Even if you've bought a house before, you may not be aware that sometimes one house inspector isn't enough to do the job. If the property you're considering has certain special features, you may need specialist house inspectors to really give you the lowdown. This includes houses with pools, with extensive grounds that include mature trees, and older houses. Additional options include specialists for pest control, chimneys, radon, and asbestos. An experience house inspector may be at least somewhat familiar with pest control or chimney inspection, but hiring a specialist will give you either peace of mind, leverage to negotiate on price, or a good reason to back out of the deal altogether.
A regular house inspector will do a careful visual inspection of all accessible parts of the house: the foundation, the exterior, the interior, and, if possible, the roof. This inspector will notice things like water damage or structural defects. However, a regular house inspector is not responsible for exterior elements of the property, and may not always be trained to recognize signs of termites or boring beetles.
If you have an older home, you may need house inspectors that specialize in older homes and chimneys. Often, an older home has unique issues that an inspection will address. These house inspectors can check to make sure that your chimneys are appropriately lined. Not having the appropriate chimney lining can lead to fire hazards, heating inefficiency, or masonry damage.
If you have a pool, you'll need a pool inspector to check for cracks in the pool or drainage issues. Regular house inspectors are not responsible for observing any other part of the property other than the house itself.
Any home can be at risk for radon buildup. Radon occurs naturally and its concentration is unpredictable even within the same city block. If you need to mitigate elevated radon levels, it could run into the neighborhood of a few thousand dollars, depending on the house; this discovery can save you some money on the asking price (of course, the money will have to be spent on alleviating the problem since radon causes lung cancer).
A home is the most important purchase you'll make. Invest wisely by hiring appropriate house inspectors for your situation. Check their references carefully to ensure that they have insurance, experience, and any necessary certifications.