The New Building Trade
When I built my house Carpenters had to have a hammer hanging from their belt for 4 years before they were considered a “carpenter” but those days are long gone, paying skilled technicians is no longer cost effective, now days most do not even carry hammers, nor understand how to correct something properly that does not fit because something deviated from the plans at the factory. I’d bet that 95% of contractors that built a house in the past 20 years could not lay out a rafter with a speed square. The quality of many of the trades has diminished; if it works today for 5-10 years many builders consider it acceptable. 30 years after I built my house (thanks to my brothers framing) you can still operate the patio door with just your little finger. What I’m trying to relate is that labor, materials, building codes are constantly changing, it is wise to have one that has either lived through or inspected thousands of homes take a look at your purchase.
Basement – Below grade moisture issues, mechanicals (Heat/A.C, Electric Plumbing, etc., tend to be located down there. Termites like to enter beneath the doors and through the block.
Block Basements– Walls tend to crack and push in, especially on 1 story vinyl sided ranch homes.
Poured Concrete Foundation - Very good but almost every one has 3 vertical cracks, if they leak epoxy them.
Crawl Space – it is very common to many issues, out of sight, out of mind, higher risk.
Mobile/Manufactured Homes – arrive on a metal frame and placed on a foundation, if it is on a permanent foundation and the title is retired financing is much easier.
Slab - no access beneath.
Modular Homes - Brought on trailer and lifted into place with a crane
Rafters – what used to take a 2 x 6 not takes a 2 x 8.
Stick Built - Experienced contractors build some of the best homes.
Trusses - As long as they are braced properly, installed in the proper location and were not dropped the truck work well, however you will loose attic storage.