SKIPPING THE INSPECTION CAN BE A COSTLY MISTAKE

A home inspection is not required, and some people decide to save themselves a few hundred dollars by trusting their own eyes. This often becomes a very costly mistake. Without the training and experience of a home inspector, or without knowledge of what certain problems can lead to, saving a few hundred dollars now can cost you several thousand dollars just a short time away.

  • Foundation repairs – Damage to a foundation can come from water, shifting soil, earthquakes, and other naturally occurring situations. Moisture and humidity can build up and lead to the growth of mould. Damage to the foundation ranges from a few hundreds of dollars to over $10,000. The reason for this wide variance is because each foundation will require its own way of being repaired based on the source of the damage. In severe cases, the foundation may have to be completely replaced.
  • Mould – This can be found anyplace that moisture builds up. Mould in the walls and attic space requires removal of the wall covering (drywall, wallpaper, stucco, etc.) and replacement of the affected timbers. Some moulds have a bad effect on people with allergies while others can be deadly to anybody who breathes them in. All of them are capable of inflicting serious damage to both people and homes.
    • Removing mould from just a crawlspace will vary between $500 and $4,000.
    • To remove it from ducts, walls, attics, crawlspaces, etc. can cost up to $6,000. If the mould has caused extensive structural damage, you can pay $10,000 to $30,000 or more.
  • Basement – You might look at a home with a full basement and imagine a den, a playroom, or a bedroom. Before you do that, however, it will have to be brought up to code for it to be a legally habitable room. Even if you plan to use it just for storage and don’t need to have windows, doors, electrical and plumbing, having a basement you can actually use can wind up costing around $10,000 to $35,000 if done by a professional.
  • Electrical – Electrical codes have changed over the years as we have more and more electronic tools and toys in our lives. In the old days you might have had a lamp on your nightstand. Today you’d have a lamp, clock radio, cell phone charger, and any other gadget you could want handy. All of this puts extra loads on a house’s electrical system.
    • Modern homes are built with this sort of electrical lifestyle in mind, but an older home may have had extra outlets put in for convenience without accounting for the increased demand. Depending on where you live, the cost to bring a house’s electrical system entirely up to code is from $10,000 to $15,000.
  • Plumbing – Do not accept any plumbing issues as “just part of the house’s ‘personality’.” Leaks at the sink can indicate improperly installed faucets, poorly grounded seats, worn o-rings, or an entire faucet needing replacing. Clogs and slow flushing or draining can be anything from build-up at the trap to tree roots punching through your sewer lines. Never assume that it’s minor and you can fix it with a plunger or a plumber’s snake.
    • For most jobs that require a licensed plumber, you can expect to pay around $275. This is usually for things such as clogged or slow-draining sinks, slow flushing toilets, and sink fixture replacement.
    • Tree root problems can have a base cost of $350 with another $250 if a video examination needs to be done. However, if your sewer main needs to be replaced, that can cost over 3000$. If the yard needs to be dug up to get to the problem, restoring your landscaping is usually not included in the deal.
  • HVAC – Heating and air-conditioning, including the water heater, should be checked to make sure not only that it’s functioning but that it is of adequate capacity for the house. A new furnace can cost between $1,700 to over $13,000 installed. There is no advantage to leaving an incorrectly sized unit on your house. If it’s too small, it will be running constantly. If it’s too large, it won’t stay on long enough to properly circulate the air, leaving you uncomfortable.
    • A water heater is expected to last 10 to 15 years. Check on the age of the water heater in the house. If it’s close to 7 years, start shopping. A water heater installed can cost from $600 to $1,000 depending on capacity and any extra hook-ups needed (such as if changing the capacity of the water heater.
  • Windows – Windows are big sources of energy loss. If they don’t sit right in the frame, if they don’t close properly, or if the weather-stripping is old, replacing the windows is the most cost-effective thing to do.
    • If the window frame is still intact, replacing the windows can cost $300 to $700 each to install. However, if the frame is rotted or has termite or other pest damage, you can expect to pay $450 to $1,000 each.
    • Be aware that windows and doors that don’t close right if everything else is fine can indicate a house that has shifted on its foundation.
  • Flooring – The floor of a house takes a beating. Constant weight, foot traffic, moving furniture, etc., all of these can damage a floor. A concrete slab floor can suffer from nearby tree roots. A floor that is warped or creaks excessively can indicate troubles with the floor joists and other supporting members beneath.
    • If a floor joist has suffered only minor damage, it can usually be repaired through “sistering”, cleaning and treating the old joist and attaching a new one right alongside of it. This costs about $100 to $300 per joist. However, if the damage is extensive and the joists need to be replaced, a single section (for example, the northeast corner) can cost from $5,000 to $10,000. If the whole house needs to be put on jacks and all of the joists replaced, you can expect to pay $10,000 to $30,000 or more depending on the size of the house and the ease of access under the house.