Recently, online somewhere, there was an article about how home buyers should forget home inspectors and get their home inspected by a “general contractor.” It implied that general contractors are going to be way more qualified to find defects in the home than a home inspector.
This illusion may being fed in part by the popularity of the absurd things Mike Holmes finds in homes that supposedly were "missed" by home inspectors.
Let’s forget any possible exceptions to the rule, because that is what they are, “exceptions to the rule.”
In the very large space between the exceptions, fall the vast majority of home inspectors that are always going to be in a better position to recognize defects in the multiple systems of the home than most general contractors.
If this was not the case, home inspectors would find all the perfect houses that these exceptional general contractors constructed.
Which begs the question, where are all these perfect houses--the houses that would prove that the general contractor is in a better position to find the issues that home inspectors routinely find?
In my experience they simply don’t exist.
Let’s also consider that in many states where home inspectors are licensed, home inspections cannot “legally” be performed by anyone other than a trained and licensed home inspector. It would be akin to doing engineering without being a licensed engineer. There might be a way that a general contractor could wiggle their way around the law, but generally speaking, if they walk like a home inspector, talk like a home inspector, and act as a home inspector, they would be expected to BE a licensed home inspector.
There would also likely be huge repercussions for any agent that cooperated in having home inspections performed by non-licensed persons acting as a home inspector.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board