Do you take the time to really crawl through your home, looking for problems? I do not. However, if you had work done on your home, you may want to take the time to inspect it.
I spent an evening at a friend’s house. He had a problem with his home, so I checked it out. He bought the home nearly thirty years ago, with various upgrades done over time. Most homeowners do not stay in their homes for that many years. We are a nation on the move, but there are homes that have not been inspected. I have had homeowners request a home inspection, because they want to know what problems they may have, but I am not saying that you need an inspector. What you need is to be observant.
Do you know who is working for you? I run into many general contractors or remodelers. You may find large firms and small ones, but size does not determine if they are a quality firm. My assumption is that a company which is a member of the Better Business Bureau would be one to trust. This is not always the case, but at least you have recourse through that organization. I hear horror stories from homeowners about their experiences. Large firms will take your call, but tell you that they are right, and you are wrong without coming out to look at their work. Small firms will disappear. This is not a general rule, but you hear it often enough that you come to believe it. Yet every relationship with a contractor starts off all smiles, and you really feel that they are their to help. What you may not know is how well were they trained to do the job. We are slowly moving towards having better standards for the people working on your home, but most of them have no formal education. They learned from their father, relative, or employer, which can be great as long as they are taught well.
I find the most issues in the attic. Roofers may do a great job on the roof covering, yet I consistently find problems in the attic after they leave. I cannot say that they are always at fault, but I do wonder. The main problem revolves around vents. Last night, it was a vent for the cooktop. The duct had a vent opening to lead it out of the attic, but the duct was pointed into the attic. I could see grease and moisture covering the surfaces where the duct pointed. Water heater ducts also seem to pop out quite a bit. This can be dangerous. Insulation will be pushed away, allowing heat to pass into the home. I have even seen rafters or purlins that were damaged. Here I am picking on roofers. The fact is that any contractor could have handled a situation incorrectly. Sometimes its the homeowners not understanding how their structure functions, so they cause unintentional damage.
Maybe we need “This is how your home works” manual to help homeowners from making mistakes. Having as home inspector as a friend may help,or you can hire one (nudge, nudge). What you need to do is check out areas of the home that are effected by work being done on the home. Does something look strange? Do you think it may not be right? Then ask a question. You can always send me an email with a question. Once a year,walk around your home to see what looks out of place.