Hi there – husband and I are about to sign on a brownstone in Harlem but want to have an inspection done first. We’ve brought our contractor to the place and he doesn’t think it needs major structural work, but he also acknowledged that assessing that sort of thing isn’t his forte.
We’re not doing a total gut reno, but will be replacing all electrical, plumbing, etc. We already know boiler is new; roof was replaced 5ish years ago and there are no apparent cracks, etc.
There was some water damage a long time ago that has left part of the parlor floor damaged. We’d like to know if the beam under that is also damaged; we’d also like to know the strength of the roof for a possible roofdeck.
I’ve been interviewing home inspectors and for the most part it appears they can’t assess anything other than what’s visible to the eye, since they can’t open up any walls, etc., which makes sense — but it’s a bit scary to buy a place without *really* knowing what’s going on inside.
So my Qs are these —
1). IS there anyway to have a real structural inspection of a home before closing? If so, any recommendations?
2). If it’s not possible to have a structural assessment before closing, and we already know we’ll be replacing the plumbing and electrical, do we even need a “standard” home inspection, or is that a waste?
3). If standard home inspection still is a good idea – any recommendations for someone with experience in large b-stones, who’ll work in Harlem?
Thanks so much in advance!