John Onofrey hit the nail on the head. It does not matter what I would do,
but what you feel you are competent with. Are you ready to engage a
contractor in debate and possible debate with his lawyers in court. If your not
sure, that is no shame. We all had to learn. Walk the other way.
As the others have said, just report what you see, if you decide to go with it.
I would add this about various items that have gone through repairs or are
not visible. This means everything you can think of. The following is just
Note everything you cannot see such as flashing covered on roof by
the siding touching shingles, inside the chimney it self, under insulation
in the attic, inside walls, unseen electrical, unseen plumbing, underground,
foundation covered with carpet, etc…
Also note that you were not present for repairs of sheetrock. If
sheetrock has had previous moisture damage this may be conducive
to mold, decay and wood destroying insects that is not always
Note any comments that the client makes in the report about items
they saw before things were covered up. Tell the client that they should
ask for all historical documentation of the work being done, such as
previous inspection, blue prints, permits, approved specs…etc… and that they
should seek Professional advise in order to understand these documents.
Note poor workmanship that looks very obvious. You need to be
nit picky in order to protect yourself.
For every section that needs repairs, be sure to state that you
recommend further evaluation and repairs, as needed by a qualified
Professional (fill in the blank).
A good moisture meter helps a lot. A thermal imaging camera
helps even more. But, do what you can, with what you got.
If you go to court, then look up the price for your average expert
witness-tradesman in your area ($100-$200 per hour) and charge
a few hundred dollars minimum. They will pay.
Document everything with photos and try to make very good
friend with your client. People don’t enjoy suing someone that the
have a personal relationship with (most of the time ).