Mike Holmes, from Holmes on Homes, had an interesting show on TV the other night. Typical situation, older couple had purchased an older home that had had a lot of work done on it but did have a Home Inspection prior to purchasing. The estimated cost at the end of the show was $100,000.00 in repairs and upgrades. These people had no experience in home owning or renovations and placed all their trust in the Home Inspector. Too bad they didn’t spend any time checking out his qualifications, they would have probably found he was one of the latest people to jump into the “lucrative” home inspection industry with little of no training.
The visible signs that were missed were poor electrical installations, poor plumbing venting and drains, smell of sewage, smell of mold in basement. The furnace was on it last legs and the water from the sump pump was running back into the house. The house had had a lot of renovations done and apparently no permits had been taken out, indicating a handy man had probably done most of the work.
Once the proper inspection started taking place the visual clues led to further investigation which necessitated the removal of drywall and carpet to expose even more problems. The electrical in the house ended up being totally redone with some of the wiring exhibiting charring which could have caused a fire at any time. The hot water tank and furnace were exhausting into the chimney which was totally open on the first floor allowing dangerous gases to enter the home and could have even caused death. The basement plumbing had to be completely redone and vented. An abandoned open well was discovered in the front yard which had to be filled in. The carpet, when raised, was covered in mold and one area of the house had thousands of carpenter ants living in the basement wall.
Obviously this home inspector was poorly trained and probably had no prior experience in home building or renovation. There are factory workers in our area who have taken part-time night courses and are now promoting themselves as professional home inspectors. As always CAVEAT EMPTOR –BUYER BEWARE
The home owner has to bear some responsibility here as they have to ensure that the people they hire are in fact qualified and experienced enough to perform the work required. Unfortunately in this case it was only the home owner who paid the price, but that is result of having an un-regulated industry where anyone can promote themselves as a professional.
Written by Roger Frost