Are you considering buying a home that has had an addition built onto it? If so, it is even more important than usual that you have a good home inspector look over the place before you agree to buy it. Some homes with additions are very well built, durable, and safe. However, there is a potential for various issues with an addition, and some can be costly to fix. Here are some particular things you should ensure your inspector looks for and checks over during the inspection process.
Homeowners don't often extend the basement beneath an addition. Often, they put down a concrete slab foundation instead. Joining this slab foundation with the existing foundation is a task that has to be done carefully to avoid leaks and shifting. So, make sure your inspector looks the foundation over carefully. If they note any cracks, sinking, or other potential structural issues, you may want to walk away from the home. These issues are expensive and sometimes impossible to fix.
Have your inspector note whether the addition has its own HVAC system, or whether it is tied into the HVAC for the rest of the home. If it has its own HVAC, that's actually a good sign, so long as the HVAC equipment is in good shape.
Often, when a homeowner builds an addition, the existing HVAC is too small to accommodate the addition. If the homeowner upgrades the HVAC, things should be fine. However, you want your inspector to be on the lookout for HVAC systems that are undersized because the homeowner did not install bigger equipment when they built the addition. You may find that the addition does not heat and cool properly when this is the case.
When the addition is connected to the main home, there can be some valleys and other irregularities in the roof that appear as a result. The roof may already show some signs of damage from water pooling in these areas. Or, your inspector may point out the potential for these issues in the future. Overall, you want your inspector to tell you whether the way the roof was connected will make the home more prone to roof leaks going forward.
There are plenty of homes with additions that are in great shape and well worth buying. But since there are also homes with problematic additions, it's wise to let an inspector take a look. Visit a site like Ridgeview Residential Inspections.com for more information.