Considering most people don’t work in the construction industry and don’t have a lot of experience in dealing with the problems that arise with home ownership, questions are common. You see that the water heater doesn’t have a drain pan and start to worry about what could happen and how much it’s going to cost to fix, when really it’s not the end of the world. In fact, most defects that you find in the report shouldn’t be “deal-killers”. But how do you know what is important and what isn’t unless you consult with your inspector?
We like to review our findings with our clients personally after completing the inspection, but not all home inspectors are the same. We’ve compiled a short list of questions you should ask your home inspector after the inspection to get a better view of your potential home.
“Why is This a Problem?”
We try to make our reports as easy-to-read as possible, and we do that by trying to include explanations of why a defect is a problem, but if you see something in your report that is noted as a deficiency without an explanation and you don’t understand, ask!
Your home inspector should be able to accurately explain exactly why every single item noted in the report is a problem, regardless of severity.
“How Serious of a Problem is This?”
Once a problem has been identified and the reason a defect is a problem explained, you need to know how big of a deal the issue is.
Deteriorated caulking on the exterior, window screens damaged? No big deal. Siding deteriorating due to inadequate flashing? Moderate deal, needs to be addressed. Evidence of water penetration observed on roof decking in multiple locations? Big deal – roof leaks, probably needs replacement if the stains aren’t old, get this addressed ASAP.
“What is the Solution to This?”
We recommend that deficiencies be reviewed by qualified professionals in most if not all instances. Inspectors are trained to identify problems, and sometimes we may suggest solutions. The person who does each particular trade for a living is going to have a more accurate idea about what the exact solution to a particular problem is, and they should be considered the more knowledgeable authority of their respective trade. For this reason, most home inspectors will advise further consultation and evaluation by a qualified professional in each respective field.
It never hurts to ask though, as your home inspector may in fact be an expert in a particular field. In some cases, your home inspector has seen a deficiency so many times that they know the solution that the professional will suggest, so always ask about potential solutions even if your inspector might not have the knowledge required to answer it.
“Who Should I Call About This?”
With some defects, it’s not hard to guess what type of professional you need to call. If you have multiple sink drains that are leaking, you need to call a plumber.
What about foundation issues? Do you call a concrete contractor? Maybe, depends on the situation. You probably want to consult with a licensed engineer first, but most foundations aren’t that bad to require an engineer’s evaluation. Ask your inspector.
What your inspector shouldn’t do is recommend specific individuals, as that is a conflict of interest. “I spotted some plumbing issues, hire my buddy the plumber” is obviously pretty shady and we at Ensure Home Inspections don’t refer professionals on a name-basis.
“What Are Your Primary Concerns With This Home?”
Some inspectors like to give summaries at the bottom of their reports, we don’t do that though. We want you to read the whole report and ask us questions instead of telling you directly what the problems are.
We are more than willing to give you our ideas about what the most pressing of concerns about a home are and what we recommend you have addressed first. Typically this includes anything related to the roof, the structure of the home, the plumbing, the electrical, or the air-conditioning if it’s summer time.
Your home inspector is your guide after all, so they should give you their input on what you should be most concerned about and the ramifications of their findings.
Contact Your Home Inspectors
Info @ EnsureInspections.com
Home Inspector Kyle D. Scott
TREC # 23813 - TDA # 819063
Ensure Home Inspections provides thorough inspections, detailed reports, and personalized consultations at affordable prices in San Antonio, TX & surrounding areas to Homebuyers, Homesellers, and their realtors. WDI/Termite Inspections, Thermal Imaging, Pool / Spa Inspections, Foundation Elevation Survey and more!
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