We are all familiar with what it means when the home inspector climbs down from the roof and says, “The roof is toast.” They may then go into a description of all of the things they saw that defends his or her position---especially if they are countering listing information that states, “Newer roof.”
Typically I exclude most detached storage shed structures from the inspection.
They get excluded because most people do not want to pay me for what it would cost to include them in the Home Inspection Report. However, it is my own business model to automatically include any electrical components in any of these types of buildings on the property---but the structure itself would likely only get the cursory “pointing & shouting” during the course of the inspection.
Detached structures, like storage sheds, are rarely built to the same standards as the home on the property, and often get the lack of respect they deserve in the context of an inspection. One would hope that these structures would never be the reason someone is buying the property. Although I have seen some that have deteriorated in ways to transform themselves almost into works of art.
At a recent inspection, when I opened the door to the storage shed, to see if there were any electrical components, it was not too hard to assess the condition of the roof.
Was it the mold, wood decay/rot and water dripping off the roof sheathing that was my first clue?
Or was it the view of the outdoors from the indoors that was my biggest clue?
So, how can you tell when the roof is toast?
Sometimes---it is just obvious.
Fortunately---there were no electrical components.
Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board