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The Warranty Home Inspection to Maximize Fixes

February 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 126

The warranty home inspection has a clearly defined purpose, that of making the most of any and all warranties applicable to a house before they expire. Such a home inspection most often occurs for houses that were newly constructed when bought and which typically carry a builder's promise to correct construction flaws within a year after closing. However, an older home could also qualify for this service if it is covered by a home warranty policy.

A warranty home inspection is not the same as a re-inspection, though they both involve a return of the same inspector (usually) to perform follow-up work. In the case of a warranty, some time has passed (usually close to a year) and a general reexamination of the entire building is in order. For the re-inspection, the revisit occurs quickly, either just before or just after closing, and the only job is to inspect the repairs of specific called-out defects. Also, on average the warranty inspection costs more because it involves more work.

If the home wasn't inspected when it was purchased, or if it was but the inspector used isn't available now, then the owner has to hire someone who hasn't seen the house before. In that case, the owner should anticipate paying the full fee for a standard inspection and possibly an additional charge for preparing the builder's punch list. If the owner uses the same individual who originally inspected his property, then he can expect to pay a reduced fee for the warranty inspection.

My general approach begins by comparing the current condition of the house with what was documented in the original report, concentrating on previously found defects. Next comes a consultation with the client and a subsequent investigation of any specific issues he raises. The final step is to conduct a limited examination the purpose of which is to discover obvious flaws that have surfaced during the year and that are covered by the warranty.

In more specific terms, the inspector begins the warranty inspection by determining whether all the defects cited in his original report have been properly corrected. If not, he has to decide whether or not a case can be made that they are covered by the warranty. The inspector performs his customary serviceability tests of the plumbing, electrical, heating, and cooling systems, as these are items covered by manufacturers' warranties when the house is new and otherwise by the home warranty policy. Here, too, he checks for discrepancies with the original report.

Ideally the inspector is qualified to do, and does, a fairly comprehensive pest inspection. One doesn't expect any significant infestations or like problems in a year's time unless there are areas inordinately wet or moist. So the focus of the pest inspection is on checking for heavy moisture, which is indicative of leaking, condensation, or wicking, none of which should occur in a properly constructed home and are therefore covered conditions.

After investigating specific client concerns, the inspector performs a cursory look at the condition of the roof and structural integrity. He checks the operability and functionality of a representative sample of windows, doors, appliances, and cabinets, again being alert to noticeable discrepancies with his previous report. He is then ready to compile the punch list of items to be presented to the builder or the issuer of the home warranty policy.

John Gordon, PhD, is a home inspector and pest inspector doing business as Dr. Inspector and operating it from Bellingham, Washington. His emphasis is on customer service, meticulous attention to detail, and good communication. For more information, visit John's website,

Source: EzineArticles
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