Questions Everyone Faces During a Home Inspection

There are many buyers who are not sure whether to do a home inspection or not. Sometimes a buyer also expects a lot more out of the inspection than a home inspector can provide as per regulations and in the following sections we will look at some such common questions you will also face while…

There are many buyers who are not sure whether to do a home inspection or not. Sometimes a buyer also expects a lot more out of the inspection than a home inspector can provide as per regulations and in the following sections we will look at some such common questions you will also face while buying a house and using inspection services.

Why is it necessary to have a home inspection?

There are several functional systems in a house and it is probable that some of them might not be working, so an inspection will tell you the condition of the house before you purchase it.

How much time does such an inspection take?

The answer to this question will greatly depend upon the condition as well as size of house. Normally, a 2,500 sq.ft. home can be inspected in around three hours and if the reports will be created in your home itself then it will take another thirty to forty minutes.

Is it necessary to have an inspection for every house?

Although according to laws it is not necessary but for your own interest you should get home inspection done. It will save you from costy repair work on the house after buying and moving into it.

What are the things that are not part of home inspection?

Many believe that such an inspection covers detailed analysis of all parts of the house but it is not actually so. There are pre-defined guidelines (ASHI & INACHI) about what is covered in an examination and home inspectors have to follow them.

Is radon test necessary?

In some part of the country it is certainly necessary to get the radon test done. Radon gas generally seeps in from foundation holes as well as cracks and is known as a major cause of lungs cancer. A NEHA or NRSB trained inspector will be able to easily perform the test.

Is an inspection required if it is a new house?

It may be surprising for you but more problems are found in new houses as compared to old ones. Such problems could be due to builder's negligence or incompletion of some of the installation tasks resulting in development of problems in the house.

Let builder inspect or hire a professional inspector?

If a new residence is being built and builder assures you that all things will be inspected properly, there are chances that many of the important things will be missed out. So you need to hire an actual inspector to make four to six interim checks to know if everything is done properly or not.

What kind of report you should expect?

Reports are nowdays computer generated that contain digital pictures and can be 40 page long. These provide detailed information about the existing problem and are easier to comprehend in comparison to earlier handwritten reports.

Conclusion

To conclude we will say that here we have listed some of the common questions which come to mind of every buyer and will certainly help you develop a clear picture about what to expect and not to expect from a home inspection.

Know Why Sellers Should Take Home Inspection Seriously

There are people who think that home inspection will not be required at the time house is purchased which is actually not true. It is in fact an integral part of purchase process and makes sure the house is safe for you and your family to live in. It includes detailed inspection of various systems,…

There are people who think that home inspection will not be required at the time house is purchased which is actually not true. It is in fact an integral part of purchase process and makes sure the house is safe for you and your family to live in. It includes detailed inspection of various systems, components, installations, structures and appliances to ascertain that they are working properly & as a buyer you have been quoted correctly price.

Basic Things to Remember

During home inspection by a home inspector certified by NACHI the seller should provide necessary access so that the inspector can properly check every section of the home. Seller needs to clear storage containers off from walls so that they can be checked thoroughly. However if the inspector is unable to verify some sections of the house then it should be clearly stated in the report.

Major Categories of Defects in a House

Some of the common categories of problems which are checked at the time of home inspection are:

  1. Searching serious defects like structural failures.
  2. Issues which may result in troubles in future like roof flashing leakage.
  3. Problems which may cause difficulty in obtaining finance or insurance approval and make it difficult to occupy the house.
  4. Safety issues such as exposed buss bar in the electric panel.

Useful Suggestions for Sellers

As a seller you can speed up the whole process by following the below mentioned suggestions. The advantage you will have is that the inspection will finish quickly and there would be fewer problems to correct prior to closing.

  1. Ensure that water / gas / electric services are fully operational and gas pilot lights work correctly.
  2. Immediately replace burned out bulbs and other electrical items so that no report is given about light inoperability.
  3. To avoid concerns during detection of carbon monoxide and smoke tests, try to throw off discharged batteries.
  4. Make sure that all the air filters are fitted correctly.
  5. Clear off store items as well as debris from around the foundation as these can develop into spaces for termite growth.
  6. Provide clear space for checking of sections where water heaters, electrical panels and HVAC equipments are located.
  7. Search for & repair door knobs, window panes, latches, screens, downspouts and chimney caps if they are broken.

A Final Note

So we can conclude here by saying that sellers can get a good home inspection report if the above mentioned things are taken care of and expedite the house sale process. There are few basic categories of defects that home inspectors look for and if you as a seller take steps to correct those issues then you can expect a positive report during inspection.

Checklist to Judge the Right Condition of a House Using Home Inspection

If as a house purchaser you want to get assured that price quoted is right & defects do not surface after the house is purchased leading to extra expenditure then a home inspection is necessary. Additionally, it opens up an opportunity for you as well as your property agent to bargain with the seller on…

If as a house purchaser you want to get assured that price quoted is right & defects do not surface after the house is purchased leading to extra expenditure then a home inspection is necessary. Additionally, it opens up an opportunity for you as well as your property agent to bargain with the seller on reducing the price in case there are defects in the house.

What is Buyer's Role?

