen Inspection
Kitchen Inspection
Test the kitchen appliances by using normal operating controls to activate the primary function of each appliance; determine the kitchen ventilation method; evaluate the cabinets and countertops for significant issues; test each receptacle and determine if there is GFI protection and function; identify the GFI re-set location.
Laundry Inspection
Laundry Inspection
Operate the washer and dryer by using normal operating controls to activate the primary function of each; identify the laundry location; determine the exit location and condition of the dryer vent; identify the type of dryer exhaust vent pipe material; check for the presence of a leak containment system or water shut off system; test the laundry sink; identify the dryer fuel source; identify the type of washer supply hoses.
Interior Inspection
Interior Inspection
Check a representative sampling of window operation; walls and ceilings are inspected for water stains and leaks under bathrooms, kitchens, roof coverings and flashing areas albeit there may be a leak not observed or concealed; check for wall and ceiling damage; check door operation; Identify the presence of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms; check stairways and railings; check floor coverings for significant deficiencies.
Fireplace and Chimney Inspection
Fireplace and Chimney Inspection
Identify the locations and types of wood burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces, chimneys; check mortar condition; check the chimney for significant issues; check the fireplace for loose mortar; operate the damper; determine venting methods for gas fireplaces.
Bathroom Inspection
Bathroom Inspection
Test the bathroom fixtures by running water for a period of time through each fixture in each bath; toilets are flushed; drainage and water flow are observed and evaluated; check for faucets and fixture leaks; check drainage; check caulking and grouting at tubs, showers and floors; test GFCI protected receptacles and identify the GFI re-set location; check conditions of tub and shower walls and surrounds. Identify ventilation type and function; determine heat source presence.
Attic Inspection
Attic Inspection
Describe the type of attic inspection method; identify the type of attic access and the attic, sheathing, framing methods and materials; check for leaks albeit there may be leaks not observed or concealed; check the insulation; identify the insulation materials; identify the absence of insulation; describe the attic ventilation system; identify the presence of vapor barriers; identify the type of townhouse fire separation walls; check for pest intrusion evidence.
Exterior Inspection
Exterior Inspection
Inspect and describe the wall covering materials; check the eaves, fascia, soffits and trim for deficiencies; check protection, painting, sealants and caulking for deficiencies and maintenance requirements; identify the presence and locations of exterior doors, light fixtures, and faucets; test GFI receptacles and identify GFI re-set locations.
Roof and Flashing Inspection
Roof and Flashing Inspection
Describe the roof inspection method; describe the roof type; inspect the roof coverings; identify the roof covering material; approximate the age of the roof coverings and average service life; check flashings; check roof penetrations, vent pipe collars, skylights and flues; check sealants and caulking.
Grounds and Attachments Inspection
Grounds and Attachments Inspection
Inspect the entry walks, steps, stoops and railings; inspect the rear and side steps and railings; describe type and location of porches; check decks and railings for significant deficiencies; check driveway and retaining walls for significant issues and describes materials for each; check vegetation for adverse conditions to home.
Grading and Drainage Inspection
Grading and Drainage Inspection
Describe the grading and drainage observations; check for significant deficiencies; identify the presence of window wells; describe the optimum specifications for grading against the foundation.
Thermal Imaging
Thermal Imaging
Thermal imaging allows a vision of an object’s heat radiating off itself. Thermal cameras record the temperature of various objects in the frame. We use this tool in certain circumstances to help evaluate a condition.
Moisture Meter
Moisture Meter
An imaging moisture meter is similar to thermal imaging but is specific to moisture detection and in many cases a more valuable evaluation tool specifically related to moisture conditions.
What are the home inspection standards?
The home inspection and report are performed to and compliant with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics and Virginia Home Inspection Licensing requirements.
 
What is the purpose and scope of the home inspection?
The purpose of the home inspection is intended to provide you with objective information regarding the condition of the systems and components of the home as inspected at the time of the home inspection. The home inspection is a general inspection of the entire property and is unlike a contractor, engineering or architectural inspection and is not a code compliance inspection.
 
What is the difference between a contractor and home inspector?
There can be a significant difference from a home inspector opinion and a contractor opinion which is almost always related to current code requirements. Think about it, how can a 1950's house comply with current code requirements? It can't! Evaluation of components by contractors or professional services may reveal issues that are not within the scope of the home inspection or not observed by the home inspector.
 
Are there guarantees?
It is not possible for a home inspector to guarantee to observe or report all issues a house may have even those that may be considered as obvious.
 
What does the home inspection cost?
The fees vary with the type of house, size and age. The exact fee needs to be determined so it is necessary to provide the address of the property for fee quotes. Fee guidelines are listed in the web site.
 
Do you offer Radon testing?
Radon tests are offered in most areas with the home inspection, not separately and the fee is additional.
 
Do you test for Mold, Asbestos or Lead?
The home inspection does not include mold, asbestos or lead presence or testing. In general, all environmental related conditions are excluded from the home inspection evaluation. If you have concerns with any of these items consult with specialists.
 
Do you move furniture, carpet or personal belongings?
The home inspector does not move furniture, pull back carpet, move personal belongings, damage walls, ceilings, remove ceiling panels or perform any form of property damaging inspection procedures. This is why it is important to check the home thoroughly when the home is vacant before settlement.
 
Do you issue a written report?
A written report following the home inspection is usually delivered within 24 hours of the inspection. The inspection report is in the form of a PDF document, follows the ASHI Standards and Virginia Licensing Standards of reporting, includes photos and is emailed to you and your agent with permission. The home inspection report is the property of the home inspection company and is not transferrable.
 
How do you accept payment?
Payment is due at the completion of the home inspection. There are a few options; A check to Russell Layton Associates, Inc., PayPal for Credit Card or PayPal (you do not have to have a PayPal account) or Zelle or Venmo to 703-568-6600.
 
What if I have problems after I move in to the house?
The expectation is that you are satisfied with your home inspection but it is a possibility that you will experience some sort of post inspection problem after you move in. Most post inspection problems stem from a contractor telling you that the inspector should have caught something and is therefore responsible. This is not equitable since the parameters and scope of the home inspection differ from contractor opinions usually related to current code requirements within their industry. A home inspection is a limited inspection with time constraints, not a code compliance inspection and living in the property day to day, using the systems and appliances, may reveal issues requiring contractor evaluation and repair.
 
How do I schedule and inspection with you?
The most efficient way to schedule an inspection is to use the contact form or by text. Rusty Layton’s calendar is on line in the web site to check availability and the form has all of the information necessary to schedule, provide a fee quote or ask a question.
 
What if I have other questions?
Feel free to call or text Rusty Layton at 703-569-6600. The best way is to use the form or email for questions.

Excellent Teacher

Thoroughly enjoyed working with Rusty. It is clear that he has seen it all, and is able to tell the story of the home being inspected. It was a wonderful education to not only learn about the inspection, but also the likely maintenance upcoming for the home. Highly recommended!

1st Time Buyer

Rusty was very patient taking us through our whole home, and explaining along the way. He was an excellent teacher, and we gained a tremendous amount of knowledge. Friendly, genuine, and knowledgeable. We couldn't have asked for anything more.

1st Time Buyer

Rusty did a very detailed and thorough inspection. He also provided recommendations for us and that really helped us value the complexity of issues raised.

Experienced Buyer