You think you’ve found your dream home and are ready to make an offer. Have you really looked at the entire home’s exterior? Things like poor quality windows, old siding, and neglected roofing can end up costing you in repairs and replacement costs once you’re in the home. Although you’ll likely have a home inspection, here’s what you may not learn from that inspection.
The home inspector is not a roofer. He is a home inspector. There is a checklist of things that he’s been trained to evaluate and report on. The inspector may tell you the roof needs to be replaced or is in good condition, but he isn’t a roofing expert. He can’t tell you how much longer useful life the roof has. Depending on the severity of a roof leak, he may not even be able to spot it. He certainly won’t be able to assess how much damage is done or the cost to repair it. If you’re looking at buying a home and the current owner can’t, or won’t, furnish their roof repair and maintenance information, you may want to hire a licensed roofer to inspect the roof. Roofing companies charge for this type of service.
Most inspection reports include a brief summary about the windows which may include how many are missing screens, which need new locks, and any that don’t open or close properly. What it won’t tell you is the quality of the windows and if they are energy-efficient. From the outside of the home you should be able to determine if they’re wood or another material. Remember wood windows require significant maintenance. From the inside of the home you should be able to tell if there is a lot of air leakage, meaning hot or cold air comes in. Think about the windows and if you’ll need to replace them after moving in.
If the home you want to purchase has wood siding, remember you’ll need to paint it about every 7-10 years. A home with vinyl siding requires less maintenance. Pressure washing it a few times a year or less keeps your home looking great. The age and siding material will give you a clue as to its energy-efficiency too. Newer siding is more energy efficient.
Before you sign a contract to purchase a home, know that you are within your rights to ask questions and have a professional evaluate any element you are unsure of. Cooley Roofing and Construction can evaluate the home’s roofing, windows, and siding and provide estimates for repair or replacement of any element. Call us at (336) 766-6488 to talk to one of our professionals about an exterior home inspection.