Is the home inspector responsible at all?


  #1  
Old 03-10-05, 11:06 AM
Codewiz
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Is the home inspector responsible at all?

When I purchased my home, I asked around and supposidly picked the most anal retentive home inspector in town. My realtor thought he was so thorough that he could break the deal by picking out so many insignificant things.

Well he missed something pretty big in my book. When inspecting my roof because some shingles come off, I realized something pretty serious. On one edge of my house, the plywood was short at the end of the roof line by about 1 foot. Basically they didn't measure the roof line correctly and just put shingles on regardless. So for the last foot at the bottom of the roof along one side of my house, the shingles have no support under them. Over time they have sagged.

The home inspector totally missed this. The only way I see to fix it is to pull up the shingles up and re-lay the plywood. I would have had the previous owner fix this had I known.

I know that no inspector is perfect but this is a pretty easy thing to spot if you look for it. It is also pretty costly to fix.

So what types of things are home inspectors held responsible for when they don't find it?
 
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Old 03-10-05, 11:25 AM
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This is an ongoing concern. Most Home Inspectors contracts allow for ONLY reimbursement totaling their charge. That would scare me IF I read it. Most people don't. There are different rules for different States and some have to be licensed, some don't. I find it amazing that someone can offer a service for hundreds of dollars and not be responsible for doing the job correctly. I would never put all Home Inspectors in the same group but there is good and bad in every group no matter what their occupations are. Guess thats why Home Warranty insurance policies are sold.
 
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Old 03-10-05, 11:49 AM
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Ahhh, the joys of homeownership,

I am having a hard time comprehending how there are even shingles, if there is nothing to attach them too. If this is an isolated location, repair cost will not be that expensive.

I wouldn't worry so much about trying to blame someone. Repairing it will end up costing much less then trying to force someone else to take responsibility. There are a lot of them....

Did the Architect design it that way?
Did the Builder build it that way?
Did the Supplier supply it that way?
Did the Carpenter install it that way?
Did the Roofer install it that way?
Did the Building inspector miss it?
Did the previous Owner not disclose a known defect?
Did the Home inspector miss it?
Etc.
Etc.

My home inspector missed a natural gas leak in the fireplace, improper venting of gas appliances, chimney flashing incorrect, a hollow core exterior door, and a well in the back yard I found while mowing.....That I know of so far anyway...

My advise...Get competitive quotes from at least three reputable contractors....and fix it.

Good Luck!
 
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Old 03-10-05, 12:45 PM
spspsp
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story time

Sympathetic I am as well.

Not that they all should be lumped into the same boat, but I have become severely skeptical of inspectors as well. Echoing that comment of their liability ends with simly refunding your fee.... it's terrible - yet common on all their contracts. In the end they try to be about as liable as the wether man on tv telling you it'll be sunny and 70 year round..... then Ooops.....snow and 20.....sorry.

We bought a place 1.5 years ago. We had a full inspection. The only room I was not present for, as we were en route from work, was his inspection of the attic.

Upon going over the report, he said the attic had spotty areas of winter "mold" as he called it. It was dormant, and normal.. Well no mold is ever normal, but we took his word as it was "no big deal"

Well putting the first box away up there the first weekend, I saw "spotty" - it was floor to ceiling black mold.

The soffits were completely packed with insulation, and the guy had been venting his bath vents up into the attic....

All extremely BASIC things that should've been caught by him, yet were ignored.

My Wife was pregnant at the time - and we NEVER would've bought this house had we seen the attic - yet based on his word, as there was no need to, it dramatically had an influence in our decision....

We fought with him, and eventually had to hire an attorney, as we were forced to redo the roof and decking - 10g's.

We got a settlement from his insurance once they saw the pics of 7 g's - once the lawyers were done....we got 3. Which is better than none.

I personally will never use one again as I am more than capable and knowledgeable of doing all they do.

Weigh out the costs to repair - weigh into that cost your sanity and grief - as I can attest - sometimes it simply isn't worth it - all the fighting, etc.

We went through hell............
 
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Old 03-10-05, 01:35 PM
Codewiz
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I am having a hard time comprehending how there are even shingles, if there is nothing to attach them too.

The shingles are attached at the very edge of the plywood. They then just hang over the rest of the roof. It is only about a foot of plywood missing. But it runs the whole depth of the house. So I would say 52 feet. All the shingles along that edge of the house are sagging.
 
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Old 03-10-05, 04:52 PM
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The roofer is not blameless in this. The fact they're nailed the way they are violates any known building codes {I know of}, and manufacturer's requirements. Of course it was roofed before you bought the house. And of course the boobs who decked it, inspected it when it was built, the head contractor, city inspector........just think of the long line of people who certainly must have seen or known about that deck or failed at thier job because they DIDN'T know. It's pathetic.
Have seen numerous houses where the decking stopped short
2-3 inches and even several small areas where it was missing the first foot, but yours sounds unbelievable. I believe it though. One more slam on the construction industry-well deserved.
 
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Old 03-10-05, 05:53 PM
Codewiz
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Yeah, the house was built by Centex 13 years ago. I also believed the previous owner HAD to know but I have no proof. I just know that he had gutters put on the house and the person that put on the gutters would have seen the problem. Unless the gutter installer didn't tell the owner, he knew.

I am just going to do a through inspection and see if there is any damage. If there isn't then I am going to try and push my luck for another 2-3 years. Then I will probably reroof the whole house. Here in Charleston with the winds we get, there are already a decent amount of shingles that have been replaced.
 
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Old 03-11-05, 04:16 AM
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There is a way you could make temporary "correction" without tearing off roof and redecking etc. If you installed, or had installed, a wide drip edfge flashing, running under the shingles up to the edge of the decking, then screw it into the back of the gutter, it would support the shingles so they're not simply troughs for the water to run in. I've done this myself on occasions to prevent the same thing. It depends on how bad the current problem is and whether you think the water will start to do real permanent damage to the soffit/fascia, etc. In my area, it usually takes a period of years to really rot out the fascia and soffit because as long as the water "runs out" as it leaks in, the water's not allowed to soak in for entended periods of time, which seems to be the big determining factor on how fast stuff rots.
 
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Old 03-30-05, 06:34 AM
baldguy3
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What are home inspectors responsible for?

I'm afraid that I've got bad news for you - once the Inspector left your homesite and you signed the inspection report or the release at he front of the page - he is responsible for nothing that he did not break - ie. if he fell through the sheetrock in the attic- he has to fix that - if he didn't catch the roof sheathing that was a foot short - he isn't responsible - you can try calling him or the company that he works for and explain the problem in a real nice polite way, and if he were professional - you would get a refund. - At least that's what I would do, being a Professional Home Inspector. If you decide that you want to call him up, try gathering all the info you can on who replaced your roof or the builder who put the entire structure up. Then call the Inspector and ask him if he has ever seen this before with other roof structures installed by this roofer or builder, then tell him that you are coming out of pocket to fix this, which I'm assuming that you are and ask him if he has any roofer reccommendations. He may feel sorry for you and decide to help you out financially. Sorry for the not so good news - Hope that your day gets better from here!

Trey Hooper
 

Last edited by Doug Aleshire; 03-30-05 at 08:08 AM. Reason: No Business Names allowed within posts/signature - See Forum Policies
 

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