Living the PNW Dream
August 26, 2019 by Rob
Any home inspector is able to inspect log homes. But what that home inspector will do, if they are not certified to inspect log homes, is disclaim the structure of the building. Basically, if something is wrong with the log structure like the center of the wood is rotten, they take no responsibility for it. In fact there is a pre-written disclaimer available from an international home inspectors resource that states,
If any structure you want us to inspect is a log structure or includes log construction, you understand that such structures have unique characteristics that may make it impossible for us to inspect and evaluate them.
It’s not impossible, just impractical for your home inspector to evaluate them, unless your home inspector invests in the right tools and training… like we do here at Selkirk Country.
Here in the Pacific Northwest life is about spending time in the mountains, enjoying the beauty of the natural landscape, and a lot of us dream about one day living in a Log Home out in the woods.
If you are shopping for a log home, you’re probably looking up North around Newport or Colville, and you probably have a Real Estate Agent that is familiar with the nature of log homes. Good Realtors take on the onus of ensuring you’re going to be happy with your investment, so you’ll likely be informed of the ways a log home is different from traditional stick build houses. That will include highlighting things like the R Value of a log isn’t great so don’t be supersized if it’s a little drafty. The logs settle so there might be some interesting spaces around windows and doors you’re not use to seeing. And you should be reminded to keep up on keeping the logs treated, because it’s a little more expensive to reside a log home. And that’s a joke, because if the logs rot you’re having to literally lift the roof off, deconstruct that wall and replace the logs.
If you decide a log home is for you, and you find yourself getting ready to submit an offer, your agent will most likely have a Home Inspector they like working with. And 95% of the time I say go with who your agent recommends, but a log home might fall into that other 5%. If your home inspector claims proficiency in understanding log homes, and your agent vouches for his/her experience, but there is the previously mentioned disclaimer in the agreement (which you should receive days prior to the inspection) then you need to ask the inspector to remove that line and inspect the structure. If they wont, they are not willing to stand behind their work. And your best course of action is to find someone that will. Hint, you can click on the “about” link at the top of this page to connect with someone that does stand behind their work.
I wrote a whole blog about home inspection disclaimers here if you want more insight.