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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How do You Choose a Home Inspector?

Pinellas Energy Efficiency Project

Improving your home's energy efficiency will save you money. A professional home inspection can identify those needed repairs and/or upgrades. Like anything else, a home inspection is only as good as the inspector doing the work. It is in your best interest to carefully verify the qualifications of any inspector you consider hiring.

First, make sure any home inspector has expertise on the specific subject for inspection—expertise on plumbing is not the same as expertise on energy. Second, verify any business background or licenses held by the home inspector. By Florida law, only State-certified Energy Raters may provide energy-rating services. Certified energy auditors and utility auditorsare not home inspectors. Nor are they Home Energy Raters.

You should request a copy of the home inspector's contract, agreement, or proposal and read the fine print to determine exactly what you will get for your money. Request that the home inspector provide you with a list of current and past customers as well as a list of references. The more residential customers, the better. Check with several references on the list.

A lower price is not always the best way to choose a home inspector. When comparing prices for home inspections, it is very important to compare the actual service and qualifications at the same time.

Inspectors/Raters may have a conflict of interest, if:
  • They also offer to perform any needed repairs or other work
  • They offer to recommend any contractor to perform repairs
  • They have worked for a builder or seller associated with the home prior to the inspection

Also, think twice about hiring a home inspector who worked as a contractor before becoming an inspector. Was their contractor's license revoked or suspended? On the other hand, if the former contractor has simply chosen to shift to a lighter schedule of work, this person may bring some of the best practical experience to the job.

To learn more about Energy Efficiency Home Inspections, click here to download this pdf fact sheet from the University of Florida.


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