What Fixes Are Mandatory After a Home Inspection?
While I enjoy discussing with clients what I’ve found in the inspection and answering their questions about what type of professional to call or what some possible solutions are to the issue at hand, I never enjoy trying to prioritize repairs. Part of the reason for this is while many items are structural and could have serious consequences if not addressed, others are less obvious, cosmetic, or technically-working-but-consider-replacing type defects.
None the less, there are some items that need to be addressed immediately, and by someone who knows what they’re doing, such as having a license to perform their craft in Texas, and in the case of general contractors, the City of San Antonio requires general contractors who remodel to have a license.
1) Anything listed in Section 2 (II) of your report is electrical related, and we recommend you have any of these items listed addressed as soon as possible by a licensed electrician. Electrical problems such as loose or incorrectly installed wiring, loose breakers, very old breakers, etc. are not only shock-hazards but even more importantly, fire hazards. Electrical work is highly regulated due to the required knowledge and skill necessary to work with it safely (and correctly), so we only recommend contacting licensed electricians, not handymen or husbands. In fact, 98% of all unsafe electrical work that we find in the field is a result of home-owners and other non-electricians performing the work themselves instead of calling a professional. Get this stuff checked out.
2) After electrical deficiencies, we consider any active leaks to be the next most “must-fix” item to be addressed on the report. The reason for this is obvious: the leak is actively wasting water and potentially damaging the areas and materials around the leak. Some slow leaks may seem like a “I’ll get to it when I get to it” type of thing, especially exterior hose-bib leaks, but slow leaks can cause corrosion that lead to big leaks and big problems. We recommend any plumbing issues be addressed by a licensed plumber only, not a handyman, again because of the knowledge and skill required to correctly address a plumbing issue without it leaking again! Qualification number 2 for any plumber you hire is valid liability insurance, because accidents do happen and you need to know that your home will get repaired no matter what.
Significant Foundation/Framing Problems
3) The third “must-fix” item is any structural framing members (and sometimes foundation elements) that are rotted, damaged, deteriorated, leaning, incorrectly installed, or otherwise not doing their job need to be corrected by a licensed general contractor or carpenter immediately. Sometimes this is actually issue number one, depending on how close to failure the member looks. We find posts supporting important structural members such as beams out of plumb all the time, as well as old posts that have been rotted out or destroyed by termites as well. Its not uncommon to find framing members absent from the roof structure due to the builder forgetting to install them. Any item listed on the report as a structural defect needs to be addressed to prevent damage to the surrounding structure or in some cases bodily injury to occupants of the home.
After this point, there is a lot of wiggle room for negotiation between buyer and seller on what needs to be done, but if you’re buying a home and see any deficiencies listed above in your report, make sure you consult with your inspector about what needs to be done next to ensure these problems get taken care of.
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Home Inspector Kyle D. Scott
TREC # 23813 - TDA # 0819063
Looking for the Best Home Inspector in San Antonio? Ensure Home Inspection provides thorough, low-cost inspections, detailed reports, and personalized consultations in San Antonio, TX & surrounding areas, including WDI/termite inspections and more!
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