Yes, a home inspector is definately the 'kind' of person you want to be working for your interests when you buy a home. When spending 10s of thousands of dollars, even 100s of thousands of dollars, spending a few hundred for a home inspector is $$$ well spent.
Another option / idea you may want to consider is to have the home inspector give you an estimate on what it might cost to repair the job the right way! If he offers to do the work, that's a conflict of interest. But to get an estimate or to get references on who can do the job is not. Before you ask the inspector this question, ask them what their professional background is in this area. If you get something like, "I use to teach underwater basket weaving a few years ago and I've been doing home inspections for the past few years", I'd be a little hesitant on taking his/her word on what's 'the right way' to solve this problem. If you're not satisfied with the inspector's background, ask for someone who IS knowledgeable with the type of work you're requestion. In a worst case, you can have a contracting professional make a visit to the house to give you an estimate on 'the right way'. Even in the latter case, if it costs you $25, $50, or $100 to have a knowledgeable professional pay a visit, consider the expense if this problem is worst than it looks AFTER you buy the home! You're STUCK with it! And I agree that AFTER you get the answers you need from the right person about this, work it into the settlement contract. If you're playing with 'contingency' clauses in a home sale, it's my free, unsolicited opinion that you get a real estate attorney to work for you. Though I'm not a lawyer, this is a peve with me. If the banks do so many closings, then why do they have attorneys present at closing or look over paperwork when settling on a home?! That's right! THEY do it ALL the time! In short, real estate seller agents and loan institutions look after their own interests; not yours. The price of this house or any house for that matter, along with the expense that goes along with unforseen problems after you move in, is WORTH a competent inspector and real estate attorney. I personally can't stand to see people risk so much of their working life on a mortgage and not get competent help. Spend some of your hard earned money for expert advice. I feels good for peace of mind.
Best of luck to you! Buy with your head as Bruce suggests, and post a follow up to let us all know what you decided to do in all levels of your home buying.