What Are Building Inspections?
A building inspection is an examination of the soundness of your prospective home. It should cover all of the major mechanical, electrical, and structural aspects of the house. A good building inspector will check the plumbing, both supply, and drainage, to ensure that there are no leaks or problems. When the electrical inspection is done, the inspector will make sure that there is no faulty wiring, which can cause a fire, and make sure that the work has been done correctly and up to applicable codes.
Properly done building inspections will also check the structural soundness of the building, including the framework, foundation and footing, rafters and roofing, and the outer sheathing of the house. For example, cracks in the interior walls or separations of the joints in the foundation’s blocks may indicate a shifting of the house on its foundation, possibly due to an improperly constructed footing. Repairs to this type of structural deficiency could cost you hundreds, even thousands of dollars.
What to Do After the Inspection
If there are problems, building inspections give you several options when negotiating the final sale. One option would be to have the current owner make the necessary repairs before the deal is closed. Be sure to specify that the repairs are to be made by a reputable contractor. Some repairs, such as plumbing or electrical work, will require the services of a licensed professional. While some locales may allow the homeowner to make their own repairs, it is a good practice to ask that they are made by a licensed company. It would be wise to have your inspector recheck the work to ensure that it has been done properly. Secondly, you could negotiate a lower price and have the repairs done yourself. Finally, a third option is to take the information and just walk away from the sale. It might have been your dream home, but you don’t want it to turn into a renovation nightmare!
Choosing an Inspection Service
Choosing a company for building inspections should be given the same consideration as any review. You should ask for credentials, references, and samples of their inspection reports. Your local business bureau or building association would be a good place to start when deciding on a reputable inspector to hire. Building inspections are definitely worth more than they cost.