The Cycle of Destruction – Anobiid Beetles – Tips from a Bellingham WA Home Inspector

I work in the Pacific Pacific Northwest. In the view of this Bellingham WA home inspector (King of the House, Inc.) anobiid beetles have to be one of the most frustrating and insidious of the wood destroying organizations. I see this pest frequently – in crawl spaces. When I document in a report that there…

I work in the Pacific Pacific Northwest. In the view of this Bellingham WA home inspector (King of the House, Inc.) anobiid beetles have to be one of the most frustrating and insidious of the wood destroying organizations. I see this pest frequently – in crawl spaces. When I document in a report that there was anobiid beetle activity people always say: “Oh my, did you see them crawling around?” Well, this pest does not work that way. The adult anobiid beetle is smaller than a grain of rice. The female lays an egg on a piece of lumber, above a crack or blemish. A tiny larvae hatches and crawls down into the opening in the wood. This larvae feeds on the wood approx 5 to 7 years. Then it goes through the stage known as pupating and emerges from the wood as an adult. The female lays an egg and the cycle of destruction continues. You can identity this pest if tiny, shot-sized, holes are evident in any of the beams, posts and joists of the crawl space. This pest can be so bad that they actually move up into the wall studs and the sub-floor.

How does a professional home inspector find them? First, there is kind of a sixth sense about the anobiid. They like moist environments so, when I find a crawl space with little to no ventilation, standing water, no vapor barrier and that musty smell, I make sure I take in my rock hammer and a bright flashlight. Once the small exit holes are detected, an inspector wants to determine the extent of the infestation and damage. That is done with the rock hammer. If they have been active for several years, the probability is that the wood is structurally very weak and a fine, and distinct, frass falls out when lumber is sounded. Often the wood comes apart in strings. It is kind of like Styrofoam.

If you are a home buyer in the Pacific Northwest, where this pest is so common, be sure to hire a licensed structural pest inspector. If you think you can not can not afford an inspector, then at least do some basic snooping in the crawl space on your own. On the other hand, I believe that if a person is buying a home worth several hundred thousand dollars, and he or she can not afford an inspector, then finances are such that maybe that person should rent as maintaining a home will be difficult. My advice is simple: If you seriously can not afford a professional inspector, go in the crawl space yourself and look all over for damaged wood – especially the tiny exit holes left by the anobiid. If you find them, you absolutely need to call in a licensed structural pest inspector to evaluate the extent of the problem. If you do not even have the funds to do that, call me and I will give you a few free tips based on the information you supply.

Guide to a Dry Crawl Space

Any crawlspace can be cleaned and kept dry, but the process varies immensely due to various factors such as: type of foundation and home construction, crawlspace depth and size, soil types and conditions; as well as past ventilation, drainage, and moisture control techniques used previously in the home. There are 7 basic steps needed to…

Any crawlspace can be cleaned and kept dry, but the process varies immensely due to various factors such as: type of foundation and home construction, crawlspace depth and size, soil types and conditions; as well as past ventilation, drainage, and moisture control techniques used previously in the home. There are 7 basic steps needed to bring the home environment into comfort, security and compliance. The homeowners level of need or the order of steps taken varies on the factors listed above. Here is the process:

1. DownSpout Extensions – Check grading for positive drain away from your home and make sure all downspouts are extended properly and gutters kept clean.

2. Sump Pump and Pit – In crawl spaces with standing water, a properly installed pump pump is vital for water collection and removal. The pit must have several holes drilled in it to allow water infiltration as well as a good gravel backfill around the liner.

3. Internal Perimeter Drainage System – The drainage system installation consists of hand trenching the interior perimeter, laying a 4 “perforated, corrugated flex tile in the trench, and backfilling the tile with a filtration aggregate. ensures lifetime operation.

4. Vapor Barrier – A durable 6mil poly liner placed on the crawl space floor surface to reduce some of the moisture. This step is necessary over a drained crawl space, but an encapsulation system is recommended.

5. CleanSpace Encapsulation System – An encapsulation system completely isolates the earthen floor from the home structural envelope. The liner is a heavy 20-mil-thick material similar to a pool liner that totally inhibits moisture penetration. The CleanSpace liner is COMPLETELY SEALED over the floor and walls to fully isolate your home from the earth. Encapsulation totally seals off all outside ventilation and is the ultimate in vapor barrier protection, all the while reducing radon gas, ground odors, insect infiltration and thus helping to control mold spores and their propagation. Also, by sealing off outside ventilation, your home will become more energy efficient !!!

6. Crawl Space Conditioning – Conditioning can be achieved by the actual heating / cooling of the encapsulated area by the opening of ducted pipes into the crawlspace. Average duct leakage may be sufficient condition in some crawl spaces.

7. Dehumidification – Dehumidification is necessary for removing residual excess moisture from the air and making your home free of mold and mildew.

