A sad trend in today's real estate environment is the rise of the home inspector. Home inspectors have been built up into the real estate buying and selling process so much that home insurance companies are now asking for a copy of their reports when you apply for home insurance.
Now I'm not saying that there isn't a role for the home inspector in real estate, they fit in for what they are, a completely unregulated group of people that I would have a hard time calling "professionals".
As a custom home builder that also renovated dozens of homes a year I am constantly shaking my head at home inspector reports that my clients hand me. The report is usually 50% incorrect in it's findings and the rest of the report is things that are of such little cost to repair that we find it not worth the paper it was written on.
As a custom home builder I know infinitely more then a home inspector on how a home is put together,what can and does go wrong in a home overtime and the cost to fix it. But even with all the experience I still find myself learning new things every day about new homes and how they are affected by time. Because of this we rely on our sub-contractors to know more then us and to educate us on all the sophisticated systems in a home. For example if I think that there is a problem with the heating system in a home I don't diagnose the problem myself I will bring in a mechanical contractor to do that and to give me a price for the repair.
Home inspectors on the other hand will look at a problem with the heating system and tell the home owner what they believe the problem is and how it needs to be repaired. 50% of the time the diagnoses of what the problem is is completely wrong. 90% of the time what the home inspector then recommends as a repair is completely wrong.
What this does is create an expectation with the homeowner that they know what is wrong and they know how to fix it. This creates a problem for the contractor that comes in to do the actual repair, the seller of the home wants the contractor to fix it like the home inspector said and the buyer of the home is expecting the same. The problem arises when the contractor informs the seller that the problem isn't what the home inspector has stated and the repair isn't either right or even needed.
This whole scenario eats up a lot of time and money on both sides just because an unqualified home inspector wrote something down on paper that they weren't trained to identify in the first place.
Th moral of the story is if you are going to hire a home inspector to write a report about the home that you wish to purchase take the report with a grain of salt. Do not be surprised if their report turns out to be incorrect and unreliable.
I you are really worried about something in a house ask your renovation contractor to come take a look, for a small fee or if they have already been retained to renovate the home when you buy it (then there won't be a fee) they will come out and take a look and diagnose the problem and the cost to properly correct it.
Remember that you want someone that knows how to fix the home not someone who is just trying to justify their fee.
Call your contractor.
Village Builders Inc.