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NYS. License Home Inspector #16000005054
|Even The Best
Home Inspection Has Its Limitations
Perhaps the greatest value of your home inspection is the opportunity to have a one-on-one consultation and orientation to your home with a professional inspector. You will also gain the peace of mind that comes from having your inspector examine the property for conditions that, if undiscovered, could result in major repairs or replacement costs down the road. The modest fee for an inspection is far smaller than the premium an insurance company would charge for a policy with no deductible, no limit and indefinite policy period. Truly, you get what you pay for, and a professional inspection is the best buy to protect your interests. Your home inspection is your golden opportunity to learn about your prospective home, and be alerted to any major conditions that exist; however, a home inspection is not designed to eliminate all risk.
Even after the most comprehensive professional inspection, there are sometimes conditions that you discover after moving-in to your new home. We understand that this can be frustrating. You wonder, “Why didn’t the inspector reveal this problem?” And so we encourage you to take a look at the following information.
For the following reasons, you may discover a condition in your home after moving-in that was not revealed during your home inspection:
THE LIMITATIONS OF A NON-DESTRUCTIVE INSPECTION
A home inspection is a visual, functional, non-invasive inspection of the readily-accessible elements of the home—conducted without moving personal property, furniture, equipment, plants, soil, snow, ice, or debris. No damage or destructive techniques are permitted or implemented. After moving-in, if you happen to tear down a wall for an addition, pull up carpet, or remove fixtures/cabinetry, it is possible that a problem may be discovered that simply was not observable in an earlier visual, non-destructive inspection.
INTERMITTENT OR CONCEALED PROBLEMS:
Some problems cannot be discovered during the time of a home inspection, and will be revealed only by day-to-day living in the house. For example, some shower stalls will begin to leak only when the showering time is lengthy or if someone is standing in the shower, but will not leak during a test phase during the inspection. Some roofs and basements leak only when certain specific conditions exist, such as during an unusually strong storm or consistent high wind and rain blowing from a particular direction. Some flooring problems will be discovered only when all furniture, fixtures or finishes are removed or when carpets have been completely rolled back.
INSPECTION DAY CONDITIONS:
What were the circumstances under which the inspection was performed? Was there snow? Had it been dry for many weeks? And what usage, events or changes have transpired since the inspection was conducted? These factors may explain the appearance of a condition not revealed in your report. It is sometimes hard to remember the conditions under which the inspection was conducted, such as prevailing weather, or that the room was filled with storage items, or that the air conditioning unit was not activated due to cold temperatures; but these factors may have prevented the current condition from being identified by your inspector.
Home and building inspectors are a lot like detectives. They search for and follow clues that suggest the presence of a problem, or hint at a developing one. Our inspections are based on past function of the house or building. If the past has left no observable clues, then we won’t suspect anything is wrong or improper. Minor problems are the ones that typically leave no clues. The primary focus of our inspections is to uncover the truly significant problems – the ones that substantially affect the habitability, value, or safety of the home. In our search for major defects, we may note minor conditions discovered in the process. These notations are presented in our reports as useful information as a courtesy so you can monitor, service, and repair as necessary. Sometimes conditions viewed as minor, due to the lack of further information, may become a larger issue, requiring more extensive repair. Since we are focusing on major defects, we do not want to suggest that all minor conditions have been uncovered.
GENERAL PRACTIONERS VS. SPECIALISTS:
Consider This: You go to your doctor for a physical one day and he finds you have some brown spots on your arm. He recommends that you see a dermatologist (a specialist) to further examine the spots. After meeting with the dermatologist, he identifies the spots as melanoma. Your general practitioner saw the spots, but how come he did not see the skin cancer? We all know that our general practitioner examines the general health and functioning of our bodies, whereas a specialist (who has expertise in a particular focus of medicine) is able to more closely examine, test, and diagnose conditions. You can think of your inspector and your contractor in much the same way. As in the above example, you can reasonably expect a contracting specialist to provide you with more comprehensive information about a particular condition that your inspector has flagged. The contractor is examining the condition with a narrower focus and has specific experience repairing the particular condition. And so, just as the spots the first doctor saw turned out to be skin cancer, you may find conditions identified in your report to be more extensive after they have been evaluated by a contractor or professional specialist.spections
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