Home Inspections

Home inspections provide detailed information about the overall condition of the house one is planning to buy. A standard home inspection provides a visual examination of the physical structure and major interior systems of a residential building. An important point to be noted is that a home inspection is not to be confused with an…

Home inspections provide detailed information about the overall condition of the house one is planning to buy. A standard home inspection provides a visual examination of the physical structure and major interior systems of a residential building. An important point to be noted is that a home inspection is not to be confused with an appraisal or a building code inspection. In a home inspection, a qualified inspector takes an in-depth, unbiased look at the home to evaluate the physical condition of the house and its systems. He identifies the items that need to be repaired or replaced and also estimates the useful life of the major systems, equipment, and structure of the house.

Home inspections are not intended to point out every small problem or any latent defect in a home. Most minor or cosmetic flaws should be identical to the owner or buyer without the aid of a professional. Yet, it is advisable to obtain the assistance of home inspectors who present a clearly written or typed home inspection report, which conforms to the accepted standards of practice for the state. Home inspections help people in maintaining the safety of their homes and a property inspection makes home maintenance easy by spotting small problems before they become large. A detailed report on the condition of a home can be made available in a matter of hours so that repairs or upgrades can be planned.

When purchasing a home, many homebuyers have saved a lot of money by first obtaining a home inspection report. Interestingly homeowners who have owned their homes for several years have also benefited from a home inspector's knowledge and experience of maintenance and repairs to avert potential problems. With good home inspections, both owners and buyers are informed of the condition of the home. Home inspections Truly help make one's home a more wonderful place to live in.

Home Inspection Checklists

When you think of buying or selling a home, it is typical that a home inspection will be connected. Home inspection is a walk-through of you home in order to scrutinize the condition of the property. This helps to identify problems that might become significant during the transfer of ownership of the home. A professional…

When you think of buying or selling a home, it is typical that a home inspection will be connected. Home inspection is a walk-through of you home in order to scrutinize the condition of the property. This helps to identify problems that might become significant during the transfer of ownership of the home. A professional inspector usually conducts this. But before you hire a professional home inspector, you can inspect your own home using a home inspection checklist. This way, you can spot potential problems that you can discuss with the inspector later.

A good home inspection checklist will help you remember things as you walk through your property and look for potential problems. You should include in your list all the items inside and outside your house, and as you walk around, check each item and make some notes. You can check the exterior, the basement or crawlspace, furnace and air conditioning, plumbing system, electrical system, kitchen, windows, doors, fireplace, roof and attic.

Organize your checklist by different areas of your home, and it is to start at the outside and make your way inside. All the items included in your list should be checked if they are in very good, fair or poor conditions. Take notes if you notice something odd or if you smell something funny, or if a gutter is coming loose on the side of the house. No matter how small or how big the flaw, it is important that you take note before the professional inspector enters the scene.

Usually, when you plan to buy your dream house, you tend to overlook some details of the home because you are too overjoyed to have it, only to realize later that the property you bought is not your dream home at all. So you really have to be wise, and start by having a home inspection done before you close any deal.

Home Inspection – Going On Top

Everyone who buys or sells a house, apartment or condo is going to use a home inspector at one time or another and even though you pretty much know what they do, many of you might have more appreciation for them once you learn more details of there chosen profession. Home inspectors have been around…

Everyone who buys or sells a house, apartment or condo is going to use a home inspector at one time or another and even though you pretty much know what they do, many of you might have more appreciation for them once you learn more details of there chosen profession. Home inspectors have been around for a long time and they will be here for a lot longer, preparing reports, giving advice and recommendations and to some, a peace of mind. Because this is a big subject and there is a lot to say, right know I will focus on roof inspection and also give a little class on roof construction.

First the basics – Pitched Roofs

The basic structure of a typical pitched roof is: the framework, a deck and a weather resistant covering. The purpose of the deck is to serve as a base for supporting the roof covering, which is what protects the roof. A pitched roof has a series of parallel beams (joists) joined at the top at angles, like tepees with a supporting overlay (the deck), usually plywood or similar material that serves as a base for supporting the roof covering (shingles), which has the purpose of shedding the water away from the roof either into gutters or just falling off the roofline. The deck is not waterproof so the shingles must be intact and able to withstand all types of weather, (except tornadoes and meteoroids) be it snow, hail, or rain.

I can not speak for all home inspectors because they have there own techniques and working procedures. Like most people I had a couple of them look over my house, so from my experience they generally do a outside visual of roofs that entails walking around the house, sometimes with the aid of binoculars for close-up viewing or use a ladder for ranch type houses, if practical. They generally do not want to walk up there for liability issues (fear of there foot going through the roof), but I feel that is the best way to check for roof structural integrity and they need to do it anyway for flat roofs. Needless to say they would be responsible for any damages that they do in the course inspection!

A typical roof inspection will include checking for:
Uneven shingles – poor installation of a second layer over an old one. This might be OK but will be sentenced to water damage. When making an attic inspection the deck should be checked for damage and signs of leakage.

Sagging roof – probably deck damage, but may be a structural problem like a damaged ridge beam (A beam placed on end at the top of the roof and fastened to the rafters) or a roof deck that may not have adequate bracing or spacing of wood -frame support members. This is better left for a structural engineer for evaluation.

