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Old 11-07-2010, 07:41 AM   #16
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What the home inspector missed


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Originally Posted by gma2rjc View Post
It's nice that you do that. We had no idea and since snow didn't melt off of our roof right away (or so we thought), we thought it was fine.
Well... unfortunately the situation is actually more complicated than just "depth of insulation", insulation "performance" depends a lot on attic and soffit design, attic ventilation, air sealing, etc..

So a competent inspector is pulled in two directions: we want to make objective, defensible observations (no one can argue with a picture of a ruler in insulation, depicting the observed depth of the insulation), but we also want to comment on some of the possible implications of what we observe ("At buildings with this roof design, without overhang at the soffits, I have frequently seen ice damming").

However, if we list every possible adverse implication of what we observe we would often be providing a list of perhaps a dozen or more potential serious problems, many or even most of which will end up not being problems at all.

And since our clients are often already suffering from information overload as a result of current, actual defects we are reporting, reported speculations may actually be unhelpful.

(A good analogy is a medical test - say, PSA testing - which produces a substantial number of false positives or negatives (or both) and which provides only imperfect guidance as to how to respond to a positive result - is the worry and unneeded expense worthwhile weighed against the chance the information provided will be useful?)

And taking to home inspectors about reporting their some of their speculations about the possible results of their observations about -to take your example "attic insulation" - you will get as wide a range of answers as you will taking to doctors about PSA tests.

So, it's a fine line...

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Old 11-07-2010, 08:21 AM   #17
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What the home inspector missed


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Well... unfortunately the situation is actually more complicated than just "depth of insulation", insulation "performance" depends a lot on attic and soffit design, attic ventilation, air sealing, etc..

So a competent inspector is pulled in two directions: we want to make objective, defensible observations (no one can argue with a picture of a ruler in insulation, depicting the observed depth of the insulation), but we also want to comment on some of the possible implications of what we observe ("At buildings with this roof design, without overhang at the soffits, I have frequently seen ice damming").

However, if we list every possible adverse implication of what we observe we would be providing a list of perhaps a dozen or more potential serious potential problems, many or even most of which will end up not being problems at all.

And since our clients are often already suffering from information overload as a result of current, actual defects we are reporting, reported speculations may actually be unhelpful.

(A good analogy is a medical test (say... PSA testing) which produces a substantial number of false positives or negatives (or both) and which provides only imperfect guidance as to how to respond to a positive result - is the worry and unneeded expense worthwhile weighed against the chance the information provided will be useful?)

And taking to home inspectors about reporting their some of their speculations about the possible results of their observations about (to take your example) "attic insulation", you will get as wide a range of answers as you will taking to doctors about PSA tests.

So, it's a fine line...
Fyi and interseting. I had really bad ice damming in a cape. I put in windows which stopped the damming. My roof was very poorly insulated. Stopped air leakage and the damming stopped.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:17 AM   #18
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What the home inspector missed


Yup. And it's often difficult to say in advance of making the attempt which possible solutions to such a problem will be most (cost) effective.
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:38 AM   #19
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What the home inspector missed


you bought this house with that many item's wrong ??? I know i would have passed on this one. I would have done a walk thro . You could have seen some of these?? my 2 cents
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:03 AM   #20
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What the home inspector missed


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you bought this house with that many item's wrong ??? I know i would have passed on this one. I would have done a walk thro . You could have seen some of these?? my 2 cents
One of the pitfalls for home inspectors is assuming that they know what is appropriate for their client, that for example a buyer "should" prefer a house with fewer defects to one with more.

Experience has taught me not to make that mistake:

http://paragoninspects.com/should-i-buy-this-house.html

"My job is to tell you what you are buying, not what to buy".
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:15 PM   #21
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What the home inspector missed


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you bought this house with that many item's wrong ??? I know i would have passed on this one. I would have done a walk thro . You could have seen some of these?? my 2 cents
Wanted a house and got one. I hired an inspector to inspect reguardless whether i was buying it or not. If all these came up during inspection price could have been negotiated, just like when you buy a car. Banks require home inspection if you are getting a loan. The point is i hired somebody to do a job and in got a half assed inspection. This is what he does for a living and did not do it very well. Im not saying all inspectors are bad but this one was not good. What recourse do you have for getting money back on on an inspectional service. This is my two cents. All problems i have fixed and its too bad the next owner is going to have to foot some of the bill.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:22 PM   #22
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What the home inspector missed


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Wanted a house and got one. I hired an inspector to inspect reguardless whether i was buying it or not. If all these came up during inspection price could have been negotiated, just like when you buy a car. Banks require home inspection if you are getting a loan. The point is i hired somebody to do a job and in got a half assed inspection. This is what he does for a living and did not do it very well. Im not saying all inspectors are bad but this one was not good. What recourse do you have for getting money back on on an inspectional service. This is my two cents. All problems i have fixed and its too bad the next owner is going to have to foot some of the bill.


I can appreciate michael's honesty and his openess for sugestions. Would probaly hire him as an inspector.

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