Construction Surprises

House construction practices tend to follow predictable patterns. For example; the wiring tests and practices found inside the electrical panel, the crawl space and the attic are usually good indications of the quality of wiring to be found inside framing cavities. So, if it seems that all of the "inspectable" wiring was installed by a good quality electrical contractor, then chances are good that the wiring found inside the walls will be of the same quality. Furthermore, it is also very likely that the work performed by the other tradespeople employed by the same general contractor will be of equal and uniform quality.

Unfortunately, the opposite conditions are also very predictable. If the wiring inside the panel looks like a rat's nest then chances a quite good that similar disasters are to be expected in other systems installed by the same clan.

Quality general contractors choose quality subcontractors. And, quality subcontractors will avoid working with poor quality contractors who fail to select other quality subcontractors. The subcontractor who is hired to install millwork can do a better job in less time if the drywall is even and smooth. The drywall contractor depends on quality framing practices in order to complete the job on time and avoid callbacks for drywall defects which are often largely the result of poor framing practices. The framers want to work on a good foundation, etc...

A good home inspection should result in a list of specific findings, as well as, an overall assessment of the construction practices employed when the home was built and during any subsequent remodeling work. This information should help in predicting the level of surprises to be found in the inaccessible areas. See the topic page on The Sound Inspection.