About Scott Home Services
Atlanta’s FIRST Home Inspection Company
Scott Home Services, Inc. was established in 1973, when a local real estate agent contacted Doug, who was working as a remodeling contractor, to assess the condition of a home she was selling to a client. (At this time, there were no home inspectors in Atlanta.) She knew he was a GA Tech grad and already had years of construction experience. This was the first documented home inspection in Atlanta, and the beginning of the longest running inspection company in Atlanta. Both the agent and her broker convinced Doug to continue to inspect homes and protect their purchasers from the unknown.
Scott Home Services has, almost entirely by word of mouth, gained a reputation for providing the area’s most thorough and informative inspections, which earned Doug the nicknames “The Butcher of Buckhead” and “Inspector General”. Doug’s son Matthew joined the family business in 2008. Matt brought additional perspectives based on his former careers. He too, spent many years in the construction industry, most of it as the owner of On The Level Construction Company, providing structural repair and re-support for sagged and settled houses. Matt also utilizes new technology (a drone, as well as thermal imaging and fiber optic cameras) to ensure he provides the most thorough inspections possible.
Matt is an ASHI Certified Inspector, an InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspector, a GAHI Certified Inspector, an ICC Certified Residential Inspector, and a NADRA Certified Master Deck Professional. He also holds multiple specialty certifications in building science and structure, electrical, plumbing, insulation and efficiency, roofing, and stucco/EIFS to name a few. In addition, Matt has qualified as an expert witness in both courtroom and deposition proceedings, based on his knowledge, skill, experience, training, and education.
Matt performs inspections and the report preparation as if for a family member. The report that Matt completes is detailed, but written in a way that makes it easy for the client and seller to understand. His reports utilize photos of the deficiencies, as well as diagrams from the Georgia State building code and other sources to make complicated problems easy to understand.
After 47 years dedicated to protecting home buyers and homeowners Doug retired in 2020, having logged more than 30,000 inspections and consultations. Not to worry, Scott Home Services is still very much in business. Matt continues to provide the same level of detail, professionalism, and knowledge that our clients have experienced for decades. In fact, many of our clients and several realtors have already passed down the nickname The Butcher of Buckhead to Matt based on the similarities in their thorough inspection process, detailed reporting style, and buyer-first approach.
Call, email, or text to schedule your appointment today and let us demonstrate to you why Scott Home Services is recognized for providing the most thorough, most informative, and most useful inspections and reports in the metro Atlanta area!
Why Choose Us
We don’t simply identify symptoms. We believe it is the responsibility of your inspector to understand so thoroughly how a house is built that he can assess from the visible, symptomatic evidence what deeper problems or deficiencies are responsible for the cosmetic conditions that many observers might possibly consider to be the root issue. We encourage our clients to accompany us on our inspections so that we can show you the symptoms and then explain what caused the conditions that you find concerning.
Free phone and email consultation for clients. No matter how long its been since your inspection, you can call for advice. A few years ago, a client called us 24 years after her inspection with a question about a renovation she was considering. She apologized for not contacting us before, but she had not needed a home inspector because she was still in the same house we inspected for her and her family. We told her that this is what we strive for with every client. (The current record is 27 years after the inspection, set in May 2019)
The goal is to inspect the house and identify any deficiencies so that our client can make a sound decision to walk away OR continue with the purchase, where they can live in their home for many years to come (even if that means not requiring our service for quite a while).
Whether you are building a home, buying a new home, buying a home that is new to you, or buying a commercial property, we can help by providing a thorough and informative inspection. Choosing a home or a business location, as well as the maintenance and repairs, can be difficult. Choosing a home inspector shouldn’t have to be. There’s a reason we are Atlanta’s oldest home inspection company. Contact us below and book your inspection with Scott Home Services today. Find out why we’ve been in business for more than 45 years.
We inspect each and every house as if we were inspecting it for a family member. In fact, we have generated friendships with so many of our clients over the years. It is also very common to have past client refer us to their children, often insisting that Matt inspect any home they consider purchasing. There are 10-12 families in the Atlanta area whose grandchildren, nieces/nephews, cousins, etc. use Matthew exclusively for their inspections; This came as result of Doug and Matt together inspecting the homes for their children; and Doug inspecting homes for the parents (now grandparents).
When a client of ours, for whom we provided a home inspection, was sufficiently impressed with our performance to pass on our name to a friend or family member or coworker or future neighbor, we consider it the highest endorsement we can earn.
Frequently Asked Questions
My realtor referred me to a "reputable" home inspector that they use all the time. SHould I use this inspector, or find one on my own?
Ask yourself if you can think of any other purchase situation in which it is accepted practice for someone with an economic stake in the results of a due diligence investigation to control the purchaser’s choice of auditor, appraiser, surveyor, or inspector? Most people would consider this to be a conflict of interest and it would probably be frowned on where it is not considered outright illegal. I like to compare it to buying a used car and trusting the mechanic at the used car lot to inspect the car and then provide you with an unbiased opinion regarding whether you should purchase the car.
ADDITIONAL INSIGHT: If a Realtor is angry at an inspector or dissatisfied with his work, he is not labeled “blind”, “incompetent”, “negligent” or “illiterate”. The worst pejorative for an inspector in most real estate circles is “deal killer”. An inspector is expected to be able to include sufficient notification of a deficiency in a report so as to avoid liability for negligence, but present it in non-alarmist terms so as not to deter the purchase of the property.