Roof ventilation – in a way roofs have to breathe too, that's why there are roof vents on the roof and in the soffit (a horizontal board nailed to a roof overhang). Warm air must have an escape in attic space or there will be moisture buildup and the wood will rot. This can also cause cracks on interior walls and peeling paint. An inspection should be made of vent placement and count to evaluate if there is adequate ventilation.

Shingles- If the roof is pitched it will most likely have overlapping shingles to shed water away and down the roof. The south and southwest sides of the roof get most of the sun that makes brittle and age faster, thereby causing deterioration. If there is any cracking, pealing or breakage of these 'tiles' they will need repair or replacement because it will not protect the roof.

Flat Roofs
Even if a roof has a slight pitch it is considered a flat roof. As with the pitched roof this is the first thing inspected. Sometimes an interior wall that has signs of water damage could have traced back to the roof. Since this type of roof can not be seen from the ground inspection must be made at top of the house. On a two story or more building access to the roof has to be made from inside, a stairwell, ladder, or an access hole in the ceiling of a room, probably a bedroom closet or pantry. As with any type of roof ventilation is key so checking for air vents is a must. A ventilation opening can be a pipe coming from the roof top or an open space on the side of the roofline right below the roof. A flat roof differs from a pitched one in that it is water tight, not just shedding water like a pitched one. At one time standing water was considered a good thing because it would cool the roof a bit during the summer months. There should be no ponds of standing water because this could be a breeding ground for insects and more importantly plants, where the roots can break through the asphalt covering. Special attention should me made when inspecting flat roofs because even small cracks between the roofs drain and the roof covering could become serious.

There are many types of flat roofs like single-ply membrane, roll roofing, metal roofs, hot tar covered or built-up roofs an inspecting them is similar in every case. The inspector will look for any visible cracking, blisters, weak spots or any kind of violation that will compromise the structural integrity of the roof. The cause of a leak on an interior wall or ceiling may be hard to find because it may have started on the roof, then zig-zagged its way down, but several feet away from the area you saw it.

These are some of the things home inspectors look for and report on when checking roofs. They not only go in 120ºF attics but also crawl under houses, and look in chimney stacks, but do with a great courty and professionalism!

Home Inspectors – Are They Worth It?

I hate to sound wishy washy, but good home inspectors are worth it, and bad home inspectors are not. OK thanks that was a lot of help! We, my wife and I, purchased our first home years ago we were very green, and trusted the realtor to find us an inspector. Later we found out…

I hate to sound wishy washy, but good home inspectors are worth it, and bad
home inspectors are not.

OK thanks that was a lot of help!

We, my wife and I, purchased our first home years ago we were very green, and
trusted the realtor to find us an inspector. Later we found out that we should have
was present when the inspection was taking place. Well to make a long story short
6 months later we found some serious problems, that nobody would claim. We
contacted the inspector to came back out to look at the problem only to say “that
was not there, when I inspected the house. “Yeah right! Major lesson learned.

On our new house we bought many references for a new inspector and found a good
one. He inspected two houses. The first one, he basically told us, in his politically
correct diction that he is required to use, that it was junk. And we ran! The second, I
was there, and I persuaded and prodded him to look at everything. He was with me
for about 6 hours. I felt very comfortable about purchasing the house.

He was kind of expensive, but he came highly recommended. I spoke with others
that were consider cheaper but I just did not have a good feeling about them.

So is a home inspector worth it? I say a resounding “yes”! You are about to make one
of the largest purchases of your life, have as much back up as possible. Do not – I
will repeat – DO NOT leave it up to them. When you hand him a check and he leaves
it is your sole responsibility, you are the homeowner. You look where he looks,
you take your own flashlight. you own pictures. Ask tons of questions and ask some
more. They are trained in this for their living, but they are human. They also have a
sheet for you to sign saying that if they miss anything they are not held
responsible. Do not let that scare you, it is standard procedure (to cover theirs
“humanness.”) So you better come to the inspection prepared.

Home Inspection: Confirming Accessibility Requirements

Dear Home Seller, Crawl spaces, attics, furnaces, electric panels … these are a few of the many places where a conscientious home inspector needs to venture, in order to perform a complete and accurate assessment of your house. Please have your stairwell tidy and free of debris and obstructions, and leave plenty of clearance around…

Dear Home Seller,

Crawl spaces, attics, furnaces, electric panels … these are a few of the many places where a conscientious home inspector needs to venture, in order to perform a complete and accurate assessment of your house.

Please have your stairwell tidy and free of debris and obstructions, and leave plenty of clearance around the garage door, electrical panel and furnace. If your attic hatch is in a closet, we need to have clothing and other articles removed from the upper shelves, to access access using a step ladder.

If you have a crawlspace under the house, and the hatch is not readily accessible, we ask that you move any furniture or other items away from this area, and if necessary, roll back the floor coverings to expose the hatch, just prior to the inspection.

No house is perfect, and a home inspection is not intended to identify every little blemish or minute imperfection – however, the conscientious home inspector tries to discover if there are major defects in a home that the purchaser, and perhaps no one else, is aware of – and should also point out the positive aspects of the house.

In the vast majority of cases, we find nothing noticeable, or nothing to criticize, in crawl spaces; If If there is no access to your crawl space, we may not be able to provide your relevant information about important components, such as foundation walls, floor structure, electrical wiring and the main plumbing system.

