Everyone was gathered around the kitchen counter when the home inspector arrived. The buyers had finally found their dream home: an eight-year old beauty in a great location that was priced just right. The Appraisal came back good so this inspection was the last hurdle to cross to the closing finish line. The inspector immediately recommended a mold test after learning of a recent plumbing leak, takes two or three swabs out of his bag and wipes the floor and walls, then proceeds to walk through the home to perform a quick survey. He sees two narrow diagonal cracks above two bathroom entry doors, some hairline vertical panel joint cracks above two other interior doorways and several areas of crown moulding separation along the ceiling. He then says, “I think I need to stop the inspection. I think you need to get a foundation contractor in here to evaluate these cracks and crown moulding separations, before we go any farther.” Then he asks for a $ 200.00 payment for the mold swab samples, gets paid and leaves. Everyone in the room stares at one another in amazement. One person says, “Is it really that bad? Heck, I didn’t even notice the cracks, they’re not huge or anything.” Another says, “I didn’t detect any floor sag or sloping floors.” Luckily, the Realtor recommended the buyers call me. I walked through the home, looked at the cracks and exclaimed, “You have no major problems here. I’d guess that there may be about 1/8-1/4 inch of floor sag across the door opening that has caused these drywall cracks.” I then proceeded to map out the interior floor plan and perform a floor level survey. This exercise showed nearly perfect floor level conditions throughout the home and about 1/8-1/4-inch difference in floor height across the interior doors where cracks had formed. There was no problem at all. It was simply very minor, post construction settlement that had taken place early in the life of the home. Cosmetic repairs were all that was needed.
In 2005, the Alabama State Building Commission enacted the Home Inspector Licensing Law, which required a very limited standard of education for a person to be a state licensed home inspector. Basically, anyone with a high school education can become licensed. If you'd like a second opinion on your home inspection like this family, contact us.