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When Things Go Wrong

There may come a time when a homeowner finds something wrong with the property and feels the home inspection professional should have been more thorough. That may not be the case – – consider:

Problem?Some problems become apparent only to someone who is living in the house.

A home inspection takes just a few hours, and not everything can be uncovered in this short time. Some roofs leak only under certain conditions, for example. Some problems are unveiled only when carpets are lifted.

Even if a problem exists at the time of inspection, there may not be any evidence of it.

Inspections are based on past performance of the house. If there have been no problems in the past, there is no reason an inspector should predict there will be in the future.

The inspector is only human.

Minor problems not discovered while looking for major problems may be overlooked. It’s the inspector’s job to uncover the $2,000 problems. If he discovers a $200 problem while doing this, he’ll write it up. But he’s not looking for $200 problems. So some may go unnoticed and unreported.

The contractor and the inspector are two different entities.

Comments made by contractors are often at odds with the inspector’s opinions.

Many contractors hold fast to the “last man in” theory.

That means, for example, that the last person to work on a roof will be blamed if the roof leaks. It makes a contractor reluctant to do a minor repair that could involve high liability.