Category Archives: Inspection Notes

Quit spending money on wasted energy!

That’s right, wasted energy.

A simple home energy check could save you hundreds of dollars each year! That’s hundreds of dollars you could be doing something worthwhile with. According to the Energy Information Administration, Missourians spend an average of $2344 each year with nearly half of that amount going to heating and cooling costs. You can view their findings “Household Energy Use in Missouri” here. Many things that can be done over a weekend could help you save up to 25% on your energy costs each year. We like to keep it simple for you. Because in most cases, all the little things can add up to substantial savings each year!

A thermal scan of your home can reveal many secrets your house has been hiding from you. Primarily it will be lack of insulation and air leaks. Most older homes were not properly air sealed because the common thinking was to allow the house to breath. Well, that is the equivalence of leaving a barn door open on the side of your house. I can come into your home and identify most areas that are leaking, then also identify those areas that need more insulation. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

So don’t just sit there! Pick up your phone and give me a call to schedule your Home Energy Check today!

Be ready to Sell Your Home!

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, then please, let me help you get ready to sell your home! Get a Reality Check today!I will perform a complete home inspection using InterNACHI Inspection Standards. Once the inspection is completed, you can then prioritize any repairs and set your budget accordingly. A Reality Check will give you a head start on the sale of your home. I will also post your completed home inspection report on The Move-In Certified™ website. This can give your home more exposure to potential buyers. A Move-In Certified™ home means that you can confirm there are no major systems or components in need of urgent repair or replacement, and there are no known safety hazards in your home. Avoid last minute compromises and delays, justify your full asking price by getting your Reality Check now.

Septic System Inspections

For those who are buying a home with a Septic system (OSWT) and or a well, it is required by the State of Missouri that the inspector be licensed through the Department of Health and Senior Services for all real estate transaction related inspections. Please read the law Governing Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems  (19 CSR 20-3.070 Requirements for On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems Inspectors / Evaluators page 44)  before hiring an individual to perform your OSWT (Septic) inspection.

Please beware of Home Inspectors that offer septic inspections that are not licensed through or received training from the Department of Health and Senior Services. An improper septic inspection could cost you tens of thousands of dollars after the closing.

Here is a licensed OSWT inspector that I trust. If you need a well and/or septic inspection call Chris!

Show Me Soils

Quality Assurance Inspections

Do you really trust your sub contractors? Here are a few photos that I snapped during a couple of QA inspections. Unfortunately, the customer already paid the invoice.

QA InspectionsQA Inspection

If you have properties, it is important that needed repairs get completed quickly and properly. These are just a few of the QA inspection discrepancies that I have found for property owners after the invoices were paid. Then of course, they can not get in touch with the contractor to fix or complete their work.

Free Radon Test Kits

Good news for Everyone!

The State of Missouri will now provide homeowners with a Free Radon Test kit. If you are interested in getting your free home radon test kit, please follow this link to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website. Free Radon Test Kit

If you are not sure how to perform the test, please follow this link for the instructions. Radon Test Kit Instructions

Radon is dangerous! Don’t play around with it! If you have never tested your home, please get it checked out now. Radon is the 2nd leading cause of Lung Cancer.

Attention ALL Home Owners

Is your home as energy efficient as you would like? Are your energy bills outrageous? Does Ameren and Laclede  consider you a GREAT Customer because of the size of your utility bills?  Let me help you change all this and perform a Home Energy Check! We will sit down and go through your average bills and then I will check all the necessary areas of your home that you could be losing money from. We will inspect your home’s building envelope, heating and cooling system, insulation and many other areas. We will then calculate your energy usage and I will provide you with a detailed energy report that can start saving you money on DAY ONE!

The average Missourian will spend about $2650 on their home energy costs this year. That breaks down to about $220 a month to the energy gods. Let me help you save some money! Call me today at (314) 698-0411 or schedule your appointment online from the home page.

Helpful hints for home owners

Welcome

I am glad you’re here. I want to you to know that these helpful hints will give some of you a better understanding of how your home is built and designed. In the long run, knowing this could save you a lot of money and headaches.

