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When your are buying a house and enter into a purchase and sale agreement, you usually have 10 to 15 days to get any inspections done, prior to finalizing your agreement and moving ahead to closing. Most buyers know to get inspections of the whole house by a general home inspection company and then specific inspections of things like termites, septic systems and radon emissions. Too often chimney considerations are ignored at this time.
Most realtor associations acknowledge the important code recommendations of the National Protection Association Standard 211, which requires a "Level II" inspection "upon sale or transfer of the property" (NFPA 211, Table 14.3.1); and realtors, when being thorough, will usually recommend that a separate chimney inspection be done as part of the overall inspection scenario.
This inspection by a CSIA certified chimney service will carefully examine the chimney above the roofline, in the attic, throughout the house and in the basement, checking on overall repair and code worthiness, with an eye to maximum safety and performance. All heating systems – like central heat, water heaters, fireplaces and heating stoves – should be examined and at least partially disconnected for thorough observation. When we perform a "Level II", we will also observe issues of clearances and proper masonry construction. We are particularly concerned about whether all chimneys are lined. Our comprehensive report will include pictures and estimates of attendant costs, and it will be emailed, faxed and/or mailed to you and your real estate agent within 24 hours of the time of inspection (often within a few hours!). The usual cost for this service is $250.00, but small, simple houses may cost less and large, tall, complicated houses with multiple chimneys may cost more. Please try to give us a few days notice to schedule an appointment, but we can usually respond to whatever your time fame may be when you are "in a pinch"!