Confirming accessibility requirements.
Crawl spaces, attics, furnaces, electric panels... these are a few of the many places where a conscientious home inspector needs to venture, in order to perform a complete and accurate assessment of your house.
Please have your stairwell tidy and free of debris and obstructions, and leave plenty of clearance around the garage door, electrical panel and furnace. If your attic hatch is in a closet, we need to have clothing and other articles removed from the upper shelves, to afford access using a step ladder.
If you have a crawlspace under the house, and the hatch is not readily accessible, we ask that you move any furniture or other items away from this area, and if necessary, roll back the floor coverings to expose the hatch, just prior to the inspection.
No house is perfect, and a home inspection is not intended to identify every little blemish or minute imperfection - however, the conscientious home inspector tries to discover if there are major defects in a home that the purchaser, and perhaps no one else, is aware of - and should also point out the positive aspects of the house.
In the vast majority of cases, we find nothing remarkable, or nothing to criticize in crawl spaces; however If there is no access to your crawl space, we may not be able to provide your Purchaser with any relevant information about important components, such as foundation walls, floor structure, electrical wiring and the main plumbing system.
Try to understand the purchaser’s point of view... "inaccessible" can mean "unassessable" and therefore may leave a big question mark in the purchaser’s mind. How would you feel if you were about to make the greatest purchase of your life, and were not given the opportunity to view one of the largest, most important component parts of that purchase?
And remember, you ARE marketing your house - you probably wouldn’t try to sell your car without letting prospective buyers look under the hood. It just makes good sense, to have all areas accessible, so that your purchaser can feel comfortable in the knowledge that there won’t be any unwelcome surprises later on.
The Home Inspector
Gil Strachan is a professional home inspector, representing Electrospec Home Inspection Services in east-central Ontario since 1994.