Charlotte Home Inspector Answers Questions About..
Why Get a Home Inspection?
A home inspection by a licensed Home Inspector protects your investment by helping you to make certain that you are not buying a lemon. Accurate information provided to you about the property assists you in making an informed and educated purchase.
Your home is probably the largest investment you will ever make and the inspection can help you evaluate the condition of the items found in the home ranging from the foundation to the roof, too include the electrical, heating, cooling, plumbing and appliances.
As an independent inspector, we work solely for you, and will provide you with a detailed report outlining the current condition of your potential home and any areas that are in need of repairs.
Additional Services We Provide
We will coordinate a Termite Inspection for you upon request. If you prefer a specific termite company just let us know. We like to schedule the termite inspection at the same time as the home inspection if at all possible.
ABOUT YOUR HOME INSPECTION
The Home Inspection can be the most misunderstood process during the entire course of purchasing or selling a home. Often times the Home Buyer has heard, or is under the assumption that a home inspection will reveal ANY and ALL problems or defects pertaining to the property. This is not correct. While the home inspection process is designed to detect many items in need of repair, or to detect a hazardous condition in the home, it is not all inclusive.
The Home Inspector performs a general home inspection in accordance with the guidelines of his or her licensing body. In the State of Texas, the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) licenses real estate inspectors. The inspector’s knowledge is gained though formal schooling, training, and ongoing continuing education requirements as set forth by the Texas Real Estate Commission and the requirements of our company, Realty Inspection Services.
For the Home Seller, the real estate inspection process can also be a frustrating time since they are often unaware of the TREC guidelines that the Inspectors are required to follow when performing the home inspection. An inspector is required to check over 250 items to see if they are functioning within their designed purpose. The Inspector does not inspect to building code requirements. Many times the items which we are required to report as “in need of repair” are simply past due maintenance items of which the seller is not even aware. If a particular item is called out “in need of repair” a specialist in that particular field should be called out at that time.
Many Home Sellers are now having their homes inspected prior to putting their house on the market to see what items might be in need of repair or correction. Correcting these “in need of repair” items before listing can help you bring top dollar from your home. Often there are simple past due maintenance items which may be corrected by the seller prior to having a potential Buyers home inspection performed which can save time and money.
Buying a new home may be one of the biggest investments of your lifetime.
Getting a professional home inspection can help you understand the current condition and value of the property.
If you are selling your home, consider getting your own inspection so there aren’t big surprises uncovered when you try to negotiate the sale.
Either way, getting a home inspection can help you with your investment and maybe even your personal safety.
Take a look at some of the inspection findings below that inspectors have sent in — even new construction can have serious problems!
See also: What is a Home Inspection? How do I proceed?
Real inspection findings:
New Construction Home
Here is a new construction home inspected early this year.
The trimmer rafters were cut backwards and only bearing on 1" of the engineered roof trusses.
The buyer of this home was worried about some cracking in the walls of the home he was getting ready to purchase. The buyer showed a receipt provided to him by the seller from a foundation company that had performed $20,000 in foundation leveling and jacking in certain areas around the home.
Photo 1 is what was found in a dark corner far from the crawlspace entry. There was a hole that had been dug next to the footing under the foundation wall that had developed into a sink hole six foot wide and two foot deep. The hole also went two feet back under the footing. The other end of the sink hole that reached ground level was twelve feet away on the outer side of the foundation.
The second photo is of the actual repair which only consists of what appears to be a crushed block and other debris.
Dangerous Water Heater Installation
Do It Yourself Owners, Buyers Beware.
The Home Buyer in this case was visibly proud to show me that he had two 40 gallon water heaters in his prospective new house. He was less than happy when he found out how dangerous this installation really was, with flexible foil clothes dryer vent pipe and plastic foil duct tape to secure it.
Have you crawled under your home lately?
