The Perfect Home Inspection
Ah, the perfect home inspection. What would that look like?
1. All the utilities are turned on. The worst inspections are those where the water, electricity or gas is off. If the water is off none of the plumbing fixtures, dishwasher and water heater can be tested. If the electricity is off then lighting, fans, applicances, HVAC and receptacles cannot be tested. If the gas if off, then gas logs, gas stove and oven, gas water heater and gas furnace cannot be tested. This leads to an incomplete inspection or a follow up inspection with added cost to the buyer.
2. Inspector has access to areas he needs to inspect. I have inspected homes where there is no attic access. The entry to the attic has been sheet-rocked over or the area beneath the attic access is blocked. When the attic cannot be inspected the inspector cannot inspect insulation, ventilation, electrical, HVAC (if in attic), water heater (if in attic) or the structure of the attic. Sometimes a door is locked to an outside utility closet and there is no key. In those cases anything in the closet (usually water heaters) cannot be inspected. In some cases an outside electrical panel box is locked. Unless the inspector gets permission to cut the lock or a key is located, the panel cannot be inspected. Access panels to a crawlspace are often locked with a padlock. If the inspector cannot get a key or permission to cut the lock, then that area will go uninspected. There have also been cases where boxes in the garage are stacked 3 or 4 deep in front of the electric panel. In those cases the panel cannot be inspected.
3. The Inspector is not distracted. This is one area the home buyer has some control over. When I inspect a home, I have a routine I go thru. I inspect certain areas in a certain order. I am focused entirely on the inspection. When that focus is interrupted, problems might be missed. I prefer the buyer to come at the end of the inspection, and I go over the inspection with them at that time.
4. The house would be in perfect shape and have no problems. I am still waiting for that house. Even new houses have problems.