A professional home inspection is a critical component of the homebuying process. While having one completed is important, it is also not a foolproof method of identifying existing or potential problems in a home. There are certain areas of the home that the inspector won?t examine, and others that he just isn?t qualified to assess.
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors and the National Association of Home Inspectors, there are areas that home inspectors are not required to examine, including:
- Humidifiers and dehumidifiers
- Window air conditioning units
- Heat exchangers
- Washing machine connections
- Alarm systems
- Spas and pools
- Accessory buildings
- Sprinkler systems, pumps and wells
Additionally, home inspectors don?t examine anything that isn?t readily accessible. They won?t enter areas considered to be safety hazards, such as those whose points of access don?t meet minimum opening sizes, or places that seem to contain hazardous chemicals, asbestos, or molds. As a result, roofs, attics, and crawl spaces are sometimes excluded from inspections. When a home inspector excludes some of these areas, you run the risk of buying a home that will require costly repairs.
Reasons for Exclusion
Apart from safety hazards, there are other reasons why home inspectors don?t examine some areas. They simply aren?t qualified to offer opinions on many components found in most homes.
A home inspector may spot a structural issue in the home you plan to buy, but may not have the knowledge to advise you how to address the issue. Home inspectors can?t carry out engineering jobs or the jobs of other professionals.
They are not code enforcers and won?t be able to spot things that don?t conform to building codes and ordinances. Home inspectors don?t inspect the home for mold or pests. They aren?t appraisers and won?t tell you how much the home is worth, nor will they offer you advice on whether or not you should purchase the property.
Who You Gonna Call?
Just because traditional home inspectors do not evaluate every nook and cranny of your potential home does not mean you cannot conduct a thorough investigation prior to signing those closing papers. There are other resources at your disposal.
Granted, this means that you will have to hire private contractors to perform the evaluations, but, since a home is such a huge investment, it is perfectly acceptable to invest a considerable amount of time, effort, and funds into researching the house before purchasing it.
If you are not sure who to call to inspect the excluded items, simply ask yourself who you would contact if those items needed repair ? the manufacturer, your local handyman, a reliable air conditioning company, a plumber? Something else that you should keep in mind is that speaking to current residents could provide you with useful information. If all of the homes in a particular neighborhood were constructed by the same builder, then current homeowners can give you a heads up about any potential problems you might encounter. Not to mention that it allows you the opportunity to meet some future neighbors.
No Skimping Allowed
Although home inspections come with good intentions, like most things in life, they are not fail-proof. You can?t be 100 percent certain that the home you might buy is as flawless as it looks from outside. The best way around this obstacle is to devote yourself to making sure every aspect of the house has been assessed before you make it your home. As the saying goes, it is so much better to be safe than sorry.
This guest post was provided by Kaity Nakagoshi on behalf of a custom home builder in Florida. Kaity is the online community directory for Zelen Communications, a Florida native, a University of South Florida graduate, and a social media enthusiast. She loves golf, gingham, Starbucks, and Starbursts. Follow her on Twitter @KaityAtZelen.