Try to understand the purchaser's point of view … “inaccessible” can mean “unassessable” and therefore may leave a big question mark in the purchaser's mind.

How would you feel if you were about to make the greatest purchase of your life, and were not given the opportunity to view one of the largest, most important component parts of that purchase?

And remember, you ARE marketing your house – you probably would not try to sell your car without letting prospective buyers look under the hood. It just makes good sense, to have all areas accessible, so that your purchaser can feel comfortable in the knowledge that there will not be any unwelcome surprises later on.

Sincerely,

The Home Inspector

To give your home a competitive edge when it's time to sell, make sure it is in good physical condition. This not only makes your house more attractive and desirable, it also simplifies or eliminates the negotiation process when the time comes for the buyer's pre-purchase inspection.

To identify which components are most in need of repair, many sellers now enlist the services of a professional home inspector before putting up the FOR SALE sign.

Home Inspection: Pre-inspected Listings

The future of real estate? * Home inspections have traditionally been for the benefit of the purchaser. * Pre-inspected listings benefit all parties – purchasers, vendors and Realtors. Deals are less likely to fall through. Home inspections, performed as a condition of the offer, can kill deals – and often needlessly. Sometimes this is because…

The future of real estate?

* Home inspections have traditionally been for the benefit of the purchaser.

* Pre-inspected listings benefit all parties – purchasers, vendors and Realtors.

Deals are less likely to fall through.
Home inspections, performed as a condition of the offer, can kill deals – and often needlessly. Sometimes this is because the purchaser gets cold feet; sometimes there's a big problem no one knew about. Sometimes it is because the house has been misrepresented; sometimes it is because the home inspector scared the purchasers by not explaining that minor and typical problems are just that – minor and typical.

If the home inspection is performed prior to the house being listed, all parties will be aware of the physical condition of the house before an offer is drawn. There will be less likelihood for surprises after the fact. Deals will be less likely to fall through.

Pre-inspected listings can avoid renegotiation.
In a buyer's market, most homes have to be sold twice. It takes a lot of work to get a signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale … then the home inspection is connected and the purchaser wants to renegotiate.

If all parties know the condition of the house prior to the offer, there is generally a lesser need for renegotiation. As most Realtors know, renegotiation can be very difficult. Vendors have already mentally sold the house; purchasers are suffering from 'buyers' remorse'. Egos, pride and frustration can muddy the already emotional waters.

A vendor who pays for a home inspection will be further ahead than one who has to renegotiate. He or she may even sell their house faster.

Unrealistic vendors.
An inspection at the time of a listing can also help a Realtor deal with a vendor who has unrealistic expectations. The inspection report is good amnition for explaining why you can not ask top buck for a house that is not in top condition.

Repairs prior to sale.
Sometimes, the home inspection will reveal items which should be repaired immediately. A pre-inspected listing allows the vendor to repair the problem prior to putting the house on the market.

If the inspection occurs after the Agreement of Purchase and Sale, the purchaser could walk, renegotiate or depending on the inspection clause, the vendor may have the option to make repairs. A repair made by an unmotivated vendor to satisfy the condition may not be the best repair and may not meet the purchaser's expectations. This has caused more than one deal to not close.

Peace of mind for the purchaser.
There is no doubt that part of the value of a home inspection is a guided tour of the house for the prospective purchaser. Perhaps the inspection company could return to do a walk-through with the purchaser, if requested.

Reputable inspection companies.
Pre-inspected listings will only have value if the home inspector and / or company is perceived to be reputable, qualified and properly insured. Prospective purchasers might have little or no faith in a report created by someone they consider to be working for the Vendor or Listing Agent.

Editor's Note: This article is for discussion purposes only and does not represent any policy or opinion on the part of Electrospec or it's representatives. It is intended only as “food for thought”, and it is loved that no one will be offended by the suggestive nature of any parts of the article.

Summary.
Does the future of home inspections lie in pre-inspected listings? Will offers be cleaner and deals less likely to be renegotiated or fall through? Will pre-inspection afford purchasers, vendors and Realtors a new measure of economic protection?

Hmmm …

Professional Home Inspector: More Notes On Becoming A Professional Home Inspector

Prior construction experience is a great asset – either in renovation, construction, or trade-related experience such as electrician, plumber etc. – Egypt as a quantity surveyor, construction estimator, trades coordinator, or as a professional architect or engineer. An architect or an engineer is not automatically a good home inspector. These are disciples that deal with…

Prior construction experience is a great asset – either in renovation, construction, or trade-related experience such as electrician, plumber etc. – Egypt as a quantity surveyor, construction estimator, trades coordinator, or as a professional architect or engineer.

An architect or an engineer is not automatically a good home inspector. These are disciples that deal with very specialized and specific areas of buildings, whereas professional home inspectors are generalists, observing and understanding all the components in a building – and the relationships between different components and component systems.

