Can I Sue My Home Inspector ?

By
Home Inspector with Elliott Home Inspection
http://actvra.in/cnc

To anyone who wonders why that Home Inspector is so critical of the property they inspect.

A special thank you to Elaine Baker of Inman News who gave me permission to reprint this informative article.

 

Inspector's in the House

By Barry Stone

Distributed by Inman News

About Barry Stone

Can I sue my home inspector?

By Barry Stone

March 06, 2007

Dear Barry,

I've read several of your columns where readers ask if they have grounds for suing a home

inspector. Your answer always seems to be "no." Could it be that you're providing cover for fellow

inspectors? --Jock

Dear Jock,

You have apparently read some, but not many, of my columns on home inspector liability and

suability. Many readers have written to complain about their home inspectors and to inquire about

inspector liability. When asked if a home inspector can be justifiably sued, my answer has

sometimes been yes and sometimes no, depending on the situation. If you've read only the "no"

columns, you've gotten the wrong impression.

Most home inspectors will be sued at some time during their careers. To quote a common saying

in the business: "There are two kinds of home inspectors -- those who have been sued and those

who will be." There are, however, specific circumstances that determine whether a home

inspector is truly liable for a disputed claim.

When property defects are not reported during home inspection, the inspector is liable if the

defects are within the scope of the inspection and were visible and accessible at the time of the

inspection. For example, a leaking drain below a sink would be within the scope, and in most

cases would be visible and accessible. A damaged roof would also be within the scope, and with

some exceptions would be visible and accessible. An inspector who fails to report defects such

as these could be subject to a lawsuit. However, if the bathroom was filled with storage so that

the inspector could not inspect below the sink, or if weather conditions on the day of the

inspection prevented the inspector from walking on the roof, the inspector would not be liable, if

(and this is a big if) the inspection report clearly states that these areas were not inspected and

that further inspection is recommended prior to close of escrow.

Conditions not within the scope of a home inspection are typically itemized in the inspector's

contract and in the report. These include conditions that are not visible or accessible because

they are underground or contained within the construction of the building. Other exclusions

include structural and geological engineering, infestation by wood-destroying organisms (such as

termites), low-voltage electrical systems, septic systems, water wells and more.

Home inspectors typically include language in their contracts that limit the chances of being sued.

These include mediation and arbitration clauses (not enforceable in all states). They also may

include specific monetary limits on liability (also not enforceable in all states).

Home buyers, however, can undermine a valid claim against a home inspector by repairing the

defect before the inspector has been notified about the problem. Home inspectors should have

the opportunity to view disputed defects, to discuss whether they are was within the scope of the

inspection, whether they were visible on the day of the inspection, and whether they existed on

the day of the inspection. Inspectors who are liable should be allowed to hire a repair contractor,

to make repairs themselves, or simply to pay the costs of repairs.

If a home inspector is notified by the home buyer but fails to respond or to accept reasonable

liability, pressure should be brought to bear, even if that means being sued. This has been my

recommendation in many past columns and will continue to be my advice to home buyers whose

inspectors are professionally negligent.

To write to Barry Stone, please visit him on the Web at www.housedetective.com.

Copyright 2007 Barry Stone

Reprinted with permission of Inman News

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Show All Comments
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Let me get some pocorn for this!
March 26, 2007 01:40 AM #1
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

I agree with ALMOST everything Barry says, EXCEPT, I think his article should be titled "SHOULD I sue my Home Inspector" rather than "CAN I sue my Home Inspector".

Unfortunately, ANYBODY CAN BE SUED... FOR ANYTHING!  Even if they don't deserve to be! More often than not, it is cheaper to settle than to fight it out. 

March 26, 2007 04:11 AM #2
Rainer
12,566
Tom Sinclair
About the House - Home Inspections - Fairhope, AL

Scary thought, being sued by someone with no intergrity. But, the longer you're around and the more inspections you do, the more likely you are to encounter someone who is unhappy in life and want you to be that way too!

March 26, 2007 03:07 PM #3
Rainer
84,150
Mike Parks
Residential Building Inspectors - Circleville, OH
Inspector

Isn't a home inspection to be a report of the general condition of the home rather that listing every nail pop?

If the person that you are suing is not an expert, and you know that, how can you sue them for missing something an expert would find?

 

March 26, 2007 04:26 PM #4
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

I am an expert. At many things, that is WHY I BECAME a home and building inspector. And I am an expert Home Inspector. That is why people pay me.

But even Moses, as wise as he was... made a mistake, and so can anyone of us.

So, in my head there are two types of law suits. The justified ones and the unjustified ones. They both very much exist, either one is a bad situation.

On the other hand, I do agree that we are GENERALISTS and not SPECIALISTS. But just like you may not expect your GP Family Doctor to be SPECIALIST, I'm sure you expect him to be EXPERT enough to REFER you to a SPECIALIST.

 

March 26, 2007 05:37 PM #5
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Well put Steven.This is why Mr Stone wrote visible and accessible at the time of the inspection.The word accessible does tend to bother me a little though,

Exactly what is accessible.

All I hear is do not remove receptacle covers,yet we remove distribution panel covers as one example.

Who determines what is accessible, when even though it is a (visual examination) we use tools and testing devices to make our determinations and recommendations.

If one man uses a particular device for testing which can make a non-destructive determination as to the fitness of a particular system but the next does not have this tool to assist and is not able to find a problem without using said device, should he be more liable for an undetected problem not seen unaided?.

 

 

 

March 26, 2007 09:30 PM #6
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

I agree with you so much.  Is the guy who doesn't have a moisture meter that can read 3" below the surface more liable than the guy with the Tramex that that misses something.

I'm sure we can come up with countless examples like that.

How many states require an inspector to own a device that can detect water below the surface? or meters that can check for false grounds? or how about IR cameras? ... or even a ladder?

Yes, the panel must be inspected... visually, so that means so far you need a screw driver and a flashlight.

Are all of these state of the art tools just part of a "dog and pony" show? To make us seem like we are the best. To set us apart from the rest? Or is it because we are boys, and boys like toys! I own a 500.00 Suretest, but if I simply plugged a pig tail with a plug and a bulb into a few wall outlets... wouldn't that be enough? Where does it say we have to test for voltage drops or falsegrounds?

I know of one inspector that only carries a 12' telescopic ladder in the trunk of his car. I heard somone ask him how he climbs on a roof... he laughed.

 Who determines what is accessable? We do! I'm sure there are places that some won't enter that others might. Just make sure you document what you inspected, what you didn't, how and why. If you inspect a roof from the ground, because it was too steep to walk, or don't enter a crawlspace because it was blocked, just write it down.

If you read the ASHI standards of practice a few times, it certainly defines a very thorough inspection, but if you follow it very carefully, how many of those fancy tools do you REALLY need? What size ladder should you carry?

Hmmmm?

What's your thoughts? 

 

 

March 26, 2007 10:41 PM #7
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection
Perhaps if there was a little bit more of a national standard for those issues it would cut down on frivolous lawsuits.Are there any actual solid records on percentages of inspectors being sued?,if so where?
March 26, 2007 11:23 PM #8
Anonymous
Anonymous
Questioner

We had a water heater bottom out and cause a flood only 3 weeks after moving into a house.  Shouldn't our home inspector have been able to tell that our water heater was this close to failure (due to corrosion)?  We had a massive flood in our lower level because of this, completely destroying a room.  Insurance is covering most of the damage, but we're still out $2000 (for the insurance deductible, and the cost of replacing the water heater).  The water heater was indicated as in "working order" in the inspection report, and not even recommended for replacement despite the fact it was 12 years old.  Answers, please?

September 26, 2008 10:03 PM #9
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Without being there to see the water heater in question, it is very difficult to pass judgement. But if it was so OBVIOUSLY corroded, perhaps it should have been called out. Do you have a picture you could display?

It is very easy to place blame on the inspector.

I have had a recent experience that involved a basement flooding less than a week after my client moved in. As it turned out, there was a problem with the construction of the drywell. It certainly would be impossible for me to know that it was not functioning properly.

Even though I explained this to my client, and only after I directed him to the State's Standard of Practice, did he agree that I was not responsible.

Luckily, the builder is paying for the reconstruction of the well.

September 27, 2008 03:12 PM #10
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi sorry I am late to this as I was on my way out the door when I saw it.

Basically I agree with Steve in that we are not aware of the entire situation.

I have no wish to go into a full lecture on the entire workings of a Hot Water tank to confuse the issue, so suffice it to say that on a home inspection we are pretty much looking for a few key signs of problems.Assuming it is energized buy gas

No cheating and off the top of my head here guys.(just walked in)

1)TPR valve

2)Drain pan and expansion tank if required

3)proper shutoff

4)Proper supply pipes

5)serial and model number info (which can be used to date the product)

6)Temperature which is normally checked at a faucet)

7)Flue set up

8)and cutting to the chase, a look at the bottom where if the is a problem , we might find some rust sitting in the pan under the burners

one clue might be certain noises from the tank , but not knowing what the inspector saw during his inspection, we would be reduced to ranting.

I doubt thee are pictures as we normally only take them of what we feel is defective for the most part, though some of us take more for the material discriptions as well.

Did you speak with the guy and what did he say?

 

 

September 27, 2008 04:31 PM #11
Anonymous
Anonymous
Please advice on my situation

Hi,

I appreciate any advice on what to do in my situation. We just bought a house. There was a brown stain in the basement carpet against the wall adjacent to the next townhouse. Our home inspector did not check it out or use his moisture meter on it, but it was clearly visible. Today when we started moving in my husband touched the corners of it and got dirt on his fingers. It is moist and smells like dirt. We think it could be an expensive problem to repair. Additionally, our home inspector said he was licensed for both testing and lab work for radon. We became suspicious of his claims when he submitted a very unprofessional radon report to us. We looked into him and could not find he was certified for either. He also refused to provide us with his certification numbers. He also has a website where he is advertising himself as being certified.

Please advice us.

Thanks,

Karen

December 30, 2008 03:09 AM #12
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Karen

First of all as a State of Illinois Home Inspector I am required to give all my licensing information to my clients and have it listed in my Inspection Agreement,

My License number is #450002662 and all my information can be found on the state site.

What I am trying to say is that since I do not know where you reside or what laws are applicable in your stae their is no way I can advise you on this matter.

My first thought is that any professional in this trade ,on a call such as yours ,would more than likely want to come out and see what your issue is in person.

Wish there was a picture to help out , but not seeing this in person ,I have no way of knowing what the situation is.

If he does not come out ,you may need to have another professional take a look.

When a HI such as myself lists we are certified ,we usually put the association on or sites as well.

One way is to go to the 3 largest association websites and see if he is listed.

Those are InterNACHI , ASHI ,and NAHI.

Good luck with your problem and I hope it is a minor issue which can be resolved.

December 31, 2008 09:33 PM #13
Rainmaker
36,357
George W. Jordan
Red Soil Real Estate Inc. - Murray Harbour, PE

Most buyers that deal with the PEI Real Estate Association in PEI, Canada, have full time home inspectors to make sure their investment is secure.

March 14, 2009 03:09 PM #14
Anonymous
Anonymous
Michael Del Greco

In the 15 years I have been a home inspector I find clients increasing willing to sue rather than think. 

 

A home inspection is a visual evaluation of the home.  A visual evaluation does not in any way mean any home inspector can possbily tell you everything that will go wrong within the home.  All a home inspector should be able to do is tell you based upon what that inspector sees what is likley to go wrong.

Clients with unrealistic espectiations are destined to be disapointed. 

By far the biggest legitimate cause for complaints against home inspectors is that the inspector failed to disclose the signifigance of the findings in a way the average person could understand them. 

If an inspector indicates a live wire is hanging from the garage ceiling and does not follow up with a warning the condition is hazardous or unsafe or recomened corrective actions that inspector should be held accountable for a material ommission.

However if the same inspector did not see the live wire due to storage it is not at all the inspectors fault. 

<a href="http://AccurateInspections.com">New Jersey Home Inspector Michael Del Greco</a>

 

April 24, 2009 01:05 PM #15
Anonymous
Anonymous
Bob

I think you home inspectors are a bunch of washed up contractors who can't find your damn way out of a paper bag. You're all a bunch of freaking thieves, and in my opinion, your entire profession is a scam.

 

~Bob

December 17, 2009 06:52 AM #16
Anonymous
Anonymous
Dave

Not everyone's a scam or a thief. Home inspections can and should be valuable tools to see what the sellers aren't telling you. Are there frauds? Certainly, we just bought a home in May and discovered an entire room is coated in mold under a small wooden platform that obviously had severe water damage. Our roof leaks, but we can't even find exactly where so it's a non-issue with the inspector.

 

We learned from him but he still missed obvious things that should have been picked up. I'd like someone who knows what they're doing to give me an accurate assessment of the house before I buy it, it's not a sham job at all... just frequently abused for money from what I can see here.

December 23, 2009 03:23 PM #17
Rainer
74,958
Bruce Breedlove
Avalon Inspection Services - Colorado Springs, CO

Bob wrote:

"I think you home inspectors are a bunch of washed up contractors who can't find your damn way out of a paper bag. You're all a bunch of freaking thieves, and in my opinion, your entire profession is a scam."

Bob,

Are you speaking from experience? If so, would you answer one question for me? When you hired the terrible home inspector(s) did you shop around for the cheapest inspector you could find or did you seek out the best qualified and most experienced home inspector you could find? Sometimes you get what you pay for but you certainly don't get what you don't pay for.

There are good and bad apples in any profession. Please don't paint us all with the same brush.

January 11, 2010 06:40 PM #18
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Bob,

Stop dealing with people that do not supply their license/certification numbers and/or their full names. They can be shady or are hiding something.

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with a Home Inspector. Yes, some are better than others. The next time you are buying a home, call me, You will know what you are buying.

Like Bruce said, price should not be the defining issue when selecting a Home Inspector. Speak to trusted friends or family. Find out who they used, and if they were satisfied. Don't necessarily go by the recommendations of your RE agent. Remember, they want to make a sale and prefer HI's that write "gentle" reports.

Unfortunately, it's hard to find out how good someone is until after you use them. Just like selecting a mechanic, a barber or a carpenter.

Good luck.

January 11, 2010 07:42 PM #19
Anonymous
Anonymous
Sean Goodyear

The home inspector who just went over my house says I need a basement egress and I have asbestos.  I bought the house 8 yrs ago and did not change the basement.  Is my inspector liable for not catching these things when I bought the house?

February 10, 2010 05:20 PM #20
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Bruce this was before I became a Home Inspector and he was refered by the Agent in both cases.

May be why I do not market to Agents ,though I have met some great ones ,and certainly do not feel the whole profession is to blame.

I still get referals ,and they are the ones that care about the client because I take my time and tell it like it is "good or bad".

February 12, 2010 03:18 PM #21
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Sean I would need a lot more info , but as far as the asbestos goes a Home Inspector never makes that call as a sample is sent into a lab for testing.

On the egress issue it depends on local laws and if the basement is part of the household,when built,tenant space,etc.

Feel free to email me if you wish.

February 12, 2010 03:21 PM #22
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Steve

If only I knew then ,what I know now.:)

Thanks for coming on buddy and good luck as the best Inspector on the east coast.

Your passion for proper EIFS install is amazing.

When you gonna market the new product?

 

My apologies for not being fast to respond here as I have been battling a Mono type virus and am finally coming around .

test came out negative but the Doctor still thinks Mono after the CT scan and blood test came back clear, which I am greatfull for .

February 12, 2010 03:25 PM #23
Anonymous
Anonymous
Bill

3 months ago I hired a home inspector to specifically inspect the septic system of a foreclosed property i was purchasing to rehab. He performed a dye test, and used a scope to take pictures of the inside of the tanks. His findings were that other than a few minor defects, such as a missing baffle, and a missing piece of pipe on the inlet that the system was functioning properly because there was no trace of the dye after running 250 gallons of water. Now 4 months later after a complete rehab, I have a contract on thwe house, and coincidentaly the "same" inspector came to inspect again. This time when he ran dye through the system, it showed up about 200 feet from the house. He then told the people they should have the system further evaluated. The county came out and did the scope of the system and immediately said the tanks are so severely deteriorated that they are a "public nuisance". My question is, should the inital inspector have been able to identify that the tanks were in that bad of condition, and is he liable in any way for the 15K it will cost me to remedy the issue to sell the house?

