Should A Contractor Do Your Home Inspection?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Q. I am planning to buy a home but don’t know who the home inspectors are in my area. On the other hand, I have a good friend who is a licensed general contractor, and he has offered to do my home inspection for free. He is a very experienced builder with vast construction knowledge, and I would expect that he can do as thorough a job of inspecting a home as anyone in the inspection business. Is there any reason why I should not have him do my home inspection?

A. Hiring a general contractor to do a home inspection seems reasonable to anyone who does not know the scope and processes involved in the home inspection, but a contractor inspection can be a costly mistake. A home inspection is not a walk-through evaluation by someone who knows how to build a house. That is something many homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, do not realize when they are faced with your choice.

Home inspection involves skills, practices, and knowledge that are not essential to the process of construction, and this in no way minimizes the respectability of qualified contractors.

Most home inspectors, like  Steve Scott,  started out as contractors who enter the home inspection profession and gradually learn to conduct thorough inspections. That learning process takes several months, in the field training, classroom learning,  and involves a very large number of home inspections. Steve Scott, completed several classroom hours, obtained specified licensing, and apprenticed with Steve Mirowski for 6 months prior to inspecting their first solo home. And today even after close to 2 years on our team, Steve Scott will apprentice with Steve and have random checks to his reports and inspection process to ensure the highest level of quality and customer service is provided to all our customers.

A home inspection is a process of investigation and discovery. Contracting is a process of mechanical skills and management. Although building knowledge is essential to the practice of home inspection, the construction itself has little or no relation to the practice of forensic analysis. A home inspector is an investigator — a property detective — someone who observes and evaluates defects. The skills essential to a thorough home inspection are unique, are refined by years of practice, and are not essential to the process of building construction.

The focus of a home inspection is not merely the quality of construction, but the overall level of maintenance versus deterioration of the property, the operability and shortcomings of fixtures, compliance with numerous safety standards, the projected longevity of various materials and components, old versus new standards of construction, and much more.

Just as a traffic patrolman is not a crime detective; just as your family physician is not a medical pathologist; likewise, home inspectors are diagnostic specialists, distinct from professionals in the building trades.

What matters most when you choose a home inspector is to find someone who has done many inspections and has a reputation for thoroughness.  For more information please check our website at

Reference:  Barry Stone-[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Dana Mirowski