Top 5 Home Inspection Myths

For those of you who have bought or sold a home, there are undoubtedly at least a handful of myths you have run across related to the information provided from your Home Inspection.  Duell Plumbing, Heating and Cooling would like to dispel some of these myths for you as we have run across these scenarios ourselves AND have heard of them working with Mike Heath from New Vizion Home Inspections.

Here are just a few, stay tuned next week for more!

1. The seller needs to fix this.

The seller is not responsible for anything they choose not to be responsible for.  Home buyers can ask sellers to fix things or pay for things to be fixed, but there literally is not anything a home inspector identifies as an issue that a seller would be required to fix.

2. Windows less than 18″ from the ground need tempered glass.

There is no such code requirement, and as far as we know, there never has been. This misunderstanding comes from section R308.4 of the International Residential Code (IRC). The IRC requires special glass in hazardous locations, and goes on to give a list of hazardous locations.  One such example is glass in a location that meets ALL of the following conditions:

  • Exposed area of an individual pane larger than 9 square feet.
  • Bottom edge less than 18 inches above the floor.
  • Top edge more than 36 inches above the floor.
  • One of more walking surfaces within 36 inches horizontally of the glazing.


When only one, two, or three of these conditions are met, it’s not considered a hazardous location and tempered glass is not required.

3. Buyers should only attend the end of the inspection.

Buyers will probably get the most out of the inspection if they do what the home inspector prefers. If the home inspector prefers to have the buyer show up at the end, the buyer would do best to show up at the end. If the home inspector prefers to have clients attend the whole thing (like New Vizion Home Inspections does), the buyer should try to be there the whole time.  More often than not, the education acquired from this process is more than worth the time investment.

4. New construction homes don’t need inspections.

Mike from New Vizion inspects a ton of new construction homes, and he finds a ton of defects.

5. A small air conditioner might not cool the house properly.

The physical size of that thing at the outside of the house won’t tell you anything about the cooling capacity.  It has a lot more to do with the efficiency of the unit; larger units = more surface area = higher efficiency.  The cooling capacity is measured in tons.  To figure out how many tons your unit is, look at the model number and find a number usually between 18 and 60 that’s a multiple of 6.  Divide that number by 12, and you have the number of tons your unit is.

For example, the unit pictured below is a 2-½ ton unit.









For more info on sizing air conditioners and a nice explanation of why air conditioners are rarely undersized, please call the Duell PHC office at 518-384-1567 and as to speak with Matthew Gucker, our Service Manager and highly qualified HVAC Technician.

6. A backdrafting water heater should be replaced.

Replacing a water heater won’t correct backdrafting unless a new power-vent water heater is installed.  If a water heater back-drafts, there’s a problem outside the water heater.  Sometimes it’s a problem with the vent, sometimes the vent connector, and sometimes it’s a more complicated problem that requires evaluation of the entire house.

For more detailed information on this topic, please call the Duell PHC office at 518-384-1567 and as to speak with Nathan Duell, Vice President and Licensed Master Plumber.