When inspecting a house 1 huge blunder a home inspector can make is assuming something is in acceptable condition although they never really inspected it or even visually observed it. If you can’t see anything you are supposed to inspect ensure you sufficiently document the fact that the item in question was not observed, inspected as well as why.
Approximately a year ago I performed a home inspection grand rapids mi for a young couple and the house I inspected was 8 years old and had a concrete block basement. During the inspection no significant issues were viewable, which for an 8 year old house you would hope this was the case.
I had adhered to the home inspectors grand rapids mi report room by room, page by page and was finished with the living area and attic and was now heading to the basement. The basement was unfinished so I figured “great, the walls will be viewable and I will have the ability to observe if there was any kind of cracking or movement taking place”. When I observed the east, west, and south walls and there weren’t any type of noticeable problems, however when I reached the north wall it was completely covered up with the homeowner’s storage and also personal effects.
As opposed to speculating the north wall was in good shape like the other walls, I documented the fact the wall was not viewable and not examined due to being obstructed / covered up by the homeowner’s property. In addition, I verbally explained to my customer the fact that I couldn’t inspect the wall considering that it wasn’t viewable. They fully understood. I did suggest that they perform a final walk-through before they close on the property in order to make sure there weren’t any type of problems with the wall. I let them know if my schedule permitted I would certainly be glad to accompany them during the walk-though if it would make them feel better.
After filling everything out in the report I summed up the main points of the home inspections grand rapids mi, thanked them for their business and left to go on my next inspection. Interestingly, roughly a month later I received a phone call from the customer stating they were at the house and were doing their final walk though. They were in the basement and the north wall which had earlier been covered with storage
was now viewable. They had informed me that there was a big step crack on the north wall and were not planning to close before it was inspected. I went back inside the basement and looked at the crack in question. The wall had an actual shear crack and was somewhat bowing in. I made the recommendation that they get in touch with a structural engineer for additional assessment due to the nature of the crack and the apparent movement. After following up with my customer they did receive a 2nd opinion from a structural engineer and he advised that they brace the wall. They went back to the seller and asked the homeowner pay for the repair, which the homeowner agreed.
This is a wonderful example of why a home inspector ought to never assume something is in satisfactory condition if it was not visible just because the rest of the home did not show any significant flaws. Had I not correctly reported the wall as not being visible, not evaluated and the reason, the repair would have more than likely come out of my wallet. DO NOT AT ANY TIME SPECULATE in this business that something is acceptable if you can not view it.