March 29, 2010 06:51 PM #24
Anonymous
Anonymous
Joe Smoe

We had an inspection done 2 months ago......moved in and found we had a huge water leak from the ice maker line.  It completely destroyed our floors which we had to replace and restoration was needed for mold issues.  The cabinets/wall behind the refrigerator were completed rotted out.  Our inspector missed all of these things!  He only mentioned/suggested in the report to call a flooring contractor for the floor being elevated but did not discover the water damages.  He told us he did not have to pull out the refrigerator as part of the inspection and was very sorry........any advice?  is he in the wrong here???  thank you

April 14, 2010 12:32 PM #25
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Joe Smoe (your real name?):)

I can only give you an answer based on most SOP.Inspectors are not required to move appliances during the inspection.

Pictures as always would help,if you come back and show us a picture of the Kitchen area,Fridge,fridge space and sub floor from below ,I could give you a better answer.

I spent 6 years as a head appliance installer for various Sears stores and often pull them out if on rollers and there is no chance of damage to the floor.

Yesterday I had a sub zero unit with water chiller and ice maker that i did not move because of the massive size and the floor being a soft Cherry wood.

This was a condo unit ,meaning that I had no way to look from below at the floor also.

No signs of damage ,but you never know.

Would it be my fault if a leak was found later?

So you see every situation is different and pictures would help .

I would like some elaberation on what you mean by the floor being elevated and if he could have seen damage from below.

 

 

April 14, 2010 01:20 PM #26
Anonymous
Anonymous
hitoall

Two years ago bought a house using an agent in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Inspector passed it.

While moving in, the first night we had to travel several miles to a convenience store to use the bathroom because we had to turn off the water.  There was a leak from the toliet--we found the puddle in the basement.  The only time the leak would be found would be after a flush.  However, upon closer inspection there were long time stains on the basement floor and the pipes also gave the problem away.

In addition, the neighbor came over and told us that he had applied for and received permission to have a ditch dug through our back yard (the full length of it) for an addition that he was building.  This addition would eventually be 4 inches from our fence.  The ditch ruined the look of the backyard.  We love our neighbors but it was not up to them to tell us...we should have known before we bought the house.

I called the agent at the time and she gave me the run a round.

Now we are selling...hopefully.  Of course, we will not make a profit nor will we even break even.  The inspector that came from the city has found all sorts of things that should have been corrected years ago.  Also, before we can even list the property there are about 25,000 dollars of repairs needed that should have been disclosed as well...asbestos being one of them.  And something about the cement porch has to be bolted to the house in case something falls on the roof of the porch. 

Yes we were first time home buyers; we had to find a home quickly--but it still seems that the people hired to protect our interests should share some of these problems with us.

April 14, 2010 07:24 PM #27
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

As always it is hard to pass judgement from a single post ,but it does sound like doing a little homework on the Inspector would have helped.

I will say that a house does not pass or fail.

All us Inspectors do is document conditions.

If I for instance see what I know is asbestos ,I call it out by recommending it be tested even though I know from experiance what it is.

Some times I go so far as to pull up a corner of rug ,if I use my spidey sense and experiance in the field to make a judgement call that there might be asbesto's tile underneath.

How do I know to do this?

I can't teach this skill as it comes from my life and learning in various trades.

Just like there are bad contractors and good contractors,the same aplies to Inspectors.

There is nothing wrong with using a Agents recommendation for Inspector , but I am shocked by how often the Agent sets up an appointment with me not having any contact with my future client.

People,you need to make that call and find out what your Inspector is going to do for you.

I spend often twice as much time at a property than most and still worry I may have missed something ,so if you go price shopping to save $25 on the Inspector,you deserve what you get in the same way you would if using a sixteen year old to work on your car.

Question your Inspector and find oyut about his experiance and how long he will spend there.

Ask him what kind of report it is and if it is done on site or does he send a PDF later on.

Sometimes the on site guys are in a hurry as much as you are ,which can be a bad combination.

Most issues occur from water ,so bear that in mind.

 

 

April 16, 2010 05:18 PM #28
Anonymous
Anonymous
Alyssa

My husband and I bought a house a little over 2 years ago. We were very naive, and didn't know anything about what to look for in a house. Our inspector looked it over and told us that it had some wiring problems and that one beam needed to be repaired, but other than that, it was fine. Because of his opinion, we bought the house. With the next rain, we had rivers of water coming into our basement (still unfinished, thankfully, but we did have to throw a lot of stuff out). AFter seeing the water, we then saw the signs that there was a water problem prior--yellow stains on the walls, patching jobs, sand on the floor, etc. We were furious, but were told that we couldn't sue the homeowner because it was a borderline forclosure and even if we won, they wouldn't have any money.  We also soon found that our water heater didn't work, that our attic wasn't ventilated properly (and got attic mold), that we had carpenter ants in our soffit, and that our gutters didn't work because there was a cap between them and the house. We are all sick, don't have the money to pay for mold removal and, from the looks of it, there's not a thing we can do about it... my husband signed the contract that states that the inspector isn't liable for anything that he missed. What's the point of an inspection?

April 19, 2010 04:35 PM #29
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi Alyssa,

It sounds like your dreamhouse turned into your nightmare!

Not seeing the house or report, it's a bit difficult to discuss another man's work, but it doesn't sound good.

Before I say "trust me, there are a number or good inspectors out there," I must admit that there are some that are a dis-service. Unfortunately,there is no way to know how good an inspector is until it's too late. The same is true whether you're looking for an inspector, a mechanic, a carpenter, or even a wife (or husband).

The best advice I can someone is to speak to satisfied... or dissatisfied home owners. Ask them if the report helped them or confused them? More importantly, as time passed, did the report hold true? Ask them if they would use the inspector again.

Reading sample reports can give you insight about an inspector too. If the report is difficult to understand, filled with "fill,"  written by a wannabe law professor, or if it's afraid to say something directly...  well, I'm sure you get my drift.

As far as "What's the point?, The point is that with the right information (inspector), the cost of the inspection will be "pound for pound" the wisest dollar you will can spend. You will know the "flavor" of what you are considering. You will have information to help you when making a very expensive, usually long term decision.

On a lighter note... Maybe there should be a a way for past clients to grade the inspectors, lets say after closing, a year later and a year after that. An inspector that maintains a 93% average could charge more than a guy with a 65%. It could be called the "You get what you pay for system"

Hmmmm.

Waddaya think? 

April 20, 2010 04:27 PM #30
Anonymous
Anonymous
sayward

as a homeowner we bought our home in 2006 after settlement we went "home" to find our kitchen ceiling leaking. the home inspector was in our home hours before that and 3 times previously then to have an awful smel;l below the sinks to find none i mean none of em were attached or glued. first rain we had our babies room wall by the window whas wet i could go on about so much that "professionals" have can in and said was so wrong and not even code id need 10 pages i called the home inspector and his first words were "the front page of our contract states i am not liable for anything after the final inspection. do u think i have a means to contact a lawyer?

May 03, 2010 07:53 PM #31
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi saward

I am glad you posted ,BUT yes that BUT word.I need more detail.

Anything that does not function as intended after the Inspection is complete could be taken to court in a perfect world of consumer protection.

One example would be a car that gets a flat tire a week later.

Do you sue the Auto manufacturer(builder),the tire manufacturer(roofer),the salesman who sold you the car(agent),the the mechanic who looked it over and said it was OK(inspector) , or is it just something that happened later while driving on the road .

The above example could correlate to a home if you think about it.

Did you have your issue resolved and find the cause of your issue.?

If it was a leak from the roof for instance,was there a damaged section above that the Inspector totally missed.

You can always sue anybody for anything,but what is your evidence?

Please post again with more detail.

May 06, 2010 01:59 PM #32
Anonymous
Anonymous
Bob Elliottson

You should be sued...so arrogant.

May 31, 2010 12:53 PM #33
Anonymous
Anonymous
Matt

Bob,

My bother-in-law recently had his home inspected in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The inspection report didn't make any note of settlement cracks in the foundation in the corners and by the window. the home is a split level with an english basement. Since the basement is finished I can't tell if the cracks are letting any water in. About 6" of the foundation is visible above grade and then it turns into a brick veneer, the crack is in the foundation and does not carry into the brick, and he has similar cracks on 3 of four corners of the house.the cracks are maybe about an eigth of an inch wide and run vertically into the ground so I don't know what is going on below the surface inside or out. The inspector said since there was no water damage or anything he wasn't responsible.

I know you have asked for pictures, I have tried to paint the best picture possible, You have also said that the inspector is responsible for what is visible, and his own report says it was a beautiful sunny 70° fall afternoon. There is a box in his report that says "typical cracks" that wasn't checked and no mention was made in the comments section - in fact there really aren't any comments at all anywhere. I've done odd jobs and handyman stuff for the last 10 years or so and I seem to have found more things to point out than this guy so I have two questions, 1) what type of recourse does my brother have, should this guy get the cracks sealed, can he at least get his money back on the service? 2) how do I find out if home inspection is for me, do you have any pointers?

 

Thank you,

Matt

June 10, 2010 03:34 PM #34
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Sounds like a printed checklist style report which is why I use a high quality software (Homeinspectorpro.com)

If there are no comments the checklist box should not show up.

May be an issue where he forgot to check it or he did not have a comment ,but the report includes all system comments anyway.

 

Not to pass the buck here but I am not a Lawyer and do not play one on TV ,so I would like to avoid turning this into the "ask Bob" legal column.

 I would give the Home Inspector a call and see what he says.

If it was me I would most likely go back out and take another look.

Read the inspection agreement as it should have a disclaimer telling you something like notification must be with in a certain period or that the Inspector has first right to look at the situation.

I know calling a foundation contractor could result in them drumming up work.(needed or not)

So I recommend in all cases you contact your Inspection guy and let him know of your concerns.

Most of us are friendly and care about the clients we work for or we would be out of work fast. 

Last but not least ,it is almost impossible not to find cracks in a foundation as some settlement occurs in the majority.

Just look at any older home and you will be sure to find a crack near the middle section.

As far as corner cracks go they may be due to the freeze /thaw cycle or something else.

Where are the downspout terminations for instance? (are they more than 6 feet from the foundation?)

Sorry ,but no one can determine causes from a desk.I have no idea if the brick is weeped and flashed since it is veneer.

There are just to many factors or variables for me to imagine.

Please just make that call and go from there.(personally I always make a second trip when requested ,such as final walk through)

 

 

 

June 10, 2010 04:32 PM #35
Anonymous
Anonymous
Gretchen

I just found out that i have no foundation in the front and the back of my home. The previous owners (or the previous, previous owners - the house is over 100 years old) went to great lengths to cover up the back area - including buiiding a faux cabinet over the debris and dirt that was there instead of foundation.  Do I have any legal recourse?

June 17, 2010 05:22 PM #36
Anonymous
Anonymous
randy

Bob,

      My friend Ron has a terrible problem in his home. It seems about 30 years ago a person dumped a container of mealworms behind his couch on Windsor avenue. He thought he had cleaned up and eliminated the infestation but 2 years later he found them metamorphized into flying gnat like bugs all over the house. He had a non licensed building inspector come to his house as he wanted to sell his property. The man told him to hire an exterminator to destroy these pests and their eggs. He knew where Ron worked and told him to mix up something toxic to destroy them. Well, it turns out he did not have funds to pay for an exterminator, so he took it upon himself to eliminate the problem.

     Well, he works at a toxic plant in Naperville and brought home a concoction comprised of nuclear waste phallemine and acidic permethrin. He injected that combination into a time releasing arasol can along with bug bombs. Everything went fine, or so he thought. Two years later he began hearing rumblings in the walls. The next thing he noticed was the baseboards started to warp and loosen. I visited him 2 months ago and while sitting in his living room experienced the coming out of creatures from the baseboards. They had torsos of mealworms with legs that of a fly and heads I could swear look like heads of lettuce with eyes as big as basketballs. They mumbled continuously and raided his refridgerator. Then left into the walls as my screaming scared them. A terrifying experience I must say. The aboritions looked to be over 3 feet tall with a hideous smell.

     Now the part that sounds unbelievable. You see, Ron was somewhat an amateur comedian so he practiced his jokes quite often in his home. He called me just last week to tell me the creatures had developed the ability to speak. He showed the house he still has for sale twice last week. The people ran out out in terror as while looking at his home kept hearing bad jokes coming from inside the walls. He blames the unlicensed building inspector for his advise thinking how much better off he'd be with flying insects than giant creatures that will not stop reciting bad jokes.

    My question to you is....Can the fake inspector be sued for his bad advice? He has since gotten a license. Do you have any low cost advice to have these crearures destroyed or evicted in some helpful way?

                                                                                                          Randy

June 19, 2010 01:24 AM #37
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Gretchen

I would love to see the pictures.

June 19, 2010 12:55 PM #38
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Randy ,I needed a good laugh.

Thanks for pointing out how silly it is to think of me as a replacement for making a call to your Home Inspector and asking questions of someone who was really there.

Lawyer ,is always a last resort for anything.

June 19, 2010 12:58 PM #39
Anonymous
Anonymous
randy krauskopf

Bob,

      It's nice to see you are doing well. I havent seen you since hubs on irving and Menard that day 10 years ago. Before that, Prosser high school. You of course remember that day when I , for a joke dropped the container of mealworms behind Szrams' couch. I think we were in grammer school at the time. Anyway, sorry to interupt your blog with this but I ran across your name on the internet. I hope your sister and brother are doing fine. Good health to you all.

                                                                                      Peace,

                                                                                               Randy K.

June 19, 2010 05:44 PM #40
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Wow

I remember that day at Hubs.

Think it was more like 20 years ,you old man.

Email or call to catch up.

 

Hope all is well with your family also.

Guessing you mean Ron reminding me of big Jim also.

June 19, 2010 06:46 PM #41
Anonymous
Anonymous
Celeste

We recently bought a house in Laurel, MD.  The home inspector indicated that there were minor repairs that need to be done, so we went ahead with the purchase.  The home inspection form indicated that the wiring found in the house is copper/romex, but during our renovation process, we found that all the wiring is actually aluminum.  After researching the aluminum wire, it appears that between the mid 60's and early 70's, a lot of homes were built using aluminum wire because of copper prices soaring. Doing further research, it appears that this is a fire harzard and fixing the problem will cost a lot of money.  Is this something that my home inspector should have found, especially since he indicated the wrong type of wire?  Please help because I'm losing sleep over this. Thanks!

June 29, 2010 12:43 PM #42
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Celeste

It is possible that the aluminum portion was hidden in the walls.

 

Lets get beyond that though.

The Aluminum conductors are not necessarily an issue.

Have a good electrician come in and check all the connections to make sure the panels and outlets,etc that they are connected to are compatable.

There may be no issue at all. 

How has the place been OK for the last 50 years?

Main thing is to have it looked at again by the proper professional for safety and your peace of mind.

Aluminum is still used and not dangerous.The gauges (thickness required) and making sure there is no issue with the connections is what needs to be looked at.

June 29, 2010 01:35 PM #43
Anonymous
Anonymous
Tara

Looking for some advice on issues that have surfaced on our house over the past 3 years we have lived there. 

1. we recently had an issue with the Grinder Pump (part of the septic system) in correcting the problem we were told the top of the pump should have been visible above ground so the pump can "breathe".  The pump, however was buried nearly a foot underground and now we are having to hire a professional landscaper to build a retaining wall around the pump

2. the electrical box, mounted on the side of the house, had the conduit ran into the box from the top, not the bottom.  This lead to water leaking into the electrical box.  According to the man looked at it, it is against code to run conduit in the top or side.  It should be ran into the bottom of the box.

3. lastly, we have several brown stains in the carpet.  When the house was inspected it was empty so they could not have been missed.  Being first time home buyers, we thought these stains were from furniture or something.  It didn't take long for us to realize when there is a heavy rain water leaks in between the wall and foundation. 

Any suggestions on these items and whether our inspector should have noted these on the report?

July 15, 2010 02:55 PM #44
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Tara.

Around here we have our grinder pumps inside and they must be sealed to prevent methane leakage into the home.Most associations disclaim septic system inspection ,so you need to find out the Inspectors SOP.

The electrical issue is controlled by local codes but should be an easy fix.

Hard to inspect from afar but what type foundation is it and what was reported on the subject ,including materials,observations,lot grade,etc.

In the Chicago area I know certain types of foundations are bound to have water Intrusion and many do.

They build living areas in basements that were never intended to be lived in and end up trying to parge coat the walls and add humidifiers before admiting defeat.

Some are simple fixes that just need a plug injection such as with new construction where the home settles the first few years and should be left unfinished during that period.

Others install an inside perimeter drain but the most expensive and only sure fix in some cases is to actually install a moisture barrier around the entire outside foundation.

Got a picture?

