Four Square Home Inspections (FSHI) was incorporated as a sister company to Four Square Restorations (originally incorporated in 1982) more than a dozen years ago. With more than 35 years of residential, institutional and commercial building experience, Fred Freer has performed thousands of independent, third-party inspections for investors, realtors, home buyers, home sellers, contractors, banks, legal firms, commercial property investors and others. While Freer’s formal undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate work was in business and related fields, he has completed thousands of hours of specific inspectional training in thermography, building science, heating and refrigeration, roofing systems, historic buildings, radiation physics, structural analysis, microbiology and other related fields.
FSHI has a reputation for being both more expensive and taking longer for an inspection. Both are true. Typical residential inspections require four or more hours on site (that of course depends on home size, age, condition, features, whether the home has been “flipped” and the number of questions my client and/or realtor may have about the home). I only perform one home inspection per day and prefer morning appointments so I can allocate whatever time is necessary to the home and my client that day. Sometimes inspections require five or six or more hours especially for larger homes or homes with complex structural or systems issues requiring analysis. Given the professional inspectional experience and training that I bring to each inspection, my minimum inspection fee is $400. Inspectors with less experience or training, or who wish to complete two or more inspections per day, may charge less. However, as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.”
The majority of our new clients for FSHI come from Angie’s List, client referrals and through professional associations like the Better Business Bureau and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Some realtors “use” my services for their home purchases, their children’s home purchases or their investment property purchases. A handful of client-centered realtors recommend me (along with others, of course) to their clients.
We produce a detailed, electronic report (sample report can be viewed on this website) with annotated color pictures and extensive notes, (emailed to the client) within 24 hours and then send a “hard copy” with supplemental information by FED EX the following day.
My objective in performing an inspection for my client is to provide them with both an education about their present or prospective home and armed with the knowledge that they need to make an informed purchase or sale decision based on the homes’ condition.
Unfortunately, at present, the State of Ohio does not license Home Inspectors…although they should and will eventually. Meanwhile your best guidance in selecting a best-qualified home inspector is based on their credentials. Certification by and membership in multiple organizations like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), The National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP), The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST), The North American Railing and Deck Association (NADRA), The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), the National Association of Mold Professionals (NAMP) and others will speak volumes about the inspector's commitment to continuing education, professional growth and industry advancement. Choose wisely as your home is likely one of the single largest investments that you have or will make and your home inspection report will be relied upon to thoroughly and thoughtfully guide you.
Finally, ask your home inspector for references, inquire as to whether the prospective inspector is insured for general liability, Errors and Omissions (E & O) insurance and whether they are bonded. E & O insurance and bonding are certainly hallmarks of a full-time, professional inspector.