Why Choose a Home Inspector who Specializes in Historic Homes?
When you’re buying a historic Milwaukee home, it’s important to make sure that the property is inspected by someone who knows what they’re looking for. Many home inspectors are generalists and may not be familiar with the specific needs of a historic home. That’s why it’s important to choose a greater Milwaukee home inspector who specializes in historic homes. They will have extensive knowledge of how to inspect these types of homes and can help you make an informed decision about whether or not to buy the property.
Looking for a historic home inspector in Milwaukee or the surrounding suburbs? Towne & Country Building Inspection is the partner for you. Scot McLean has inspected thousands of historic homes during his career and is passionate about helping local individuals better understand their vintage and antique homes. Contact Towne & Country to schedule your Milwaukee historic home inspection today.
What Makes Historic Home Inspections Different
Historic homes require a different level of inspection than homes built in the last 40 years. That’s why it’s so critical to hire a home inspector who knows what to look for.
Historic homes must be inspected both against the standards of the time during which they were built and against contemporary standards for safety and the overall structural integrity of the home. One thing that has stayed the same over time is the concept of “good bones” – a home that was built well will last longer and require less maintenance than one that was not.
A home inspector who specializes in historic homes will take into account the age of the home, the building materials used, and how well the home has been maintained when conducting the inspection. Wear and tear, weather, and other elements that cause the elements of a home to break down have simply had more time to work on historic homes, so a home inspector will look closely at that. They will also take a close look at the elements that are no longer common in today’s homes and help educate you on whether or not these may cause issues now or in the future.
Many older homes have features that are no longer common in newer construction, such as:
- Foundations built from brick/masonry.
- Masonry walls.
- Narrow doorways, hallways, and staircases.
- Wood shake, wood shingles, and outdated sheathing.
- Wood frame windows.
- Plaster walls.
- Interior and exterior lead paint and lead in the soil surrounding the home.
- Asbestos flooring, insulation, exhaust ducts, and other elements.
- Old plumbing.
- Building or fixing that was not done by a professional.
- Non-standard or outdated electrical (which may require a specialized electrical inspection).
- HVAC venting through the chimney (which may require a specialized chimney inspection).
- A home inspector who specializes in historic Milwaukee homes will be familiar with these types of features and know how to spot potential problems.
How to Choose a Historic Home Inspector
A historic home inspection in Milwaukee may involve a home that was built 50, 75, or over 100 years ago! That means the inspector almost certainly wasn’t alive when the home was built and definitely wasn’t inspecting homes during that time. However, an inspector with experience looking at lots of historic homes will have enough context and detail to draw on to make sound judgments about the quality of the home and create a useful report for you.
When interviewing potential inspectors for your historic home, here are some questions you can ask:
- How much experience do you have in inspecting historic homes?
- How much experience do you have inspecting homes built in the same time period as mine?
- What is your process for inspecting a historic home?
- Can you walk me through some of the most common problems that occur with historic homes built in this time period and how you would look for them?
- Do you have any affiliations or certifications related to historic preservation?
One of the most important things to look for when choosing a home inspector is their level of experience inspecting historic homes. Towne & Country’s Scot McLean has inspected thousands of historic homes during his career and knows what to look for. He understands how to judge the quality and state of various facets against both the time period in which they were built and contemporary standards. To schedule your historic home inspection in Milwaukee or surrounding suburbs, contact Towne & Country today.