 

 

July 15, 2010 03:17 PM #45
Anonymous
Anonymous
Tara

It is a concrete slab foundation; no basement.  The house sits below street level and has a french drain system already installed.  For the most part the drainage works; but once or twice a year we get a downpour too large for the drains to handle.  Sorry, no pictures with me.

July 15, 2010 03:35 PM #46
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

To me being below street level would have sent my spidey senses tingling.

The french drain should have helped and pretty much I would have looked for visual signs or clues of past water intrusion .

Owners are supposed to disclose but as you know that is little help in most cases.Basically we (Inspectors) look for visual clues such as past staining on walls or when opening furnace panels look for tell tale rust lines in the sheet metal casing.

You say the carpet stains looked like regular traffic stains ,so i might have missed that clue myself.

Really really hard to say without being there or looking at the report.

Have you had a foundation contractor come out yet to tell you what needs to be done.

It sounds like they maybe needed a bigger drain however it is amazing what little things like placing downspouts more than six feet from the foundation can do.Just to many variables for me to pretend I have a answer.

Keep in mind some of these foundation outfits do not see the house in a holistic manor and will not see obvious issues such as openings in walls or lack of flashing that can add to your problem.

Wish I could be of more help but am just a guy at a keyboard.

Give the Home Inspector a call and see if he will come out to take another look as you might find him of more help than you expect.

Most of us are very sociable guys that got into this to help others with a consumer protection type philosophy.

July 15, 2010 04:06 PM #47
Anonymous
Anonymous
Rafael W

I think that some of your inspector's post put it perfectly and show how incompetent you really are.  I could not believe reading this that you expect people to pay you $400 to $600 so that you can walk around the house and point out the obvious ? Are you saying that if an electric cable was hanging but was hidden by a storage box then you are not responsible for noting this ?  I can imagine a seller could put a box in front of anything that is wrong with the house and you would report nothing.  If you take the money you need to get on the roof, into close spaces, and if they are blocked off then move the thing thats in the way.  Just prooves you are a worthless inspector.

July 20, 2010 09:21 PM #48
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Rafael your post shows you know absolutely nothing about me or my business.

I am well known as extremely through and detailed in both my Inspection methods and my reports.

My average HI report is 70 pages because of all the items I find but I can promise you that even then I will miss something.

An average sized home takes most Inspectors 3 hours , but my average Inspection of a home takes over 4 hours.

Rafael how much do you know about Real Estate because it sounds like you have no background.

Please go to any State site or association site and read the Standards of Practice.

In 3 or 4 hours you are not going to be able to see every single nook and cranny.If there is a 200lb mirror do you expect the HI to move it off the wall and check for a hole?

Your expectations may be a little to high buddy.

We are there to increase your odds of missing something that may effect the sale of the property due to $$$$ on Undisclosed repairs being needed,Health and safety reasons....period.

I personally take the time to go through everything with my clients and ask them if they feel I missed anything .

I go a step further and give them maintenance tips and benefit of my property experience in any way i can and I do not charge anywhere near $600 though I probably should.

My reports take 3-4 hours as I average over 200 pictures plus HD video that I go over to make sure I missed nothing.

Sorry I will not move that 200lb mirror for you .

Since you have no idea what a Inspection SOP is or what a Inspection actually is please let me ask you what a Inspection should include.

Should I pull each and every wall plate in a home and inspect the conductor attachment to the outlets. ?

Should I dig a trench to the bottom of the foundation to view the footers?

Would you expect me to video scan the drain tile out to the the street as part of my service?

Simply adding an insult shows no intelligence on your part unless you back up what you say.

In my profession we are required to do just that. 

Just today I had a seller home(best is for them to leave) and hound me like a dog .

I opened her Bedroom door and the handle was not even attached which came right off in my hand.

First words out of her mouth were,(it worked before you broke it) and since you know so much hiding behind a fake name I suggest you step in my shoes and see if you are man enough to work 14 hours a day like I do Rafael.

We have no health Insurance or Union and no retirement benefits but have the pleasure of guys like you opening their mouths talking nonsense while hiding under a fake name.

My business is all about referrals and I get plenty of them for a reason.

My number and name are public ,so feel free to give give me a call.I am up working till at least midnight every day and clients are aware they can call anytime as long as they own the place they purchased.

Try getting that level service from any other profession.

July 20, 2010 09:57 PM #49
Anonymous
Anonymous
david

How about the reverse.  Suppose I am selling a home.  I have a foundation issue.  I bring in a licenced foundation repair company who inspects the foundation.  Provides a proposal with an assememnt of the problem.  A 30 year transferable warranty, and will include a structeral engineering report and sign off by city engineers.  The issue is disclosed to the buyer in advanced, prior to the buyer's inspection.  Now the buyers inspector reports that the basement is sinking and that the repair will not be sufficient.  The buyer backs out based on this report.  A Structeral engineer confirms that the foundation is not sinking and the original proposal is what is required for the repair.

Can this inspector be sued by the home seller due to the loss of sale, and extra costs assoicated with a bad and false report?

July 25, 2010 02:02 PM #50
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

That is a complex situation which there is no way to determine on a forum.

My personal reports are based on what is known as F.O.G (Fact,Opinion, Guidance)

The report in a situation where it appears a foundation is sinking would notate visually what is observed such as foundation cracks,severity of the cracks,lot grade,possible contributing factors to the situation and should always finish with a recommendation to have it looked at by a Structural Engineer or a Foundation Contractor.

Maybe the proposed issue would not be sufficient however my job is to report conditions as they exist and not predict future proposals involving Capital improvements or correction of deferred maintenance. 

Did you have more than on company come out to look? 

Did you have a Structural Engineer examine the foundation?

Did you see the Inspectors Report?

Remember Inspectors are non-interested third parties and have no interest in the outcome or sale and for the Inspector to state outright that the proposed work will not correct the issue means he may have good reason to think that.

How about getting permission to speak with the Inspector and remember to keep a cool head during your talk as he has no obligation to discuss it with you.Find out why he said the corrections will fail.

Once again this is a complex issue that will not be resolved here.I suggest you get more than one Contractor to look and a Structural Engineer has last word.

My suggestion would be to get that Engineer out there if the matter is effecting the sale.The Structural Engineer takes on the liability as a specialist in that field.

 

July 25, 2010 02:43 PM #51
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

That certainly is a complex situation. I was involved in something similar to that. Fortunately, when the engineer arrived and started spewing poppycock, I nipped it in the bud. It wasn't long until he had no choice but to agree with my opinion of the property.

Anyway, getting back to your story. First off, remember, ANYBODY CAN SUE ANYBODY, and the second thing is, for any opinion, you can always find an expert to disagree (or agree).

Did the buyer base his decision solely on the Home Inspector? Could he have decided that he didn't want to get involved in any home that needed such experts to ponder whether it was going to sink into the swamp? Maybe the guy simply decided not to get involved. Maybe he had more confidance in his HI than in someone else's engineer. I've seen some real winners that were... "engineered." hahahaha

By the way, what did the warantee offer? Was it a "Limited Warantee" Did the enginerr guarentee his assessment? I mean, did G-D say the property would be just fine?

Like I said, maybe the guy got spooked by the whole idea.

Like Bob says; there are three sides to every story. Your story, my story, and  what really happenrd.

July 25, 2010 03:27 PM #52
Anonymous
Anonymous
josh

we just bought a house, got it inspected, the basement has been flooding, foundation sinking, roof leaking, walls breaking and many other things have been happening. just wondering, who is at fault for this? the inspector? or me? there are 10s of thousands of dollars worth of damage that i dont have the money to pay for and im at a loss for thought even on what to go about doing, can someone help me please?

August 16, 2010 08:56 PM #53
Anonymous
Anonymous
Tom

Sorry I'm a little late to the party, and hope the professionals still feel like helping. I know that no one wants to throw another inspector under the bus but I was hoping for an opinion from someone familiar with the pertinent regulations.

Were looking to buy a house, had the inspector out and showed him several things that concerned me, namely several water spots, and the fact that the a/c didn't seem to be cooling. He inspected the entire property, and in the end stated that we had several cracked roof tiles (though he stated specifically in his report that the roof was acceptable and needed no repair) and the a/c was fine, and that a tune up would deal with my performance issue. One month after leaving the house with the inspector and calling him several times for the report, he finally sends it, everything is listed as acceptable. We close on the house and enter for the first time since the inspection, and immediately discover the following -

The compressor for the a/c is completely burnt out and must be replaced.

The return on the air handler is not attached on three sides, is full of holes, and is filled with mold, this is observable from exactly where he stood when he told me it was fine.

The water spot i asked him to check (10 inches from the attic access) which he said was nothing, is in fact a major leak in the roof, it can be seen as a large discoloration (2'x2'6") by merely putting your head into the attic. Furtherinspectionsby several different roofers all came to one conclusion, our roof is done. It is leaking in 5 places, none of the tiles are attached any more, and anyone who would have actually gone on the roof (which the inspector claimed to) could have seen the holes and the 200+ shattered tiles.

In the kitchen which he stated was acceptable, in the sink which he specifically inspected and stated was acceptable, there is a huge crack which causes it to not hold water. It is obvious from looking at it, but he explained to me that it was a scratch, and his report states likewise. This causes a large problem because it is a corian countertop, which means the sink and the counter are one continuous piece... meaning that this nearly bifurcated sink makes the whole counter worthless...

 

There are also numerous small things that he marked acceptable, but I'm not going to call and scream about $100 to a plumber or electrician - I understand that a used house has some associated maintenance. My concern is that he looked at the neighborhood, decided the houses were well maintained and decided that he didn't have to actually do his job in mine because of that. Now I'm standing here with bills in excess of $20,000 for the major repairs and wondering, do I have any recourse (in FL)?

August 27, 2010 10:16 AM #54
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Answer to all questions asking if you can sue your Home Inspector or any one else for that matter is yes.

We live in a land where a Lady can spill hot coffee on herself and rake in a fortune so the only real questions here should be certain situations which so far have been not backed up with enough documentation such as photos,contracts,exact dates, follow up,etc to do any real Judging and of course nobody here is a Judge.

Look at the date on this article and see if there is even one photo to back up anything.

If anybody has a issue with a Inspector or how he or she performed their duties as stated in the Inspection Agreement I would suggest everyone that has posted here so far over 3 years would lose .

You must be prepared if you go to court to prove your case. 

Tom from what you stated you may have a case but I am hearing only one side.

In Illinois the report is due within 48 hours (business days) and Florida has just recently approved Licensing laws.

Many inspectors(not me) are against Licensing but to wait as long as you did is almost insane. 

Personally (IMO) I look at things this way.

For small stuff Inspectors are going to miss items as they have a limited amount of time to look and every Inspector has systems they are more skilled in looking at, but on large issues that can be seen with no destructive testing you have every reason to ask for recourse.

There is a big difference in missing sticking window as compared to a shot roof for instance.

I will be happy to answer any future questions but if you got the shaft from a contractor please call a Lawyer rather than blow off smoke on a forum.

Sorry if that sounds harsh but it is true.

 

September 10, 2010 11:12 PM #55
Anonymous
Anonymous
Tom

Thank you for your feedback.

I was not trying to blow off smoke in a forum, I am currently wrestling with the inspector's insurance company. The inspector and his insurer have taken a hard line that inspectors are not professionals, and are merely giving their opinion for which they are not responsible. It was my position (backed by my lawyer, though I am still attempting to resolve this without involving him) that causal liability as required in a civil suit lies with the inspector, as I brought him in to professionally assess the fitness of the dwelling, as he claimed he could. I was merely trying to solicit the opinion of a few fellow inspectors on the question of are you professionals, holding liability as such, or merely con artists, pretending to give opinions on things you know nothing about and charging a fee because we were duped into thinking you were professionals.

September 14, 2010 03:23 PM #56
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

" are you professionals, holding liability as such, or merely con artists, pretending to give opinions on things you know nothing about and charging a fee because we were duped into thinking you were professionals."

 

Tom that sounds like blowing smoke to me and also is insulting to the entire profession because of one bad apple.

I need to take offense on that sentence but understand how you must feel at this point and will excuse the last comment you made.

Right now I am working on 2 reports from yesterday that will take all day to complete.

Both structures are basically gut jobs and took tons of time to inspect because even though things may or may not be torn down i am needing to comment on all the systems and components.

I doubt any of my clients has ever thought of me as a con artist and it is quite the opppisite.

Every inspection I perforn I hear the words thorough and detailed in regards to my methods.

I when having time will post some examples of how I may have saved lives in the process of performing my duties and am proud of that fact.

Right now I need to jump on the reports for my clients as I have them ready in 24 hrs or sooner most of the time.

I also am working on a new website to turn in to my chapter on Thursday and on Saturday am doing a First Time Home buyer Lecture for Minister Frankie whom I have witten about on one of my past blogs here.

With all that going on I am on forums like this one and educating myseldf everyday ,so does that sound like a con artist?

Anyway I will give you some examples tomorrow if you wish to come back and read them.

Yesterday is fresh in my mind where after crawling through a dirt crawl space with large Rat hole around me at night I found the entire floor structure supported by car jacks and make shift boards.

Another issue was the stairway system outside that was loose and not attached properly.

I could have kicked the entire 2 story system down with a kick to the main support post as the ledger board was not bolted to the exterior wall well enough.

The first place had the main drain system leaving the foundation at the rear.

What was wrong?

Well for one thing the sewer system is at the front street! (no catch basin).

More than once I have found carbon monoxide entering a dweeling threating families with children.

Sound like a con man?

I will post better examples tomorrow and may even start a new thread.

Thanks for making me defend myself Tom as it will help me focus on being better at my craft.

 

September 15, 2010 01:58 PM #57
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Tom,

Bob is very proud of his intent and performance as a professional inspector. He is like a Bulldog when it comes to inspecting. He has passion.

An old man once told me that there are 3 sides to every story; your side, his side, and what really happened. Everything you claim may be so, but without hearing what the inspector has to say, and especially without seeing his report and photographs of what you say exists, I'm sure you understand if I will not judge your particular situation.

I do understand your angst, but don't make the mistake of stereotyping all home inspectors. There are some very, very good ones, and unfortunately, just like ANY other trade or profession, there are some bad ones. Realisticly, most fall somewhere in between. Hey, I know some lawyers, doctors, carpenters, mechanics, etc., that really suck. What do you do for a living? Whatever it is, is everyone in your industry top of the line?

It's very hard to figure out just how good an inspector is. In most cases, you don't know until it is too late.

The best advice I can give anyone that needs an inspector, is to speak to friends and family. See who they used, and find out if the inspection was worth it. I can tell you that I save my clients exponentially what the inspection fee is. Also, shop around... not for price, but for substance. Ask to see a previous report. If it's filled with cut and paste bullshit, with occasional information, or if the inspector is trying to sound like a lawyer, I would be careful. Find an inspector that has enough conviction and confidence in his knowledge to make direct statements. How many times does the word "appears" show up in your report? How about the word "is?"

A Home Inspector may not be a "Professioal," but I assure you; the good ones are certainly "professionals."

I am curious, when you chose an inspector, did you shop around? How did you select the one you did? What convinced you?

September 15, 2010 10:12 PM #59
Anonymous
Anonymous
Brian

South Dakota - We are selling our home and had the buyer's Home Inspector come thru. The inspector noted:

'The A/C circuit breaker is too large.  Should be a 30 amp breaker and the circuit breaker is currently a 40 amp. The electric panel is a Federal Pacific Stab Lock style ( mentioned it can be a potential fire hazard) and may not trip after repeated use, causing the wires to over heat.  This problem occurs mainly at commerical applications. This brand of panel is no longer in production and parts are not readily available.  This brand of panel has never been reclaled by any government agency.  The Electric range is on a 60 amp breaker and should be no larger than a 50 amp circuit breaker.' 

We purchased the home 9 years ago and the Home Inspector our agent hired never caught this.  So is this a case of possible electrical code changes?  Or did the Home Inspector we hired to inspect the home when we bought it miss these possibly easy catches?  We have never had work performed on any electrical since living there. We have now hired a electrical contractor to come in and fix these problems prior to sell. Not just because it is in the sale contract, but I don't want to sell a home to people that could die due to bad electrical issues.  I have my documentation from the Home Inspector we hired 9 years ago. Do I have any recourse on the previous Home Inspector to recover my expenses to pay for the costs the electrical contractor must make to correct the problems?  

September 20, 2010 11:19 AM #60
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi Brian,

Good luck selling your home, it's a tough market.

The call on the Federal Pacific panel has nothing to do with code changes. It's strictly a safety issue. They went out of business because of the numerous law suits filed against them. Just Google Federal Pacific panels, you will see what I am referring to.

