If you’re selling a house, then you’re ready to close out this chapter of your life. If you’re buying a home, you’re eager to make a home in your new neighborhood.
Either way, it’s easy to want to dive in and disregard the home inspection. But you shouldn’t skip the home inspection–unless you want to get stuck with a laundry list of expensive house issues.
Here are a few of the most common types of home inspections, and whether or not you should bring in a professional home inspector to help you.
Types of Home Inspections
Your home inspection is your chance to make sure a home is worth living in (and safe for human habitation). If you’re a seller, the home inspection is also your chance to make sure your home is sellable.
After all, there are certain things that only a trained home inspector would notice, or even know to look for. That’s why it’s vital to use your home inspection as a resource.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your inspection, and don’t be shy about seeking one out.
That said, some people still have reservations about bringing in an inspector. Here are a few common types of inspections, and when it’s time to call in a specialist.
General Home Inspection
A general home inspection is the most basic form of home inspection you can go for. Most home buyers and sellers will start with this type of inspection.
General home inspections will broadly examine most rudimentary facets of your home, such as:
- Safety standards
- Electrical coding
They won’t cover any particular aspect of your home in great depth the way a specialized inspection would, but it can help you figure out if there are any glaring issues or areas where further inspection is required.
Call a Specialist?
In general, most home buyers and sellers should have at least a general home inspection done by a professional inspector.
You might think it’s wiser to save money for a special inspection in one area, but the truth is, you may not know what areas need closer inspection without a professional inspector.
That said, there are certain concerns you can address on your own.
Sellers should always start with a walkthrough, and buyers should always take note of any problems they see during their tour of the home. This will help you identify any areas that you think need closer attention.
One great example of a specialized home inspection is an electrical inspection.
This type of inspection comes in two forms. A general home inspector can tell you about coding issues, but you need an electrical inspection specialist to look in the walls and identify any issues with the wiring or issues that could turn into fire hazards.
This is a good inspection to have on any house, especially an old house that may have an outdated system that needs to be updated.
Call a Specialist?
Electrical is one of those areas where you need a professional electrical inspector.
You may be able to spot basic electrical problems, but that doesn’t mean you know how to address them or how to identify a larger underlying issue.
In this case, an electrician will serve you well. A general home inspector could tell you there’s an issue with the fuse box or that it no longer complies with city codes, but an electrician could tell you the best brand to replace it with, among other useful disclosures.
You want a bed to sleep in and a roof over your head. A home inspector can tell you how reliable a house’s roof is.
A roof inspection will look for things like:
- Clogged gutters
- Extra layers of shingles
- Weather damage
- Algae growth
Roof repairs can be quite expensive, especially if they’re put off, so home sellers and buyers alike should always prioritize a roof inspection.
Call a Specialist?
Unless you’re a roofing professional yourself, it’s usually a good idea to bring in a professional roof inspector.
That said, there are some issues that you can spot on your own.
When you visit a house, take a look at the roof. Look at the condition of the shingles and gutters and see if the roof seems to be sagging anywhere. Weather-damaged shingles and clogged gutters are all signs that you’re looking at roof repairs.
Ideally, try to find a roof inspector that’s not also in the roof-replacement business. Otherwise, there’s a strong chance they’re trying to sell you a new roof.
Water and Plumbing
Finally, another common form of home inspection is an inspection of the water and plumbing systems.
A general home inspector can point out any outwardly obvious plumbing issues for you, which can help clarify whether you need a professional plumber, but there are a few easy signs you can spot during your tour.
Common signs of plumbing problems include:
- Leaky faucets
- A bad smell from the drains
- Low water pressure
- Something wrong with the toilets
- Stains on the walls or ceiling
If you spot any of these issues, you’re dealing with a plumbing problem that may have a wider impact on the whole plumbing system.
There’s also the question of water damage, which points to additional problems with the pipes that may require expensive repairs.
Call a Specialist?
Unless you’re an experienced plumber yourself, it may be wise to call in the pros on this one.
Sometimes, a leaky faucet isn’t simply a leaky faucet. And you don’t want to get stuck with the bill when a small problem compounds into something much worse.
Do You Need a Home Inspection?
This isn’t a comprehensive list of the many types of home inspections out there, but it should give you an idea of where to start if you’re buying or selling a home.
And if you’ve ever heard horror stories, then you know it’s a bad idea to skip your home inspection.
If you need to schedule an inspection, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.