The main thing for you as a buyer to do at the time of the home inspection is to get all the information about the house so that you are aware of the problems which exist. You should not hesitate to ask questions even if they sound very simple or insignificant.

Home Inspection – What it consists of?

The main aim of a home inspection is to find our problems that are present in the house. Problems can exist in:

  1. Roof, where there could be asphalt shingles which are deteriorating, the ridges may be sagging, slits which are wider than normal, roof vents which are quite visible and roof deck in de-laminated condition.
  2. Chimneys, with missing mortar, masonry caps which have been cracked or chimneys which are leaning.
  3. Gutter / Downspouts, where slope of gutter is not directed to downspouts and downspouts that are far away from the foundation.
  4. Wall coverings, with flaking bricks, sidings which are rotting, exterior walls which have started leaning and missing mortar.
  5. Foundation, where masonry is damaged and soft mortar has started appearing.
  6. Basement & walls / floors, with water pipes which are corroded, walls with loose plaster, foundation having water penetration and drywall seams.
  7. Electrical fittings, where heating / cooling system is very old and electrical outlets are ungrounded.

Other Problems

Some of the other problems which are traced during inspection consist of things like checking whether electrical wiring has been done as per government regulations, condition of power connections, fire safety norms have been followed or not, if radon test has been done, whether wooden beams have been damaged due to termite problem, is there a mold problem and several similar conditions.

Conclusion

So as we can see the main goal of any home inspection is to figure out if the house you are going to purchase is in good condition or not so that you do not have to face problems after purchasing it. The seller may not always tell you about the problems house has or he may not be aware of it and a home inspector will be the right person to judge the condition house is in.

How to Know If You Are Paying the Right Price for a Home

If you are going to purchase your home then it is a thrilling experience and you will remember it for your lifetime. However, the house purchase process goes through several important phases and the first of them involves home inspection. As you can figure out, home inspection is an important part of this whole buying…

If you are going to purchase your home then it is a thrilling experience and you will remember it for your lifetime. However, the house purchase process goes through several important phases and the first of them involves home inspection. As you can figure out, home inspection is an important part of this whole buying process and you need to be aware of it to make a better house purchase decision.

Why home inspection is so important?

First of all a home inspection will tell you what condition the house is in. In case the home inspection reveals major flaws in the house then you are in a better position to discuss price reduction with your seller.

In addition to it you will be able to make the house owner correct those problems before it is sold. In home inspection problems causing health hazards can also be traced and so such inspection will make sure your family's health does not get affected.

What questions should you ask?

During home inspection you should be present there and ask as many questions as you feel like to home inspector. You will find that the home inspector will be more than happy to respond to all your queries. Few such questions that are important to ask are as follows:

  1. Inquire about condition of drainage system in and around the house and if knob / tube / aluminum wiring is utilized since such wiring normally exists in old houses and often creates problems in approval of home insurance.
  2. You can also ask about methods by which you can keep the foundation dry, ways to rectify external problems and what are the things you can do to enhance roofing's lifespan.
  3. Ask about condition of plumbing in the house, in case clean out cap for the sewer is new then you will know that there is some kind of problem and you should inquire about it from home inspector. Additionally, you should get information related to age of sewer pipes as well as plumbing supplies.
  4. Lastly, raise questions with regards to the structural design of house as well as the type of heating system which is previously installed in the house.

Benefits of Home Inspection

The main benefit of home inspection is that it can help you find problems in the house such as:

  1. Wasping or broken edges which indicate that asphalt shingleles have deteriorated.
  2. Bulging or leaning of outside walls.
  3. Roof sagging in between rafters and trusses.
  4. No grounding for electrical outlets.
  5. At downspouts the gutters have no down slope.
  6. De-laminated condition wooden roof (deck) close to where shingle row ends.
  7. Broker masonry cap in chimney.
  8. Corrosion in water pipes.
  9. Flaking masonry in decks / porches.
  10. Too much extension of downspouts from foundations.
  11. Basement having water penetration identified from stains or loose tiles.
  12. Bowing foundations with effluorescence marks.
  13. Kitchens / bathrooms with rotting / staining under counter tops.
  14. Walls with drywall seams.

Conclusion

To conclude we can say that if you keep note of the abovementioned problems & get all the necessary details from home inspector, you will be sure that you are paying the right price for the house and no problems will occur in future.

Avoid Future Problems by Selecting the Right Home Inspector

There are several important questions that Buyers need answers for at the time of hiring a home inspector. In the following sections we have tried to list some of the common factors which buyers need to look into and then only select someone. These factors are: Checking background, credentials and experience E & O Insurance…

There are several important questions that Buyers need answers for at the time of hiring a home inspector. In the following sections we have tried to list some of the common factors which buyers need to look into and then only select someone. These factors are:

  1. Checking background, credentials and experience
  2. E & O Insurance
  3. Inspection Agreement

Let us now closely look at all these important factors.

Check Background / Credentials / Experience

First of all get details about the number of inspection the person has performed so far, how many years he or she has been doing home inspections and the type of license or certification person holds. Normally in this field of work training & experience are far more important than the license or certification the person has.

The good thing for buyers is that many states now require home inspectors to have some kind of licensing to operate. Additionally, several professional organizations like ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) make it mandatory for members to have proper training as well as experience and you need to select someone who is part of such professional organization.