This Seller had no idea water flowed under his home. The picture shows silt or mud covering the entire surface of the plastic vapor barrier. This had been occurring for several years because of no gutters on home and the hill behind the home needed a trench to divert water away. It luckily had not caused any real damage because the foundation walls were well ventilated and the water didn’t stand long. But the surprise the Buyer felt upon discovering the intrusion was too much and she walked. If the Seller would have had a home inspection 2 months ago before or soon after he listed the property for sale, he could have avoided the loss of losing this sale by correcting the problem before the buyer came along. With gutters, a trench and some fresh plastic. The Seller agreed to fix it even though the contract was signed, because he had found his next home and had put earnest money and an offer on it. But the Buyer had already been influenced by the appearance and had decided she was not going to purchase. This all could have been avoided with a "Seller’s Inspection."
Crushed Dryer Vent
A recent inspection revealed this crushed, excessively long and curvy dryer vent. While you may think a crushed dryer vent is a minor find, think again. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that there are 24,000 lint related dryer fires in the United States each year, resulting in $96,000,000 in property damages.
New Roof Damage
Here we have a 5 year old roof and the shingle is already damaged. The underlayment is missing, making the roof panel visible. In this case the customer was not aware that some manufactures may pass the warranty to the next owner. When the customer was notified he contacted the previous owner. Together they contacted the contractor and the warranty was passed to the new owner.
Amateur and unprotected wiring can be a serious safety hazard. The duct was installed right through the floor joist with no bracing. The top of the joist shows water damage and decay. A garden tub sat right above this area and water had seeped through the carpet and subfloor. Batten insulation (R-13) was laid across the top of the floor joist and sandwiched between the the floor joist and plywood subfloor during initial construction.
Attic Duct Work
Attic duct work has specifications that include proper sealing and insulating the metal ducting. The attached photo shows how a homeowner tried to add extra duct work using electrical tape. The result is a poor job of insulation and lost energy efficiency. Also, the metal ducting will probably sweat during the summer months which could stain the ceiling below this area.
Should newly remodeled homes have a home inspection?
The buyer of this newly remodeled home feels you should. A lot of money and time was spent to remodel this bathroom. Maybe they will do it right this time. During a home inspection it is a common practice for a home inspector to step on each side of the toilet for weak spots. This time it paid off. The buyer said this discovery alone was well worth the price for a thorough home inspection. ____________________________________________________________
Possible shingle "defects" or premature aging.
The shingles on this home that we inspected revealed a "mumplike appearance" or bubbles under the granules of the covering. The roof is less than 7 years old. Eventually, these bubbles will become blisters. Often the blisters do not penetrate or are deep enough to cause a leak, but not always. The aesthetics or appearance of roof will become worse over time. Manufacturers of roof coverings vary on responsiveness and accountability. If this problem occurs before five years, the manufacturer may replace materials and labor. Or, they may not. It depends on their warranty. I’ve seen some manufacturers respond and agree to the defect and compensate in whole or pro-rata. And some said that it would continue to age gracefully. Some even presented a letter to the homeowner that guarantees another 7 or ten years. If you have a possible defect, I recommend you remove a whole piece of shingle (replace it), and go to your nearest roofing wholesaler and they will be able to identify the manufacturer. Each manufacturer is different. Some will send you a prepaid shipping packet to mail the shingle to them.If you’re a buyer, and have not yet become the owner and are here based on your home inspector, then I would recommend you ask the seller to follow up on this issue before you agree to purchase. Some roofing manufacturers may not pass the warranty to the next owner. It is better you find out now, as opposed to later.
Water leak/damage found in the crawlspace. Polybutylene is shown, which is a piping material that is known to fail.
Roof Gable Vent on a New Home
This is a shot of a roof gable vent. The center wall studs were cut in half and never removed. The vent was never properly framed out. The remaining unfastened portion of the vertical studs just hangs from the top. This was missed by the municipality’s building inspection department.
Disconnected Fireplace Flue! New Construction!
A house fire would be the result if this wood burning fireplace had been used. The flue was disconnected in the chimney stack and was visible from the attic space.
The client actually had this new construction home inspected the day after they moved in. They thought about starting a fire on their first night; but decided to wait until it had been inspected.