Q: Our report recommends that some work needs to be done. How may we find a dependable contractor?
A: Most trades people are licensed in Connecticut. However, home improvement contractors are only registered with the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP). We recommend, before hiring anyone, that you do your homework:
- Get more than one quote and get it in writing.
- Contact the DCP to make sure they are licensed/registered. (A license can be found on the DCP web site.
- Does the contractor have any complaints filed against them?
- Interview the contractor and ask for references.
- Call the references and ask if the jobs performed were completed on time and to their satisfaction. Was debris picked up and hauled away by the contractor?
- Does the contractor use a contract? They must!
- Does the contract contain a 3-business-day right-to-cancel clause? If not, it is an illegal contract in Connecticut.
- Will the contractor secure the proper permits and Certificate of Occupancy? It is the ultimate responsibility of the home owner to make sure permits are taken out.
- Does the contract have a start and finish date?
- Does the contract have a payment schedule? Never pay a large amount up front, or pay a large majority of the cost before completion to your satisfaction.
- Any work order changes should be in writing.
- Are they insured? Contractors are not all required to carry insurance. Why would you let someone work on your home without being insured?
- Will any subcontractors be used and who will have a key to your home?
Q: We have called around and the prices we were quoted have been all over the place. How should we pick an inspector?
A: Prices do vary immensely. Most inspector's quotes are dependent on the square footage of the home. Some have a set fee no matter how large the home is. The lower ranges are usually quick (1-1/2 to 2 hour inspections with a 5 to 10 page report with no extras and the report may be e-mailed to you without any consultation or contact from the home inspector. As a home is usually the largest investment in your life, going quick & cheap is no way to protect your investment. Find out exactly what conditions exist before your potentialy purchase.
Our inspection is normally 3 to 4-1/2 hours but we are not limited to any set time. We normally conduct 1 inspection a day so we are not continually looking at our watch because we have to be somewhere else. The inspection is over when we feel we have conducted a thorough inspection to generate a report that will educate you of the conditions observed so you can make that informed decision on whether to purchase as is, negotiate or walk away from the sale. We never recommend for you to buy or not buy the home, the decision is yours, we help you make it. Our report is typewritten(not hand written), over 35 pages with general information along with our finding, complete with a summary page and dozens of photos of present conditions & problematic observations. It also may contain additional informational pages if warranted. We are not hired to help sell the home, that is not our job. Our job is working for you & you alone!
Q: Is Errors & Omissions insurance required for home inspectors?
A: B. Sure Home Inspection Company does carry Errors & Omissions insurance. Connecticut does not require any form of insurance (that may be why some prices are so cheap), Massachusetts does require E & O insurance.
Q: So what if an inspector is not insured?
A: When items that are required to be inspected as stated in the home inspection Standards of Practice are missed or wrongfully diagnosed, a lawsuit could take years, in the meantime you have to use your money to repair or replace the problem or component, find and retain a lawyer, & hope someday to see a settlement which you will probably never recoup your full losses. A competent inspector who takes his time, is insured and is looking out for no ones interest but yours is Bernie Caliendo!
Q: We're purchasing a brand new home, why should we have it inspected? Isn't it a waste of money?
A: These days even quality builders run into problems along the way during the construction process. Whether it's with a subcontractor's work, defective materials or components, something the town building official may have overlooked a condition, or something has settled more than normal. Here in Connecticut new home construction contractors must guarantee the home for one (1) year from defects. Just be aware that private home inspectors are not licensed code officials and do not perform code inspections.
We offer a variety of options:
- Progress reports as different phases of the new construction or work is completed.
- A full inspection upon completion but before closing OR we recommend...
- A full inspection be performed prior to the expiration of the one (1) year builder's guarantee.
Q: The seller provided a recent radon test report. Why should we pay to have our own test conducted?
A: The EPA has established specific protocols for testing for radon during a real estate transaction. Without knowing (1) who conducted the tests; (2) if they followed the protocols; (3) if they maintained a chain of custody; and (4) if they used approved devices along with using an approved lab to analyze the samples & report the results. For piece of mind and maintain control over accuracy, we recommend that you have your own radon test conducted by a nationally certified radom measurement specialist if radon is a concern to you and your family, which it should be.
Q: The seller offered us a recent home inspection report. Should we take it and avoid the hassle and cost of having our own inspection performed?
A: Never use a report that you don't have full control and confidence over. Don't forget, you were not the client of that home inspector and not entitled to their findings or consultation.
Q: The property has a septic system and we were informed that the tank had recently been pumped. Do we need to have it inspected?
A: Septic system repairs could cost thousands of dollars. If you were infoemed that the system was recently inspected & pumped out, ask for the receipt and contact the company that pumped the system and inquire as to what their findings were. For peace of mind, we recommend that, if you can not obtain proof and information, you have the entire system inspected by a qualified, licensed septic system company inspector. A new septic system installed can cost $15,000 to $30,000 or more.
Q: We were told that the owner just put on a new, 30-year roof. Should we have any concerns?
A: Many factors fall into play on how long roofing material will last no matter what the manufacturer states. Their warrantee will always depend on, and may be void due to, the following factors: How many layers are present? Does proper ventilation exist in the attic? Is there adequate insulation and moisture barriers present in the attic? Were the shingles properly installed? Is the right material installed proper for the pitch of the roof?