No matter if you are having your home inspected by a professional inspector, structural contractor or professional engineer all aspects of the inspection should be handled in a similar manner. A home inspection is an in-depth visual examination of a structure - from top to bottom, inside and outside. It is an analysis of the present physical condition of the home or structure. The home inspection should be a process that the inspector and customer/homeowner communicate the findings during the inspection. Upon completion of the inspection the inspector should provide a written report on the finding of the examination and analysis.
During the inspection the homeowner/customer is key to the communication process. At no other time are the details about the property more important to convey. The better the information and history of the structure is conveyed to the inspector the more complete this visual inspection will be. It is the inspectors responsibility to educate the property owner and make sure that he understands the finding of the report. This communication is not only done through the final report but throughout the inspection.
Guidelines for home inspections:
Communicate during the inspection
Communication is a 2-way street
Good and bad news must be communicated
Educate property owner
Remember scope of inspection
Review final report together
From the pre-inspection meeting through the final report review communication is the key to success. The property owner must communicate the history of the property to give the inspector insights to renovations, repairs and problems, the inspector must communicate the scope fo the inspection, the visual clues and final analysis. Both parties have the same goal - to evaluate, assess and formulate a plan for repair. Without this communication a full proof plan cannot be obtained and such the property owner will not be completely staisfied witht the repairs.
This day and age property owners have access to more information than ever before. Not all information is good but be assured there is more information available. Websites such as www.myfoundationrepairs.com and www.mywaterproofing.com give consumers to good background and solution oriented information. This information leads to better questions and a more realistic expectation of what can be done to solve their problem.
Deciding on who is going to perform your inspection is the only question at this point. A professional engineer is always the best suited person to perform a through evaluation of your property. They have nothing to gain by steering you in a sinlge direction, they are bound to have your best interest at heart. Hiring a professional engineer is truly hiring a professional that has only your best interest in mind and has the knowlege and experience to insure your property and money is taken care of. Structural repair contractors are the next best source for inspectors. A reputable structural foundation repair contractor has personel on staff that are trained and experienced in foundation problems. Yes there are contractors out there that do not have the experience and ethics behind them to give you an unbiased report. But when it comes time to perform repairs you will be working with them whether you hire a professional engineer or home inspector to do the report. Many times the prudent thing to do is to get a reference from the contractor or have a couple contractors give you an evaluation and compare their methods and final reports.