The general categories are:

* electrical

* plumbing

* foundations, foundations and structures

* insects, vermin and decay

* central heating systems, including heat loss / gain

* space heating, including fireplaces, wood stoves & chimneys

* central air conditioning

* roofing systems

* exteriors, including landscaping

* interiors, including insulation and ventilation

* environmental and safety issues

With or without prior experience, the prospect home inspector usually starts by reading about, and getting involved with the parts of the house he or she is not already familiar with.

There have been until recently, only a few private (and very expensive) schools of home inspection, and the content is frequently lacking. One way to start preliminary evaluation of a career in home inspection might be with a correspondence course.

Larger inspection companies will generally teach prospective inspectors how to inspect a house, but they will not teach you “about” the house; you'll have to learn that yourself.

Community Colleges offer a wide range of evening classes in trade-related topics, and recently some colleges have started to offer courses in the field of home inspection.

The Ontario Association of Home Inspectors (OAHI) has developed some training programs, primarily in the area of ​​defect recognition, and groups such as Wood Energy Technology Transfer (WETT Inc.) offer wood energy technical training.

Most associations provide prior learning assessments, to help applicants determine which courses of study may be required, prior to attaining applicant or candidate status. In addition to any courses of study and possibly company training and / or apprenticeship, a number of fee-paid inspections, a review of the inspector's reporting methods and formal examinations, generally must be completed before applying for full membership in a professional association.

There may be a requirement to write a preliminary exam, before one can be covered by association-sponsored insurance programs during training or appreciceship.

Some knowledge of the following will also be beneficial:

* real estate and real estate law as is pertains to the transaction

* wells, septic systems, municipal water and sewer systems, general infrastructure

* inter-personal communications, correspondence and report writing

* computerized applications, basic telecommunications

Home inspectors, whether working independently or dispatched by a larger company, require some form of telephone service, record keeping and follow-up service in conjunction with performing inspections. Inspectors typically have their own vehicles, and purchase their own tools, test equipment, cell phones, pagers etc. Personal liability insurance, errors and ommisions insurance, and disabilty / income security are usually the responsibilty of the individual.

IMPORTANT:

1. A conscientious effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this material. Electrospec Home Inspections will not assume liability for its use. Date of latest modification is noted at bottom of page.
2. Professional Association requirements may change from time to time. Check with each professional organization before making specific plans.
3. Information contained on these pages is not intended to solicit services, affiliations or applications for employment, or to offer any training or apprenticeship.

Home Inspections: Investment or Expenditure?

Congratulations! You've found the perfect home and now it's time to do the offer and finalize the deal. If you're like many people, you may be feeling a cash crunch by this time. You might be wondering why you would want to incur yet another expenditure, such as a pre-purchase home inspection. A valid consideration!…

Congratulations! You've found the perfect home and now it's time to do the offer and finalize the deal. If you're like many people, you may be feeling a cash crunch by this time. You might be wondering why you would want to incur yet another expenditure, such as a pre-purchase home inspection. A valid consideration!

When choosing a home it's important to know whether or not the house needs work, and how much it's likely to cost. A prudent home buyer may want to make an offer to purchase “conditional upon obtaining a satisfactory inspection report. Having the home inspected before waiving any conditions gives you the security of knowing what to expect. cost of upkeep of the home.

Professional home inspectors are trained to determine the presence of other unsuspected problems in the home, through clues and symptoms that an untrained eye may not connect to the problem. Equally important, is the opportunity to have a thorough explanation of how to operate and maintain the home.

Shop around and choose an inspection company wisely. Look for a professional company, and inquire about the experience of the individual inspector. Look for an inspector or company that you feel comfortable with in terms of their ability to communicate with you. Attend the inspection, and ask questions. Your real estate agent or lawyer can help you locate a reputable home inspector.

A quality home inspection includes the entire structure from roof to foundation, the interior and exterior, and all the electro-mechanical systems. A complete inspection takes 2 to to 3 hours, includes a written report, and normally costs about $ 250 to $ 350 depending on the inspection company chosen. It will not eliminate all the risk associated with home ownership, however it can be a value added, information gathering process that gives you a better understanding of your new home. And more security!

Do not settle for less.

Choosing a Professional Home Inspector

The purchase of a house is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. So, it only makes sense that you should know exactly what to expect, both indoors and out, in terms of repairs, maintenance and the associated costs that come with a new – or old old – home. One of the…

The purchase of a house is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. So, it only makes sense that you should know exactly what to expect, both indoors and out, in terms of repairs, maintenance and the associated costs that come with a new – or old old – home. One of the best ways to understand a home's condition is to hire a professional home inspector. A professional home inspector is not only familiar with all the components of a home but is able to evaluate the condition of the home and all of its systems. Professional home inspectors will point out the components that are not working properly as well as those that are unsafe. They will address areas where repairs may be needed or where problems may arise in the future. A professional home inspector is also able to make an unbiased and accurate report of the property's true condition as an expert in home inspection. This knowledge will make it much easier to assess an accurate value of home property.

Even the most knowledgeable homeowner lacks the training and depth of knowledge that only a professional home inspector provides. That is why it is so important to hire an experienced home inspector to perform the inspection on a home's property. When selecting a home inspector, be sure to choose one that will give you the quality of service you deserve and that you feel comfortable with. Consider the following questions when selecting a professional home inspector:

What are the home inspector's qualifications?

