ALL home inspectors will miss something.
So what if a home inspector misses something? Well, truth is that ALL home inspectors WILL miss something. Home inspectors know a little bit about a lot of different stuff. Now, if you want to hire 20 different contractors and engineers to investigate everything that a home inspector considers in just a very short timeframe, it’ll cost you 20 times as much and be a scheduling impossibility.
Some things just aren’t part of a standard home inspection. It’s never the intent to find every past, present and future potential issue. This is more of a we’re finding the major things that would be a buy/no buy type of decision. If we know something small, consider it a courtesy.
All inspection companies are going to have limits of liability clauses within their service agreement. That’s expected. This is the environment in which we live in. You’re asking a human to go into an environment for a very finite period of time and find every potential problem. It’s unreasonable and it’s impossible. Therefore, there must be someway of limiting liability. Now, people often act like this is exclusive to the home inspection industry, and it’s not. Think about it. Any contract that you engage somebody in, somebody’s business in, will have limits of liability. It’s the only way to protect the company from not being taken advantage of. If there were no limits of liability, there would be no home inspection. You would bear 100% of the burden on yourself. So if there is an issue, let’s just be reasonable and talk about it. Now, if there’s negligence, that’s an entirely different story, and that’s what insurance is for.
Some things may be concealed or intermittent in nature. For instance, you may discover a leak after you’ve taken a 30 minutes shower that didn’t present itself during a ten second shower inspection. Sometimes that roof leak only occurs when the wind is blowing from a certain direction, or the rain lasts for an extended period of time. Sometimes problems or issues may have been present during the inspection, but the outward symptoms weren’t necessarily manifested on that day. For instance, a balcony can leak for even years before damages are noted. Or there can be interior pest damages that are not noticed for months or years.
A home inspection is designed to better your odds. It is not designed to eliminate all potential risks. What an insurance company would have to charge you, or a warranty company would have to charge you to cover everything, every potential issue, with just a very tiny deductible. Just a few hundred dollars would be grossly more than what you’re going to pay for a home inspection. And if you still feel your home inspector was negligent and not in just something small, but a large item, by all means, contact that inspection company and give them an opportunity to address it. Maybe it was something that was concealed by the sellers, and the home inspection company can now be your ally in further action. If need be. Most home inspection companies will carry general liability errors and omissions and in some cases, workman’s compensation policies.
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