Well, of course, I would love to answer that you need a home inspector, but you do not need one in most cases. This question was posed to me when I was at a hospital this week by several of the staff worried about their homes after Hurricane Ike had hit. There are some simple steps to evaluating your home to see what needs to be done.
If you see visible signs of damage, call your insurance agent. They will send out the qualified professional to check on the damage to make a determination on repairs. You do not need a home inspector to charge you for this, and it is covered in the cost of your insurance.
If you do not see obvious damage, but you feel that there might be, I would suggest going to the section on this site that talks about what a home inspector looks for when examining a home. The best information for you on this topic will be in the “For the Real Estate Investor” Category to the right. There are descriptions of stripped down inspection process which should be easy to handle for most homeowners.
If you are not sure if there is damage, or you need help, then a home inspector may be the option for you. If you have a specific concern, tell the inspector you are just looking to have it checked out, so you do not pay for a full inspection. Why would you need your kitchen appliances checked out, when you are worried about the attic framing? An inspector is also an option if you are debating with your builder or insurer on the extent of the damage. An inspector’s report may be what you need to push your case forward.
If you are worried, then it is always best to check out your home, but I believe that you may not always need an inspector for this task.