Home inspection is a trade that requires special training, knowledge, and skills. The more experienced a true professional home inspector is, the more likely they will be able to remember any problems. Look for professional home inspectors that have a sufficient practical experience, a general understanding of all components in a home, and a background in related trades. Reputable home inspectors are also more likely to be certified with a well-known association, such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) that requires them to adhere to a strict code of ethics and specific standards of practice. Always ask about their membership in various associations. You also have the right to see proof of their membership.

Can the home inspector provide quality references?

A highly regarded professional home inspector should be able to provide you with interviews upon your request. Be sure to take the next step and contact the people named as interviews Ask them if they were satisfied with the inspector's complete service and their overall experience with them.

Will the home inspector allow you to participate?

A professional home inspector should feel comfortable allowing you to participate through the inspection. Do not be afraid to get your dirty dirty and ask questions along the way. A home inspectors purpose is to educate you on your home and all of it's components – learn all you can. A good suggestion is to do a little research on your home beforehand and come prepared with a list of questions for the inspector.

What is the scope of inspection?

A standard home inspection report summarizes findings from a visual inspection of the home's interior and exterior components. Exteriors components include roofing, flashing, chimneys, gutters, downspouts, wall surfaces and the foundation, including the grading around it. Interior components include electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, plumbing, insulation, flooring, ceiling and wall finishes, windows and doors, basements, and any visible structures of the home. Upon completion of the inspection, the certified home inspector should provide a clear, easy to read report detailing every major home system and component within 24 hours. A quality home inspector will also provide you with pictures of various elements to help you see and understand the true condition.

Hire a professional home inspector today to help you make an informed decision on one of the largest investments of your life by providing a clear picture of the property condition. It will give you confidence and peace of mind.

Home Inspection Basics

The Home Inspector When you think about it, it is a bit odd. A person hires a stranger to snoop around another stranger's house for a couple hours and report back. It's sounds rather like someone burning a burglar to case a house for a robbery. The major difference is that the owner of the…

The Home Inspector

When you think about it, it is a bit odd. A person hires a stranger to snoop around another stranger's house for a couple hours and report back. It's sounds rather like someone burning a burglar to case a house for a robbery. The major difference is that the owner of the home is a willing participant, too, and that everything is actually quite legal and above board. The motive of the buyer is, of course, to make sure that he or she does not get 'robbed' with a broken-down furnace that the seller say is fine, for example. This happened to me in the days before home inspection was a common part of the real estate transaction. Although the service has been around since the 1970s, it has only really become an integral part of home-buying since the mid to late 1990s.

My wife and I ended up with a furnace that was soon condemned by a technician and a nice big bill for a new one. It was mid-November and we could not exactly get along without one. What did we know about buildings? We did not know how long one rented or how to tell if it was in good shape or not. That was a dozen years ago. We know much better now about furnaces – nothing like getting burned to make you more wary next time.

Home inspectors are, like me, regular people who are interested in homes, their construction, their systems, and pretty much anything else about them. They are generally generalists with knowledge of thousands of bits of information about pretty much anything and everything in the home. Some, have additional specialties in various trades, or will offer additional services at additional costs for things such as Radon inspections. Many, like me, are trained and certified via colleges or corporations such as Carson-Dunlop Consulting Engineers in Toronto.

We are also interested in the people who live there and the people who are looking to move in. Like you, we have spouses, children, parents, pets, and other relatives with what we share our living spaces. What we all have in common is that we all want a nice, clean, safe place to live with – hopefully – no nasty surprises. We want to help you realize what you have before you buy or sell, so you can make informed choices.

No house is perfect. That's not to say something is wrong with it, but think of a house as an organic entity. It sits on a foundation. It stands on its framework. It breathes and has circulatory systems. It needs to keep at a comfortable and even temperature. And, most of all, it needs to be maintained. Like your own body, or even your car, if you do not take care of it, it will start to age prematurely and fall apart.

But what are home inspectors and why do you need one?

Think of a home inspector looking over your house like the mechanic you have to look at your car. Houses need to be maintained and looked after. However, like cars, sometimes we do not take as much care of them as we should. Some things are not fixed, while other things are never even noticed or checked over the years and fall into disrepair. Home inspectors act as the detached third-party that advises on the condition and status of the home without the emotional investment. Good home inspectors give the straight facts, will point out things to watch or fix, and will point out the positives of your home as well.

Just as the name suggests, home inspectors inspect homes, but they also typically inspect garages, patios, decks, driveways, and the lay of the land. Some will inspect other structures such as sheds, barns, gazebos, pools and pool houses, but these are beyond the standards for most inspectors. Many will adhere to the standards and practices of the Canadian Association of Home and Property Inspectors (CAHPI or CAHI) or the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) – whether or not they are actual members in the association.

Home inspection is the fastest-growing trade within the real estate industry in North America with about two-thirds to three-quarters of all homes undergoing an inspection. Home inspectors have become an integral part of the home transaction process. While most home inspectors are called in once a purchaser is ready to buy a home, some are called in by sellers before they want to sell, or by homeowners who are looking at major renovations or upgrades to their home.

