Is Hiring a Home Inspector Enough?


            Is there ever a time when you need more than one inspector to examine your home? Let’s face it. There are so many separate components and systems, like the electrical system, plumbing, heating and cooling, the roof, the foundation, and on it goes.


            Whether you’re buying or selling a home, don’t you need professional service people to look at each one of these specialized areas? After all, a home inspector is just one person. He can’t know everything, can he?


            There are several key reasons why hiring individual service people is a bad idea.           


A home inspector has the knowledge of multiple professionals combined. When you take the time to think about it a good inspector really has an amazing wealth of knowledge because of this. An experienced inspector that has this kind of knowledge also can recognize when a problem is serious enough to call in an expert for additional evaluation and is not afraid to say so.


Consider this. You’d have to hire a dozen or more tradesmen to inspect all of the systems of the home and the property it sits on. That would cost a lot of money. Scheduling would be a nightmare. Getting reports in a timely manner from each would be another headache. Then you have to hope they’re all genuinely qualified to do what they’re supposed to do.


            Furthermore, each of these tradespeople who do their inspection is going to want to do repair work. Is that necessary? It’s likely they wouldn’t be objective when doing their inspection. And what if you get conflicting advice?


You don’t want to deal with all of that, do you? What you need is a qualified home inspector who can give you an objective inspection of the whole home. He’ll give you a report that indicates what might have to be serviced or replaced later. You need someone to explain to you what things mean regarding the condition of the home’s systems, how they interact, and how it all pertains to the sale.


What if you had a handful of tradespeople who each gave you their report? Who’s going to put all that together and make sense of it for you? It’s not something your real estate agent should have to do, even if she felt she could tackle it.


That’s why you must leave home inspecting to the professionally trained home inspector and leave the installation and repair of specific systems to the people who install and repair them.


            Here’s one more important point. When you hire your home inspector, let him do his job completely. Don’t ask him to do a partial inspection. It’s unwise and risky to cut corners and try to save costs by having a partial inspection done.


            Let’s say, for example, that your inspector is examining the roof. He needs to see it from the inside as well as from the outside. If he’s going to know what’s been going on, he needs to see inside the home, particularly the attic, if there is one. He’ll be able to spot leaks before they get worse. Any leaks that are overlooked could damage the home’s living space, cause mold, or corrode wiring. These problems may not be found if they’re not examined or are ignored in a partial inspection.


If major problems are discovered and disclosed in a full inspection, it would be easier for your inspector to integrate these issues into the report on the house as a whole. Also, you need to know the big picture when negotiating the contract, whether you’re selling or buying.


            The only time a partial inspection might serve a purpose is if it’s part of a follow-up to the initial full home inspection.


            Here’s the bottom line. Hire a qualified home inspector to inspect the home you’re buying or selling. Let him decide whether additional experts or service people need to be brought in. Then let him do his job completely so he can give the comprehensive report you need.


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