I know what you’re thinking. The big difference is that with home inspections there are five participants looking for satisfaction; the prospective home buyer, the seller, the sellers’ agent, the buyers’ agent, and the inspector. The inspectors’ focus should always be to satisfy his client, the home buyer in most cases. I know of inspectors that claim to be able to perform a complete inspection and report in an hour or two. Then there are those who can spend an hour in the crawlspace alone. Let’s face it. Crawlspaces are interesting, and a lot of problems can be apparent there.
In the State of Washington, inspectors are limited to a visual and non-invasive inspection of conditions of a home, in a very limited time frame. Obviously, if we were allowed by the seller to tear out walls, floors, ceilings, and underground plumbing, we could better see how the house was constructed and what has been affecting it over the years. I often wonder if Mike Holmes of Holmes on Homes, one of the most respected men in Canada, and for good reason, isn’t doing a bit of a disservice to comprehensive and knowledgeable inspectors when, after basically gutting a house, he remarks that “the inspector should have caught this”. In some states in the U.S., by law, inspectors cannot perform any work on a house that they have inspected for a period of one year. Instead, if we find a concern, we refer this to qualified and respected contractors, as does Mr. Holmes. I believe that if we researched it, we could find “less than professional” accounts of contractors, inspectors, and even television personalities all day long. I think it’s safe to say that we all have respect for professionals who perform a comprehensive and thorough service for their clients.
But I digress. My main point with this blog is to comment on the time spent at an inspection. When one considers the many implications about what can go wrong or what is already wrong with the many systems in a house, it can take a bit of time. With my own inspections, I find that I average about five hours or so, depending upon the size and age of the home, until I can feel satisfied that I have not overlooked anything. And my reports seem to take even longer than that. Typing is not my forte. I do consider the possibility that just because an inspection is performed quickly doesn’t necessarily mean it is incomplete or lacking, and vice versa. But it has been my own personal experience that most clients want an inspector who is not in a hurry. Allmann Home Inspection Services in Bellingham and Blaine, Wa. 360-371-0260 0r 360-739-7361.