Errors & Omissions Insurance

Errors & Omissions Insurance assists in resolving claims which are levied against home inspector with regards to issues missed at the time of inspection. You need to look at an inspector's E & O declaration page where it is stated whether the E & O policy is pre-occurrence or claims made one. You will also get to know the policy period as well as coverage limits in the declaration page.

Inspection agreement

Nowadays many of the home inspectors will ask you to sign on an inspection agreement which specifies rules, scope of inspection work and things not covered in the scope of work. Most of these agreements are fair but you should still read it and sign only after you understand all the points mentioned therein.

In some agreements you will find reduction in time period to 1 or 2 years during which action can be taken against any inspector while actually it is 4 years. Similarly, you will notice that it is stated that total liability in terms of the omissions, negligence or errors is up to the actual inspection cost but such maneuvers are strictly prohibited according to legal statutes.

You will find that many inspectors try to tactic avoid this legal statute by stating their liability to be only about 2 to 3 times of inspection cost. Thus it is quite important for you to check what is mentioned in this agreement before signing.

A Final Note

We will conclude here by saying that selecting the right home inspector is very essential and by remembering the above mentioned points you will be able to select the right person for the job.

Tips on How to Find Right Value of a House Using Home Inspection

At the time you purchase a house it is very important to get the home inspection done as it is the only way of knowing problems that exist in the house. You can then ask the seller to correct these problems before you purchase the house and in addition to it you can also compel…

At the time you purchase a house it is very important to get the home inspection done as it is the only way of knowing problems that exist in the house. You can then ask the seller to correct these problems before you purchase the house and in addition to it you can also compel the seller to lower the price because of the defects house has.

Our aim here will be to explain some of the factors which are important for proper valuation of any house and will assist you in deciding if you should buy the house.

Factors affecting valuation of house

Some such factors are:

  1. Discoloration of Walls / Ceilings: In case it is seen than walls and ceilings are completely discolored then you will know that the house has water damage or mold problem. There could be several reasons for water damage in the house; it could have the result of broken pipes, improperly installed window flashing or leaking roofs. Similarly there will be mold problems in case moisture levels are high and exposure to mold can result in various health problems as well as cause serious structural damages to the house.
  2. Damaged Hardwood Flooring: If there is hardwood flooring in the house then look closely to see if you find trail like lines on the floor. Such lines would mean termite problem and if wooden beams have been used in basement then check those also see if they are also damaged because of termites.
  3. Dampness in Basement: A home inspection will reveal if dampness exists in basement. Basement could have such dampness because of water seepage during rainstorms and could result in growth of mold in the basement.
  4. Problems in Windows: Another of the checks will include checking if air comes through even when windows are closed. You may have to spend a lot of money to repair such windows if you do not trace such problem before purchasing the house.
  5. Test for Radon Gas: The house may have radon gas problem and it is recognized as one of the primary reasons for lungs cancer so it is quite important to correct the problem.
  6. Fire Safety: It is also important to inspect whether all fire safety regulations are implemented and is another vital part of home inspection.
  7. Inspection of Electrical Connections: The inspector will also check if power connections are working properly, no risks of short circuits and all regulations are followed. If any discrepancies are found then it may affect valuation of the house.

A Final Note

So we may conclude here by saying that a home inspection is quite important to know the problems which exist in a house and help in correct valuation of the house.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Naturally With Vinegar

Fruit flies really are a hefty nuisance in plenty of kitchens. Removing fruit flies is certainly not hard to do and there is a lot natural methods which work great and only require common home goods. One of the very best effective and natural ways to stop the flies is by using Vinegar and dish…

Fruit flies really are a hefty nuisance in plenty of kitchens. Removing fruit flies is certainly not hard to do and there is a lot natural methods which work great and only require common home goods. One of the very best effective and natural ways to stop the flies is by using Vinegar and dish soap. Apple Cider Vinegar is affordable, has quite a few everyday household uses and can be found in most homes.

How to get rid of fruit flies using vinegar

The number of items you are going to need to make your homemade Fruit Fly Trap include:

  • 1 Cup of Apple Cider
  • Dish Soap
  • Small plastic bottle (water or soda bottle)

These pests are usually not the most clever insects around and there are usually too worried with mating to protect their own lives. They can not resist the appealing smell of Apple cider vinegar and often generally flock to it. By using a bottle with a small top opening such as a water bottle is best and it also eliminates the need to fuss with plastic wrap or rubber bands.

Most people currently have plastic water or soda bottles laying through the house so it becomes an extremely inexpensive method. As a way to kill the flies you'll want to pour about 1 cup of apple cider vinegar inside of the water bottle after which place a few drops of dish soap in. The dish soap will break the vinegar down and the fruit flies will drown inside it.

In case you have a large infestation of these annoying flies in your home there is a good chance that it could be required to place several bottle around.It's a wise idea place bottles where you might notice the flies gathering which can include near fruit, trash cans, counter tops, sinks and any place else that have been them swarming. As soon as flies are trapped and die you could do away with the bottle. Should you have a continuing challenge with them you can always leave a bottle in that area permanently.

Preventing Future Fruit Fly Infestations.

