When you hire a home inspector to look over a house that you are considering buying, it's important to know what they'll be looking at and what you should expect. In Albany, NY, a home inspector is going to be looking at the general, overall condition of the home. If they spot something that is outside of their area of expertise or needs further inspection, they may recommend a specialist to look further into the problem.
A general home inspector is going to be able to give you a snapshot of the home's overall current condition. They can let you know if a burner is out on the stove, if the water heater needs servicing, or so on. They will not always be able to identify pest infestations, mice issues, or mold (depending on where these problems are located). The inspector can also not tell you about things in the well or septic tank, since they cannot access these things.
Your home inspector might be able to spot signs for more serious issues, and if that's the case, they will be sure to mention that in the report. At that point, it's ideal to have a specialist come in and look into that issue further. For instance, some of the special inspections that your general inspector may recommend include:
Wood Destroying Pests: If your home inspector spots the potential of some wood destroying pests, such as termites, in the property, they will let you know and that's when you should call in a specialist to look into the problem further.
Chimney Specialist: If the home has an older chimney, your home inspector may have you call in a specialist. Older chimneys sometimes lack flue liners or the brick inside may be crumbling. A specialist can identify such problems.
Electrician: If your general home inspector has you call in an electrician, it may be because the property's electrical box is old and no longer is in compliance with city code.
Furnace Tech: If your home has a furnace, it will usually need to be taken apart in order to figure out if there's a problem with it. Call in an HVAC specialist if your general home inspector points out any potential issues with it.
Some other specialty inspections your general home inspector may recommend include a pool inspector, a foundation expert, or a roof inspector. If your home inspector recommends one of these specialists, ask them questions about why they suggest calling in a specialist and what signs they have seen that have caused concern. Ask for any recommendations they may have about what specialists to call, and then follow their advice.
Remember, your home inspector’s job is to make sure you make a good purchasing decision. Even if you don’t want the deal to fall through, it’s likely that you don’t want to buy a home with a serious or expensive problem, so save yourself the trouble and call in a specialist.