An inspection of older homes requires focus on the foundation, wall covering (which provide clues to any foundation movements), structure, electrical, plumbing and heating systems. Although it’s often difficult to see floor and wall framing, problems such as the structure being out of plumb, out of level, or not flat can indicate structural issues. Foundation failure or repairs can be especially expensive, and parts of it may be hidden. Experience counts for a lot in evaluating these structures.
“ With the popularity of DIY shows and tighter renovation deadlines, many homes have been fixed cosmetically with lots of shortcuts, with the underlying structural conditions cosmetically masked. While it is true that I can only inspect what is visible, often times those clues are enough to point to underlying problems.
I have spotted cut joists in the basement due to DIY, freshly performed patch work on drywall that indicated leakage problems, insufficient insulation behind walls using thermal camera imaging, and new aluminum wiring going into electric panels suggestive of DIY electrical work. Knowing these defects helped my clients to make more knowledgeable decisions, and also gave them the bargaining chips to go back to the sellers and bring down the offer price.
Being fully independent, I am not concerned whether my inspection report will result in the buyers changing their mind over the purchase. My interest is always on behalf of the client. As part of my inspection, I always try to go into attics, crawl through crawl spaces, and generally go above and beyond to make sure my inspection is thorough and more than just a checklist. ”
… My realtor gave me a list of recommended inspectors. I purposely didn’t go with any of them as I felt I would be better represented with someone more independent.
… My wife and I were pretty set on purchasing this house. The inspection with all the details and defects helped us to know what we were getting ourselves into, and also saved us money by having the sellers split the difference.
Cut Floor Joist – Structural Concern
Exterior Step Crack
Drop Ceiling hiding Electrical Issue
Valleys Heavily Tarred – Bandage solution only
Termite Infestation – Structural Concern
Shifting Foundation – Structural Concern