Once you have got the fruit flies manageable you'll want to focus on preventing another infestation. You will need to eliminate fruit that has been rotting and actually has gone bad, you must also thoroughly clean all sinks, drains, cabinets, vegetable bins and trash cans. Working at the housekeeping tasks may go a long way in preventing fruit flies from invading your residence.

Home Inspection Software: Technical Support

Anyone who has ever had to deal with a company's technical support team knows that good technical support is worthwhile. This holds true for home inspection software companies. Before a home inspector purchases a program to use as their reporting software, it is important to check out the technical support that is offered. This article…

Anyone who has ever had to deal with a company's technical support team knows that good technical support is worthwhile. This holds true for home inspection software companies. Before a home inspector purchases a program to use as their reporting software, it is important to check out the technical support that is offered. This article is going to discuss some things to keep in mind when investigating.

Methods of Contact

When a home inspector is in need of technical support, how are they able to contact their software's technical support staff? Good technical support will allow a home inspector to reach them with a variety of methods. The two most important methods to a home inspector are going to be by phone and email. If an inspector is in the field during an inspection and they run across an issue, they need technical support ASAP. They do not have time to wait for a response. Good tech support should be available by phone on all normal business days. They should provide a live, friendly person that can quickly troubleshoot the issue and get the home inspector back on track. The last thing an inspector wants is to call a number and go to a general company voicemail and have to wait for help until they get called back.

Home inspectors may also have questions about their inspection reports, and in these cases, it is often easiest to contact the support staff by email. This way the inspector can include any attachments needed to make troubleshooting easier. Email is also great when an inspector has a question after business hours. Good tech support will answer all emails in a timely manner so that the inspector is not left waiting.

Other Methods of Technical Support

Phone and email contact are extremely important, but there are other ways a tech support staff can help their clients. Good tech support will give their clients the tools that they need to educate themselves. They can do this by posting information to their website, such as step by step How To guides, video tutorials, FAQ's, webinars and more. This kind of information can help a home inspector by giving them a visual to better understand what they're trying to do. It also gives inspectors a place to go to look for answers when they may not be able to contact their software provider immediately, such as on the weekend. These online tools allow inspectors to find the answer they are looking for on their own, and educate themselves in the process.

Software Updates

Software updates are a big part of any home inspection software. It is important that the company is constantly working on updates to fix any issues and add additional features. Good technical support should offer the updates on their website so the client has easy access to them. They should also be willing to help a client download and install the latest update to whichever device they may be using.

Good technical support can make all the difference when working with a software company. Any home inspector looking for software should do their homework and check out the tech support team before buying. If an inspector is out in the field when they have an issue with their software and they are with a client, they will be happy they took the time to research and know that they have good technical support waiting to help.

Social Media for Home Inspectors – How to Use Social Media to Get More Business

The question is not can social media be used to increase business for home inspectors, it's how can it be used? A Facebook presence means potential exposure to more than 700 million. This exposure can be used for advertising, acquiring demographics, communications and possibly the inspection of new homes. While there are no guarantees, from…

The question is not can social media be used to increase business for home inspectors, it's how can it be used? A Facebook presence means potential exposure to more than 700 million. This exposure can be used for advertising, acquiring demographics, communications and possibly the inspection of new homes. While there are no guarantees, from a percentage perspective (1% of 700million is 7 million) the probability of how many new customers you could gain outweigh the amount of work involved.

In addition to homeowners, there are thousands of businesses utilizing Facebook. How many are in the real estate business with homes that need inspections? A little homework and research on Facebook could translate into home inspections in the offline word. This is a great social network and socializing with others in your field could lead to new business. Consider all of the other areas of specialty that would know if, when and where a house might need to be inspected, then search for other professionals and business pages in those categories.

It can be beneficial and is highly recommended to build relationships with other home inspectors via social networks; look up those who work in areas that require the services of inspectors. Your new rapport could have you an invite to projects you would not have otherwise known exhausted.

When it comes to other home inspectors, the potential for partnerships is strong. You could become affiliated with an entirely different company, and each of you does the home inspections for the other when availability is an issue for one of you. You could receive a small fee for the reference of work and pay a fee to the other company (ies) for heads. You may also find out about conferences you were unaware of, receive invitations to events or decide to host one of your own!

All of these are ways to leverage the power of social media networks. Even though Facebook is the one we've mentioned so far, Twitter is another popular network. Boasting active membership of over 300 million, the platform is different than Facebook, but the potential for business is still extremely high (1% of 300 million is 3 million). When you went into business, chances are you were told about marketing and sales or you investigated those areas yourself; social media is yet another avenue to be explored.

Since data happens in “real-time,” by the time you finishing updating a page someone is already viewing it; that is powerful advertising. If upon your search you discover there are not that many home inspection companies on these sites, do not let that discourage you! On the contrary, get excited! It means you have the advantage of being the “one” that becomes huge online first. While there are numerous marketing strategies for social media networking, one that can catapult your business are industry videos you create, upload to YouTube and post on Facebook with links to it on Twitter.

If you're familiar with multi-level-marketing, apply an altered idea of ​​that process to social media and it could lead to major triumphs. One way to do this is to see how many friends your friends have on Facebook. You might be shocked to discover one, two or even a few with the maximum of 5,000! That is a friend who is popular, and observing movie stars has certainly taught us that the “popular” can be persuasive! You can come up with numerous ways to get these heavy users to help you increase business. Seeing who in their friend's list (on Facebook) or connections (on LinkedIn) works in the industry can help you determine if you should reach out to those particular individuals or companies as a “friend” or “colleague” of your mutual connection.

