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Reasons to Hire a Home Inspector
Most people know the benefit of hiring a professional home inspector to inspect a home that they are considering purchasing. Depending on what source you research, between 75 to 90 percent of homes sold are professionally inspected prior to purchase. But the benefit of hiring a home inspector does not stop at the purchase of a home. There are many other ways to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of a seasoned home inspector.
1. Maintenance inspections- As a professional home inspector, I see many faults in homes every day, which if identified early would not have grown into a major problem. Preventative maintenance is necessary in all areas of a home. From keeping all exposed wood siding and trim well painted and caulked, cleaning out the condensate drain from the air conditioning unit, lubricating door locks to removing moss build-up on asphalt shingle roofs, a small amount of maintenance will help preserve the home. Most home inspectors can provide a consultation service to identify areas of the home that are in need of preventative maintenance. This service can sometimes be contracted on a yearly basis if desired.
2. On-site consultations- Do you know what that noise is that occurs when the plumbing is operated (water hammer), what that smell is coming from below the back room (mold) or what is causing that sooty stain on the wall (burning candles)? Most home inspectors will come to a home at an hourly rate to identify the concerns of a homeowner. Home inspectors see all kinds of problems every day and can usually rule out many assumed possibilities to quickly pin-point the true cause of the problem.
3. Repair evaluations- Are you concerned with the way your last roof replacement or plumbing repair was completed? If so, then hiring a home inspector to provide an unbiased opinion of the repairs may be worthwhile. A home inspector can provide documentation and photos of the repairs and point out if short-cuts were taken or if the job was done to normal construction standards. If you have doubts about your latest repair project then an unbiased and fair evaluation by a professional home inspector may be of value.
4. Expert witness services- If you have a complaint against a tradesperson and cannot reach a resolution, then the services of a home inspector may be desired prior to seeking legal action. Many home inspectors provide expert witness testimony that could provide considerable benefit if a complaint has to be legally resolved. Usually, the home inspector will inspect the concerns, provide written documentation and photos of the complaint and agree to act as an expert witness if the complaint cannot be worked out and must be heard in court. Inspectors that perform this service are usually very knowledgeable and experienced and advertise expert witness services on their websites.
5. Pre-sale inspections- Pre-sale home inspections have gained in popularity as the home inspection profession continues to grow. Knowing the conditions of the home that you own prior to putting it on the market provides the homeowner the opportunity to discover and make necessary repairs that will benefit the sale of the home.  If repairs are not desired, then knowing the present conditions can be beneficial in obtaining a fair marketable value of the home. Many realtors recommend having a pre-sale home inspection performed as a strategy to present the home in the best marketable condition.
6. Other services - Many home inspectors have added other ancillary services that can be performed individually or combined with a home inspection. Radon testing, pool & spa inspections, energy audits, septic testing, water sampling and indoor air quality are just a few of the many services that may be available.
Services vary in many areas of the country so a quick check of home inspectors web site in your area will reveal what may be available. As a seasoned home inspector, I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge of what does or does not work in residential construction. As our profession grows, many people are beginning to find ways to tap into the knowledge base of a home inspector to satisfy their concerns as home owners. Some states require strict standards of practice for licensed home inspectors and some home inspector organizations require extensive experience and knowledge for members. In some areas of the country, no experience or standards have been set for the home inspection profession. With that in mind, every homeowner should perform a diligent search to determine the home inspector’s knowledge and experience before they hire.
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