There’s plenty of reason to celebrate the DIY spirit. But when you’re buying a home or getting your property ready to sell, it’s important to remember that “do it yourself” methods won’t ever be able to replace a professional home inspection.
Let’s explore what goes into a standard home inspection — and why a DIY approach will never be a substitute for the knowledge and experience of a licensed and certified home inspector.
DIY, By the Numbers
Here in our home base of Chicago and around the country, DIY projects are a popular pastime. This is particularly true right now, as millions of people around the country continue to stay at home to promote healthy social distancing. According to a recent survey from realtor.com, about 31.8 percent of homeowners say that they have started a home improvement project in the last few months.
And millions of homeowners and renters have taken up DIY home projects long before now. Data from the home services site Porch suggests that Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Gen X all attempt between four to five DIY projects per year, on average. In a survey, about a third of all respondents said that they attempted DIY “to save money,” while another 20% said that they enjoy doing projects, and 17% said that the particular project “seemed easy.”
From taking on minor cosmetic repairs to weather-proofing your home for winter and summer — if you have the time, the skills, and the materials, there are plenty of projects around your home that you can take on yourself. A thorough and comprehensive home inspection should never be one of them.
What Is a Home Inspection?
A home inspection is a visual examination of the readily accessible systems and components of a home. During an inspection, the inspector will look for structural and mechanical concerns, as well as potential safety hazards. Your inspector will also try to determine the age of major systems around the property, including the roofing, HVAC components, and water heaters, to name a few. (For a more complete list, take a look at some of our sample reports, available here).
During a standard home inspection, an inspector will generally observe more than 200 items throughout the home with a keen and objective eye — all to help make sure that the space will be safe and habitable for you and your loved ones.
For most people, purchasing a home will be one of the biggest investments they ever make. A home inspection can help you gain a better understanding of the conditions of property, allowing you to make a more informed purchasing decision.
For homebuyers, a home inspection is a powerful form of protection against buying a home that needs repairs that you may not be able to afford. For sellers, a home inspection can be a great marketing tool, and an effective way to streamline and speed up your home sale by preparing for any potential obstacles ahead of time.
Looking to gain a better understanding of a property you already own? A home inspection can empower you to maintain the safety, structural and mechanical integrity of your home, and ensure that all of your systems are functioning as they should be.
The Importance of Bringing on a Professional Home Inspector
Whether you’re a casual fan of HGTV or an experienced craftsman, even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector.
For the most accurate information about the conditions of a home, it is essential to always obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.
According to data from Porch, 88% of buyers used a home inspector’s services for their most recent home purchase. Of this group, 86% said that their inspector identified at least one problem that should be addressed and nearly half of the buyers reported that they “used home inspection reports to negotiate a lower price on their home.”
Whether you are getting your home ready to sell or complete your purchase, a professional home inspector can offer:
Unmatched experience and skills
A professional home inspector has the experience, depth of knowledge, and extensive training to make an unbiased and informed report of the condition of a property. An inspector is trained to be familiar with the many elements of home construction, property installation, and maintenance — including how a home’s systems and components are intended to function together, and how and why they fail. As a result, a home inspector knows what to look for, and is uniquely suited to interpret what their findings reveal about the condition of the property.
An objective and unbiased opinion
Buying a home is an incredible commitment of time and energy, on top of the hefty financial costs. Understandably, many buyers will find it difficult to remain objective and unemotional about a house, which can affect their judgment.
The more emotionally attached you are to the home, the more you may overlook certain issues — which can ultimately cost a significant amount of money that you may not be prepared to spend.
What’s more? Home inspectors in Illinois must be professionally licensed and certified — giving their findings more weight when you and your real estate team sit down at the negotiating table.
Continuing education and resources
In our view, a home inspection isn’t just about creating a report and handing it off; it’s about providing an education that homebuyers can rely on for years down the road.
At Windy City Home Inspection, Inc., we back all of our inspections with a 90 Day Limited Structural and Mechanical Warranty. We also offer complimentary tools that you can continue to use, including fact sheets and online resources such as HomeBinder and Homeowners’ Resource.
If you go the DIY route with a home inspection, or turn this important ask over to friends and family, you may end up on your own down the line — without any professionals or resources you can depend on after the job is done.
Ready to Talk About Your Chicago Home Inspection?
Curious about what goes into the home inspection process here in Chicagoland? Looking for guidance or insight from an experienced home inspection team? That’s where we come in.
With Windy City Home Inspection, buyers and sellers can expect a thorough, diligent inspection that never cuts corners. When searching for the right home inspector, it’s important to find someone you can trust — and that’s why we are here for you. The inspectors at Windy City Home Inspection, Inc. are licensed by the State of Illinois, certified, and insured. Each home inspection is backed by our Warranty and Protection Plan. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on our superior customer service. If you ever have questions, even years after your home inspection, we will be here to answer them, even if it means returning to your home.
At Windy City Home Inspection, Inc., we perform inspections to the highest standards — yours. Backed by a consulting team with more than 60 years of experience, Windy City Home Inspection is committed to excellence. Have a question? Let us help.