Can a Home Inspector Do Repairs on the House?
My previous experience as a tradesman and contractor is what led me to discover my love of inspecting buildings, and it also gives me more accurate insight on what really goes into properly repairing and remediating the conditions and defects found in a typical home inspection. When customers ask me how to fix something, I can generally give them a pretty accurate idea on what type of professional to call and what its going to take to fix it. Sometimes, the client will see that I’m very familiar with the process and ask me if I’ve ever performed the work before. Usually the answer is “yes I have.”
“Well, how much will you charge me to do the work and when can you do it?”
No, A Home Inspector Should Never Perform the Repairs
Contractors, Mechanics, and Dentists are three groups of professionals I advise everyone to be cautious of, because the possibility of corruption and bad-business practices are endless. If a home inspector could legally preform repair work, I would add them to the list as well.
In Texas, it is illegal for a home inspector to perform any type of repair work on a home that they have performed the inspection on for at least one year after the date of the inspection. The reason for this is really simple: if you are identifying defects AND fixing them, you create a conflict of interest.
For instance, I’m a general contractor with a home inspection licensed in San Antonio, and I inspect your potential home.
Inspector: “This deck was framed with atypical framing details, doesn’t have the correct hardware installed, and is showing signs of deterioration due to exposure from the elements and absence of paint.”
Homebuyer: “What should I do about this Mr. Inspector?”
Inspector: “I suggest you have the structure demolished and a new deck rebuilt, the proper way.”
Homebuyer: “Oh no! How much do you think that will cost!”
Inspector: “I know a few buddies of mine that do this type of work and would probably charge you $5000. I can give you there numbers if you would like. But to tell you the truth, I could probably do it soon for around $3500…”
That sounds pretty shady, and that’s why this type of thing is illegal. An inspector should be delivering an unbiased report first and foremost, and should always be looking out for their clients best interest. If you give them the ability to potentially make money by not only identifying the defects with a home but fixing them as well, you would redoubtably see unscrupulous home inspectors being a lot more aggressive in suggesting things be repaired.
Technically, the law states that the inspector is free to perform work on the home after one year from the date of the inspection. This ensures that the client has plenty of time to source bids for work to be performed from other local professionals and get additional opinions on what needs to be done.
If your home inspector ever offers to perform any work on your property after an inspection, they are violating ethical codes AND the law, and should be reported to the Texas Real Estate Commission.
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