Home Inspection and the Facts

By: Eric Badgely

While a home inspector looks for significant issues and deficiencies, another part of the job consists of providing basic factual information to the client. Often, this factual information, when put in perspective, provides valuable insight into the condition of the home.

A home inspector provides facts to the client. Sometimes these facts and descriptions disclose obvious deficiencies at the lot or the home, such as leaking pipes. Other times the facts might be as basic as describing the materials used in the construction of the home: the driveway is gravel; the sidewalk is concrete; the furnace is new, propane and 80% efficient; the home has a septic tank; the water comes from a well; the shingles are architectural grade composition material and so forth.

On other occasions, the inspector might provide interpretations of the facts, such as explaining why a certain deficiency is a significant problem and not merely a trivial annoyance.

It is not unusual to find that providing the facts will disclose a deficiency, even if other obvious problems are not readily apparent. As an example, old knob and tube wiring (pre-1950's) is a safety concern that makes a home harder or more costly to insure. Old galvanized steel pipes, used as supply pipes or for drain systems, are of such an age that they are currently past their design lives. Whether these old steel pipes are rusted, leaking or in good condition at the time of the inspection, anyone buying a home with pipes of this vintage should be told that the plumbing will need an upgrade in the not too distant future.

Any home inspector, who does not provide essential information on the systems, components and materials found at the home, is not a thorough professional and is not doing a quality job that serves the best interests of his or her clients.

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