Buyers should hire trades to inspect homes

ODESSA, FLA. Dave Yates' column in April ("Home inspections can lead to legal tangles," pg. 30) hit home on more than one occasion. My first introduction to "home inspectors" came after I had been asked to check out an a/c system for a potential buyer after the home inspector had said the a/c was not capable of " achieving an 18F Delta T." I checked out the old, old, old Carrier straight cool system.

ODESSA, FLA. — Dave Yates' column in April ("Home inspections can lead to legal tangles," pg. 30) hit home on more than one occasion.

My first introduction to "home inspectors" came after I had been asked to check out an a/c system for a potential buyer after the home inspector had said the a/c was not capable of " achieving an 18°F Delta T." I checked out the old, old, old Carrier straight cool system. After making all the checks and adjustments (charge, air flow, blower speed, etc.) I could only get about an 11°F Delta T. I called the local carrier rep, and he said that what I got was GREAT since the unit was only designed for a 10°F split.

I contacted the home inspector and asked where he got his differential number. He told me that was the value the company he worked for had agreed upon. I informed him he was wrong and the unit was working well within manufacturer's specs. He told me I was wrong and hung up on me. Needless to say I informed all parties of my findings and of his "attitude."

Another time I had been called upon again to check an a/c system because a home inspector had stated there could be some "minor" problems with the system and a professional should check it. There were other abnormalities mentioned but not their degree of severity. As it turned out the lady bought the house based on his report and these "simple" problems. On my end it turned out the entire lower third of the aluminum coil was rotted out and leaking. We had to replace the condensing unit — NOT a "simple" repair given the cost to replace it.

The lady wound up paying almost $30,000 for all these repairs. She took him to small claims court and LOST.

The judge told her: "You paid for the man's opinion and that's what he gave you. He is NOT a professional a/c, plumber, roofer or any other trades person. You got what you paid for."

Needless to say she was far from happy. That's why I tell any of my customers: "Hire trained, licensed professionals in EACH of the trades that represent those areas of the structure you want checked. This way, for example, if the roofer says the roof is OK and it leaks a week later you will have recourse as he is a professional roofer and should have caught any problems, which is why you paid him."

This same thread goes for ALL of the trades. I haven't had any complaints from those that have followed this advice.

STEVE MORRIS
MORRIS AIR CONDITIONING