I would like some comments on how often, and what defects most Inspectors recommend further evaluation by contractor/professional.
I use Home Guage software. At the begining of the report it says.
**Repair or Replace (RR) **= The item, component or unit is not functioning as intended, or needs further Inspection by a qualified contractor. Items, components or units that can be repaired to satisfactory condition may not need replacement.
Would this actually take care of the recommendations.
I don’t recommend “further evaluation” unless it’s something that I’m not qualified to “evaluate.” For the most part, this will be limited to things that require an “engineer” of some type.
For instance, I am not a geologist or soils engineer, so if I see indications of slippage or expansive soils, I recommend “further evaluation” by a qualified geo-technical engineer, who will then design and/or recommend appropriate repairs.
When I see damaged or altered trusses, I will recommend “further evaluation” by a qualified structural engineer, who will then design and/or recommend appropriate repairs.
When I see damage to a roof system, I don’t recommend “further evaluation,” I recommend repairs.
I do not recommend further evaluation as many on the boards’ interpret the concept.
Let’s say during my inspection that I identify the following electrical issues.
Current active knob and tube with splices
Missing switch covers
Double taps in the breaker box.
Comments would be similar to the following.
Due to the age of the property GFCI and AFCI were not required at the time of construction. I recommend that these items be added for future safety of the homeowner.
Missing switch covers in xyz locations these need to be replaced
Double tapped breakers were identified in the service panel; this can lead to wire terminations becoming loose and overheating.
K&T wiring is present in the home and has been spliced to newer wiring. Altered K&T wiring needs to be replaced.
It is recommended that a licensed electrician be contracted to evaluate and discuss the correct course of action for all repairs and upgrades to the homes electrical service.
(please note that these are simple quick examples, not full narratives)
I don’t need or want an electrician to follow behind me pointing out what I miss or to cover my ***. I want the electrician to assist my client in adequate knowledge of what the time and cost of repairs will be. If during this process the electrician finds other items that I missed, good for them. My clients already know that an inspector may not find 100% of the issues in a home.
Interesting, I see “further evaluation” as major way of protecting yourself and your client. Especially with realtors who would steer their clients to only do the minimum recommended by an inspector. I see it as a statement to the client that I am not the final verdict on this issue and an expert must confirm or deny my findings in writing and lay out a plan for how repairs will be performed. Suggesting repairs does not mean we are determining the method or materials of that repair and it is the “further evaluation” which will be necessary to make that plan.
Too many Realtors and their sellers try to get out of bringing in qualified contractors and just slap it together themselves, and I write my report to try and help prevent that if possible.
I am not qualified to make recommendations that require an engineering degree. I am, however, qualified to make recommendations for general repairs in most contractor-trades. That is the essence of the Home Inspection profession.
Here’s a simple analogy;
Your general practitioner (“family doctor”) is (or at least should be) qualified to prescribe antibiotics or other treatments, diagnose common medical issues and make general recommendations & assessments regarding your health.
Your general practitioner is not qualified to recommend a heart-transplant, so based on your symptoms, he/she may recommend that you consult a cardiac specialist.
As Home Inspectors, we have (or at least should have) been trained/educated in all areas related to residential construction.
The term “further evaluation” implies that we are not qualified to evaluate or that we are “unable” to evaluate, therefore, it should be re-evaluated. I choose to leave “re-evaluation” out of my reports except in cases where I am unqualified, or where I am unable to evaluate within the scope of a general inspection.
(Mike Auger, CMI - RI 32856, RMC-142, RMB-096)
I also rarely use further evaluation. The areas that it crops up, are in the cases of structure, some foundations especially old ones (up here I have inspected a house that is built in 1700’s).
In addition, I have reccomended a client hire pest control specialists to further evaluate and determins corse of action at times.
The term “further” clearly indicates that an evaluation did take place. If I were unqualified to evaluate then I would not even know what specialist to recommend. I see very little difference between “recommend further evaluation and repairs…” and “recommend repairs” as they will both lead to the same end result.
When you see a broken/cracked window pane, do you recommend further evaluation? When you see a leaking faucet, do you recommend further evaluation? Probably not, because further evaluation is unnecessary. Right? If I’m wrong, please give me an example of something where you will recommend only a repair and not include “further evaluation.”
When I make a repair recommendation, I’m fairly confident that I have evaluated the system/component thorough enough that additional evaluation is not necessary.
If we recommend “further evaluation” for every repair recommendation, what value have we really provided?
You’re swinging the pendulum pretty far to each side, there are many issues which fall in between those needing a structural engineer and just a leaky faucet. Off the top of my head(and certainly not an exhaustive list), I would use “further evaluation” on issues such as:
HVAC repairs - where the irregular operation may have multiple causes (e.g. A/C not cooling could be one or a combination of causes)
Electrical repairs - suspect receptable, switch or junction boxes, presence/extent/condition of K&T, panels jambed full of wires and problems abounding)
Any system with defects installed by a DIY or Flipper (there’s bound to be more than just the surface issues)
Unseen issues with surface evidence which cannot be fully verified during a visual inspection (e.g. dry stains on ceilings)
A roof/chimney/flashing issue I can’t fully see on a day I can walk the roof due to rain, snow
Looking at the list it seems they all have a similar theme regarding areas not accessible or visible but some issues are noted. We all have houses all the time where we know from what is visible there are deeper issues probably lurking and ourantennas go up. I just had a home two weeks ago with 24 junction boxes in the half visible ceiling of the basement and fairly butchered wiring throughout. I’m not just going to suggest repairs of what I can see visibly, I’m going to suggest someone dig reasonably deeper during the repairs I know need to be performed.
I’m not certain if when you say a “repair recommendation” you mean just that or if you go further and write out how to actually perform that repair. I only mention that because one of my reasons for using “further evaluation” is because, as I mentioned before, that evaluation will be to determine what type of repair is going to be performed(methods and materials). If you detail the “How to repair” in your comments, then I can understand why you would not find “further evaluation” of much use.
To clarify, I have not and am not suggesting I recommend further evaluation for every repair. As I mentioned before it reiterates that someone with greater credentials needs to be involved in the next step. Again, I just don’t trust sellers and their Realtors to do the right thing. Sellers try to make repairs and agents often have a cheap Hack at their disposal to “fix” things. Neither are qualified to do “further evaluation” so to satisfy that recommendation, an expert would need to be brought it(hopefully). It’s a bit of a redundancy for client’s sake.
Truthfully I just don’t see it coloring the opinion of clients or agents and I don’t believe it is all that different from just recommending repairs by a qualified expert. Whether we recommend it or not, whoever is brought in is going to do some further evaluation…
That was my point. Somewhere we draw the line from a simple recommendation of “repair,” to a recommendation for “further evaluation.”
I draw that line at the far end of one swing, while others are somewhere in the middle, or at the opposite end.
We draw that line at the point between;
(A) we are confident that the item has been adequately evaluated,
(B) we feel that further evaluation is (or may be) necessary because (1) we are unsure or unable to determine if additional defects exist, or (2) we are not qualified to make the determination as to the necessity for repair/correction.
No, I do not provide instructions on how an item should be repaired.