As far as recourse against the previous inspector, you should speak to your attorney. But, in my opinion, I don't think you will have any success. I personally call FP panels, and many inspectors I know do the same. There are also many that do not. It's a matter of opinion. There is no set standard on calling them or not.

I agree with your intensions on changing the panel.

Regarding the oversized breakers. Speak to your electrician. I like when the breakers conform  to the appliance's manufacturer's specifications, but you are allowed a certain amount of overage.

September 20, 2010 06:04 PM #61
Anonymous
Anonymous
Brian

Thanks Steven,

Our electrical cotractor did change out the FP panel and brought everything up to the manufacturer's specifications. We also have an appointment with our attorney for additional guidance.

I appreciate your professional opinion and look at this site as a valuable tool for home owners to use.

The house did close today (YEAH) and the new owners have a great electrical system in the house. 

September 24, 2010 08:02 PM #62
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi Brian,

That's great that you sold the house, so all turned out well. I hope you are satisfied with what you got.

You know, sometimes when I read some of the stories in this blog, even though I don't want to see another Home Inspector get sued, somewhere in my mind I am thinking; "but I don't blame them if they do." I must tell you, that in this case, unless there is something you haven't mentioned, I don't see why you are thinking about sueing this inspector.

As I mentioned above, calling a FP panel is a matter of choice, and although my opinion is different than the other inspector's opinion, his is not illegal, nor is it unacceptable. Actually, in this case, he was correct. You didn't have a problem with the panel, did you?

As far as the oversized breakers, as I also stated, speak to your electrician, licensed of course. You may find that the breakers also are acceptable. Did you have a problem with those?

The breakers and panel were fine for how many years? 9? How many years before that?

Whether the Home Inspector (or anybody for that matter), wins a lawsuit or not, it is still alot of anxiety. It is still costly.

I hope you  are not simply looking for a paycheck.

How much did the inspection cost you 9 years ago? How much do you want this guy to pay?

Imagine this: Nine years ago, he gave you an acceptable opinion... charged you a few hundred dollars, you had no problems, and now you want to sue him??? Don't sound fair.

Anybody else out there have any opiions on this?

September 24, 2010 10:25 PM #63
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Steve,as always you are big help and credit to the industry.

Been a busy week but have todays report to complete and I am free till Monday.

Just want to jump in here and mention to anyone that is buying or has just recently updated their electrical system should check the panel for Siemans and Murray breakers that may be on recall if bought this year.

Here is a little more info and a link.

This recall involves Siemens and Murray 15 through 50 AMP single and double pole circuit breakers, load centers (circuit breakers that come with an electrical panel), and meter combos (contain a load center and a meter socket). “Siemens” or “Murray,” date codes 0610 or 0710 and the catalog number are printed on a label on the side of the circuit breakers. Date codes between June 2010 through August 2010 are stamped on the inside of the metal box of the load centers and meter combos. The catalog number for the load centers and meter combos is printed on a label inside the metal box door and on the packaging.

Product
Date Codes
Catalog Numbers
Circuit Breakers
0610, 0710
Q115, Q120, Q130, Q215, Q230, Q250, MP115, MP115U, MP120, MP130, MP215, MP230, MP230U, MP250
Load Centers
Jun 23 2010 – Aug 25 2010
G2020B1100CP, G3030B1100CP, G4040B1200CUSGP, LC4040B1200P, G3040B1200CP, G3040L1200CP, G4040B1200CP, G3030B1150CP, W3040B1200CP, G1624L1125CP, W4040B1200CP
Meter Combo
Jun 23 2010 – Aug 25 2010
JA2040B1200SP

Sold at: The Home Depot, Lowes, other hardware and building supply stores and numerous electrical distributors nationwide from June 2010 through August 2010 for between $2.50 to $235.

Here is a link to the story from National Association of Home inspectors forum and a link to the Seimans site for more info on the matter:

http://www.nachi.org/forum/f19/siemens-recalls-circuit-breakers-due-fire-hazard-54104/

 

http://www.usa.siemens.com/plugin-recall

 

September 24, 2010 11:21 PM #64
Anonymous
Anonymous
MJ

I'm currently not in the Chicago area, but came across some of the posts from this website, and thought you may have possible suggestions for what I can do.  In going through the process of buying our first home, my wife and I paid for a full home inspection, which came back fairly clean.  The only thing mentioned about the roof of the home was that there were repairs that appear to have been performed by a non-professional.  He suggested review by a qualified professional to determine the effectiveness of the repairs and for any additional repairs/replacement needed.  We have now been in the home for about two weeks, and I got a call from our insurance company who now says that we have about three weeks to put a new roof on the home, or they'll drop us.  The inspector told us that we should probably replace the roof in the next couple of years.  We had a professional come and repair the roof before we moved in as well, because I didn't want to take any chances.  Now I've got a new roof that I'll have to pay for.  Shouldn't something of this scale been caught by the inspector?  What can I do?  Or do you think I would even have a case?  I'm not one to sue, but I just wish people would do what I've paid them to do.  Thanks for any advise.

MJ

 

October 11, 2010 04:56 PM #65
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi MJ

My first suggestion is you call the actual home Inspector who you used to see what he has to say.

a

As far as the insurance company goes it is a different kind of inspection based on their perceived risks.

So many ways to view this but in general i feel the inspector may have been referring to the material itself(just guessing).

When a inspector recommends a qualified proffessional view the roof he is saying in so many words that as a generalist he has found somethiung of concern that requires further review.

Did a licensed or certified roofer come out and look at it as recommended?

That should have been done before closing.

The roofer then is the guy who takes responsibility after that but it is your responsibility to follow up with report suggestions.

Does that make sense?

i personally never rate a roof for life expectency as that it not a good idea for this very reason.

(example) Your car tires look good for two years.(ooops) (you get a flat tire the following week)

So many questions MJ.

Were there signs of issues at the time of the inspection?

Remember this.

A Inspection is a snap shot of conditions on the day of the inspection.

I look for proper flashing,material wear,gutters,downspouts and signs of water intrusion.

If there is attic access I am able to view the supporting sheathing and roof structure.

Roofs can be patched and that can get you by a few years but an Inspector can not and should not say a patch will last after he leaves the driveway.

Once again give the guy a call and give us more details.

Thanks for stopping by.

October 11, 2010 05:20 PM #66
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

I agree with you Bob, that an insurance inspection is different than a home inspection, and based upon different reasons.

I do a great deal of insurance inspections, and although I rarely call for total removal, even if sometimes I realize it is the only way to fix something. Unlessthe roof is a total disaster, I usually call for an inspection by a licensed roofer, and based upon his recommendations, the item be either repaired or replaced.  Also, any recommendations have to be based upon facts that can be referenced or substantiated. Why did he call the roof? Was there proof that it is leaking? Are there water stains/damage? Is there an obviousbreach? Or he just doesn't like the way it looks? What is his recommendation based upon?

In this case, if a licensed roofer is willing to examine the roof, and he certifies it, and puts it in writing on his letterhead (with his license #), I would think the underwriters would accept it. I can tell you that pretty doesn't matter, so if the repair is twenty different colors, it makes no difference. There is a chance they will want to reinspect the roof, if the repair is sub standard (like covered with a tarp, or baby diapers...), they will not accept it.

October 11, 2010 09:15 PM #67
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Exactly Steve.:)

So we need to know what did the insurance company base their recommendations on?

Say MJ brings out a roofer ....what would he say?

I would love to see the Home Inspectors comments and pictures from day of the inspection.

..did MJ bring out a roofer ?

...Reason for Insurance company demands.

October 11, 2010 09:50 PM #68
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

"So we need to know what did the insurance company base their recommendations on"? - Yes, it should be in the report, along with a representitive photo. Is there a leak? multiple leaks? or is the roof in such poor condition that it cannot be saved?

"I look for proper flashing,material wear,gutters,downspouts and signs of water intrusion". - An insurance inspection really doesn't go that far... unless there is something extremly obvious. An average inspection takes about 1/2 hour. Dependant upon the risk.

"We had a professional come and repair the roof before we moved in". Does professional mean licensed?

"I would love to see the Home Inspectors comments and pictures from day of the inspection". - I would rather see what it looks like now.

"Say MJ brings out a roofer ....what would he say"? - What would he say?

"Reason for Insurance company demands". - That is the key.

Also MJ, Did the company send you the request in writing? We send written letters to the insured, along with written recomendations, reasons, ramifications.

October 11, 2010 10:19 PM #69
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Steve you are in the industry (Insurance ) as well as an Inspector so I am sure you are correct.

Brings up the point that last person inspecting is the one taking the liability most of the time.

October 11, 2010 10:27 PM #70
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Actually, it is the insurance company taking the liability, which is why they want it inspected.

October 11, 2010 10:42 PM #71
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Would love some real life examples Steve.

October 11, 2010 11:35 PM #72
Anonymous
Anonymous
Tom

Been out for a while, just wanted to drop a follow up to my previous comment. I was not trying to sling mud on either of you or the profession as a whole. My question boiled down to whether inspectors were required to stand behind their work. I understand in all professions that there are good and bad apples. I had a bad one, but after a LOT of pushing it didn't have to go to court, he just swore alot and sent it to his insurance company.

For everyone else wondering about these things in here, in researching for my problem I discovered this - causal liability does rest with the inspector given several qualifications -

1. The puchase was contingent upon an inspection (This shows that it was not for personal informational purposes, but was the root of your decision to purchase the property. Thus you would not have the problem if they had fulfilled their obligation)

2. It was not a degree of misstatement, but a complete omission. (such as their saying that the pipes needed work when they were shot. This makes it all subjective as work could mean a complete repipe)

3. It was included in the inspection (some inspectors in an effort to compete on price offer inspections that only cover "major systems". This means that if you have a roof/structure/electrical/plumbing inspection it's not his fault if your furnace is no good, it doesn't matter if he looked at it as a courtesy)

4. He has insurance (alot of inspectors have no office, and their vehicle is registered to them as a person. This means they can throw the company into chap. 11 and start over next week with minimal expense. The only chance you have at that point, is to pierce the veil and pursue them as an individual. This is usually possible because of poor seperation in assets for such companies.)

5. You had professionals review and document it before repairing in the case of emergency systems, or you give the inspector an opportunity to review the damage before repair. (heat in the north in winter, a/c in the south in summer, and plumbing which prevents residing are all examples of emergencies)

There is some wiggle room of course, depending on how much pride the inspector has in his work, or character as an individual. But if you've taken care of all these things, then you can legally pursue him and he cannot blow you off.

Again, want to apologize for the misunderstanding, wasn't singling out either of you, or saying the profession as a whole; just wondering if legally you had any responsibility.

October 14, 2010 04:06 PM #73
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Tom

Home Inspection is regulated State by State and you need to contact them for details on exact guidlines if they even have any at all.

Many Inspectors are against regulation of any kind as they see it as another way of government telling them what to do and how to do it.

In Illinois (as I think was mentioned above)we have Licensing and State guidelines as to exactly what must be inspected.

The SOP (Standards of Practice) is minimum and does not prevent us from offering more.

I am happy to be in a licensed State as I see it as also protecting me from unreasonable expectations of finding every little thing in a 3 hour window (avg). 

Certainly if someone says a roof will last another 2 years as exampled above and the thing is leaking you have some recourse in my world.

The crack in the foundation hidden behind panel in the basement with no visible signs anywhere of water intrusion up to that point certainly could not be construed as me missing something however.

The key to a good inspector might be he finds signs of issues or potential issues and it is hard to explain that in this quick reply but I personally check for things such as waterlines inside the furnace casing as an example which turns me into somewhat of a detective especially when I see fresh paint,etc which may have been used to cover an issue.

I do have basic procedures and personal methods that I may publish at some point in the near future.

Working on getting back my Rain Maker status here and may do just that very soon.

October 14, 2010 06:07 PM #74
Anonymous
Anonymous
MJ

Thank you for your suggestions.  I still have yet to speak with the inspector.  To answer a few of your questions, I haven't actually received anything in writing from the insurance company as of yet.  The last phone call I received from them was the Insurance Inspector calling to tell me that I had until the 28th of this month to have it replaced, otherwise I'll receive a notice from the insurance company.  The inspector said that he was only looking at photos and noticed that the roof looked like it needed to be replaced, so he came out to confirm that it did need replacement.  There are no leaks that I'm aware of, and there is only normal wear, he is basing the need for replacement strictly off of the appearance.  The "professional" roofer we had come out to repair the roof prior to closing on the home was someone our realtor knew, and since I didn't feel it was something I should have to pay for, and the Sellers didn't want to pay for , the two realtors split the cost of the repairs, so I haven't really had any contact with the roofer.  If you'd like, I can send the inspection report with the pictures.  Also, I have had a few roofing companies come out to give me estimates on replacing the roof, and in asking them if it needs to be replaced, of course they say it needs to be done.  However none of them really acted like it was an urgent matter, or that it was something that needed immediate attention.  Would I be better just to look at other insurance companies, and switch to another provider?  Thanks again.

MJ

October 18, 2010 10:49 AM #75
Anonymous
Anonymous
Julie

Hi,

I'm hoping that you still check this board and are willing to share your opinion.  When my mother bought her home two and a half years ago, no mention was made by either the seller or the home inspector that a basement crawl space (5' ceiling and dirt floor) existed in the house.  It was within the first year of living there that we discovered the trap door to the basement.  At that time we sent a letter to both the realtor & the inspector telling them of our disappointment in this never having been mentioned. We had received no response from either party.  We have run a dehumidifier in the space since discovering it to help with the dampness.

However, more recently, as we have discovered numerous cracks in the house, we consulted with an engineer.  His report listed major issues with almost everything in the crawl space - everything from a twisted I-beam, to tilting concrete block supports, to the use of wood shims instead of metal shims, to severe dry rot on the beams supporting the downstairs floor, to the absence of any subflooring between the downstairs and the crawlspace, etc.  We next got an estimate from a concrete worker for the cost of correctly fixing the structures (this person also mentioned that the house was built "on grade" -  that it does not have any exposed foundation in the front, and that this was done to save on the cost of concrete).  The estimate is $38,0000.  This is for a space that no one mentioned existed.

I understand that an inspector is in no way liable for an unknown space.   However I strongly suspect that this same company had inspected the house for the previous owner.  They are the largest company in our area and frequently work with all local realtors.  If the same company had previously inspected the house, would they not have access to their own report, and shouldn't they know that the space exists?

I believe that inspectors (in NY) are not required to provide any previous inspections done on the home.  Is there any way for me to find out whether the company had previously inspected the house?  If they had, would that constitute knowledge of the existence of the crawl space. 

Thank you so much for any opinions you may have.  I have never considered filing a lawsuit against anyone for any reason.

Julie

March 16, 2011 06:56 PM #76
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Julie

It seems strange he would miss a crawlspace but the Agent should have known,the seller should have known and lets face it that you lived there a year before you discovered it also.

 

I almost missed one myself ,duh, because in the city there are not many crawlspaces and I was told by the parties involved the building was a slab.

So happens the hatch was hidden in the public or common area stairwell under a small rug inside a closet at bottom of the stairs.

Here is what I saw.

 

crawl space issues

 

 

March 19, 2011 04:49 PM #77
Anonymous
Anonymous
jackie fisher

what if you have a home inspection and you purchase the home then find out you have asbestos when the inspector did not give you a clear answer whether or not you do??  I am looking for a lawyer to sue the home inspector whome could not figure what aspestos.  I feel that if you are going to go around and professinal home inspections then you should get a profesional answer like yes or no not maybe.  I live in Los Angeles, california know any good lawyers that can handel a claim like this??b

May 13, 2011 08:23 PM #78
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi Jackie,

Did he also recommend that it should be tested? In my state, in order do state yes or no, you must have a very special and specific license.

May 13, 2011 11:37 PM #79
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Steve thanks for triggering my email with this as I was out doing a final walkthrough this evening and forgot about the question.

 

Hi Jackie

When you say he did not give you a clear answer I assume he warned you it might be and that is good enough unless he performs actual testing for you by sending in a sample.

That may take time if the sample needs to be sent in and many Inspection contengencies are at 5 days with clients often calling at the last minute for jobs.

I rank this with Mold inspection and Radon inspection where as many Inspectors do not test for those potential issues.

Did you know that even when we know it is asbestos or we know it is mold we are not allowed to call it that unless it is tested by qualified individuals?

When I see the stuff I always say As best (os) as I can guess it may be so have it tested.

Did you know that the simple fact it is present in the home will not always be a giant cause for alarm?

It was used in many products before the 1980's.

The most common areas I find it (as best(os) as I can guess:) is in floor tile and wrapped around heat or plumbing pipes.

Here is a definition I got from somewhere so author let me know.....

