Recently we performed an inspection for a potential buyer. That’s what we do after all! As I was performing the inspection and finding my way around the house, I ended up in the back of the house and under the raised deck. As I began looking around, I started to notice that several of the deck joists (the framing the supports the “floor”) were improperly installed in the joist hangers and several hangers were missing or completely rusted and gone. Just about this time, I hear the door open and several sets of feet above my head. I had to politely request the buyer and agents “Get off my head” as I didn’t trust the deck not collapse on me! I took my pictures, worked on my commentary and wrapped up the deck section of the report. As I exited the crawl space under the deck, the buyer (also the current renter) says “you should see how they built the front deck!”…That’s never a good sign. We discussed my findings of the rear deck, my written recommendations and I verbally advised they not occupy the rear deck until it is repaired properly.
Moving onto the front deck we find ourselves a seemingly new deck with several steps to the front door. As I begin to go through the components, I quickly noticed a multitude of deficiencies. I began my process of taking pictures, making notes and documenting recommendations. I went back into the home and the buyer asks “So how does it look?” with a giggle in her voice…. They knew! She continues to tell me that the deck in the front was built 2 years ago by the local handy man. I think I may have responded with “The owner should ask for their money back”. Now, normally I would very nicely explain my findings and concerns and keep the witty banter to myself, but I was in good company with the people present. We all had a laugh.
Many times we as inspectors recommend a qualified contractor (of the specific trade) to make repairs. The important part here is that the qualified contractor actually BE qualified! When you hire someone to perform work on something ensure they are licensed, certified, insured, bonded and qualified. A few minutes in the internet can generally lead you to the answers you are looking for. Also, check their online reviews as customers usually will tell the good, the bad and the ugly!
If you are buying a house and having to waive your inspection contingency to get an accepted offer, remember it is still beneficial to have a professional home inspection performed. We do post move in inspections just as we would pre-buy inspections. Ensure that your home and invest is protected but most importantly ensure that your family is protected! You can call, text, email or schedule online!