Thursday, July 8, 2010

Home Inspection Report, Who Needs One?

Home inspection reports are important to potential buyers so they will have a document that accurately describes the conditions that exist in the homes they are considering for purchase. It is critical that buyers receive a well written and detailed home inspection report to help eliminate any confusion or indecision surrounding one of the largest purchases they are likely to make.

There are different styles of reports used by home inspectors, including hand written checklists and a computer generated reports. The most important aspects within an inspection report are the descriptions given for each system or component. Typical inspection reports will be divided up into systems that make up the home. Each system is identified and a report on the condition is provided.

Systems are groups of components assembled together through the building process that make a home complete. An example, a roofing system might be made up of several components such as rafters, sheathing, covering and flashing. The inspection report will identify the visual components that make up the system and report on their condition.

If there are issues with the condition of the systems or any individual component, the inspection report will comment on the type of deficiency and provide the buyer with possible recommendations such as replacing, repairing, monitoring or even bringing in a professional for further evaluation.

Inadequate or defective items: If an item is deemed inadequate in the inspector’s opinion, it is either not functioning or has come to the end its useful life expectancy. An example of an inadequate item may be a roof covering with cracked and curled shingles even if there is no sign of leaking. The inspector may report this as defective because the condition of the system is nearing the end of its useful life and replacement is imminent.

Safety concerns: If safety concerns are found in the home the report will reflect the nature of the issue, where it was found and a recommendation to correct the concern. Safety concerns can be minor in expense but important to the safety of the occupants of the home. For example, a bathroom without a ground fault circuit interrupter may only be $10.00 to repair but the potential danger it poses for the occupants of the home would necessitate the item being a safety concern.

Maintenance: If maintenance items are in the report the inspector has determined that some attention is needed to prevent a safety concern or the deterioration of another part of the home. An example: If the inspector finds the gutters are full of debris but are properly attached to the home and in good condition, they might put that in the report because during a rain storm, the gutters would overflow, dumping large amounts of water next to the foundation of the home and eventually begin to erode the soil around the foundation.

Potential buyers should never consider purchasing an existing home without a complete home inspection.

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