Buying or selling a home is hard enough as it is. For many people, it is the single biggest financial decision they will ever make. That’s why we’ve come up with a perfect system to make sure that the one thing you won’t have to worry about when you buy or sell a house is the chimney.
Like every other part of the house, chimneys can have all sorts of issues and problems that need attention. Whether you are buying or selling, it’s better to know as early in the process as possible where you stand with your chimney. We follow the CSIA’s recommendation that every home sale be accompanied by a Level 2 Chimney inspection. This must be completed by a certified chimney technician, not a home inspector. While home inspectors are highly trained professionals whose expertise is essential to every home sale, only a certified chimney technician is qualified to do this level of inspection. Most home inspectors will give a chimney a cursory look as a matter of good practice, but rarely do they have the tools or the specialized knowledge to catch all of the problems that a chimney can have.
A Level 2 inspection is a process in which every accessible part of the chimney is fully inspected. This means anywhere that the tech can get to the chimney without taking the house apart, he is required to check it. This includes the basement, the attic, and above the roof. This also means that all of the chimneys flues must be scanned with a camera to ensure that they are properly installed and in good repair. This process takes anywhere from two hours to a full day, depending on how many chimneys and flues a house has. If roof access is beyond usual difficulty, it may require special tools beyond ladders and ridge hooks.
Level 2 inspections also require that the chimney be cleaned – after all, how can you properly assess the flue if it’s covered in creosote. We make the entire process seamless, easy, and as with all our services, we guarantee no mess. In return, you get the peace of mind of knowing exactly what condition your chimney is in, and what it may take to be fully up to standard. Our inspection reports carry the weight of our CSIA certification and are used as proof of the chimney’s condition when closing time comes.
Having a working fireplace typically adds 5-10% to the value of the home. But major repairs to a chimney liner typically cost between $2,000-$5,000 per flue. While this is not cheap, in the DC area, it is well worth the investment, as this represents 1% or less of the value of most homes.
But the real reason to have a level 2 inspection is that like all things, buying a home is so much more than a numbers game. It’s also an emotional event – one that should be a happy, regret free for anyone who is fortunate enough to purchase their own home. There’s nothing we hate more than telling someone who just bought the house of their dreams that their chimney needs $10,000 or $20,000 in repairs. So make sure that you’re covered. Whether you’re buying or selling your home, always get a Level 2 chimney inspection, and be certain that you’re getting the home you paid for.