A material suspected to contain asbestos fibers has been observed. Asbestos containing materials (ACM) are considered hazardous when they are friable. Friable simply means that the material is fragile and can release asbestos fibers into the air. Asbestos is extremely common in the air and soil around us, and has been used for decades in approximately 3,000 commonly found household products or building materials. How much danger this may pose to the client is unknown. If this is a concern, I recommend having the air in the home sampled by a licensed/certified asbestos remediation specialist, who can best determine whether any friable particulates are present and whether there is a need to encapsulate this material or remove it altogether.

All I need to do is look and I can pretty much tell however at times I get lucky and find a box with labeling which is what happed two days ago.

 

Looks so cute but could be hazardous.

I say could be because this stuff is in tons of basements around chicago including the floor my bare feet are resting on right now.

I make sure to keep it waxed well and not friable which means no loose fibers floating around in the air.

Asbestos floor tile

 

Asbestos floor tile box

Would love to hear more detail on

what he said and what he put in the report.

May 14, 2011 12:08 AM #80
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hey Big Bob,

How are things in Chi Town? Glad to hear you are busy? How are you feeling these days?

I am also curious as to the wording that the inspector used in the report.

May 14, 2011 12:29 AM #81
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Steve I am busy as heck and working every day.

As you know my reports average 70-80 pages and it gets draining, but in this business it is feast or famine so I try and rest when I can and drink lots of coffee till it slows down again.

So strange that I enjoy talking inspection for relaxation when not working.

Horrible tooth pain last several days and my sister in law the dentist just stopped by and told me to see her Monday but I am scheduled for until Tuesday so it has to wait.

Hope all is well with you.

May 14, 2011 09:35 PM #82
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

All is well, and very busy. Most of my time is spent doing underwriting inspections, and although the reports are much shorter, the clients insist on condensed reports. So the whole idea is to compact the the information into narratives that are usually filled with cascading fragment sentences.

I've also been very busy with my children. My elder son just finished his 2nd year at Pratt Institute, where he is studing to be an industrial designer. My younger son is graduating high school, and he is into technical theater. He just finished a show (Les' Miserables). The show was unbelievable, and the school was asked by the Borough President to do 2 additional performances at a local historical theater,  he was so impressed with the show that he gave the school $250,000.00 for new equipment. Queensborough College also hired him to do 3 shows their shows during the summer.

Anyway, it's great to hear from you. Stay well.

 

May 16, 2011 05:31 AM #83
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

That is amazing.

Need to talk on the phone again soon to avoid turning this section into FaceBook.Just booked Thursday for my Dental so if my phone keeps ringing it looks I need to refer out.

Keep busy ,stay focused my friend.

May 16, 2011 09:38 AM #84
Anonymous
Anonymous
Every day a new problem...

Every day has been a new problem.  We just closed on our new home last Monday 5/16/2011.  Our home inspection was done March 2011.  The first night in, I noticed the lights once in a while would flicker, then I was cleaning and wanted to vacuum, I plugged in the vacuum and it was like a prison movie... all the lights starting flickering, at the same time.  I knew it couldn't be one lose wire because it was simultaneous.  After contacting an electrician, he pulled the breaker box panel to find the main 100 amp breaker was burned into the box, you couldn't even switch it on or off.  Had to replace the entire box for quite a few hundred dollars immediately as this was a serious safety issue, how did that pass inspection?  Next, being the breaker box concerned me, I called another inspector in only to find out, where our original inspector stated a couple peices of rotted wood need to be replaced and to reseal the toilet, it is actually the entire subfloor under the bathroom that is rotted and molding.  We were told we have about 6 - 9 months before the bathroom is in the basement and we have to gut, frame and replace the entire bathroom.  I called the inspection company owner to voice my concern on these issues and he stated 1st. The inspector did pull the panel off of the breaker box and only some breakers needed to be replaced (Not sure how he can state that as he was not at the inspection).  He also stated that the fire in the breaker box must have occurred after the inspection which is hard to beleive that the house was vacant and the next time power was on was when we moved in. I replied my husband was with him the entire inspection and he did not pull the breaker box panel.  The owner of the company in turned call my husband a liar.  2nd.  He stated that the inspector stated that there was some rotted wood pertaining to the subfloor covers him from the bathroom falling to the basement.  I thought the inspector worked for me.  Wouldn't they state, hey your bathroom is not stable and needs immediate attention.  So after contacting the inspection company again, they stated they wanted to discuss with us but never called when they told me they would.  So yesterday, this is the cake topper, I got home to a red letter notice in the mail stating my homeowners insurance has been cancelled due to rotting shingles on my roof.  The inspection report states the roof is in good condition and would recommend cleaning some moss off from a nearby tree.  That was it.  Instead of calling the inspection company to complain once again, I called my lawyer.  Do you think we will see some kind of justice?  This is just unbelievable.

May 25, 2011 03:13 PM #85
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

WOW

That certainly sounds like a nightmare for you.

I take between 200-300 pictures at most homes and include shots of the Electrical panel cover off to show all the wiring.

Certainly it would be difficult to miss something so obvious though Inspectors do not make a habit of flipping the breakers and chancing shutting off a computer for instance but an obvious issue should definatly be observed and reported.

All Inspectors report on structure that is visible at time of the inspection though this inspection sounds terrible the way you are describing it.

There are good and bad in every profession and I hope this shows those looking for an inspector that they need to not just hire anybody.

Reviews on inspectors and backgrounds are pretty easy to find on the web now in days.Try and get a sample report before you hire and get referrals.

The bad ones never last and sometimes the best do not last either if they do not know how to market.

Bear in mind that if you go with a company the guy you talk to on the phone may not be the guy who shows up at the property.

May 25, 2011 03:29 PM #86
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi Bob,

It sounds like this person's dream house has turned into a nightmare! I agree with what you say about the chances of getting a bad inspection, but I'm a bit confused. Perhaps, if the breaker was overheating at the time of the inspection, if could be detected. If not, how else could one determine there was a problem with it. As far as the burning of the breaker, it doesn't say anything about the breaker popping. I wonder if it was a Federal box? I hate those things, and call them when I see them, but as you know, not all inspectors do.

Regarding the rotted wood, is there more to the story than is written? How could either inspector determine how much rot there was? Was something showing.

I wish I could see pics of the roof at the time of the inspection.

There are alot of very good inspectors out there, but we both know, there are some guys out there inspecting homes that shouldn't be. Some don't have the knowledge, some don't write concise reports... and then there are those that are beholding to the RE agents, and fear upsetting them.

And yes, there are also clients that don't read the reports or ask questions about what they don't understand in the report. Sometimes clients want to know if a house passes or fails. Personally, unless a home is dangerous, and/or beyond what a client can handle, I simply report the facts and ramifications, explain the report to a client, and let them decide.

Whenever I deliver a report, I include a note to the client informing them that after they have had the chance to go over the report, to contact me with any questions. Although I try to explain everything to the client in the report, I am sometimes amazed that I don't get more calls with questions.

OK, take care of the Windy City for me.

Your pal, Steve Turetsky

May 25, 2011 10:18 PM #87
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

I get calls from clients all the time because I like to keep up with how things turned out.

Just spent 30 min on the phone tonight with a client from 6 weeks ago because he hired a Handyman to fix a few of the issues I found and felt overcharged ($350)for what basically amounted to finding a short in a wall switch and fixing a holding pin at the bottom of one of those vinyl double hung windows.

He broke that himself and I think I better start reminding people to slightly open the windows before swinging them out at top for cleaning.

I try not to refer contractors due to the liability issue as this very thread shows you gotta fill your reports with disclaimers just because of that however I do mention a few if I think they do good work for the money. Do not want anyone to ever think I take a kickback so ask them not to even mention my name when calling.

Getting o the other point you made great minds think alike because my first thought was Federal Pacific or Zinsco brand panel.

Thanks again for the assist as always Steve.

May 25, 2011 10:47 PM #88
Anonymous
Anonymous
Every day a new problem...

No pictures were taken during the inspection and my husband followed the inspector and wrote notes of what he stated were the problems, however, what he stated and what we are finding are two different things.  The roof, we noticed around the chiminey has lifting shingles that are black around the edges.  The home was vacant during inspection, however, it did have the power on at the time of inspection.  We were counting on the inspection to help us determine what we needed the seller to fix or negotiate us fixing.

May 31, 2011 11:20 AM #89
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi Everyday,

I'm sorry to hear you are disappointed with your inspection and report. Not having seen the report it is difficult for me to comment specifically. Generally speaking, there are quite a few inspectors that do not include photos in their reports (especially those that deliver the reports on site), and then there are those, such as myself that include quite a few. Although I try to cut down on the number of photos in my reports, depending upon the conditions noted, there are always at least 50-100... sometimes more. I find that the pictures help the client understand what I am trying to explain.

There are a number of reasons some inspectors do not use photos. Sometimes it is because of the additional time it takes to edit the pictures, some because they cannot print them on site, and some because they are worried about the liability that may arise if something shows up in a photo, that they missed and should have included. This is the same reason you cannot take photographs in operating rooms (of procedures).

As far as your roof goes, well, once again without having seen it, I find it difficult to comment.

How did you select your home inspector? Was he recommended by the real estate agent? If so, that may explain some of the disappointments. Remember, people recommend people that they are happy with. Real estate agents don't like Home Inspectors that bring thins to light that may cause a problem with their deals. The expression they use is "Dealkiller". Personally, the only time I get a recommendation from a real estate agent is when  the client (buyer) is one of their family members.

I have family members that are agents, thank G-D they are in a different state.

Why not try speaking to the inspector, perhaps everything you seek is in the report, but you need to have it explained to you a little better.

Perhaps, if it is not too late, you should try to get the home reinspected. I know it may seem unfair, having to pay twice. But, look at it this way, a good home inspection (assuming that the first did not provide you with the proper information), will end up saving you alot of money and aggravation in the long run.

Any time you are selecting a home inspector, ask to see some previous reports. Any home... even a newly constructed one will have pleanty of faults. Some may me minor, but they should still be in the report. If a report looks like it's just nothing more than fluff...  that is all it probably is.

By the way, I totally agree with you expecting the report to provide information outlining what the seller has to correct, and/or to assist you in negeotiating the sale. 

Good luck.

Steven Turetsky

New York State Home and Building Inspector,

Moisture Analyst, EIFS Inspector.

May 31, 2011 03:24 PM #90
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Thanks Steve.

It is always important to find a Inspector you are comfortable with.

Trying to get the cheapest guy does not pay as the comments prove.Gee I saved $50 using a cheap guy gets you what you paid for.

One of the reasons modern construction is so shoddy is because the cheapest bid gets the contract meaning cheaper materials,labor,and poor design is included to bring down the cost.

You save money on an Inspector and you get checklist reports,no pictures,generic comments and a guy in a hurry to make the next inspection.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR>Little or nothing but you saved $50.

Why even get one and save it all if not caring who does it.Inspectors and reports are as different as the properties folks.

May 31, 2011 03:50 PM #91
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi Bob,

It's too bad there really isn't any way, other than folks reading prior sample reports, to determine what an inspector is like. The problem is, most folks that are buying homes have little to no construction experience, so in many cases they don't even know what they are reading. Perhaps the best way is by recommendations from friends or family, even that does not work, because most folks don't appreciate what they could have known ahead of time.

As far as rates go, I think I am somewhere in the middle, towards the higher end. But I assure you, I can't think of even one time that I have not saved my clients exponentially whatever the fee for the inspection was.

One good way of avoiding a sugar coated inspection is to ask the Realtor who they recommend... and don't use them. HA!

May 31, 2011 07:05 PM #92
Anonymous
Anonymous
Angel

I recently discovered that I had termites.  I called and had the house treated.  On the day that the exterminator came he said to me that my house was treated before for termintes and showed me the evidence.  On the day that he treated my house I was living in it for less than five years.  He asked to see my home inspection report.  I showed it to him and he pointed out that the inspector wrote no sign of termites.  I tried to contact the home inspector and he refuses to talk to me.  I report this to the attorney general and they closed the case because for no other reasons than the inspector asked them to and states that the statute of limitation is one year.  They also wrote in their report to the attorney general that I was trying to bully them into paying for my treatment.  There were other negatives remarks about me that are unfounded.  I left a message for the attorney general to please reopen the case and consider the facts.  Can I sue the inspected for falsifying the contract?

June 25, 2011 11:13 AM #93
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi Angel,

Too bad about the termites.

I'm not the regular guy that usually responds on this blog, although I do jump in on occasion.

Anyway, about your question "if you can sue the home inspector for falsifying the contract?"  That is a legal question. Don't you think you should speak to your attorney about that?

By the way, what did he falsify?

Steven Turetsky, Comprehensive Home & Building Inspections

 

June 25, 2011 04:41 PM #94
Anonymous
Anonymous
Angel

On the contract the home inspector checked off no visible signs of treatment re wood destroying insects.  That was false.  There were visible signs of treatment re wood destroying insects.  The exterminator showed me at least 25 cemented over holes that the other exterminator made when he treated the house.  It was impossible for the HI to not see any of them.  

June 26, 2011 02:08 PM #95
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

OK, so then maybe he was wrong. But is there a difference between wrong and false? Like I said, perhaps you should speak to your attorney. He is the only one that can advise you on whether or not you can sue the inspector.

June 26, 2011 02:46 PM #96
Anonymous
Anonymous
Zee

Less than two years ago, I purchased a foreclosed home. I had an inspector come out, and paid him for the report before buying the house. I wanted a house with a good furnace and good roof.

He said he did a 'visual check' on the roof, without getting up on it and siad it was fine for another 10 years or so.

I now have three places where, if it rains hard, water will come in. I have three ceiling areas damaged, and have tried patching the roof, and nothing has worked. Now I find the roof was never done correctly in the first place, and if I'd known this, I'd have not purchased the house. A $10,000 roof is now needed. I'm in quite a stew over this, and the other day when I was pulling stuff out of my home office, where the worst leak is, found his 'inspection report'. I'm seriously considering seeking legal action.

 

Thoughts?

 

June 26, 2011 04:38 PM #97
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi there Zee,

I'm not quite sure where Bob Elliot is, he usually responds to this thread, perhaps he is on vacation or very busy inspecting. I hope he does not mind me jumping in.

Anyway...

Wow! A $10,000.00 unexpected expense can really hurt, regardless of who is at fault. I feel for you. As far as my thoughts, well it's difficult for me to judge what another inspector saw or didn't see, or why he did not get up on top, and walk the roof. Personally, I walk every roof I can safely get on. The key word is safety, and nobody would expect anybody to get on a roof that is not safe. Different folks have different levels of comfort. I already fell 2-1/2 stories, and almost fell 2 more times.

On the same account, I know of a number of inspectors that carry no more than a 17 foot collapsible ladder (which will not  get you onto most roofs), so in my opinion, they have decided long before they got there, that they weren't getting on the roof. I carry a 28 foot ladder to every inspection, and try to  find out ahead of time what it takes to get on top. I feel that my ladder is reasonable, and if it takes more, I will usually offer the client the option of paying the cost of getting whatever equipment it takes. If I can't get on top, I look from the edge of the roof, from on top of the ladder. In rare cases, I use binoculars from the ground.

How old is (was) the existing roof? I am curious as to what was done "wrong" that caused the roofs premature failure.

Steven Turetsky - New York  

June 26, 2011 06:32 PM #98
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

By the way, Zee,

Have you got any pictures of the roof and/or house... before and/or after? It would be great to see the subject of this failure.

 

Steve

June 26, 2011 06:41 PM #99
Anonymous
Anonymous
Jason

I am in the process of selling our home and the prospective buyers had an inspection performed.  Our house is about 50 years old but we have spent 5 years completely renovating it.

The inspection report was insane in my opinion.  It had 39 line items of nothing but BS in my opinions.

For example, one line item reads:

Painting on backdoor trim does not match...requires re-painted.

Since when does an inspector provide interior design advice?  My take on this inspection was that there was nothing wrong so he had to find things that were wrong.  The buyers are foreign and are first time home buyers and they really don't understand this.  They see 39 line items and are terrified.

Another issue is the inspection reported that 3 outlets were dead.  The inspector failed to realize that in all 3 cases there was a corresponding wall switch that controlled them.

In the event this rediculous report causes our home sale to fall through could I sue them for something?  I really just want to make this guy feel like and idiot...I'm so pissed off at him.  

During the inspection he tracked cullulose from the attic all over the carpet.  He tracked mud and leaves from the outdoors inside.  He left his lunch garbage in our kitchen.  I mean really?

