can a contractor kill two birds(inspector & contractor) with one stone?

7 Replies

Where there is no lender involved, wouldn't a contractor be more efficient for his estimate along with his qualified professional opinion than hiring an inspector for $300, doing your less than professional estimate and coming up with a good offer?

Well the contractor will not critique their own work like a home inspector would.  I say hire them separately. 

@Benjamin Cowles

I have had inspections a few times, along with contractor review.  I am also thinking about not doing home inspection but am not convinced it is a good idea.

My contractor tends to be more loose with his estimates when we are evaluating houses, and he wont check things out as thoroughly as the home inspector.  Inspector will climb on roof (if no snow), will go into crawlspaces, and has a long list of things he checks.  Contractor will look at completely different things with me, like options for minimizing rehab costs, ideas/costs for changes to house, timelines, etc.  So, they tend to have different roles at the present.

That said, everything the home inspector has called out has either been obvious or not important.  We do look carefully at the house prior to putting in offer.  I would like to be able to remove that inspection contingency in some cases if we need a stronger offer.

I will admit that I have my contractor do all of my walk troughs prior to purchase and he does the work to follow - the contractor I use is my father and he charges much more than what others might, but I know it is done correctly.

With that said, it is best to have the inspector and contractor separate - two sets of eyes is well worth $300 and the contractor may not see items the inspector does and vice versa. The benefit of the inspector extends to the resale - the inspector may see items you were not planning on fixing that the next inspector will also find.

maybe if you have a good relationship with a contractor you trust? well I guess the question is whether a contractor requires the inspection of an inspector to provide you with a close estimate to the repairs the property needs unlike say when you go to a mechanic for your car who will charge you for the diagnostic, usually an hour's worth rather than referring you to an 'automotive diagnostitician'. I understand the inspector gets paid to find issues and the contractor just to fix them, but you'd think the guy that fixes them would also be skilled at identifying them if not more skilled. And the contractor would be inclined to find all possible issues as his livelihood would benefit. Throw $100 on that free estimate for him to spend an extra 1/2hr in your attic/on the roof/under the house... Just wondering.

Originally posted by @Benjamin Cowles :

Where there is no lender involved, wouldn't a contractor be more efficient for his estimate along with his qualified professional opinion than hiring an inspector for $300, doing your less than professional estimate and coming up with a good offer?

Efficient? You mean cheaper or as qualified?

Not sure how you can show a contractor is "more professional" than an inspector. Their purpose are not the same, one builds, has construction knowledge. The inspector has construction knowledge but also compliance knowledge, probably has more information on technical repair issues with mechanical, HVAC on different models and appliances.

A contractor buys parts, say a GFI breaker, thinks nothing of it as it's at the store. An inspector probably keeps up with recalled items from many sources. If the contractor never bought a Homie GFI brand, how would he know it had a recall? Probably wouldn't know.  

A contractor can't inspect his own work either, any certification is tainted with self interests.  

Inspectors keep up with current safety aspects, material performance information, fire codes, health matters like radon and lead paint issues that contractors may not be required or exposed to. Does a contractor carry a radon detector in his truck?

Now, if you just need a construction estimate or an opinion about the construction of a building, a contractor might be the best option. Question is, is the construction aspect the only risk you have or the only area needing to be evaluated?

A pigeon is a dove, but a dove is not a pigeon. :)

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