As a home remodeler, we have seen firsthand the importance of a thorough home inspection before starting any remodeling project. Home inspections are an essential part of the home-buying process, but they can also be incredibly useful for homeowners looking to remodel their homes. In this article, we’ll share some insights on why home inspections are critical and what to look for during a home inspection as a remodeler.
Why are home inspections important for remodelers?
A home inspection will give you an idea of the current condition of your home and what you’ll need to do to make it safe and functional for your family. This inspection can also help you identify any underlying issues that could be problematic during a remodeling project.
For example, if you’re planning to knock down walls to create an open floor plan, a home inspection can help you identify load-bearing walls that must remain in place. Similarly, if you’re planning on adding a new bathroom, a home inspection can help you identify any plumbing or electrical issues that may need to be addressed before you begin.
Have you ever watched a show like Flip or Flop on HGTV? If so, you probably noticed how each episode seemed to include the “flippers” discovering an (often expensive) unforeseen issue behind walls or under floors as they prepared to remodel. The homes purchased to remodel on that show were typically purchased at an auction, which means no home inspection was performed prior to sale. The issues they discovered, as a result, cost a pretty penny to resolve.
A home inspection helps you prevent these types of unwanted surprises. This also means that a Design Build Remodeler like ours will be able to give you a more accurate estimate for completing your project so you can plan accordingly.
So what is the focus of a home inspection?
Here are some of the key areas inspected:
- Structural Issues – Cracks in the foundation, sagging floors or ceilings, and any signs of water damage that could indicate structural problems.
- Electrical Systems – Ensuring they are up to code and can handle any additional electrical demands that may come with a remodel.
- Plumbing – Leaks, signs of water damage, and ensure that the plumbing is sufficient for any new additions or changes to the layout.
- HVAC Systems – Ensuring the heating and cooling systems are in good working order and can handle any additional load that may come with a remodel.
- Insulation – Adequate insulation in the attic, walls, and floors to ensure energy efficiency and proper ventilation.
- Roof – Any damage or leaks that could cause problems during the remodel.
- Windows and Doors – Proper sealing, weather-stripping, and ensure that windows and doors are in good working order.
While these inspections may not catch everything, paying attention to these areas during a site inspection helps us identify potential issues that could arise during the remodel. That gives us an opportunity to address them before they become larger problems.
For example, the national average for repairing cracks in the foundation is $4,500. While most homeowners prefer to avoid the additional cost, the cost only grows if this issue is ignored. The longer it goes unaddressed, the more severe the issue becomes, which brings the cost range to $15,000-$25,000. You’ll also find this to be the case for plumbing and electrical issues among other things.
We suggest that you never begin a home remodeling project without first having a home inspection done. The scope, cost, and length of the project will likely increase significantly as you go if you skip this critical step. Nobody enjoys surprises like that!
In the end, home inspections save you time, money, and a lot of frustration.