Frequently, we get the request in our office for a “partial” inspection. This is another of those things that truly escapes my logic. While I am sure that the basis for this request is the desire to reduce the expense of the inspection, partial inspections are often a high-risk event for everyone concerned. Let me explain by way of example.
The most common partial inspection request is the roof inspection. This is due primarily to the high replacement cost of the roof and the probability of extensive damage to the interior of the home should the roof fail.
Here’s where the problems begin. Most folks assume that the roof inspection takes place on the roof. It is true that walking on the roof is an important element of the roof inspection. But, to really judge the past history and future performance of the roof, the interior of the home as well as attic space should also be inspected.
More often then not, roofs leak for quite some time into the attic before the leak is detected in the interior living space. Some leaks begin so small that for years the wood roof sheathing is kept wet and rotting. The water my also have dripped onto wires causing corrosion and ductwork causing mold! How are these additional discoveries disclosed in the context of the “partial” inspection?
To ignore them is clearly irresponsible; to disclose them is to surely expand the inspection beyond its requested partial scope. In either scenario, it is certain to create confusion and consternation. Had these initial symptoms of problem been discovered and disclosed in the context of a full inspection it would be a much simpler and more professional process to provide a clear and complete picture for integration into the contract. Seldom are partial inspections good for anyone in the transaction other then follow-up to the initial full home inspection.