NOTE: In 2006, the president of the American Society of Home inspectors sent out a letter to the membership. In his letter he brought up the concept of “Realtor-centric”. He said, “It describes a business model that revolves around services or activities that support the real estate agent community and the longstanding practice of agents feeding referrals to others involved in the real estate transaction, including home inspectors.”
He went on to say, “On the surface, this partnership seems to be a natural one, complimenting mutual wants: buyers demand inspections and we are in the business of providing them. However, all silver linings have a dark side. In this instance, the dark side stems from the potential for a conflict of interest between the work goals of the home inspector and those of the real estate community.”
“Realtor-centric relationships have a direct effect on every home inspection business. The conflict is an internal struggle that revolves around a revenue stream of support obtained through referrals. If the referrals stop, the revenue stream dries up, the business suffers or worse. The struggle results over stresses placed on this relationship with each building defect uncovered, each worn or broken component identified.”
“According to the 2005 ASHI Business Operations Study, over half of the respondents receive 61-80 percent of their business from real estate referrals”. “Experienced inspectors with years under their tool belts can conclude that if real estate folks are their sole source of referrals, they may need to find out why there are so few satisfied customers promoting their businesses. In the end, we can all agree on the age-old saying that word of mouth is the best form of advertising…” The full letter is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pDOuJCpqHjmqrdNfP4T7_Zj9yqsSUfky/view?usp=sharing
Another inspector I spoke with charges less than Scott Home Services. Why would I elect to pay more for you to do the inspection?
In any group of professionals, engaged in a similar job, there will always be a distribution of attributes, such as experience, competence, integrity, training, background knowledge, conscientiousness, and intelligence. Statisticians represent this distribution with the classic “Bell Curve”.
Some inspectors may have considerable experience in overall residential construction, while others may have worked as auto mechanics or in food service before taking a short course in home inspecting and being hired by a multi-inspector company. Don’t forget that Georgia still does not regulate home inspection or require licensing. Common sense will tell you that those with skills in the upper 16% are more likely to perform a more thorough (and valuable to a purchaser) inspection.
Do I really need to be present for the inspection of my prospective home?
There are an assortment of very good reasons to attend your own home inspection. It is a unique opportunity to thoroughly explore every nook and cranny of the house you plan to buy, and by the way, confirm that your inspector is visiting and inspecting those same areas. When you question why you might not be welcome or encouraged to attend, the first idea to cross your mind might be that he does not want you asking questions and slowing him down. If the inspector is charging so little for his work that he cannot spare time to interact with the buyer, then he needs to rethink his fee schedule so that he can provide the buyer and/or client with explanations and insight relating to his observations that may not be provided in the text of the written report, without feeling rushed or resentful of demands on his time. Another reason the presence of a buyer might not be appreciated, could be that it is the inspector’s SOP to only crawl around in the area below the house that is closest to the entry door and base his report findings on his observations in this small area, or not enter the this below-floor space at all. If the inspector goes into the crawlspace below a 2,400 sq. ft. house, and is back out in the sunshine after 5 or 10 minutes, it is unlikely that he even transited the length of the house, much less inspected everything in between, including plumbing, wiring, floor framing, visible foundation and/or footings, or the HVAC system and ductwork (if it is below the house). Nobody, including inspectors, is really fond of damp, dirty, cob-webby crawlspaces, but if the inspector cannot tolerate that environment for long enough to perform a thorough inspection, he needs to look for a different line of work. It is my personal opinion, that a prospective home-buyer who fails to take a guided tour with the inspector, through his crawlspace, would be passing up a very valuable opportunity to learn more about the house in which he will be living and responsible for maintaining.
What is the best way to find a qualified home inspector I can trust?
The best, most dependable source of home inspector referrals is from family, and friends, and business associates. Use your company or neighborhood bulletin board to ask for first hand referrals and comments on a short list of inspectors you can compile. If you know real estate attorneys or construction litigators, they should know where you would go for the most dependable inspectors. If a name shows up from multiple sources, you can have more confidence in the referee….relative to your confidence in the sources. Accept that not all inspectors are equal, both in general and within the same firm. Don’t accept or use a fledgling inspector from a large firm, even if the firm has a good reputation. The firm doesn’t perform the inspection, only the individual that arrives to meet you at the property.
How long after the inspection can I call you for advice?
The relationship between a home buyer and his or her inspector should be as close as that of an individual and their family doctor. No tradesperson or contractor that an owner might hire over the years will have spent the 2 or 3 or even 4 hours that their inspector spent on his inspection learning about their house and the additional hours that went into developing his report. A good inspector will understand your house in a holistic way that few, if any, specialists can ever match. Of equal importance, in my opinion, is that the information from your inspector can be, should be expected to be, free of economic or any other bias toward one answer or another or one craftsman or another. I have no idea how other inspectors respond to post inspection questions from past clients. I know that we have a no time limit, no charge policy for phone or email follow up and that the record among our clients is held by a woman in Vinings who called with a question 27 years after her inspection. We were flattered that the information that Doug furnished decades before had stood the test of time and that she had maintained her confidence in my competence and candor. To me, that kind of vindication or validation is worth whatever extra time with customers is requested.