by Don Vandervort, © HomeTips
When planning your remodel, the surest way to discover your house’s not-so-obvious problems is by hiring a qualified house inspector. Most professional inspectors are from some type of construction background, such as engineering, architecture, or contracting. Their responsibility is to crawl beneath the floors, squeeze through the attic, and generally comb the house’s structure and mechanical systems for any shortcomings. They then provide you with a complete report so that you can budget for your remodel adequately. The fee for this service generally runs from about $300 to $500, but it can save you headaches in the long run.
You’re usually welcome to accompany the inspector during the inspection; doing so lets you discuss specifics and ask questions about the severity of certain concerns. On the other hand, you probably won’t want to crawl under the house or onto the roof, so it’s important to get someone you trust.
You can find house inspectors through the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Nationally, 1,400 inspectors are members of this trade organization, which requires a minimum level of experience for membership. Another source for good house inspectors are friends or neighbors who have recently bought houses and believe that their inspectors were honest, thorough, and professional.
The easiest and most reliable method, however, is to use RemodelGuide’s FREE referral service called HomeAdvisor. Based on your zip code, HomeAdvisor will help you locate top-rated, pre-screened inspectors right in your area. To get free recommendations for top-rated local contractors, call HomeAdvisor at 866-350-2983 (toll free).