We are sometimes called in to give a “second opinion” when contractors such as roofers, plumbers, HVAC or specialists in any field have immediately jumped to the conclusion that major work is needed rather than doing effective repairs that will last for a reasonable length of time.
It often happens that a roofer does a “free inspection” and tells the perspective buyer that a new roof is needed when in fact some repairs and upkeep is all that is required to keep the roof water tight for the next few years.
I looked at a property with a flat roof of approximately 10,000 sq. ft that had some age and wear but in my opinion only needed $500 - $1,000 max in repairs and $200/year in maintenance to extend its useful life by several years which was what was needed . A roofer looked at the property and told the client it needed a new roof NOW! A second roofer looked at the project and was not quite so adamant but also said a new roof was needed. I asked one of the roofers we recommend on our website to look at the property and tell me what he thought. I didn’t mention the previous roofer’s reports. He told me the roof needed about $500 in repairs and he could guarantee it for at least 3 years if yearly upkeep was maintained.
I have had HVAC specialists tell me that the units on the roof only last 8-10 years any more. I have not found this to be the case. Almost all HVAC units I have personally inspected last 15-20 years or more IF THEY GET GOOD QUALITY, TIMELY UPKEEP!
The reason our industry exists I believe is two fold. First, is that we have no dog in the fight, so to speak. We look at the systems, tell you what we found and then give you workable solutions. At Commercial Real Estate Inspectors, our contracting background and experience over many years gives us a unique perspective and means that we know what we are looking at. We have no vested interest in what we find because we do not do any of the repairs or upgrade work ourselves.
The second reason is because a general real estate inspector looks at all the systems and how they will function together - not just the roofing or plumbing or electrical as isolated systems. If we honestly feel a specialist is needed for a more detailed review of a specific area then we will recommend that. We have some quality contractors on our website who will offer very good viewpoints and solutions to situations. I have not found any of them to immediately jump to the conclusion that replacement or expensive repairs are needed. This is why we like to recommend them. They will try to find a simple solution but if needed won’t hesitate to tell you if major work or replacement is needed.
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We hope this helps.