If this language is foreign to you, do some homework. Before jumping in and creating a business page or ad, become a member of these sites. Be sure to include LinkedIn, which was created specifically for professionals to have a platform in which they could utilize each other's business connections. Do a thorough review of all of these sites, become a member once you've figured out some of the basics, then create a marketing strategy that will work with your business.

Of course with LinkedIn you are automatically posted as a professional or expected to be one. It will ask for things like your current occupation, previous positions held, your area of ​​specialty and a listing of all of your skills. In addition, you will be able to find out whatever else you know on LinkedIn and become a part of their connection list. Having access to their list can allow for a connection with numerous others. LinkedIn also has “recommendations” where people you've worked for or with can write a recommendation for you and your business.

While Facebook will have a much more “social” atmosphere, many of the 30 million on LinkedIn are already making excellent use of the power of Facebook. You will find that users on one will search for you on the other sites, and you should by-all-means search for them too! Collaborate, research, plan and be creative! This kind of exposure is only as limited as your imagination. If you lack in marketing and advertising skills then hire a professional! Yes, professional writers, advertisers and marketing companies are working in this market.

Although they tend to work from a “first-person” basis, meaning you're reading the updates on Facebook, or Twitter and believing it is one of the company's employees, the owner, the president, the home inspector, etc., it could be a professional that was hired to engage in a way that will produce real business results.

Often companies supply “how to” tips, discounts, trade secrets and various other incentives to get users to continue visit their page and hire them professionally. The old adage “give something to get something” goes far in regards to social media. Do not concern yourself with how much you'd be giving away if you provided users with a discount, instead, realize the business you receive from the offer may not have come about without the motivation provided by your discount. A company called Groupon.com specializes in handling discounts for your business, and they too have an extensive following.

No matter what industry you're in, the world has become interactive; you're either interacting with the rest of us or wondering where customers have gone. Wonder no more, they're on a computer someplace checking their Facebook, Tweeting, gaining new connections on LinkedIn, using a coupon from Groupon or utilizing the knowledge and information gained from these sites in the physical world.

Home Inspection Business – How to Get Into Energy Audit Inspections

Going green has affected every industry and it is logical that it would play a vital role in how we live within our homes. Initially, recycling was everyone's main and often only concern when it came to going green, but as time as passed homeowners have come to realize that having control over efficient energy…

Going green has affected every industry and it is logical that it would play a vital role in how we live within our homes. Initially, recycling was everyone's main and often only concern when it came to going green, but as time as passed homeowners have come to realize that having control over efficient energy is also a key factor. It helps the environment and can generate hefty savings. More and more homeowners are opting for energy inspections which offers a lot of potential for income for home inspectors.

This opens the doors for home inspectors to have another avenue in which they can specialize and / or offer additional services. If you're a home inspector longing to know how to get into energy audit inspections you've come to the right place! This article will list the certificates and their definitions. It will also supply you with a practical process for getting started in energy audits.

Let's start with certificates and their meaning.

While additional training programs are continuously showing up within the field of energy auditing, there are several certifications that have already become well known. Below is a listing of the ones you should consider going for and be familiar with.

Now that you're venturing into the area of ​​energy audit inspections a name you will hear often is the Building Performance Institute also referred to as BPI. Being certified by BPI means you are not obliged to attend any classes. However, it might be a good idea to take the week-long BPI certification prep course since it will increase your chances of easily passing the field examination and the 100 question, two-hour written exam (with a minimum passing score of 70%) .

Once you've passed the exam and are a BPI Building Analyst, you will be certified to administrator conduct blower-door tests, air quality tests (which include monoxide and carbon detection), airflow and duct testing. In addition, you'll be certified for combustion appliance inspections / repairs.

The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) also has a certification in this field. In order to become a Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) you will also need to pass a written exam with a minimum score of 70%; however, an auditing seminar is mandatory and their exam is four hours long. AEE also requires a recertification in three (3) years. Their prerequisites for education and experience are ten (10) years experience in the field of energy (no degree required), however, you will need an engineering degree (4-year) and three (3) years experience in the field. If you have an unrated degree, you're required to have at least eight (8) years experience in the field of energy.

If a four-hour written exam sounds a bit daunting you might be interested in the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) exam, which is two (2) hours in length and 50-questions long. Your score for this exam will need to be at least 80% and once you've passed, you'll be able to list your company as a HERS – Home Energy Rating System rater, meaning you are a RESNET certified auditor. RESNET requirements will include having connected a least two (2) supervised ratings by a RESNET trainer and three (3) additional probationary ones within a year of having passed their examination. You will need twelve (12) hours of continuing education classes after becoming certified, but will not have to take any courses as a prerequisite for the certification itself.

RESNET provides a free PDF of their National Energy Audit Standard for those interested, and since their certification will allow you to do the combination of energy audits and home energy ratings, reviewing their information to see if it is a perfect fit for you will be well worth the read.