What do they do?

In any situation, the inspection process is basically the same. After initial introductions and a discussion of what's to be done, where to go, where not to go (the baby's room), and other criteria, the inspector gets down to the 'dirty' work. The inspector will give the home and property a thorough going-over – usually beginning outside, then moving indoors from room to room making observations and notes on a checklist. It is common for inspectors to go into rooms two or three times looking at different things each time. Others will visit certain rooms only once, performing all the checks they need then and there. Each inspector is different and works differently.

Safety is the over-riding concern of the home inspector – both for the inspector and the customer. Some home inspectors will open up electrical panels to look at wiring, others will not, but all should inspect the panel (s), the wiring, distribution system, grounding, load, and other visible bits and pieces.

Most inspectors will look inside furnaces and other heating appliances if the panels come off easily. Others will use tools to remove panels, but many will draw the line there. Many inspectors will walk on the roof when conditions permit to inspect the roof, the materials and workmanship, and things such as vents, chimney (s), and gutters. Some roofs are very steep, in bad shape, or are constructed with fragile tiles. Most inspectors will not walk on the roof in these situations, but will either look from the edge via a ladder, look from an adjunct structure, or use binoculars while on the ground.

Plumbing is another major system that home inspectors will spend a good deal of time examining. They'll look at what the pipes are made of, whether it's electrically grounded or not, how the water looks, flows, and even smells, how hot the water gets, as well as operate every tap and toilet to ensure that they are all working well and not leaking. Home inspectors will also be looking for other leaks – past and present, evidence of water damage, and they will look at drain systems and sump pumps.

The structure is another key point of the inspection. Inspectors will look at how the house is holding itself up – literally, and how it is, or has been settling in and weathering through the years. Inspectors will look for wall and floor cracks due to settling and try to determine the age and severity of the crack. Home inspectors will also examine the brickwork, windows, doors, joists, rafters, pad, and other elements for warping, fire or water damage, poor construction, tampering or dangerous remodeling, and other tell-tale signs of how the house is build and maintained.

Home inspectors will often crawl around in crawlspaces, peer into or enter attics, look in closets and chimneys, around windows and doors, under carpets, and every other place in the house where they see or suspect evidence of something may be amiss – or may be particularly good.

Typical items not looked at are more cosmetic in nature. Paint is not a major concern unless it gives evidence to other problems like mold, weathering, and so on. Carpeting is not usually commented on otherwise is moldy or on top of electrical wiring. Landscaping will be looked at with regards to effect on the house. Trees and shrubs are often planted too close to a house or grow up against them over time and may cause damage. Mostly, landscaping issues deal with the slope or grade of the land and whether drainage issues are of a concern.

What do you get out of it? Good home inspectors will write up a report and give you an oral summary of what was found. The home inspector may show you certain matters of particular interest or concern, or you may simply get a summary of items noticed and noted in the report. The home inspector should not be making decisions for you on the home, but may, if qualified, make certain professional recommendations, or recommend that you get more serious matters inspected by a specifically-trained service person.

Inspectors should be giving you a status check of you home's vital elements – not a laundry list of what's wrong with the place. There are plenty of small things that may be 'wrong' as in need minor attention or monitoring, but are not critical to the overall safety or marketability of the home. The worst thing a home inspector can do is become emotional about the house being inspected. Good home inspectors are like good doctors or mechanics. They tell you what they find, and about how critical or not a deficiency may be, but they should not be alarmist unless the situation is potentially dangerous or deadly (for example, live wires exposed within reach of children or a seriously deteriorating chimney which may collapse). Otherwise, the inspector should be detached and business-like in presenting his or her findings.

The seller has the emotional investment of living in a home and usually is quite sensitive about it. The buyer is putting an emotional investment into the home because they like the place and can picture themselves enjoying it. That's where emotional biases come into play and sober reasoning can get the better of you by making you not see potential problems or excuse them away because you really, really want this house. This is exactly why home inspectors have entered the scene in order to remove the emotions and provide sober commentary. Home inspectors do not get involved with the price of homes, and certainly do not decide for you on either to buy or not (or sell). What they reveal about a home may affect the negotiations, but the home inspector should not be involved in them directly. For example, depending on the size of a home, a near-dead furnace can cost $ 5000 to $ 10,000 to replace, or new roofing of very tired shingles can cost from $ 3000 to $ 30,000 – a not insignificant impact on the home's worth during a transaction.

Electrical Home Inspection: What You Need to Know!

Whether you're buying a home, or just moving in to your new home, here is some advice that can help you. If you're in the buying process the things you will be looking for are safety and repair aspects. Most electrical contractors can offer you an inspection to check for both of these. If you…

Whether you're buying a home, or just moving in to your new home, here is some advice that can help you. If you're in the buying process the things you will be looking for are safety and repair aspects. Most electrical contractors can offer you an inspection to check for both of these. If you are thinking to yourself right now that you have or are going to hire a Home inspector, think again. A home inspector does a generalized inspection. Most of them will know a little about a lot of different areas, but be an expert in none with a few exceptions. It is a certainty in most areas to say you will be forced to hire one to get a mortgage, and that's a good thing. If you hire an experienced licensed electrician, your electrical inspection will be more thorough and you can get an estimate to what repairs will cost at the same time.

