If you end up using the services of a home inspector, what can they tell you, and what can’t they tell you? Those are two great questions.
Home inspectors take a detailed look at a house and then offer you a report. Typically, they’re looking for potential safety hazards, as well as any problems they notice so they can inform you what repairs the house might need. That said, they can’t get too detailed because they can’t see through walls. A house could have a terrible mold problem happening behind the walls and an inspector might not notice any evidence of it because it’s not easily seen. While inspectors do a good job looking for problems, they can’t find every single problem due to the way homes are constructed. They don’t have X-ray vision!
Inspectors can often tell a lot about a house based on the condition of its roof. They’ll also assess things they can see with their eyes, such as gutters, wood trim, siding, doors and decks.
Think of a home inspector like a doctor– he or she is looking for warning signs that something’s “wrong” or “off.” Inspectors are generalists rather than specialists. If there’s something they’re not sure of, they can tell you that you should find a licensed electrician, plumber or HVAC tech to further check the house. In some cases, they might even recommend you find a structural engineer. Can they recommend that person or tell you the cost? No. And they’re not allowed to perform any repair work themselves, either.
In general, home inspectors focus on the roof, structure, plumbing, electrical and heating systems. They can give you a general idea of how all of those things are doing, and if there are some signs that further investigation is needed, they’ll tell you so.
Finally, a home inspector can’t tell you whether or not you should buy a home– that’s not their place!
If you’re looking for a reliable home inspector in New Jersey, contact Cornerstone Home Inspections today.