Written by:
Wes Kelley, Certified Inspector
7 Oaks Home Inspection, LLC

Inspection is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as, “To view or examine closely and critically those conditions that are visible and accessible, as well as those that are not.”

Sometimes home buyers have a feeling they should conduct their own home inspection. They take an extra time or two through the home to look for significant problems. Usually these folks have never had a home inspection. They don’t understand the time and tools required to fulfill the dictionary definition of inspection or the value of the profession.

How many buyers and sellers would be able to evaluate the wiring in an electric service panel? Would they recognize a main panel that may be unsafe? How many buyers or sellers would be willing to explore the crawl space beneath a house with only a flashlight as your defense. Spiders, insects of all types, reptiles and small rodents are often discovered in these dark, dank places. How many would recognize a significant defect in the foundations or framing? How many could identify faulty plumbing or know to check the water temperature. Would the average person know to investigate the flue and chimney structure including the rain cap, damper and flue walls. How many people can evaluate a home’s radon level. How many could evaluate the home’s foundation and structural elements? How many could determine the quality, condition and proper installation of a roof regardless of the type of roof being inspected. The list could go on.

The answers here are obvious. Someone with professional knowledge and experience is needed to provide reliable information about the conditions in, on, under and around a home. This does not mean that every “home inspector” is sufficiently qualified. But among those who are qualified the services they provide are valuable. They are recognized by other professionals in the home buying business as a vital part of the team.

A good home inspector gives the buyer the power of applied reason and intuition to understand the interplay between houses, their sub-systems, their environments and their occupants. Home inspectors have a profession that is easy to fail in and hard to succeed in. The amount of details that must be tested, examined, analyzed and recorded often fills a 32 page report. They must keep up with educational classes, industry recalls and environmental concerns. They must be honest and remain unbiased. A professional home inspector should more than earn their fee for service and provide security and peace of mind in the home buying process.

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