 

 

August 21, 2011 12:34 PM #100
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Sounds like a buffoon.Make sure you let your feelings be known with the Agent if they referred the guy and also leave a review.

However Are you sure it was his lunch and not one of the Agents? Normaly they are the ones with nothing to do during the process . LOL

Having a punchlist of small maintenance items is not a bad thing if put in the proper catagories however  commenting on style and decoration is a no no.

I myself have many foreign clients and use lots of pictures so when these particular clients ask why is there a picture of backdoor trim and are told it is because of color they may feel the same as you.

After all they are foreign which does not mean stupid.

Here is an excerpt from my reports....."Defects in walls and decoration should be noted by client".

Maybe this is a good lesson as to why you should not price shop Inspectors since the bottom feeders are often the inexperianced  and non professional.

The guy certainly can not have been doing this very long nor will stay in business much longer if what you wrote is true.

 

August 21, 2011 01:10 PM #101
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi there Jason,

Sounds like you're having a bad day!

Too bad about the report, and before I respond, I would like to say that because I realize there are 3 sides to every story, because the other party is not here to respond, and because I also am a Home Inspector; my response may be tempered.

First, there is no such thing as a perfect house.

In regard to the other items you mention; I do agree that matching paint (by itself) has no place in a home inspection report... unless it is an indication of a repair (or possible repair), in which case I would include it.

Were you present during the inspection? I get the feeling you were not, so I can't fault the inspector for not knowing about switched outlets. Although I look for switches when I come across dead outlets; it is possible to miss. Remember, you know your house, whereas the inspector is there for the first time.

Tracking cellulose through the house should not have happened. But it is possible. Crawling around an attic is not fun, and sometimes things stick. He should have picked up as much as possible; by hand if necessary, and you should be understanding about the rest. Personally, I do not carry a vacuum but am as careful as can be. How much did he really track?

The lunch part is odd. I don't stop for lunch mid inspection... and I do all-day inspections. But if I did stop for luch, it would be in my truck. Not in someons's home. I pick up all my trash and try to leave the home as if I were never there. There is no good excuse for leaving his garbage at your home.

You should use his report to your advantage. If you contact the buyer's agent (or the buyer if no agent). get them down there and show them the things you dispute. Especially if English is not their primary language, they may not understand everything they are reading and may be frightened by the amount of red ink. In the meanwhile, go over and correct everything that should be corrected. Even paint the door trim and show the buyers how everything has been corrected, and/or is miniscule, or simply is a non issue. If these buyers do not come back, and you have corrected everything mentioned in this report, then none of these should appear the next time the home is inspected.

By the way... next time, either be there to explain anything necessary. If it were my home, I would be there. Many times I come across certain things... something as simple as a blown light bulb. If the homeowner is there, they can change the bulb. If they are not there, I have to report that the light is not functioning. If a hose bib does not work, they can turn on some valve that I don't know about... and would not turn on even if I did. If they are not there, I have to report hose bib not functional.

Good luck selling your home.

Respectfully,

Steve Turetsky

August 21, 2011 01:46 PM #102
Anonymous
Anonymous
james fetz

i bought my home on the grounds the home inspector said it passed the insprction. now a electrician told me all my wiring is not up to code and even had a 220 main in the breaker box with a 110 wiring, they almost shut off my power because it was a fire hazard. over 2500.00 in repairs. should the home inspector be held responsible for the mistake on his part?

September 11, 2011 07:17 PM #103
Anonymous
Anonymous
Stephanie Confused

We sold a home about a month ago.  Two weeks after we closed there was a hurricane and the roof leaked.  The buyers are consulting legal action because of the roof.  We had the roof reparied one year before and it had not leaked since.  The home is a 3 story high original slate roof.  The roofer noted cracked and or missing slates, common wear, obvious repair.  Regular maintenance necessary.  Originally the buyer told the realtor that the damage happened during the hurricane.  They then changed their story and said it was before the hurricane.  In the meantime they have hired a roofer and are having the entire roof redone for $30,000.  They have written us a letter explaining that they are going to seek legal action against us.  If the seller does not have a seperate roof inspection and the inspector saw no signs of a leaky roof (there were no water stains in the house b/c the roof did not leak for us after we had it fixed!) can we be held responsible?  We are in PA and I noticed in GA that once the deal is done the seller is not liable.  In addition, they would not consider fixing the roof, but insisted on replacing it.  We had no say or input into their decisions and yet it seems they are going to ask us to pay for it.  Should I be worried?

September 13, 2011 08:51 PM #104
Anonymous
Anonymous
Stephanie Confused

I mean the inspector noted those things about the roof....

September 13, 2011 08:52 PM #105
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

James,

I am a bit confused your description. First off, as far as not up to code: is he referring to the present code or the code required when the house was originally built? Bear in mind that when a house is built it is required to be built to the code as required at that time: updates are REQUIRED during certain renovations. A home built 50 years ago is not expected to be compliant to current code. Having said that, I would like to add that regardless of the "code requirement," there are things that most Home Inspectors will recommend regardless of the code requirement... such as GFI's. Also, although some Home Inspectors do cite code, a home inspection is not a code inspection (unless you specifically order a code compliance inspection), which is usually done during construction. When you say that there is a 220 breaker with 110 wiring, do you mean that there is a single 110 (120 actually) hot leg feeding both sides of a 220 (240 actually) breaker? Older homes with 120 service are fed by 2 service conductors (1 hot and 1 neutral), a 240 service is fed by 3 wires (2 hots and 1 neutral). Or do you mean that the outlets are not grounded?

If the 240 breaker is fed on both sides by a single hot feed, or if the outlets are not grounded; in my opinion it should have been included in the inspection. I cannot formulate additional opinions without having read the actual report, and seeing exactly what the electrician is claiming.

 

September 13, 2011 09:50 PM #106
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Stephanie,

What you are asking is a legal question. Just as the buyer is consulting legal advice; so should you.  In my opinion; if their own inspector noted the deficiencies prior to the purchase, and they bought it... they bought it. Unless you guaranteed the roof, did you?

As far as being worried... I prefer the word concerned. Yes, I would be concerned; not necesarily because you may be responsile for the renovation, but because sometimes it can be expensive to defend oneself; even if you "win."

As I said, speak to your attorney. You also may want to speak to your insurance broker to see if you are covered in the event of a lawsuit. Anybody can sue anybody.

September 13, 2011 09:53 PM #107
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Thanks as always Steve.

Been having a very busy period for inspections lately.

Will catch up later on as it may be slowing down this weekend.

Booked for the Vegas Inspection News Convention October2nd -5th and hope you concider it buddy.

September 14, 2011 11:36 PM #108
Anonymous
Anonymous
Matt Fletcher

The correct answer is, you can sue whom ever you want. 

 

September 28, 2011 05:54 PM #109
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi Matt,

Unfortualtely you are correct. If you noticed, the very last words in my post above state... "anybody can sue anybody."

In today's world it seems like sueing somone is just another way to win the lottery.

September 28, 2011 06:19 PM #110
Anonymous
Anonymous
oscar

hi, im looking for some advice, me and my girlfriend just bought our first home. it started raining last week, and we noticed the bathroom ceiling starting to leak. the inspector that inspected our house said our atic and roof were fine. he even added pictures of the attic in the inspection report. he stated that there was nothing wrong with the attic or roof besides a couple of broken tiles on the roof. so after we noticed the leak, i went into the attic to check how bad the leak was, and to my surprise, i found probably around 8 buckets, some had water and some didnt. also there were a couple places that i could see out of the roof, nothing but blue sky. and also noticed alot of the wood on the inside of the roof had water damage. im just curious of what steps can i take to have it fixed. of course i dont want to sue anyone...but if we would of known this from the begining we would of probably not have baught the houes, or had it repaired before purchase. what can be done about this? thank you. by the way this is in central california.

 

thank you

oscar

 

October 10, 2011 06:58 PM #111
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Oscar did you have a Licensed Roofer fix the tiles as I am sure the Inspector recommended?

After the roofer examines the roof and makes repairs he takes over liability if there is any.

 

I am back from Vegas and the big Inspection convention Steve.

We had over 400 in attendance and a great time.

October 10, 2011 08:32 PM #112
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hey Bob,

Sounds like you had a great time. Did you get to put any faces on some of the folks you run across on line? Did you learn anything new, or see any new "gotta have" equipment?

Oscar,

Call your inspector, tell him what you found and see what he has to say.

October 10, 2011 09:01 PM #113
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

OH yes 

Had one heck of a time.

Check the NACHI members only forum for my airport story.:)

Had a Nice talk with Nick,Dale Duffy,Dominic and others.

October 10, 2011 09:29 PM #114
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Interesting email sent out by Joe Ferry the internachi Lawyer .

Good Article.

 

“I am not trying to be sarcastic, but some people think the inspector has X-ray vision and will find everything that has been wrong with the house in the past, is currently wrong with it and will be in the future. This is not at all accurate.  A home inspection is a limited, noninvasive, visual inspection. These are important words, as the inspector is not looking at everything in the house, but at things which are within the Standards of Practice.

Read more: http://www.hanfordsentinel.com/news/opinion/columnists/article_d623cf9e-f371-11e0-911c-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1aWPR4oW0

October 11, 2011 11:16 PM #115
Anonymous
Anonymous
Jenzen

After finding the subflooring issue in my house wasn't due to the maintenance of pipes I thought might be leaking, but instead the lack of crawl space ventilation- I have been following some of the good advice in this blog.  I contacted the home inspector to discuss the issue, he has yet to appear and take a look- 5 months down the road now.  I haven't fixed the problem, leaving me without a bathroom and shower.  I checked his inspection report, he did look into the crawl space and took a picture- said everything looked good.  When consulting another house inspector- the crawl space isn't vented, the joists do not meet code spacing requirements, there was an improper joist spanner, there are two broken joists, and dry rot in the foundation walls.  There is also visible issues with the roof trusses- apparently easily seen from the ground level, should have been noted.  The loan for the purchase of this house was dependent on a favorable home inspection...at what point do I need to stop being nice and pursue a different avenue with this inspector...OR am I totally in the wrong to think I have a claim? 

October 14, 2011 05:25 PM #116
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

After finding the subflooring issue in my house wasn't due to the maintenance of pipes I thought might be leaking, but instead the lack of crawl space ventilation-

I am guessing you mean condensation issues causing moisture.If this is the case then you should also worry about possible mold and need to make sure there is not any.

I have no idea if the crawl is dirt or has a moisture barrier.

If it is just dirt then it should be ventilated to get rid of ground moisture however if there is concrete or a plastic sheet for instance you can also turn it into a conditioned space becoming in essence part of the living space.

With no pictures these things are hard to determine.


 I contacted the home inspector to discuss the issue, he has yet to appear and take a look-

That is bad business.Sorry to hear that.


 I haven't fixed the problem, leaving me without a bathroom and shower

What does this have to do with ventilation(sorry you lost me).


the joists do not meet code spacing requirements

Inspectors do not site local code issues so you may wonder why the city or town code inspector let it go.


there are two broken joists

Yes it should have been  caught however so areas may be hard to see depending on what was down there and access.

The good news is floor joists are often a cheap fix.


There is also visible issues with the roof trusses- apparently easily seen from the ground level, should have been noted.

Not there to see it myself however that may be from homeowner alterations often times.

To finish you can sue anybody for anything but remeber that it often costs time and money to sue someone so make sure it is worth the effort.

I hope this thread is begging to show people not to take Inspectior choice lightly.


Here are some good URL links to find out more about crawlspaces.

Crawl Spaces

 

Crawl Space Ventilation ... 

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/techline/crawl_space_ventilation.pdf 

Crawl Space Moisture Control ... 

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/pdf1994/rose94a.pdf 

Conditioned Crawl Spaces ... 

http://www.buildingscience.com/resources/foundations/conditioned_crawl.pdf 

General Crawl Space Issues ... 

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/10343.shtml 

Crawl Space Moisture Problems ... 

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/10197.shtml 

Inspecting Crawl Spaces ... 

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/10433.shtml 



October 16, 2011 11:43 PM #117
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Good morning Bob, How is everything?

Jenzen,

There is quite a bit that could be going on in your crawlspace, so without knowing more, I am not going to attempt to tell you how to remedy it. If as you stated, the problem is ventilation, then as Bob  recommended above; ventilate the area.

You did mention that the loan was contingent upon the home inspection. Who recommended this Home Inspector?

Without knowing the answer to this, I will withold any further comment.

 

October 17, 2011 05:34 AM #118
Anonymous
Anonymous
Patricia

Should I sue or go after my home inspector?

On Oct 4 2010 I put an offer on a house in the Phoenix Metro area.  On Oct 5th there was a massize hail storm.  On Oct 6th my offer was accepted and on Oct 25 2010 my home was inspected by a licensed inspector.  It was a clear day and the roof was easily accessible and inspected.

The inspector noted some wear on the roof but made no mention of hail damage.  I moved in on Dec 3 2010 and spent the next 3 months not able to sleep in past 6 am with all of the hammering and pounding of roofers replacing every roof in my neighborhood.  I had mine estimated and it came in at over $12,000 to replace.  My home owners insurance has just dropped me because they are afraid of the risk of insuring my house with the hail damaged roof, and I have an FHA mortgage.  I just paid a down payment, closing costs and moving expenses.  The cost to replace the roof is a big hit.  The inspector said, even in writing on his web site that roof damage does not mean the roof needs to be replaced, just that repair or attention might be needed.  No one will insure us until we REPLACE the roof.

What do you think?  Is this a claim worthy error on his part?  I feel I really got shafted here as I would not have paid full asking (my offer made the day before the storm) if I had known I would need a $12,000 roof replacement within less than a year, not to mention all of the drama of having my insurance company drop me. 

October 17, 2011 09:10 PM #119
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Pat do you have his pictures from the report?

If it was so bad that everyone in the area needed new roofs he may not have a leg to stand on.

Something so bad that it needed entire replacement sure seems like a big miss.

For future reference pictures help alot as they show what was seen the day of the inspection.I take between 200-300 shots plus video at all mine.

If this guy took pictures please show us here so we can find out what he was looking at.I know we all make errors but some of these stories have me shaking my head.

Please people when looking for a Home Inspector make sure they are Licensed if in a Licensed state and that they also belong to an association such as InterNachi,ASHI or Creia that shows they are continuing education and showing interest in their profession.

I myself just spent 5 days in Vegas taking Continuing Education classes,belong to InterNachi,State Licensed,attend local Nachi Chicago meetings every month and of course partisipate on forums such as this one even though I am usually busy inspecting or doing reports.

Please ask guys how long they have been inspecting  or ask for referrals,testimonial pages,and find out what they actually inspect.

Remember a contract can say anything but use due dilligence and surf the web for comments on Inspectors services,check the sites they have and see if they know what they are doing.

Ask your Agent for a referral if you do not feel you can do this on your own though that is the best way to have a disinterested third party.

A good Home Inspector will take at least 2 1/2 hrs on a home but 3 is closer to average.The Inspector should be happy to walk you through every detail of what he is doing and if not then keep looking.

Many of us get into this because we love the job and love teaching.

October 17, 2011 09:46 PM #120
Anonymous
Anonymous
Patricia

Thanks for the response Bob, he is licensed, and a member of a couple professional organizations.  Our realtor reccommended him and he spent about 4.5 hours.  No mention of hail damage, which is a bit different from signs of age and SOME in poor condition, all things which are a repair as opposed to beaten to within an inch of its life by hail.

 

Here is the exact text of the inspection:

- Multiple sections of the roof show signs of age and some of these are in poor condition
- Roof sheathing and fascia is damaged proximate to the east chimney
- Moisture stain on the master bedroom ceiling proximate to the fireplace
- Moisture stain of the east garage ceiling
- Tree debris limits our inspection at the SW (recommend review and inspect)
Further evaluation of the roofing and flashing by a roofing contractor during your inspection period is
recommended.

<img src="http://s1203.photobucket.com/albums/bb392/patriciainaz/">

I hope I remember how to post a photo, if not it is at the link

October 17, 2011 10:11 PM #121
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Further evaluation of the roofing and flashing by a roofing contractor during your inspection period is
recommended.


Pat, the above words puts it in your court to do as recommended.

He mentions poor condition and damage and has placed a recommendation to have it further looked at.

The picture link only gives me a very tiny image but his comments are enough to deferr any liability away from himself in my opinion.

Remember I am not a Lawyer or Judge however I see no wrong doing on the Inspectors part here since the ball was put back in your court to investigate the system further.

As example I might notice a foundation issue using visual clues  and recommend you have a Strucural Engineern investigate.

Once I have stated facts based on my opinion and reasons for it then I may give you guidence to either make repairs or have it looked at by an expert.