While these are just a few organizations offering certificates, there are numerous others. Keep in mind that while some might not require any prerequisites, they typically are established under the assumption that you are someone who is already working in the field. If that is not the case, be sure to take any and all courses that offer to prepare yourself for the examination and for the job itself. Those working in the field who decided to become certified in energy auditors will now have another service to offer to current and potential customers.

Additional Important Information

If you've made your decision or would like a bit more information before you do, check out Home Performance with Energy Star. They list energy auditors and energy retrofit contractors. Obtaining an energy audit yourself is a great way to see the process by someone who is already certified and working in the field.

Of course cost always plays a factor eventually. While submitting this to your list of specialties, it will hopefully increase business opportunities; you should be aware that basic energy auditing equipment could amount to $ 5,000 (+). That figure would include a blower door (cost: $ 2,500- $ 4,000), a combustion analyzer ($ 1,200), an ambient CO monitor ($ 150) and a gas leak detector ($ 150). These are just basic additions and you might want to consider additional equipment. These are estimates so when you're shopping keep them in mind, but know that the prices may vary slightly, hopefully in your favor!

No matter what you've heard about how to get into energy audit inspections, be sure to do your own homework, get the training and credentials you need to be successful and soon you'll be joining other professionals in the field of energy audits.

Home Inspection Business Advice: Stay in Touch With Clients to Get More Referrals

You've done your inspection and sent the report. The relationship you've established with your client while working has been an excellent one. So when the inspection is complete, what happens next? It is a good practice to keep in touch with clients after your work for them is “finished.” This particular client may use your…

You've done your inspection and sent the report. The relationship you've established with your client while working has been an excellent one. So when the inspection is complete, what happens next? It is a good practice to keep in touch with clients after your work for them is “finished.” This particular client may use your services again or have the opportunity to tell others about you.

No matter the reason, if the client is one in which you share a good rapport with, staying in touch can be beneficial on both sides. You'll have referrals and / or repeat business from them and they'll have someone who work they are pleased with that they can refer and / or hire again. Not having to search for another professional and hiring they're doing a good job is a big deal for any client. So while you're thinking of all the ways it might be advantageous for you, consider what it means to your client to have a reliable professional resource in you. Realizing why it is a win-win situation will assist you in inquiring about the future and staying in-touch.

Yes, before that inspection is completely finished you'll want to ask if it is okay to keep in touch. If they're giving you an email address (or that's the method you used most with them) assure them you will not be sending regular notices. But if they'd be interested in receiving your newsletter or 'Tip of the Week' be sure to add them to the list. Since this is not a stranger or a potential client you're “trying” to get do not address them in the same manner as those you've never worked for. When corresponding, address them directly in a similar manner as when you were working on a project for them.

Another method is to be sure to know all of the important dates in their life. Obtaining this information without being obvious about it while on the project itself will be the most impressive way. The simple when is your birthday can lead to an answer and additional imperative information. Some will say how they're looking forward to it or they're having a huge bash that you should attend! You'll need to repeat the date in your head and jot it down the moment you get a chance because you're asking so you (from your company) can send them a birthday card on their special day. Facebook also has birthday reminders which are very handy.

Depending on how big the client is, your birthday wishes might be more appropriate as a gift basket or tickets to some event you know they'll love based on your conversations with them. Anniversaries are also celebratory as well as holidays and births of children. Letting them know that you remember, you're thinking of them and you care is a simple way for you to stay in the forefront of their mind. When someone asks them if they can recommend an inspector you want your name to come to mind immediately.

This is also a simple way to advertise your business. In addition to “word of mouth” that does a great job provides, sending a gift basket to their company will generate inquiries from those they work with. You will be the considerate inspector who took the time to remember their day. Do not just rely on appearances be sure to actually do a great inspection! While supplying the services and / or products, they need to be sure that you and anyone else on your team does a superb inspection and is personable.

Sending employees and / or contractors under your employ is fine as long as you are also connected to the client. Be certain that anyone works on the job has business cards with the company's name, and contact information. Being hands-on through the project is something most clients like to see. Confirm that all is going well and that the client is happy with the work performed. Make sure you or your employee involves those clients who are curious about what is or has happened. Give them thorough explanations that are not boring, but instead insightful and engaging.

If you send someone on your team to do the inspection let the initial face-to-face be with you. Introduce the inspector who will perform the work and be the ending face they see when the inspection is over. If you're too busy for this process, call or email if they're more of an “online” type client. The point is to establish a direct rapport because the inspector you send may not be with your company forever. You'll want it to be your business they refer or call again for services, so it is imperative that they remember your name and not just the person you send to inspect.

Remember that any and all personal information provided to you by the client can assist you with keeping in touch. If their sibling or child is getting married you can note the date and send a gift (stating you're the inspector for whomever your client and their relative is). If they tell you of their retirement day or any celebration be sure to acknowledge it with a card or gift, maybe they're going on their first cruise or trip outside the country? Send them a bon voyage! Wish them a wonderful trip, you would remember if the sellers you hire did those things and so will those who hire you!

Another great way to stay in touch is to send a monthly newsletter to past clients about home maintenance tips. It will provide them with useful information and also keep your company name on their mind.

No matter which method you use to stay in touch with past clients, you can be certain that keeping in contact with them will benefit your business. Just remember to provide them with good information and be thoughtful and it will pay off.

