The Home Inspection
Getting the most from your Home Inspection:
- Be present for the inspection
- Accompany the inspector during the inspection as much as safely possible
- Talking to the home owner will only distract you from the inspection and important information
- Ask questions of the inspector
- Insist on professional repairs by licensed contractors and obtain receipts and sope of work performed.
- Read the report, agreement and Standard of Practice
- Have realistic expectations of the building and components, all buildings new and old have issues
- Budget for replacement of the items the inspectors flagged at risk
- Obtain a Third Part Warranty on Mechanical Systems
You should also understand a home inspection is not a warranty or guaranty. No one can predict when components or systems will fail. The inspector should however perform an inspection in a way which will inform you as well as to educate you. This can assist you in budgeting for certain systems that may be nearing the end of their statistical or functional life. Separate warranties may be available, however read the exclusions to insure the systems you are concerned about are covered, a good inspector should be trained to evaluate that a system at the time of the inspection is in actual working condition. The inspector should also attend continuing education to ensure they are up to date with current industry standards and knowledge. Some inspectors may also utilize some specialty equipment such as moisture meters, gas detectors and electronic testing devices. While these are useful and I recommend them they are tools they may be used in suspect conditions and at the discretion of the inspector. Also discuss with the inspector whether they get on roofs when safely accessible and in crawlspaces that again are safely accessible. Factors due to weather conditions may impede the inspection process and areas may need to be re-inspected. You should discuss these fees with the inspector as well. You may also want the inspector to re-inspect repairs carried out by the seller (during a pre-purchase inspection). Insist all repairs are to be performed by a qualified or licensed contractor. If a components fails after closing (settlement of the property) you may have no recourse against a non-professional repair or the home seller. Just because an individual is a builder or engineer does not qualify them to be a home inspector. Only after extensive training and hands on experience can one gain the instinct they need to provide you with a comprehensive inspection. Some engineers have nothing to do with residential construction or just one small part. Inspection fees are typically based on square footage or the price of the home. Compare what you are getting for your money, don’t go with the low bidder, there may be a reason. You should feel free to engage in conversation with the inspector and ask questions. A good inspector will also cover preventive maintenance of the building and systems with you.