A better example might be my observation of a heaved sidewalk at front that is in line with a tree and your main drain line combined with visual clues of back up.

My comment would include the above clues plus a recommendation to have the drain video scanned by a Licensed Plumber.

In my case I would include photos.(not included in reports by some or required by any SOP)

At that point I would not expect anyone to come back after me for a a bill that includes paying for replacement of a drain line full of tree roots.

Sorry for your roof issues however I find nothing wrong in how your particular Inspector handled it.

All we need to do is find part of a issue in a system and suggest further investigation.

Yes this is deferral but very few men are total experts in every field nor is there enough time in a 3 or 4 hour window to find the exact cause in every defect.

On my www.chicagolandhomeinspector.com site I actually list exactlly what I look at and part of that means random sampling due to the vast number of items that must be commented on.

Being an Inspector means playing Detective in one sense and looking for things that are out of place then trying to guess if further investigation is warranted.

Cracked caulking is an easy recommendation to recaulk while something such as structural issues goes beyond a typical easy fix comment and must therefore become referral or deferral.

If a referral is made then it is up to you after that to follow through.

I hope this helps in some way.


October 17, 2011 11:31 PM #122
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Steve thanks again and everything is great.

My Brother is taking me to a concert tommrrow for my Birthday.

The Group is one you most likely have never heard of named Trent Moeller.They have many good videos on You Tube and I discovered them through my Pandora station.

October 17, 2011 11:35 PM #123
Anonymous
Anonymous
fred flaherty

Steve,

    Hi, I am in the Navy and just moved to Florida from Japan.  Prior to moving into my new house I had it inspected by a lic'd inspector.  The house came with a generator and the inspector that everything was fine with it.  About a month after I moved in, the transformer for the city power blew up in the front of my house.  While the city workers were fixing the the issue, I was talking with them about stuff and I brought up my generator, which I had not used this time the power was out.  He asked if he could look at how I had the generator set up and so I was like sure.  When he looked at how things were wired, he stated that it was conected illegally.  Wired directing in with only the flipping of the main circuit breaker keeping me from killing one of the electrical workers if it is not flipped off during operation.  He said that has to be an automatic switch between my house and my meter to keep power from going both ways through the wiring.  Is my inspector libal for the installation of the automatic switch?

November 27, 2011 09:33 AM #124
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Fred,

Thank you for your service to our country, I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Without question there MUST be an automatic switch to prevent both sources from feeding simultaneously. If the generator was turned on... or more commonly, if the service restores while the generator is feeding power into the system; there could be catastrophic results. The system should be totally evaluated by a licensed electrician who is familiar with such systems.

I cannot blame you for being upset, but without seeing the report or inspection agreement, I don't have an opinion on whether the inspector is or should be liable... He might be. Have you discussed this with him?

 

 

 

 

November 27, 2011 10:29 AM #125
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Fred

I thank you for your service also and agree with Steve on what he said about your Inspection Agreement.

What standards is the Inspector going by when reporting conditions? and what did he have in the report?Here ,below is an excerpt from the interNachi SOP that staes the inspector is not responsible to report on generators.

Remember not all Inspectors are experts in all fields and  it would be difficult to expect anyone to know details of every  system in existance so please come back and let us know what was reported and the standards he went by.

Good advice would have been to get an Electrician to test the generator system as I myself would not be testing it and not sure if Steve would either though he can answer that one.

You also might wish to see if it is under warranty or if the Homeowner did it himself.

I. The inspector is not required to:

  1. insert any tool, probe or device into the main panelboard, sub-panels, distribution panelboards, or electrical fixtures.
  2. operate electrical systems that are shut down. 
  3. remove panelboard cabinet covers or dead fronts, if they are not readily accessible. 
  4. operate or re-set over-current protection devices or overload devices. 
  5. operate non-accessible smoke detectors. 
  6. measure or determine the amperage or voltage of the main service equipment, if not visibly labeled.
  7. inspect the fire and alarm system or components. 
  8. inspect the ancillary wiring or remote control devices. 
  9. activate any electrical systems or branch circuits that are not energized. 
  10. inspect low-voltage systems, electrical de-icing tapes, swimming pool wiring, or any time-controlled devices. 
  11. verify the service ground. 
  12. inspect private or emergency electrical supply sources, including, but not limited to: generators, windmills, photovoltaic solar collectors, or battery or electrical storage facility. 
  13. inspect spark or lightning arrestors.
  14. inspect or test de-icing equipment. 
  15. conduct voltage-drop calculations. 
  16. determine the accuracy of labeling.
  17. inspect exterior accent lighting. 
November 27, 2011 12:48 PM #126
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Hi Bob,

I agree that most (if not all) Home Inspector organizations and State License (if licensed) SOP's include that a home inspector is not required to report on generators, but if he did report on it, regardless of what it says in the SOP... and maybe even in his agreement, it might bite him. It all depends on what is written.

Bob, are you using the new HIPro? Do you have any samples of what you are able to do with it? If so, I'd love to see it.

November 27, 2011 01:09 PM #127
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Yep, that is why I agreed with you.Many Insurance companies may not even cover Inspectors that go beyond SOP.

The key from what I understand is to have a certain method or type of inspection then stick to it.

On my http://www.chicagolandhomeinspector.com/ site the systems and componants I examine are listed and on some of my Inspection Agreements I have a ryder that allows me to inspect building common elements at my discretion in order to benifit my client since they pay for all common area issues with their assesments.

With something like a aux generator I might take a look for the obvious and then defer to a Licensed /Certified Electrician.

Yes I am one of the first to use it as a Beta tester and like the new options though I have not incorporated them all as of yet.

The speed of editing pictures is 25% faster and you may recall I often take 200-300 shots so it is a blessing for me.We can hop on a chat in the near future though I may make a video soon.

If you purchase I will be glad to help out Steve.

November 27, 2011 01:41 PM #128
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Sounds good. I've been very busy the days, between work and work. I'm preparing an EIFS seminar for underwriters, and am conducting a seminar. Perhaps I'll see you in Atlantic City.

Peace,

November 27, 2011 04:55 PM #129
Anonymous
Anonymous
carrie

HI!  I stumbled upon this thread and wanted to see if you have any insight or experience on how to deal with my situation (please forgive me if this was already addressed, but i did not have time to read all of the above comments).

 

We bought our house in late 2004 and had a home inspector come out (one that our real estate agent had recommended).  Over the years, there has been plenty wrong that has made us question, " did the inspector even look at this house?" but it was nothing very major until recently.

 

About two months ago I was looking into changing my homeowner's insurance, so I was asked to hire a 4 pt inspector, which I did.  Imagine my surprise when the 4 pt inspector told me that my house contained a latent fire hazard, a federal pacific stab loc box, which needed to be replaced immediately.  Imagine also the shock I felt when I was told how much it would cost and that the homeowner's insurance would not cover me until this was remedied.

 

The 4pt inspector went on to assure me that this is something that should have at least been mentioned on the original inspection report.  Sure enough (and I would have obviously remembered something like this as we would have had the seller fix it before closing, but I wanted to make sure nonetheless) there was not a word of it in my orginal report.

 

Now I am trying to go after the inspection company, but they are draggign their feet.  I am in the process of hiring an attorney but wanted to know if this is something that would be covered by the company's insurance, and, if so, why are they so reluctant to remedy the situation?

December 14, 2011 04:51 PM #130
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Carrie ,you just caught my going out the door however I do have a responce.

The Insurance company,FHA,local code inspectors all have different requirements and FPE stabloc panels are known to have issues at a rate that is higher than normal however there are some who also feel this is due to their age as they have not been in business (original company) in a very long time and of course that can also be an indication of age.

FPE was never officially recalled by the government and part of the reason is they went out of business before it could be much like some developers that stuck unsuspecting buyers with lemons in the housing industry.

I do know that the Insurance company might tell you to do things which may not be required as reportable during a regular inspection that being said it would be hard to recover anything from the original Inspector since simply being an FPE is not in and of itself enough to state it "must " be removed.

This is what I include in my reports.....Zinsco and Federal Pacific brand are known to have issues that I

recommend a Licensed Electrician examine and evaluate .

Please see this URL for my source of information.....

http://www.inspect-ny.com/electric/Zinsco.htm

Personally I feel he should have at least recommended you have it checked out by a professional licensed Electrician however due to the fact they are not concidered dangerous by regulating bodies he has a loop hole to say nothing .

Hope this makes sense and yes it sucks.

Too late but try and do a little research before you hire anyone, including a Home Inspector.

 

December 14, 2011 10:09 PM #131
Anonymous
Anonymous
VS

Not sure if anyone still monitors this, but I have a question on the general process of getting the inspector to pay for an issue using his E&O insurance.... We really liked the inspector, so we hate to do this, but this is definitely something that he should have caught and listed on the report... We just closed on our house 3 days ago and got the water turned on today. We realized the toilet in the downstairs bathroom is leaking and the wood floor is warped. After going into the crawlspace we see THIS! This is the main center beam and the joist above it is completely rotted through. His report specifically states that the beams/sills/joists are satisfactory and he told us that everything in the crawlspace looks great and structurally sound. Should we go ahead and get our estimate and then submit that to him to provide to his insurance or should we first let him know about this issue, so he can come look at it and then report to his insurance? In your experience, have you seen instances where the insurance covers a claim without having to first sue the inspector? Really do not want to drag him to the courts. I feel like we have a very strong case and wonder if the insurance would see that and cover without litigation.

 

January 27, 2012 01:37 AM #132
Rainer
63,982
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Home, Building, EIFS Inspector

Good morning,

Although in this case it may not effect the outcome, it think it would be appreciated if you were to discuss the situation with your inspector first. A heads up is always appreciated, especially since it seems that you have a decent relationship with him.

January 27, 2012 07:28 AM #133
Anonymous
Anonymous
Will

Hello,

I am sorry to be posting this, if this issue has been addressed above, however, I am running into kind of a big problem. I was a first time home buyer, my wife and I bought our house last year in Oklahoma. We had an inspector come through the house before closing and he made some specific notations, mainly that there were some cracks in the brick that would need to be re-mortered.

There was also a document that showed that 6 pillars had been installed dating back to 2001. However, besides re-mortering the cracks outside of the house, the inspector did no further inspection as to the home's foundation, and didn't recommend that we hire a foundation company to come check it out. Being first time home buyers, I wouldn't say we were not ignorant, but more naive, and thought that based upon the inspector's comments, and the fact that pillars had already been replaced, re-mortering the cracks would be sufficient to repair the damage.

However, after moving in, we found a file with a couple of estimates from 2006 from a foundation repair company, saying that severe foundation repairs were needed, and about 10 pillers would need to be replaced (this is in addition to the 6 that were replaced circa 2001).

My question is, how did the inspector miss such a huge problem, and what if any recourse do you think we have? Wouldn't this be something huge an inspector should catch? Or is it our responsibility to look further into the problem, even though the inspector didn't advise us to. Our biggest problem is we have to have these pillars put in soon, and not only do we not have the 10K+ that is is going to cost us, but the foundation repair company said we should really get the job done before the summer. I know typically an inspector has the right to come see the property before doing the repairs, and to hire their own company to do the work, but we are really caught between a rock and a hard place. We don't even know if this house could be sold in its current condition.

Any advice, help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Will

March 26, 2012 08:42 AM #134
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hey Will

Never be sorry for posting unless the intent is to harm others.

As always not being there and seeing for myself it is not possible to determine what the Inspector should or should not have seen.

The fact he recommended a foundation contractor tells me reported some issue and perhaps the foundation contractor was able to access something that the Inspector could not during a non-invasive home inspection.

Many times ,at least in the Chicago area 100 year old homes with stone foundations get finished when they were never originally intened to be so.

I go in and find solid drywall over everything including the ceilings with no access to shutoffs,pipes,junction boxes,waste stack cleanouts for rodding are closed off in the walls and very little of the foundation can be seen.

To make matters worse the insulation is touching the foundation causing mold as the water wicks right in.

Will ,I have no idea what type of pillers you are referring to and it would be a good idea to call the H.I and ask him if he will look at the situation.

Going by what you said the previous owner knew extra pillars were needed and hid that fact from you so perhaps that is something you may wish to persue further.

Home Inspectors are not Engineers and do not usually calculate spans however do look for obvious issues involving Joists,beams,post s(columns),hangers ,alterations,etc.

As I mentioned we can only look at what is visible because a Inspection is non invasive despite what you see on TV with that Mike Holmes guy we do not tears holes in walls and make repairs after going (aha) why did'nt the last guy see this ?

Did your inspector determine a cause for the cracking as it is usually one of two things...water that froze  or stress.

March 26, 2012 09:15 AM #135
Anonymous
Anonymous
Christine
I live in south fl. I have citizens ins. They sent an inspector out to see if the credit I got for my roof was warented, a way to raise rates again! Hr came, now they have sent me a letter raising my rate some $1400.00, when we already pay $2270..00 a year we are retired, according to them we have a single wrap on beams in the roof, in them each side has 1 mail, we need 2 nails on one side, one on the other. He took a picture if one wrap with a camera with lens that has brought it up as close as they could, calling citizens the employee could not tell me if there were one or four nails there, could not be seen on the enlarged photo, how could they see it with the naked eye, I called for a re inspection, citizens turned me down, even when no one can really see how many nails are in these wraps. They want to increase home owners ins., so they go about it with this backdoo deal hoping no one can afford to reinspect or it's hard to prove. How can I deal with this? I can't afford almost $4000.00 in home owners a year, over 2000.00 was a strain on us, plus flood of almost $500.00. This is crazy what do I do? F lorida has gone crazy!
April 18, 2012 06:42 AM #136
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Dear Christine

This is absolutly terrible and I know these large Insurance firms can be heartless.

Just running out the door but let me get the opinion of a few of these Florida guys on here for you.

Going to post your question at the internachi association site of which I am a member where there are many who do wind mitigation for your state.

Personally I would try and call the inspector first ,but lets see what the guys have to say.

April 18, 2012 07:05 AM #137
Anonymous
Anonymous
Mike

I have a fireplace that was inspected prior to closing by a WETT certified inspector (WETT is Wood Energy Technology Transfer - which is required for inspections of wood burning appliances here).

It passed the inspection with some minor remarks about cleaning, clearance on the hearth, and some minor repair needed to an unused flue in the chimney. However, when it was being cleaned by the chimney sweep, the sweep told me the fireplace is unsafe because it was not properly installed, and that ANY WETT certified inspector should have caught it. He then showed me a manufacterers plate attached to it (easily accessible and viewable if you knew where to look) that stated the type of chimney that needed to be installed with the fireplace.

The sweep told me that the next fire in that fireplace could be the one that burns the house down.

Should the WETT inspector be liable for cost of repairs?

 

April 18, 2012 10:49 AM #138
Anonymous
Anonymous
Eric C Van De Ven

Christine,

Where in South Florida do you live? I serve Broward/ Palm Beach Counties.

The inspector should have been able to get a clear picture of the wrap.

As per the 1802 form:

Metal connectors consisting of a single strap that wraps over the top of the truss/rafter and is secured with a minimum of 2 nails on the front side and a minimum of 1 nail on the opposing side. That is a single wrap.

A clip is this:

Metal connectors that do not wrap over the top of the truss/rafter, or

Metal connectors with a minimum of 1 strap that wraps over the top of the truss/rafter and does not meet the nail position requirements of C or D, but is secured with a minimum of 3 nails.

Both must meet this:

Secured to truss/rafter with a minimum of three (3) nails, and

Attached to the wall top plate of the wall framing, or embedded in the bond beam, with less than a ½" gap from the blocking or truss/rafter and blocked no more than 1.5” of the truss/rafter, and free of visible severe corrosion.

I would call the inspector back and have him perform the inspection properly, or, contact your agent and tell them that you are going to get your own inspection and if his report is different and clearly shows that you have single wraps, you expect to be reimbursed for the inspection fee as well as any money paid for, as a result of the improper previous report.

Feel free to contact me if I am in your area. If not, the Florida section of Internachi has several quialified inspectors who would be willing to help you.

April 18, 2012 01:31 PM #139
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

the sweep told me the fireplace is unsafe because it was not properly installed, and that ANY WETT certified inspector should have caught it...Mike

Mike I am in Chicago and that is something you Canadians would know more about however after looking at this link..http://www.wettinc.ca/courses.html it sure seems like he should have caught something unsafe if it is in his SOP.

The Chimney sweep could be making a mistake but like all my advise starts out "you need to call the original Inspector" and ask him about it and see how he responds before going any further.

