Inspector or seller (was Who to call: roof/gutter/insulate problem

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Thanks for the responses that I got on my original question a few weeks ago! We had a roofer out to look at it, who said we needed a carpenter. From the carpenters, we've found that we need to remove that section of gutter, have the soffit re-attached properly so that there is no gap, then have new guttering installed there, since the current guttering has sagged with the soffit.
We can remove the guttering pretty easily and the carpenter fee shouldn't be all that much. But the new guttering (25-30 feet worth) could cost a few bucks.
Someone recommended contacting the inspector. We did that, and as one would expect, he doesn't believe this is something he should have seen. In his words, "I did not climb in your attic....and did not see the condition that you describe. The condition of the soffit being pulled down and having a gap, unless wood rot was evident, probably would not have been noted in my inspection." He believes this is something the seller should have disclosed, and is therefore the seller's responsibility. This is a condition that can be seen from the outside, so I'm not sure what his not going in the attic has to do with anything-- other than make him look kind of foolish, because shouldn't an inspector go in the attic at some point?
So we're looking at a ping-pong match here to determine who is "responsible" for not telling us about this condition. I'm not interested in a money grab-- but we've already had to pay a couple hundred bucks to fix things that the seller was supposed to fix, but didn't fix properly (they wired a dryer plug receptacle incorrectly, didn't properly fix a leaking pipe, left the kitchen sink disposal in non-working order by trying to dispose of their entire refrigerator before moving out), and I'm kind of tired of just swallowing this stuff.
So I'd just like a few opinions-- pursue the seller, further pursue the inspector, or let the whole thing drop?
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http://www.imagestation.com/album/?idB86139433&code 924500&mode=invite&cmp=EMC-IS_other&creative=album-invite
Thanks for the responses that I got on my original question a few weeks ago! We had a roofer out to look at it, who said we needed a carpenter. From the carpenters, we've found that we need to remove that section of gutter, have the soffit re-attached properly so that there is no gap, then have new guttering installed there, since the current guttering has sagged with the soffit.
We can remove the guttering pretty easily and the carpenter fee shouldn't be all that much. But the new guttering (25-30 feet worth) could cost a few bucks.
Someone recommended contacting the inspector. We did that, and as one would expect, he doesn't believe this is something he should have seen. In his words, "I did not climb in your attic....and did not see the condition that you describe. The condition of the soffit being pulled down and having a gap, unless wood rot was evident, probably would not have been noted in my inspection." He believes this is something the seller should have disclosed, and is therefore the seller's responsibility. This is a condition that can be seen from the outside, so I'm not sure what his not going in the attic has to do with anything-- other than make him look kind of foolish, because shouldn't an inspector go in the attic at some point?
So we're looking at a ping-pong match here to determine who is "responsible" for not telling us about this condition. I'm not interested in a money grab-- but we've already had to pay a couple hundred bucks to fix things that the seller was supposed to fix, but didn't fix properly (they wired a dryer plug receptacle incorrectly, didn't properly fix a leaking pipe, left the kitchen sink disposal in non-working order by trying to dispose of their entire refrigerator before moving out), and I'm kind of tired of just swallowing this stuff.
So I'd just like a few opinions-- pursue the seller, further pursue the inspector, or let the whole thing drop?
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1. Send the previous owner the bill for the things he had promised to fix and didn't
2. Fix the soffit and gutter at your own cost (you'll never get this back, from anyone)
3. Get a better inspector next time
4. Enjoy your new home, and stop fretting about the past

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Just to add a little more background to this. When we bought our first home several years ago, we let our realtor set the inspection up. We found out, much later, that this was a guy she sent all her clients to, and he seemed more interested in staying in her favor than with helping us. Missed a number of structural problems, among other things, and we put out about $5K for repairs.
So, this time, we did as much homework as possible. Consulted tons of people, got references, and ended up going with an independent inspector who was well regarded by everyone we spoke with. Paid a lot more for him (a little over $500 total) than we could have spent on others. So cost wasn't a concern. Rather, we wanted the best inspector we could get. I truly don't know what more we could have done.
Whether he had a bad day or what, I don't know. But you know, at some point, it'd just be nice if service providers could own up to it when they make a mistake.

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I have a customer that is almost unemployable. He even got fired from a job at the Borg!
He called me the other day to ask me a bunch of HVAC questions. It seems he's going to school to be a home inspector. Imagine that.

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sffleague wrote:

http://www.imagestation.com/album/?idB86139433&code 924500&mode=invite&cmp=EMC-IS_other&creative=album-invite
You probably won't get any satisfaction. The seller/homeowner may not have know the condition. The inspector actually works for you and it is his responsibility to look for problems. Sounds like the inspector didn't do much of a job, just collected his fee. Pursuing him may be fruitless depending on the laws and regulations where you live. (Irresponsibility of inspectors and lack of being held accountable is quite common).
If nothing else, I would detail the items in a report focusing on those things which would be obvious to a careful inspection. Then send it to the county/city/state agencies that are involved. Maybe detailing what you are going to do will shake of few bucks out of the worthless inspector. And I would certainly go to the local newspapers with a "hot" story on local fraud.
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Document the cost of repairing the soffit and gutter, then sue both the seller and the inspector in small claims court. Let the judge decide if it gets that far. It certainly looks like this was the fault of the inspector, as it could be observed from the outside or from the attic. The fact that he never even entered the attic is proof he's incompetent, assuming you had an agreement for a standard home inspection.
The inspector should have errors and ommissions insurance, which if you sue, may pay you to get rid of the case.
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sffleague wrote:

I don't think the seller is going to be involved. If it was something you did not see, then they likely would not have seen it either. On the other hand let's talk about this inspector.
Who hired the inspector? I am assuming he was working for you. What credentials did he provide? License? Was there a written contract? Some inspectors are worthless, and it sounds like you had one. I can't imagine any legit inspector; inspecting a home without going up on the roof. A good inspector is well worth the cost, but it looks like this one was not worth anything.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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The inspection reports I've seen carry a phrase something like "Inspector is not responsible for anything missed."
In other words, you're outta luck.
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"HeatMan" snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAM.yahoo.com wrote in message %8OSc.14184$ snipped-for-privacy@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net

I say sue the home inspector.
I was talking with one recently and he got to telling me how his liability insurance rates have been sky-rocketing. Not particularily his, but the home inspection business in general
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I would say drop it. Fix the problem and get on with life. Yea, the inspector sounds like he hid a half a%^ job, I should have gone on the roof and in the attic but you may have had a different agreement with him (Cheapest price huh?)
A couple of bucks for a rake board and a new gutter. Do the board yourself, have a gutter co do a seamless gutter. Its a small job. Cost me $700 for a cape cod at lest 4 times as much gutter and included drops and was in a color.

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IMO, the home inspector is a weasel. I don't know that the sellers would have know about it to disclose the problem. That is why you hire an inspector; to FIND problems. He should have been in the attic. Maybe you can ask for a refund? Report him to some association of inspectors?
You probably have no recourse, unfortunately, but I'd be sure the realtors involved know about the guy's ethics and poor inspection procedures.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

http://www.imagestation.com/album/?idB86139433&code 924500&mode=invite&cmp=EMC-IS_other&creative=album-invite
Yes, but the op says you can see it from the ground. That means the inspector is direlict. And the purpose of the inspection is not to get the inspection cost refunded if the inspector screws up, but to avoid the cost of needed repair and that means that the inspector becomes liable for the cost of the repair.

I agree, that the op is likely to get any money, but he should take the extra effort to try to get that inspector barred from the trade.
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x-no-archinve: yes George E. Cawthon wrote:

IMHO, it is a dishonerable trade; rather than be barred, the inspector will just be a local hero. He and his buddies will just have a good laff at the OP's expense.
I'm sure there are some fine home inspectors out there, but I don't think there are very many.
As far as telling the realtor, the realtor doesn't care. The realtor just wants to close the deal, and a thorough inspection will occasionally break a deal.
You buy a house, and you get screwed by everybody who can butt in and demand a fee. That's part of the deal, and it's best not to dwell on it and just get over it. To a lesser extent, the same thing happens to the seller.
Best regards, Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

A very important point. Realtors (both the seller's and the buyer's) have the same goal sell as many homes for as much as possible. They are all on the seller's side, including the one who claims to represent the buyer. They all get paid on commission. If they recommend an inspector, you can be sure it is one that never finds any problems.
My advice is to hire a lawyer or a realtor who will work on a fixed fee not commission.
I do disagree about home inspectors. There are many good ones, but there are also many very bad ones. This is one area we need more local attention in licensing.

--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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On 12 Aug 2004 07:16:38 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (sffleague) scribbled this interesting note:

A couple of more cents worth here:
You bought an old house. It is in used, not new condition. It will never be in new condition again. Unless you are made out of money, learn how to do these minor repairs yourself. If you can assemble a moderately difficult Lego set, you are capable of doing any and all the repairs you mention for a fraction of the cost of hiring anyone else to do it for you...and that also includes home inspection.
If the condition you cite was obvious, why didn't you note it before buying the property? Pulling off a section of facia, repairing a section of soffit, putting it back together, caulking, priming, painting, well all that is not very difficult. I'd be more concerned about what caused the condition to begin with? Unless it was slapped together in a slip-shod fashion and was in the process of simply falling apart, something caused this problem. Fix that, repair the damage, install some new gutter, and be done with it.
Fault? There is no fault. It is always the case that the buyer should beware. In today's risk-averse society everyone seems to want to hold someone else responsible instead of owning up to their own responsibility. A leaky pipe, a stuck disposer, a mis-wired plug, all these are minor items that ought not ever be real issues as they are all relatively trivial to fix!
-- John Willis (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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For the most part, I agree. In this case, however, the OP paid a professional to do the inspection. As a professional, he should be able to find things that Joe Sixpack would not think to look for.
If I was buying a house today, I'd forego the inspector and do it myself. I've heard of too many incompetent ones. OTOH, I have a bit of knowledge about houses but I know of many people that don't have a clue. They are prey for the unscrupulous home inspector. Ed
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scribbled this interesting note:

In principle I agree with you except the opinion of the inspector is exactly that...his opinion. As such it is only worth what his experience in the field of residential construction makes it worth. I don't know about most home inspectors, but I suppose many only study texts enough to pass a state mandated test. The opinion of these kinds of inspectors is worthless. Of course that is what I think of most home inspectors anyway!:~)

Again, I agree. Which is why the best protection a person can have when buying something worth as much as a house can be is education. Besides, if you are going to be a home owner then you really need all the education about how the various items that make up your house work and work together. But I suppose that goes against the grain of the Instant Fulfillment most people today want...
-- John Willis (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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John Willis wrote:

That's great if you're paying cash for the house. If there's a lender involved, they'll insist on a professional home inspection, and the buyer gets to pay for it. Follow the guy around with a croquet mallet and watch him work. Ask lots of questions. Bean him occasionally if he's not doing his job.
Bob
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scribbled this interesting note:

That might actually get a little information into the thick head of the average inspector!:~)
-- John Willis (Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
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