(By: Comfort Home Inspections owner Keith Hoaglund)
I frequently get asked about repairing some of the items we find wrong. I also get asked how much it costs to repair them or who should be hired.
When you think about it, it is a very valid question. After all, my inspectors are all very experienced and could easily perform quality repairs on most of the issues we find.
Why We Don’t Make Repairs
Why don’t we? Simply put, we want to protect you from a possible conflict of interest situation. In fact in Nevada, where I am also a licensed home inspector, soliciting the client for repairs is specifically called out under prohibited acts as a licensed home inspector.
The idea behind this is to protect the client. For instance, if Bob was slightly dishonest, had some handyman skills and was a practicing home inspector, he could perhaps “find” some defects (whether they were there or not) that fell into his expertise as a repairman, and then offer to repair the problems he just found for a few extra bucks.
Conversely, if Bob was totally honest and legitimately found something to repair and offered his services, the client may still be left to wonder which “Bob” he was dealing with. Have you ever had your car in for a quick oil change and the technician brings out a dirty air filter and says we better replace this too? We really don’t know if this came from our car. I don’t mean to pick on repair shops either. I am just indicating that a small conflict of interest is present when we pay someone to tell us how much to pay them.
We simply remove this entire situation from our inspection process to help our client feel more comfortable.
Estimating Your Repair Costs
When it comes to estimating repair costs, we may comment on pricing if we have had firsthand experience with a particular repair, and often we can get you in the general ballpark on others, but in general we would prefer to have you get bids from professionals who will be doing the work.
We do it this way to maximize your comfort level and provide the best accuracy we can while remaining neutral. We do, from time to time, refer professionals in a particular field that we have had good experiences with and know we can trust, but again we will encourage the client to select their own professional and to get more than one bid.
With all of this being said, I have found myself taking out my screwdriver and tightening a loose cabinet hinge or doorknob, and more than once I shut off a breaker that was feeding and unsafe exposed circuit or wire.
You Make The Final Call
I know there are general contractors in Minnesota that also inspect homes, and there are home inspectors who are also handymen. I assume many of these are reputable, but if you chose to hire one, be aware that you introducing the possibility of the uncomfortable situation you have experienced at the oil change place that wants to add blinker fluid or tighten your muffler belt for a small additional fee.