Columbus Ohio real estate

Will your Home Inspector Get Up on the Roof? Ho Ho Ho...

Will your home inspector get on the roof?  Or is it a  " House Top" 

There is a historical home in Westerville, Ohio that is linked to the Christmas song "Up On The House Top" by Benjamin Hanby.

"Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?

Up on the housetop, click, click, click,

Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick"

Up On The House Top - Westerville Ohio

How do you choose a home inspector?

In a recent conversation about who we recommend to do home inspections in Columbus we got to discussing which home inspectors go up on the roof and which do not.  A home inspector who is no longer alive was mentioned as "does not go up on roofs."   I knew he had passed away so mentioned that.  I know for sure during a winter inspection this home inspector did for a client, he came back and went "Up On The House Top" for the buyers to check the roof. Or perhaps he used another method to evaluate the roof but he could NOT see the roof the morning of the inspection.  The night before the home inspection it had snowed.  He is not going to be doing any more inspections for any of us, may he rest in peace. 

Will your home inspector get on the roof?

I wondered whether it was this home inspector's companies policy to go up on roofs during a home inspection at one time and that changed?  Did he make decisions to go "Up On The House Top"  based on the pitch of the roof?  Based on the height of the house?  Based on whether he could view the roof from a ladder at the edge of the roof or with binoculars from the ground?  Or whether a decision to go up on the roof would be based on weather?

I know home inspector's who do not go "Up On The House Top" in Central Ohio. I got a call once from a family in Westerville that found a roof defect in the Westerville, Ohio home they'd purchased.  Their home inspector used binoculars to look at the roof.   Bad home inspector?  There is much more to the story.  The house was listed for sale as having a new roof, just a few years earlier.  Up On The House Top - Westerville Ohio

Will your home inspector get on the house top?

As a buyer employing a home inspector, you may want to ask whether the inspector goes "Up On The House Top"  or ask how they inspect they will inspect that roof for you.

In an old, old post titled "I like home inspectors with small shoulders"  I wrote:

"There's lots of criteria for picking home inspectors.  Real Living has advice for picking home inspectors, including use someone who is a member of ASHI.  On my* website I have some Columbus home inspection companies featured  and Real Living's home inspection advice on how to choose a home inspector. I also have ASHI and NAHI (professional inspection organizations) links on my website.

There's nothing on my website about size of body parts. There is no mention of shoulders large or small, six pack abs....

I like my buyers to choose a home inspector based on who will do the best job for them and the house they are buying.  I may suggest a particular company and even a particular inspector because of past experiences. "

Sadly with changes Real Living HER made that information (mine and Real Livings home inspection information) is gone! I was told recently by another real estate agent that the home inspector with small shoulders does not go  "Up On The House Top "

I see evidence to the contrary...  It's clearly on the home inspectors website.  It's there for buyers, real estate agents!

If it is not there ASK.  Ask if the roof is covered with snow how the home inspector will evaluate the roof.  Ask if it is drizzling what the home inspector will do.

Now let's all sing along...

'Up On The Housetop'

"Up on the housetop, reindeer pause
Out jumps good ol' Santa Claus
Down through the chimney with lots of toys
All for the little ones, Christmas joys
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Ho, Ho, Ho! Who wouldn't go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick

Lyrics from the Ohio Historical Society.  No home inspectors do NOT go down the chimney!  Santa does...

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This post provided by Maureen McCabe HER Realtors*

Contact Maureen McCabe of HER Realtors* - 614.388.8249

HER Realtors  Maureen McCabe

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*Real Living HER

Information is deemed to be accurate but should be verified to your satisfaction.  Information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice.  Opinions expressed are solely those of Maureen McCabe.



Comment balloon 2 commentsMaureen McCabe • December 06 2011 08:56AM


Two things I know...(1) I would never be a home inspector because I do not like heights (or things I can't see like electricity) and (2) I would never hire an inspector who would not go on the roof!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 7 years ago

"I would never be a home inspector because I do not like heights"

Me neither Or tight places.

"I would never hire an inspector who would not go on the roof!"

As a real estate agent?  Or as a consumer?  We have lots of days out of the year that climbing on some of our roofs may not be possible.  I think a buyer needs to know  what to expect in a home inspection.  If they believe  "I would never hire an inspector who would not go on the roof!"  that home inspector is NOT the one they should be hiring. IMHO a home buyer needs to determine how the inspector examines the roof typically. The home inspector with the small shoulder's site tells how he inspects roofs.  When I contacted him recently because another real estate agent said this home inspector does not go on roofs, he said he gets on the roof about 90% of the time.

When he slipped  into a crawl space fearlessly years ago I felt my buyers got their money's worth out of the home inspection,but it was like watching Fear Factor for me. He is a father now and I am sure  that makes a difference in putting himself in situations.  He just does not charge enough to risk his health and life.

Depending on weather buyers may need to make arrangements for their home inspector to come back out and reinspect the roof, if there are concerns.  Wet weather is a great time to inspect a leaky roof or a wet basement but if it is raining the home inspector needs to use common sense about examining the roof.  What would be the point of climbing on a snow covered roof?  You can not see the flashing, shingles, valleys, etc. with four inches of snow on the roof...    

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 7 years ago