How to Spot Renovation Cover-ups
When a seller is preparing a home for sale, sellers will usually “stage” the house to look as perfect as possible. That often means that things like water stains will be concealed behind a fresh coat of paint. It’s one thing if the leak that caused that water stain has been properly taken care of, but it is entirely a different matter if more is being covered up than you know – like mold and mildew.
Questions and Inspections That Expose Renovation Cover-ups
Since renovation cover-ups can possibly cost a new home owner thousands of dollars to correct, be sure to be thorough in your property search and inspection.
According to Darren Clancy, who has been in the plumbing business for over 30 years and is a certified Enviroplumber:
“Some renovated homes hide nightmares underneath.”
Here are some steps to follow in order to find those “nightmare” renovation cover-ups:
- Ask what renovations have been done: You should always ask the current owner if any renovations have been made and what renovations have been made. In some cases you will want to know why the renovations were necessary. That question alone can often reveal if there might be any renovation cover-ups.
- Ask who did the renovations: Next, you will need to find out who did the renovations. Were the renovations done by a well-regarded licensed contractor from a reputable company, or were they done by the owner and/or the owner’s friends. If a licensed contractor did the renovations the chances are good that the work will be well done and up to code.
- Inspect for quality workmanship and materials: Even with an untrained, unprofessional eye you will be able to tell if the workmanship and materials are top quality. When an owner has pride in his home, it shows.
- Make sure renovations meet building codes: Here you will probably want to have your real estate agent track down the paperwork connected to the renovation project to ascertain that the work has met standards and is up to code.
- Check newly painted areas carefully: Whenever you see that an area has been newly painted, especially in bathrooms and kitchens, you should make sure that the paint is not covering up a more serious condition like mold or mildew. If there is a mold problem, you could easily be looking at thousands of dollars to correct that issue. Mold is also an indication of a water leak problem, not to mention that it is a real health danger as well.
- If renovations have been made, hire professional licensed inspectors: When a renovation has been made, even when there is no evidence of any renovation cover-ups, it is extremely important to have respected licensed professionals do an inspection. Many renovation cover-ups lurk behind walls. Only a licensed professional would know the tell-tale signs of a possible cover-up, and thereby know where and how to look. Whatever you do, don’t skip this important step. Thorough inspections can save you mega bucks, not only in repairs, but also in negotiations if you go ahead with the sale.