How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Why do home inspectors sometimes specify further evaluation and possible repair instead of a specific repair or replacement?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

It would be great if home inspectors could open up a wall behind staining and find out what’s going on in there. But they can’t do that without permission of the home’s seller, and it is very rarely granted. So inspectors often have to depend on visual evidence, which is a symptom of something not accessible to view or test, to make a statement. The problem may be an ongoing one, or it may just be the result of a one-time event. And there are often several different defects that could cause the same symptom.

    Also, inspectors today depend on a collection of high-tech testing tools like a moisture meter, infrared camera, and circuit tester, that can sometimes give misleading readings. So, for all these reasons, unless the inspector can see and clearly understand what is causing a problem, a sensible inspector—and, specifically, one that doesn’t want to be accused of recommending repair of the problem that no longer exists or exaggerating a minor one—will recommend further evaluation rather than trying to guess at the extent of the problem and the necessary repair. 

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  To learn more strategies for getting the best possible home inspection, here’s a few of our other blog posts:

How can I make sure I don't get screwed on my home inspection? 

How thorough is a home inspector required to be when inspecting a house?

Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?

Can I do my own home inspection?

How can homebuyers protect themselves against buying a house over a sinkhole? 

The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector? 

    To read about issues related to homes of particular type or one built in a specific decade, visit one of these blog posts:

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1950s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1960s house?

• What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1970s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1980s house?

What are the common problems to look for when buying a 1990s house?

What problems should I look for when buying a country house or rural property? 

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been moved?

What problems should I look for when buying a house that has been vacant or abandoned?

What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

   Visit our HOME INSPECTION page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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