Not all repairs in your home have the same purpose in mind.
There is a difference between plans to repair structural inconsistencies in your home and plans to improve the aesthetics of your home.
As a responsible homeowner, you know that best practices dictate that your property should be inspected and treated once a year for termites. (see Termites are House Cancer).
Paired with the yearly termite inspection and treatment program in your home, repairs to your home’s structural components should also be done regularly as necessary to prevent accruing large amounts of damage caused by termites or other wood destroying organisms. (see How can I prevent a termite infestation).
Being able to differentiate between repair plans that will produce increased structural integrity and those that only serve to improve aesthetics is key to help you make the right choice and achieve the results you want out of your home improvement investments.
To help make the point clear, let’s pretend you have received two different scopes and bids for repairs of your residential structure. One of the bids comes from a licensed termite inspector and the other from a general contractor.
Unless the general or painting contractor also employs probing in their inspection, some termite and fungus-rot damage, along with issues of structural integrity, may be missed in drafting the original scope. Watch attached video to see What to expect: termite inspection.
Typically a general construction or painting contractor will focus their scope on aesthetic repairs along with structural issues that are noticed on inspection.
Aesthetic work from a general contractor typically takes more time because not all ugly wood compromises structure.
However, issues of structural integrity are often missed in these types of bids, making them prone to change orders as structural issues are discovered once work begins.
Conversely, the scope of work produced from a termite inspection comes only after a detailed and thorough inspection of residential structures. The scope of repairs drafted from the inspection focus almost solely on structural integrity issues.
With a scope derived from a licensed termite inspector, you can be sure that issues of structural integrity are included in the bid.
Change orders are not as common since the scope is carefully drafted by an inspector as he performs an inspection of your property.
Where there is a high probability of change orders, it can often be noted in the termite inspection report and discussed prior to commencing work. (see how to read a termite inspection report).
While repairing structural issues in your home will improve the look of areas that are repaired, performing just structural repairs will likely exclude aesthetic issues you may want to address.
Take this picture for example:
The wood member in this picture has no structural problems. There is no termite, fungus-rot, or any other type of damage. There is only old and peeling paint, making the wood look decrepit and unappealing.
A general or painting contractor would include this wood member in their scope.
Something like this would typically be
In an ideal situation, you would schedule your structural repairs first, to protect the structural integrity of your home, then immediately follow-up with the aesthetic work.
When planning to perform repairs, be sure to be fully informed so you know what to expect and avoid surprise expenses.
Your home’s repair program should be customized to your home’s individual needs.