By Rick Jacquemard, Flatirons Home Inspections

Whether you are buying or selling a home the home inspection is an important step. The process can be exhausting for both parties and their agents. Every home inspection will uncover some kind of problem. Most of the time these issues are minor and fairly simple to negotiate.

Unfortunately, some problems can be more serious and expensive to correct. More and more sellers will spend the money on a pre-listing home inspection. It can be well worth the money to find out your homes condition ahead of time. If you have any doubt as to the condition of your property, here are some potentially big ticket items found during inspections. If you are buying a home, these are some of the potential problems you›ll want to be on the lookout for.

A typical issue is a roof leak possibly caused by damaged shingles. Repairing or replacing shingles or flashing can be a simple and cheap repair. However, if the issue has been ongoing, it could be a lot more work and expense. Any kind of water intrusion into a home has the potential to cause mold. If the roof is past is at or near the end of its expected life it may need to be replaced. Roofs can be fairly expensive to replace, especially if the home is larger.

Electrical issues can also be quite expensive to repair. Inspectors will be looking for un-grounded outlets, lack of GFCI protection, over loaded breakers, double tapping and general work of poor quality. Home inspectors will also look for dated types of electrical components such as knob and tube and aluminum wiring, neither of which is used in modern day construction. Aluminum wiring can prompt poor or defective connections, which can lead to recurring flickering or incessant turning off of light, hot switch plates and sockets, burning smell, or power failure taken without triggering a circuit breaker. Replacing dated wiring can cost several thousand dollars.

Foundations are the backbone of a house and problems with them can be quite pricey to address. Most home buyers do not want to take on major structural issues with a property. Foundation cracks are quite common, making sure they do not extend past a certain size is important. Some cracks are part of normal settling others are not. It is important to distinguish between the two. Hiring a structural engineer can be money well spent if foundation issues are uncovered during an inspection.

These are only a few of the major items that may be discovered during an inspection. If a pre-listing inspection of your house has revealed structural or mechanical problems, it is advisable to get them fixed. Most buyers have some expectations on what they are willing to accept. For buyers it can be heartbreaking to lose a house that they have already pictured themselves living in. If, after a home inspection a buyer discovers significant fixes that can’t be negotiated with the seller the contract may need to be voided. Real Estate agents call these things deal breakers for a reason. Many people don’t want to deal with such issues when buying a house.

For more information on home inspections contact Rick Jacquemard, at 720.280.3544, e-mail [email protected] or visit