Water-Related Disaster? Safety First

When it comes to emergency water removal, mold removal, and flood damage restoration, leave it to the pros. Your professional disaster restoration specialist has the industry knowledge, experience, and credentials to guide you and your family through the entire process. The appropriate treatment depends on the specific nature of the damage in your home and…

When it comes to emergency water removal, mold removal, and flood damage restoration, leave it to the pros. Your professional disaster restoration specialist has the industry knowledge, experience, and credentials to guide you and your family through the entire process. The appropriate treatment depends on the specific nature of the damage in your home and will be tailor to meet your specific needs.

But homeowners, often feel helpless in these situations, may ask what they can do to help during this time. The answer is simple but important: safety. Taking measures to ensure the safety of your family and your home is advice to heed. Let's take a look at some safety do's and don'ts.

Is The Home Safe?

Determine whether the house is structurally safe to enter or live in; professionals may refer to the structural integrity of the home. If you're unsure, do not enter the house and make arrangements for Shelter with the help of local agencies, neighbors, and friends. Contact your insurance company, too.

If it's determined that the home is safe to enter, turn off the power by disabling the main circuit breaker; turn off the main water supply as well. A flooded basement could damage your furnace if the water reaches a dangerously high level. If you have a natural gas supply line, turn that off also; better still, leave that for a professional.

Of course, keep children and pets away from flooded areas; you do not want accidents from slippery, wet floors.

Do not operate televisions, computers, vacuums or other electrical appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially concrete surfaces.

Be sure your valuables are safe. If you will not be living in the house due to the unsafe conditions, remove your valuables including documents and treasured items such as photographs and other keepsakes; store them with a trusted friend or relative. If you are able to stay in your home, move valuables to a dry, safe location.

Is There Mold?

Mold growth is often one of the ensuing problems created by flood damage. The damp conditions in your home after a flood are an ideal breeding ground for these microscopic organisms that spread by producing airborne spores. Those mix with the air inside your house and can lead to health and safety concerns for you and your family. Typical symptoms resulting from mold exposure include everything from respiratory problems and nasal and sinus congestion, to skin, eye, nose and throat irritation.

(Be respectful for signs of mold.

Do treat all flood water as contaminated. The water and water-affected surfaces may not be contaminated but until determined by a professional, do not take chances. Do not track contaminated materials and items into undamaged areas. Do keep children and pets, who are especially vulnerable, out of suspect areas. Absorbent materials such as carpeting and drywall may be unsalvageable after contaminated.

Implementing these tips will put you into action mode versus feeling helpless. More importantly, it will ensure the safety of your family and your home.

Granite Vanity Tops – A Blend of Style and Durability

Granites belong to the class of invisible rocks that are constituted by the hardening of liquefied magma, so they are extremely sturdy. Their sturdiness in conjuction with the broad array of tones and textures has made them the most thoughtful after in the home improvement projects. Countless homeowners are opting for granite vanity tops to…

Granites belong to the class of invisible rocks that are constituted by the hardening of liquefied magma, so they are extremely sturdy. Their sturdiness in conjuction with the broad array of tones and textures has made them the most thoughtful after in the home improvement projects. Countless homeowners are opting for granite vanity tops to make their bathroom vanities even more attractive and durable.

Granite blocks and tiles are employed in public and business establishments as floor tiles and wall coverings. Highly refined granites are used in homes as kitchen or bathroom vanity tops. These natural stones can be obtained in a legion of designs and finishes. A number of well-known colors used in the household sector include black, white, gray, pink, green, blue and many more.

Granite kitchen counter tops are nowdays used in every contemporary home. They make the whole atmosphere more fashionable and are obtainable in custom-made sizes and tones. Such a vanity top is glossy and trouble-free to look after. Any spills can be effortlessly cleansed and do not result in discoloration of the stone.

Granite blocks are also widely employed in bathrooms as a replacement to wood and other glazing tiles. Bathroom vanities as a home improvement item have passed through plenty of innovations and are supplied in diverse designs together with backsplash. These slabs feature previously made faucet holes of particular dimensions and are at times fitted with one or two vessel sinks. They also have finished edges, moldings, etc. Corresponding backsplash is provided with the vanity top as well.

In both instances of bathroom and kitchen counter tops, the advantage is that the whole block is just a solid piece of stone different from tiles that are fixed together. The granite blocks prevent any stain and dirt from settling on the surface, so it is easy to maintain cleanliness. Although these stones are exceptionally tough, they are still vulnerable to breakage or crack if hit with any weighty article.

Granite vanity tops are not only put to use at homes, but they are widely used in hotels and medical centers. In the majority of the eateries, you will come across even the take-away and serving counters covered with this natural stone. The simplicity of cleaning and lastingness are their favorite elements, even if they might be a bit more expensive compared to tiles and come only second behind the marble.

Individuals who are weighing the idea to renovate their homes should not miss out on the opportunity to set up kitchen and bathroom vanities in granite. You can try out many different eye-catching and natural styles and finishes. Investing money into this uneven rock deliveries you excellent return on investment over a prolonged time period and outforms any tile installation.