April 18, 2012 03:07 PM #140
Anonymous
Anonymous
Tom Hession

christine,

This is a common problem in Fl.  The reinspector should have the picture with only 1 nail otherwise they couldn't take your credit away. Ask the reinspector or citizens for a copy of the picture showing the nail. 

You could also hire a contractor to remove your soffits and insert the required nails into the wrap or clip to restore your credits. In most cases the ROI is less than 2 yrs. 

Hope this helps...

April 19, 2012 05:10 AM #141
Anonymous
Anonymous
sarah

My son and his wife bought a house less than a year ago.  The inspector passed everything on the house and the first season (winter) they used the furnace, they were poisoned by carbon monoxide.  The inspector stated that the dust in the furnace was "roof dust?"  I have never heard of this nor has anyone I have talked to, including businesses of home heating service, who stated it was burnt metal and condemmed the furnace on the spot at inspection.  The first inspectors wife represented the person selling the house that had been on the market for two years as well.  My son's daughter had two and a half times the amount of carbon in her body as is acceptable.  She was 14 months old at the time.  I am wondering if my son has a case to sue the inspector to pay or assist with payment for a new furnace.  My son would not have been able to buy the house had he known about the furnace.  It has been two months and they still cannot afford to buy a furnace.  Don't know what to do.

Sarah

May 05, 2012 01:08 PM #142
Anonymous
Anonymous
RAY KOPEC

HAVE A PROBLEM WITH AN INSPECTOR NJ. I'M THE SELLER & HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE PROBLEMS IN HIS OPION HE SAYS IS COSTING ME THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. THIS ONE IS JUST RIDICULOUS. COST ME OVER $300. THIS IS TAKEN STRAIGHT FROM THE REPORT. WOOD DESTROYING INSECTS:THERE WAS INFESTATION NOTED FOR CARPENTER ANTS THAT WILL NEED TO BE TREATED WITH A ONE YEAR WARRANTY. SO I SAID SHOW ME. ON THE GUTTER ABOVE THE GARAGE HE SHOWS ME 2 ANTS WHICH WERE REDISH & NOT BLACK. THEY WERE ABOUT 8 FT APART. DEFINITION OF INFESTATION To inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious. SO 2 ANTS 8 FT APART & I ASKED THE EXTERMINATOR THATTHE ANTS WERE REDISH BROWN & HE SAID FIELD ANTS. OH, HE DIDN'T FIND ANT INFESTATION. IT COST OVER $300 BECAUSE HE SAID SO & I'M THE SELLER RESPONSIBLE. NOW THE ROOF. THIS WILL COST ME 10KTHANKS TO THE INSPECTOR.FROM HIS REPORT: HE SAID

THE ROOF WAS PUT ON IN 95. 25 YR WARRANTY. THERE ARE NO WHATEVER HE WAS SAYING. IT WAS 10 AM YOU COULD SEE FOR MILES. CLEAR DAY. HE WAS ON THE ROOF. VISABILITY, IS THAT AN EXCUSE TO SAY THE ROOF IS NO GOOD. A ROOFER JUST SAID THE ROOF IS STILL GOOD FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER 5 YEARS.THE BUYER KNEW HOW OLD THE ROOF WAS. I TOLD THEM ALL. JUST BECAUSE IT'S NOT 20 YRS DOESN'T MEAN IT HAS TO BE REPLACED AND THAT IS WHAT THIS INSPECTOR DID FOR 2 HOURS. A BATHROOM LOCK DIDN'T WORK MUST BE REPLACED. IT OFF THE GARAGE. IT NOT ONE OF THE 2 MAIN ONES. WHY IS HE DISCUSSING A 10 DOLLAR DOOR LOCK. THE WOMEN SAT THERE ALL DAY WITH HIM. I DON'T KNOW WHAT SHE SAID TO HIM BUT SHE WANTS A NEW ROOF & HE GAVE IT TO HER & SHE WANTS A GAS FIREPLACE. NEW CHIMNEYS FOR HER GAS FIREPLACE. WHEN A ROOFER CAME TO GIVE AN ESTIMATE SHE WOULD TELL THEM HOW MUCH NEW ROOF,BOARDS ETC. I GAVE HER 25 K OFF THE LIST PRICE SO SHE CAN FIX THE ROOF IN 5 YEARS OR WHATEVER BUT THANKS TO THE REPORT. THERE'S MORE BUT TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK. I COULD SEE WITH NO PROBLEM. HOW COULD HE SAY THAT AT 10 AM CLEAR DAY.

THANKS

June 20, 2012 06:14 PM #143
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Ray

I think you had cap lock on but as far as Inspections go a seller has no obligation to fix anything and if the Inspector said you need a new roof for instance then all you need to do is have a Licensed roofer state everything is fine,he takes all liability at that point and you are off the hook .

Inspection reports unless from a AHJ meaning city/town code inspector are private for the person with whom the inspector contracted and is a service done as an dis-interested third party.

How the buyer and seller interact as a result is totally up to them.

Actually found a big infestation last month and thought I was looking at wood shavings as I stuck my hand into them only to find out later it is basically their poop (called frass).

I was invited back a couple days later to meet the exterminator as I wanted to be sure I was correct.

Remeber H.I's are generalists and when it comes to something with great expense potentially involved we would be stupid not to defer.

Below is a picture of one of the little guys I found and they were caught before any strucural damage could be found.

 carpenter ant

Below is a picture of the frass I found and glad I washed my hands as I always carry a bottle of sanitizer.

Carpenter ant frass

June 20, 2012 06:54 PM #144
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Sarah ,Sorry I missed this as I have had a busy season however that is terrible and as always can not be the Judge however I put in all my reports that there should be a maintenance inspection performed by an HVAC tech at least once a year and paper work to support that.

Roof dust sounds pretty odd to me also.

How could you say a year later they can not afford a new furnace as they must be heating the home and sad to say it but they may have gone over what they can afford in buying the home.

Certainly as I always state you can sue anybody for anything but you are a third party and it is impossible to decide who said or did what on a forum.

The rust could be signs of a bad exchanger,downdrafting,condensation,and many other issues while Carbon Monoxide can also be caused by something such as no makeup air due to a sealed closet with no ventilation.

June 20, 2012 07:07 PM #145
Anonymous
Anonymous
paige

We just purchased a home in Traverse City, MI using a USDA Rural Development Loan. The house needed to be inspected and all repairs had to be completed prior to having funding approved. We had a company inspect and the first time they came to inspect, they found a list of repairs that needed to be fixed. The seller agreed to fix the repairs, and when the repairs were completed the inspection company came back and approved all the repairs. The list of repairs included:

GFCI receptable in garage

GFCI kitchen receptacles

GFCI bathroom receptable

Covered knockouts in electrical panel

Corrected triple tapped breaker

Covered open junction box in attic

Covered bare wire in attic

Secured all new circuits

Repaired tub drain to ensure drainage


We closed on the house and took possession the same day. When I was cleaning out the bathtub I could feel water under the liner and could hear the water squishing around when you pressed on the floor of the bathtub. The next morning, not even 24hrs after closing. We took our first showers at the house. The bathtub started draining normally but after 3-5minutes of showering the bathtub drain started to back up. The water ended up slowly draining. Then when I attempted to take my shower, not even 3 minutes into the shower, the same thing occured with the water draining normally then completely stopped. We decided not to use the shower from that point forward. Maybe 15-20 minutes later, the water in the bathtub had then drained, the toilet started gurgling and a few bubbles burped up and water (clear) came up into the bathtub. The toilet was working up until that point. When the toilet was used, water would come up into the bathtub and seep out from under the toilet. All the other plumbing in the house was working fine, including the bathroom sink. But when we tried to brush our teeth the water running in the bathroom sink made the bathtub again fill up with water. We had a plumber come out and assess the problem, and he advised to snake the drain for clogs and advised that there may be roots in the pipes which he can scope for but has to schedule another appointment. And as for the bathtub liner having water underneath, there seems to be a broken pipe that cannot be accessed without removing the entire bathtub. The house was built on a slab and there is no crawl space making repairs difficult. We reached out to our USDA loan specialist for guidance but haven't heard back. We do not have the money for the repairs and feel that the home inspector is liable since they approved the repairs, especially since one of the loan requirements was to ensure proper drainage in the bathtub. Now all the plumbing is not working, we tried running the washing machine and it made the toilet overflow. We are unable to live at the house until the repairs are completed and it is one of the requirements for our loan that the home be our primary residence. I did get in contact with the home inspection and they feel they did an adequate re-inspection. The inspector said, "I would estimate the water ran a good 5-8 minutes or so while I was in the attic (reviewing the other repairs.) It was because of this I deemed the tub drain was working properly. I'm not sure how much more water is used during a typical shower, but felt the amount I introduced was adequate for testing. This is certainly as much as we normal use during our normal inspection process."


Any help would be appreciated! 

August 06, 2012 06:40 PM #146
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Paige

General Inspections point out issues observed at the time of inspection such as a plugged drain however a Plumber is a specialist who should examine plus make repairs .

Why are you not calling out the Plumber?

Did he not provide an invoice?

Home inspectors use normal operating controls such as your Inspector did when he ran the tub for 5-8 minutes which is a descent amount of time however the Plumber perhaps might investigate the main drain line by doing a video scan which is well beyond what a Inspector would do.

I often do final walkthroughs myself but do not supply a secondary report nor provide a warranty for a professionals work as that is their responsibility.

Make sense?

August 06, 2012 08:20 PM #147
Anonymous
Anonymous
concerned

hi 

im concerned about my home i bought it 2 years ago we hired a man with35 year experience and he said everything was fine in the wiring in the home we have noticed several problems the breaker box has like the bedroom 3 bathroom n hallway on one 15 amp then next has bedroom number 2 livingroom front porch light  the other has only one with kitchen bedroom1 n bathroom n back porch light when moved in when you plugged soemthing into the master bathroom socket it would make a popping noise we asked about it and they said it was nothing well now there is a burning smell in bedroom 2 and we had a electrician come the wires is burning and the only way to fix the problem is to rewire the doublewide which includes tearing through the walls n ceilings is there anything i can do to either get out of the loan or have the inspector pay for this because it was over looked during the inspection or what can be done i need advise asap!

October 14, 2012 12:03 AM #148
Anonymous
Anonymous
Joey
First time home buyer. I just bought a home short sale and just keep unwrapping more and more serious issues. I was told everything was to code and had passed inspection. If I had one little earth quake the whole house would fall to the ground or on us. My foundation is all jacked up. Cracks outside the house and inside as well. Not one good straight board under there. Goffer mounds all the way to the top of the house. Everything is on a lean. Half boards that don't fully go across the house and just boards screwed and stuff in wrong places that aren't doing a thing for support. My electrical is bad and shorting. My roof structure is a joke and held up by weak boards and improper settings from an addition they added on and had permits, passed inspection right!.. All in all can I do anything about this? I seriously wanna walk away from this house there's so much money to dump in it to make it safe and it makes me sick. I don't know what to do I'm stressed out that my friend/realtor would sell a house like this to me. Joey
November 30, 2012 12:19 PM #149
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Dear concerned as always details are important I can not see what is going on with yourwiring from here however bathrooms should be on a 20m amp circuit and if the conduters are rated at 14 gauge simply switching to a larger breaker would cause the wiring(conductors) to fry before they tripped the oversized breaker.

This means new wire needs to be pulled through the conduit or in your case new NM conductors I am guessing.You also may need to replace brach circuit wiring to have its own breakers which in some cases means replacing the panel.

Not sure what he saw however if the panel was not labeled he may have simply noted the 14 gauge was on a 15 amp breaker which is appropriate and not observed it was going to so many branches.

What were your estimates on the job and you mentioned double wide so is this a manufactured home ?

December 01, 2012 09:30 AM #150
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Joey if it is that bad how did you miss the issues on original walkthrough and did you have an inspection as I find it hard to believe an Inspector would miss all that ?

My suggestion would be to skip a general contractor and get a Structural Engineer to look at the place as he will let you know what can be done in a more cost effiecient manner without losing your shirt hopefully.

December 01, 2012 09:34 AM #151
Anonymous
Anonymous
mary

I just bought my first home 2 months ago and the inspector told me that the furnace was in good conditions and him being professional i believed him. Well my heater stopped working and i called someone (professional) to come and take a look so they did and told me the furnace was no good and that i need i new furnace. Is there anything legal i can do? or call someone? Why would the inspetor tell me the furnace will still last for another 8 yrs?

December 10, 2012 06:35 PM #152
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Mary ,no professional Inspector would predict how long a furnace will last.

They can give you a list of average life expectancy but that is far as it goes.

Do you have it in writing he says it will last 8 years ?

The average furnace is predicted to last anywhere from 15 to 25 years and a Inspection is a snapshot in time meaning good on the day it was inspected as there is no way to predict the future.

Has a mechanic ever said "the car will last 8 more years" as an example of how silly that would be.

You can find a list of average life expectancy by going to the internationalassociation of home inspectors site at the link here.......http://www.nachi.org/life-expectancy.htm

December 10, 2012 07:05 PM #153
Anonymous
Anonymous
Zina Reyes

Hi,

I have a question regarding my home inspection. I purchased my property over 2yrs ago and since purchasing my property, I've found several things that should have failed the home inspection. My roof is one of the main issues and the home inspector never said I needed a new roof. There were wires that were out of place in my basement that should have never passed inspection. There is visible wood damage that shows there is a major leak in my basement right under the front stairs. The electrical work is very very poor. Everytime I have someone come in to look or fix something, they ask me if I had an home inspection and when I say yes, they are shocked. There were several things wrong with this property. I would also like to know if I can go after the previos owner as well. I am from Philadelphia, Pa.

 

January 17, 2013 09:58 AM #154
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Not a Lawyer as I always mention however can you prove there were major issues and the owner knew about them ?

Bear in mind Contractors always throw the last guy under the bus but anything visible should be reportable by the inspector.

You need to check and see if you can file a claim of negligence and be prepared for court if it comes down to it with documentation .

Can you prove issues were visibel at time of the inspection and not hidden behind storage items for instance ?

2 years is a long time to wait so better check with the state if he is Licensed and be prepared for your claim to be scrutinized.

As always call the Inspector up,tell him what was found and when.That is your first chore.He may have an answer or he may even agree to settle but you must go there first by picking up the phone.

 

January 17, 2013 09:39 PM #155
Anonymous
Anonymous
Jay Lockaby

I bought a house in 2007 before I started working overseas and each time I've come home I've noticed things with the residence that draw concern. The house was new, built by the seller. As with most families we painted the interior which was all white and concealed alot of descepancies with the interior walls, blemishes and bowing. I removed the carpet on the second and third floors and found the floors to be "bucked". We can walk down the hallway on the second floor and some of the lights on the first floor will go out. I had the lower heat pump replaced last year and the company that installed the unit advised that the wiring under the house was horrible, stated most of it was wired "backwards" and he was suprised we didn't have $500 dollar power bills. I've also found buried shingles in my yard that the previous owner left along with other materials from his previous house that burned ( bad run-off from rain has uncovered them over this past year). I was able to confirm that the previous residence burned and this new one was constructed in the same place. This week I had some trees cutdown and the man cutting the trees asked if I was able to get insurance on my house and asked why. He informed me that when the house was being built it was just pieced together with what appeared to be scrap wood and he didn't think a residence built with uninspected wood could be insured. Obviously none of these issues were ever disclosed and my limited amount of time at home, probably 200 days in the last five years has limited my exposure to these issues. I'm checking with my local government agency to see who inspected my house during it's building phase, plus I'm looking to hire an independant inspector to do a thorough inspection to the extent of removing siding to check the status of the framework. Have I exceeded my limitations to pursue a course of legal action? I feel that the builder is just as guilty, if not more so, than the inspector. I'm from Aiken, SC

February 11, 2013 05:46 PM #156
Rainmaker
74,351
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hi Jay

The sad fact is most AHJ (authorities having jurisdiction) inspectors have zero liability.

They keep me in business.

February 15, 2013 08:02 PM #157
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anon101

Hi, I have a question..
I bought my house two years ago (August 10, 2012) and am in PA. We are in escrow so we had a home inspection and the inspector reported several things wrong. The seller fixed all of the things and we had a second inspection to make sure everything was up to code...Unfortunately, my porch which is built over a coal cellar has caved in... When I went through the porch we realized that it was built with styrofoam as a base, chicken wire and then an inch of concrete..
When standing in the coal cellar and looking up, you can see that the porch was poured on styrofoam thus making it unsafe and not permitted. I am wondering if we can go after the home inspector for repairs? I feel badly, but he should have seen the poor conditions in which the porch was built on and required that the seller fixed it.

July 15, 2014 07:34 PM #158
Anonymous
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