When Should I Get My Renovation Inspected?

A construction inspector taking measurements

When you start a remodeling project, especially a larger one such as a room addition or a basement remodel, there are many things to consider.

Never forget to ensure that the improvements made to your home are up to standard. Any remodeling project or renovation that goes beyond the very basic repairs must meet all the applicable local building codes and regulations.

Who Pulls the Permits?

Most reputable remodeling or renovation contractors will take responsibility for obtaining the necessary permits when work begins on your project, but they may not be the people calling the inspectors to come and view the finished work.

What Does the Inspector Inspect?

Unlike an inspection performed before one purchases a house, a home inspection performed after renovation work has been completed is a straightforward pass/fail affair. The purchase inspection is performed to judge the basic condition of a house and any problems or faults noted. While it may alter the negations between buyer and seller, it will not usually affect a homeowner’s ability to occupy the residence unless there are serious code violations. A home failing an inspection after a renovation or remodeling project may be subject to such constraints though.

Another point worth noting is that a home inspector is only checking the renovation to ensure that it meets the local building codes; they are not necessarily inspecting the quality of the work performed. So long as these guidelines are met, all the materials used in the project are up to code and the remodeling work has been performed to official minimum standards, the renovation will pass.

When Does the Inspector Come?

If your home is undergoing a large renovation, call in an inspector after each phase is completed. Initially, this may seem like an additional financial outlay, but calling in an inspector before you sign the check to the contractor is always a good idea.

The majority of large remodeling projects are paid in phases, at intervals previously agreed in the contract between the homeowner and the remodeling firm, so ordering an inspection before each payment is made is often the rule of thumb.

What If You Fail?

If your home doesn't pass its inspection, the first step of course is to speak to the contractor. Most companies and professionals have guarantees in place and will fix any work that did not pass free of charge. The best course of action is to have what will occur if such a thing arises written into the original remodeling contract.

If you have obtained financing of certain kinds to finance the renovation or remodeling project, be prepared to show your lender a copy of the inspector’s report or they may choose to send in their own.

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