Home inspectors in Texas, and virtually everywhere else in America, are ‘Generalists’. That means that we know a lot about all the components it takes to make your house a safe and comfortable place to live. We know lots about how the electrical system should be wired and why. We know tons about the various roof structures and coverings and why something is designed the way it is. We know why the plumbing looks the way it does under your sink and the likely cause of the gurgling in your drains. I can tell you when a window needs caulking, where it might be leaking, if it is out of square, the obvious sign that the seal on a double pane window broken. I can tell you that the hairline cracks in your new driveway are caused by shrinkage and are normal, I can tell you the minor crack in the mortar of your brick fascia that runs from the top corner of the door frame up a little ways then back down to the other corner is probably caused by a lintel that is too short, rusting or otherwise failing. But that doesn’t mean I know how to change out that window, pour and finish concrete or lay brick, but I do know if someone else did it correctly and I do know what items might/will need inspecting, and possibly repair, by an expert in that particular profession.
The reason there is an army of trained and licensed ’generalist’ in America inspecting homes is that the cost of not inspecting them can be very high. Even the minor things that make up most inspection reports can turn into major problems over time. When caught early, in an inspection, corrective steps can be taken to avoid major costly repairs later. So ‘generalists’ not only save money in the long run they also save you money in the short run. Can you calculate the cost of paying the experts in all the different areas of a home that require inspecting? Let’s consider just 5 areas of the inspection: You’ll need a structural engineer, an electrician, a plumber, a pest control company and a heating and cooling guy. Let’s not mention: roof, mold, landscaping, gutters and downspouts, toilets, tubs and showers, kitchen/laundry appliances, etc. the list goes on. The cost of all these different experts would be astronomical. It’s much more advantageous to hire one trained professional person (me) to check all this, and more, and IF something is found that needs expert attention you can call in just that particular professional.
Some home inspectors are licensed as ‘experts’ in other related fields which is nice BUT even if that ‘other expert’ home inspector spots some wood rot and/or wood boring insects HE CAN NOT treat them, he will advise you to call in another expert to do that. If an ‘other expert’ home inspector spots some black or green foreign substance growing in a damp area of the home he may or may not be able to use the ‘M’ word to describe it, when pointing it out to you, but one thing is for certain, he WILL NOT be able to treat it for you, he will advise you to call in another expert.
Then why have other licenses? The majority of inspectors don’t have a lot of other ‘expert’ licenses or certificates because they simply will not find a need for that ’expert’ knowledge on the majority of their home inspections, and on the few they do find their ‘expertise’ coming in handy (in the sense that they could explain the details of the situation) they still have to tell you to call someone else in, (who will also explain the details of the situation), because they cannot, by law, treat or solve the issue themselves!! Then why have other licenses? Their other licenses allow them to run more than one business at a time. To which I say ‘good for them’! But I choose not to do that. Being a Texas Professional Home Inspector is the only business I run and its demands are challenging enough for one person to fulfill correctly. It takes up all my time between meeting clients, visiting with Realtors, doing inspections, writing reports and constantly taking classes on how to do it all better and more precise I don’t have much time left for a second business. Inspecting your home is what I do.