When buying a home you'll want to know what if any defects there are, or safety hazards. Items that rate high on the list are things like aluminum wiring, GFCI receptacles, grounding and water leaking into service parts. The two of these that are most critical, dangerous and expensive are the aluminum wiring and water leaks into the main service. If you are just moving into a home you purchased, there are some things you can do to be sure your electrical system is safe. I highly recommend that all the devices be changed to new ones. This would be all the switches and receptacles. There is a reason for this. Most electrical problems occur when termination points become loose or corroded. See Picture

By having the devices professionally replaced, you can nip any of these problems before they occur. The other item to consider changing is light fixtures. This can be a bit expensive so if it is not in your budget try to at least change the very old ones. The reason for changing these is older fixture wires tend to get very brittle. If the bulbs used in them over the years were of an improper wattage, this can exaggerate the situation, a very common occurrence.

The peace of mind you will get, knowing a professional in the electrical field inspected your home, is well worth the money spent.

Homeowners Need Home Inspections Too

If I had a nickel for every time; OK I not going to start my article off with that old cliché, although it's very true. Some of the major issues I run across doing my Home Inspections are from issues, if identified earlier, could have been corrected with much less headache and your hard earned…

If I had a nickel for every time; OK I not going to start my article off with that old cliché, although it's very true. Some of the major issues I run across doing my Home Inspections are from issues, if identified earlier, could have been corrected with much less headache and your hard earned money. The average homeowner will never go into the places in their home to actually identify these issues on a regular basis. Small issues left unidentified and uncorrected over a long term can cause serious issues. On average most home maintenance issues can be corrected for fewer than two hundred dollars if done in time.

There are several examples of this kind, I will include just a few.

Last week I inspected a very nice newer home in North Texas that from the outside appeared to be very well maintained and in great shape. However, when I entered the attic and inspected the two natural gas fired hot water heaters I discovered that sections of the flue pipes, on both units, had been removed to allow the installation of AC duct work. This was allowing the poisonous fumes from the heaters to be pumped into the attic. This condition could allow the fumes to make their way down into the house and poison the homeowners with no sign at all. Once reported both units where repaired and the HVAC contractor was called to witness the type of work that was completed.

Inspecting crawl spaces, which is never my favorite thing to do; I find a lot of them to be wet / damp and poorly ventilated. These conditions can cause major damage to all the wood sub-structure in the crawl space. Once these conditions are identified steps can be made to make the necessary corrections, with little or no impact to the homeowner.

The Home Inspectors job is not to find every single little item that is wrong with a house. We can not see through walls, under floors or anything else that requires supernatural powers. Our job is to alert the homeowner of major issues with the house that is deficient and the potential of becoming major issues in the future.

These are just the tip of the ice berg on the issues that are uncovered during a normal home inspection. If you have not had your home inspected in the past several years maybe you should. Or you can just sit back and home that your house will not develop these or any other major issues.

Remember, small problems always grow up faster that you think and become major problems.
What are you going to do?

Importance of Home Inspections

Why Are Electrical Inspections Important? The advantage of having a qualified electrician to perform an inspection for you is after general inspector is finished and has pointed out infractions an electrician can follow up and do a more thorough inspection, explaining to you not only why the issues may or may not exist but how…

Why Are Electrical Inspections Important?

The advantage of having a qualified electrician to perform an inspection for you is after general inspector is finished and has pointed out infractions an electrician can follow up and do a more thorough inspection, explaining to you not only why the issues may or may not exist but how to repair them.

Electrical inspections generally performed only by a certified home inspector for someone who is buying a home. While there is nothing wrong with this as a general inspection, a home inspector is not a qualified electrician. While home inspectors are very well versed in the general condition of a home, they bring in specialists to test for insect damage and radon. Do not you think your electrical safety is equally important.

Home Inspectors are trained to point out electrical problems such as a double taped circuit, ungrounded receptacles, point out where a GFCI receptacle is needed or unsafe electrical service panels These are helpful when purchasing a building. They are not allowed to give you electrical advice.

The advantage of having a qualified electrician to perform an inspection for you is after general inspector is finished and has pointed out infractions an electrician can follow up and do a more thorough inspection, explaining to you not only why the issues may or may not exist but how to repair them. For instance, a receptacle may not be grounded. A home inspector might even point out that it is because of knob and tube wiring without an electrician's proper metering equipment and the ability to use it correctly, you will not know for sure. If the inspector is right, they probably will not know all of the ways that this can be corrected because they are not required to keep up with all of the current codes that electricians must.

This problem can be resolved by simply having a two prong receptacle instead of a three prong receptacle, the reason the code allows this because the absence of a third prong to an electrician means that there may be the absence of a ground. Scarily what this may mean to a home owner is brake off the round prong of an extension cord making it extremely unsafe. Another way that this could be corrected is by installing a ground fault receptacle, which actually measures the current going through the plug itself and will trip if there is a balance in current. While both of these will meet the requirements of the code, you are still left with the unsafe knob and tub wiring.