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Renovate Smart

Home Inspections

It pays to know upfront the condition of your property.

Inspections performed by specialists can save money and time to eliminate surprises. The cost of inspections may turn out to be a wise investment. 

  • First, have your property inspected by an independent home inspector, HUD consultant or licensed contractor.   

  • Depending on the condition and location of the property, you might need separate inspections for items such as termites, sewer line, mold and structural. This is particularly important for issues identified in the initial inspection that warrant further investigation.

      You will need to pay for these inspections.

      Generally a licensed contractor will inspect your property at no                  charge if they are quoting you for work they are bidding for.

Types of Home Inspections

  • Standard interior and exterior report. This is the most common starting point to identify issues. However, the home inspector might suggest more specialized reports.

  • Roof inspection

  • Electrical

  • Plumbing

  • HVAC

  • Termite Report

  • Mold inspection

  • Structural   



Must Do List and Wish List

  • Use the inspection results to create a list of 'must do' items that will bring the home up to code and address any big ticket items that might include structural, roofing, plumbing, electrical, HVAC or health and safety issues.

  • Developing your 'wish' list (items that will enhance your enjoyment of the house) might be considered secondary after the 'must do' items are addressed.Think about your goals. Do you want more space? An updated bath or kitchen? New floors? Or even a reconfigured floor plan? Ultimately, your budget will determine how many of the 'wishes' are possible after the 'must dos' are satisfied.  

Materials & Fixtures

Selecting the materials and fixtures you wish to use in your project will enable you to have a better idea of your budget and standardize the bidding process.

Items might include but not limited to:

  • Flooring (Wood, tile, etc.)

  • Roofing (Asphalt shingles, metal etc.)

  • Kitchen & bath cabinets & fixtures

  • Light fixtures, fans etc.

  • Appliances

Contractor Bids

Contact several licensed home contractors to inspect your property and provide their scope of work. (More on these topics below.) Be sure to request a bid that includes both a fully itemized cost breakout and the total cost of the project.

Contractors do not usually charge to make a bid / quote a job.

It will assist the contractor(s) to quote accurately if you specify your choice of materials and fixtures, such as floor coverings, kitchen cabinets, counter tops, light fixtures, appliances, bathroom fixtures, windows and doors and trim. The cost of these items will be included in the contractor's quote, or the contractor might include a cost allowance for these items.

It always helps to compare prices and scope of work, so we recommend you interview as many contractors as possible.

Why hire a General Contractor?

 Selecting a contractor 

 You will select the contractor(s) for your project, but finding a professional contractor doesn't have to be a difficult task.

Follow these guidelines to make the selection process easier and be better prepared to make an informed decision that best suits your needs:

  • Employ a contractor with an established business in your area

  • Request and check references from past customers in your community.

  • Many states, but not all, require contractors to be licensed and/or bonded. Contact your state or local licensing agencies to be sure the contractor meets all requirements. Your lender will require the contractor meets all licensing and insurance requirements.

  • Check with the government Consumer Affairs Office and the Better Business Bureau to ensure that there are no adverse records on file for the contractor.

  • Ask to see a copy of the contractor's insurance certification(s). Most states require a  contractor to carry general liability and worker's compensation insurance.

  • If you solicit bids from several contractors (recommended), be sure they are bidding on the same scope of work and materials of your choice, or that the allowances for materials are priced realistically. 

  • Beware of any bid that comes in much lower than the others or doesn't include all the necessary work items to complete your project.

Check out these links for information about home improvement professionals in your area:


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