Featuring America's Home Inspector: Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Barry Stone

The House Detective:  by Barry Stone, Certified Home Inspector

Dear Barry:I am selling my home, and everything was going smoothly until the buyer’s home inspector raised a needless issue about the deck. The inspection report says the deck and the roof above it must be attached to the house. I’ve gotten estimates from five different licensed deck contractors, and each of them said that the deck is well constructed and that attachment to the house is not required. My transaction with the buyer is now deadlocked over this issue. Do I have any recourse against the home inspector? Shouldn’t he have known that the deck is properly built?  Cathy

Dear Cathy: There are many home inspectors with questionable qualifications, some who are marginally experienced, some who overlook significant defects, and some who cite defects that are nonexistent. It may be that one of those people has inspected your home. If your transaction is deadlocked over this issue, you should insist that the home inspector cite the specific building requirement — chapter and verse — that was violated when your deck was built. If he cannot, then he should amend his report to show that the deck is properly constructed.