The Main Types of Home Inspections

Most people, that have either bought a home in the past or that are considering such a purchase, are familiar with Home Inspections. A widely accepted and succinct definition of a Home Inspection is: A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to…

Most people, that have either bought a home in the past or that are considering such a purchase, are familiar with Home Inspections. A widely accepted and succinct definition of a Home Inspection is:

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a house, from the roof to the foundation.

A thorough home inspection should include a general and visual assessment of all parts of the home in accordance with a set of prescribed or adopted standards. There are different types of inspections … with those different types having a bit more to do with the clients intended use of the home inspection report rather than of any significant variations in the inspection process itself.

Some of the different types of Home Inspections as they refer to intended use are:

  • The Pre-Purchase Inspection – This is, by far, the most common type of inspection; it's performed for and on behalf of a client that is buying a home. They want to know the condition of the home before they buy it … that makes sense, right?
  • The Pre-Listing Inspection – This is an inspection that's performed for the selling party … the people that might be selling their home. Typically, this type of inspection is accomplished prior to the home being placed for sale on the market. The seller wants to know about the condition of the home so that there are minimal surprises once the home has gone under contract. This type of inspection is sometimes referred to as a Sellers Inspection
  • Consult Inspection – Sometimes, a person may want to know about a particular aspect of their home … they might not want to know about everything that might be wrong but are concerned about a single aspect of a home … say, the condition of the roof. This type of inspection is sometimes referred to a Consult Inspection or a Single-Item inspection and may be appropriate for some people in certain circumstances.
  • New Construction Inspection – This is a very common type of inspection conducted for the buyer of a newly completed home.
  • The 11 Month Warranty Inspection – This inspection is commonly requested by a home-owner who has purchased a newly constructed home and is near the end of their 1 Year warranty period. It helps to identify issues that might need to be corrected under the builders warranty program.

How to Find a Good Home Inspector

Buying a home, to most of us, is often an expensive, scary endeavor. Even for seasoned, experienced home-buyers, the process is typically not without some degree of trepidation and apprehension. Much of that apprehension has to do with the physical condition of the property … whether or not the house is in reasonably good condition…

Buying a home, to most of us, is often an expensive, scary endeavor. Even for seasoned, experienced home-buyers, the process is typically not without some degree of trepidation and apprehension. Much of that apprehension has to do with the physical condition of the property … whether or not the house is in reasonably good condition … whether the house is really as good as it looks or is a money-pit just waiting to steal your money away in the form of unanticipated repairs and expenses.

Enter the Inspector … the guy, or gal, that will give the home a thorough assessment and report to you on its physical condition so that you can make an informed purchase decision. How are you going to effectively track down and choose a good, professional Inspector? Well, there are a few time-proven strategies:

  • You may ask your family, friends, and neighbors if they've had any positive experience with any particular Home Inspector. If they have, they'll probably share that with you … and if they've had a bad experience, well, you'll probably learn about that. too.
  • You could ask your real estate agent for some referrals … but do not rely on a single recommendation. I suggest asking the agent who they might hire to insect a home if they were the buyer. Or who they think is the most picky inspector; that's the one you want to hire.
  • Do some on-line research … ask questions in local forums. Check out on-line reviews; If a company has a large number of legitimate and positive reviews, they might be a good potential candidate. But beware, as in other fields, some inspectors write their own reviews; you can usually tell which one those are and they should be avoided.

Some other general tips are:

  • Do not rely on the fact that an individual possesses a state license or local business permit as any proof whatever that is that they are either overly professional or at all competent … often, that means almost nothing.
  • Look for an individual that's affiliated with a prominent and leading national Home Inspector organization … one that includes high entry and membership standards such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) ; active membership in such an organization is, often, a good indication of a Home Inspectors commitment to professionalism.
  • Search for complaints against the Inspector and their company … Consult the Better Business Bureau to determine if the potential Home Inspector is an approved member company and whether or not they have any unresolved complaints against them

Once you've narrowed your selection down to 3 -5 potential candidates, you need to contact each of those and ask them some direct, and pointed, questions. And here is where you do not want to shy or timid in your approach.

  • Please, will you talk to me? If a Home Inspector does not answer their phone or return your initial phone call in a timely manner, then move on. If an inspector can not, or will not, make and take time to answer you questions now, then there is good likelihood they can not, or will not, answer them later.
  • How good are you and how long have you been doing this? If an inspector does not exude confidence, move on. Likewise, if an inspector does not have a significant amount of experience under their belt, you might better keep searching. Everyone has to learn sometime … but maybe you do not want them gaining their basic experience on your home.
  • What kind of report will I receive? … Look for an answer that suggests a narrative style report … or at least a combination narrative / checklist type of report. What you need is a good Home Inspection report that clearly identifies any issues in readily understood language presented in complete and grammatically correct language.
  • How soon will I receive your report? Most professional Home Inspectors will provide their report to you, electronically, within 24 hours of the completion of the Home Inspection and this is what you should expect.Can I be there … with you? It's important that you be able to attend every moment of your Home Inspection should you desire to do so; the inspection should be a time during which you are able to learn about the house and to get your questions answered. An Inspector who discourages your presence should be avoided at all cost.

Following some basic guidelines, doing specific research, and asking some pointed question of potential Home Inspectors will go far in helping you find a good Home Inspector and, hopefully, a good experience with that Inspector.

Happy Hunting!