Employ a Home Inspector With Construction Experience

Find a Home Inspector with Construction Experience

Hiring a home inspector can be difficult. With so many companies to choose from, consumers can easily make the wrong decision and hire a inspector that is not experienced enough to look beyond the glaring problems, and search for the hidden issues within a structure. It’s best to employ a company with experience and an understanding of the intricacies involved with home building and construction.

The Importance of Construction Experience

It’s not enough to simply inspect a residential property and highlight the obvious code violations. Inspectors need to have a background in construction to accurately identify potential foundation issues, mechanical hazards, and other serious structural deficiencies. These deficiencies could lead to a number of costs that could dramatically increase the overall price of the home.

Attic Inspections

Some common areas that inexperienced inspectors often neglect to investigate thoroughly include the attic, roof, and room additions. An inspector with the right background would know to not only check the attic, crawl space for proper ventilation and insulation, and would also highlight any vulnerability in the joists and sub flooring, in addition to checking the integrity of any vents routed to the space.

Roof Inspections

When inspecting the roof of a residential structure, the condition of the shingles and downspouts should be carefully taken into consideration, as well as a few other items. If the flashing is not properly installed or show signs of damage, water could easily find its way into the structure and cause further deterioration, and increase costs.

Other important items to check on a roof inspection are skylights, gutters, and chimneys. An inspector with construction knowledge and experience installing and maintaining these structures, can perform a meticulous investigation that could uncover installation or manufacturer deficiencies.

Inspection of Built-Ins

Built-in items include oven, ranges, dishwashers and other appliances. Knowledge of local building codes and laws will help to properly inspect the installation of these appliances, including the components used to complete the job. All wiring and plumbing connected to the built-ins should always be inspected, in addition to their overall working condition.

When buying a home, your primary concern should be the outcome of the home inspection. This report will help you determine whether the structure is worth the asking price, or if you’ll need to look elsewhere for your dream home. It’s important to ensure that the inspection company you select has experience in the building and construction industry, and knows how to conduct a thorough property investigation that covers every inch of the home.

How to Find a Good Home Inspector

Buying a home, to most of us, is often an expensive, scary endeavor. Even for seasoned, experienced home-buyers, the process is typically not without some degree of trepidation and apprehension. Much of that apprehension has to do with the physical condition of the property…whether or not the house is in reasonably good condition…whether the house is really as good as it looks or is a money-pit just waiting to steal your money away in the form of unanticipated repairs and expenses.

Enter the Inspector…the guy, or gal, that will give the home a thorough assessment and report to you on its physical condition so that you can make an informed purchase decision. How are you going to effectively track down and choose a good, professional Inspector? Well, there are a few time-proven strategies:

  • You might ask your family, friends, and neighbors if they’ve had any really positive experience with any particular Home Inspector. If they have, they’ll likely share that with you…and if they’ve had a bad experience, well, you’ll probably learn about that. too.
  • You could ask your real estate agent for some referrals…but don’t rely on a single recommendation. I suggest asking the agent who they might hire to insect a home if they were the buyer. Or who they think is the most picky inspector; that’s the one you want to hire.
  • Do some on-line research…ask questions in local forums. Check out on-line reviews; if a company has a large number of legitimate and positive reviews, they might be a good potential candidate. But beware, as in other fields, some inspectors write their own reviews; you can usually tell which one those are and they should be avoided.

Some other general tips are:

  • Don’t rely on the fact that an individual possesses a state license or local business permit as any proof whatsoever that they are either overly professional or at all competent…often, that means almost nothing.
  • Look for an individual that’s affiliated with a prominent and leading national Home Inspector organization…one that maintains high entry and membership standards such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI); active membership in such an organization is, often, a good indication of a Home Inspectors commitment to professionalism.
  • Search for complaints against the Inspector and their company…Consult the Better Business Bureau to determine if the potential Home Inspector is an accredited member company and whether or not they have any unresolved complaints against them

Once you’ve narrowed your selection down to 3 -5 potential candidates, you need to contact each of those and ask them some direct, and pointed, questions. And here is where you don’t want to shy or timid in your approach.

  • Please, will you talk to me? If a Home Inspector doesn’t answer their phone or return your initial phone call in a timely manner, then move on. If an inspector can’t, or won’t, make and take time to answer you questions now, then there is good likelihood they can’t, or won’t, answer them later.
  • How good are you and how long have you been doing this? If an inspector doesn’t exude confidence, move on. Likewise, if an inspector doesn’t have a significant amount of experience under their belt, you might better keep searching. Everyone has to learn sometime…but maybe you don’t want them gaining their basic experience on your home.
  • What kind of report will I receive?…Look for an answer that suggests a narrative style report…or at least a combination narrative/checklist type of report. What you need is a good Home Inspection report that clearly identifies any issues in readily understood language presented in complete and grammatically correct language.
  • How soon will I receive your report? Most professional Home Inspectors will provide their report to you, electronically, within 24 hours of the completion of the Home Inspection and this is what you should expect.Can I be there…with you? It’s important that you be able to attend every moment of your Home Inspection should you desire to do so; the inspection should be a time during which you are able to learn about the house and to get your questions answered. An Inspector who discourages your presence should be avoided at all cost.

Following some basic guidelines, doing specific research, and asking some pointed question of potential Home Inspectors will go far in helping you find a good Home Inspector and, hopefully, a good experience with that Inspector.

Happy Hunting!

Finding a Qualified Home Inspector

As you should already know, a home inspection is a key part of the real estate process. Of course, your home inspection is only as good as your home inspector.

Finding a Qualified Home Inspector

If you are considering buying a property, you absolutely must get a home inspection. What most people don’t realize, however, is it can also be valuable to retain one before you sell a property to identify any problems before your accept an offer. Fixing such problems before hand makes a lot more sense than panicking in the middle of escrow.

Regardless of your particular position in the real estate process, the home inspection is only as good as the inspector. Frankly, some inspectors are less than credible when it comes to qualifications and their background. To bypass these individuals, the following organizations should be used as a resource.

The American Society of Home Inspectors, Inc. is located in Des Plaines, Illinois. Known as ASHI, it was founded in 1976 to create a resource and quality control atmosphere for home inspections. You can get referrals to ASHI inspectors in your area by contacting the Society at 800-743-ASHI. In doing so, you will avoid hacks calling themselves inspectors.

The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors is another credible organization. Located in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the Association maintains both a code of ethics and strict standards of practice for its members. With over 9,000 members in North America, you can find an inspector in your area by calling 1-877 FIND-INS.

Another organization that stands out in the home inspection industry is the National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the organization also requires members to abide by strict practice standards and a code of ethics, which should be comforting to you. You can contact it to find a home inspector in your area by calling 800-448-3942.

The old cliché is garbage in, garbage out. By using a credible home inspector, you can put this cliché out of your mind.