Your home has many interactive parts that make it whole. If one or more parts are not working correctly, the cost of repairs could be in the thousands. In this series of post, I will go through each of the major systems of your home and give you information about how the system works and what to look for. This is not a how to fix-it blog, simply I will show you what I look for as a home inspector, contractor and environmental technician.

As we go through each of the household systems, you may find some areas that are in need of repair. If you are capable, then go ahead and make the repair as soon as you can, just don’t forget about them. If you do not feel comfortable making repairs yourself, you can use Google or You Tube to find out how it is done. If not, you will have to find someone to do it for you. This could be a friend or family member, but it might have to be a contractor.

Hiring a contractor can be a very intimidating experience to some. Don’t be afraid, they won’t bite you. Just be very cautious and diligent throughout the hiring process. You can start by asking some of your family, friends and neighbors if they know a reputable contractor. And I am sure, that if they know a bad one, you will hear about that first. If that does not pan out, you can check Pro-Matcher, Local Saver, Yelp and other similar sites.

During the interview process, ensure the contractor carries general liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage. Ask for references and recently completed pictures of projects that are similar in nature. Once you feel confident that you have found a reputable contractor, discuss the work that you need completed and make sure to get everything in writing. And yes, there will be paperwork involved.

The most important paperwork will be a signed agreement or contract describing the work and the price, and a lien waiver after the work is completed and the final payment made. If any additional work is needed, get that in writing also. Speaking of payment, if the contractor asks you for 100% of the payment up front, ASK HIM TO LEAVE NOW! It is normal for contractors to ask for a down payment, generally up to 30%.

Let’s get back to the nuts and bolts of this post. The inspection and upkeep of your home will require basic tools. I listed just some of the tools and equipment that every homeowner should have in order to take proper care of their home. I am going to start with the basics. The tools listed below are only a suggestion. But as we go along, you will find out how important each one truly is. A few great places to get tools are your local flea markets and of course the good old garage sale. Whatever tools that you decide upon, be sure they are a quality tool that will last for many years. Don’t buy cheap tools! They will always break when you need them the most.

 

Tool Box Claw Hammer
Screwdriver set Vise grips
Combination wrench set Slip-joint pliers
Tape measure Cordless drill
Adjustable wrench Utility knife
Flashlight Caulk gun
Hacksaw Level
Wire cutters/strippers Small handsaw
Putty knife/scraper Plunger
Rake Staple gun
Shovel Long extension cord
Utility tarp 5 gallon bucket w/lid
Touch up Paint Wet & Dry vacuum
Electrical tester Pry bar
Multiple fasteners Duct tape
Step Ladder Needle nose pliers
Safety glasses Work gloves
Hearing protection Dust mask or respirator
Paint Brushes Lubricants
Binoculars* Extension ladder*

 

Now that we have our tool list, familiarize yourself with the tools and learn how to use them if you don’t know how. Don’t be embarrassed, everyone has a first time. Some of you might have a fear of heights, so I added the binoculars to the list just for this reason. Inspectors often use binoculars to make a visual inspection of the roof. Checking your roof from a good vantage point with binoculars can be just as effective as if you were up there yourself.

So get those ladders or binoculars ready, in the next post we will discuss how to inspect your roof.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a very important tool available to potential home buyers. As lenders use credit reports, a home buyer should use a home inspection.  The purchase of a home will be the most important financial decision many people will make in their lifetime. In most cases, the home buyer is not familiar enough with all aspects of the home, and that could lead to thousands of dollars be spent on major defects that could of been identified prior to purchase. In addition, identified defects can be an effective bargaining tool for the final price of the home.

A home inspection is not invasive. Therefore, the inspector cannot see through walls, and is not required to disassemble or move items. The inspector must put his safety first above all. With that being said, every major system of the home will be inspected that can be inspected. Electrical, Plumbing, Framing and Structure, Roof and Exterior, Heating and Cooling, Insulation and Site Drainage. Driveways, Walkways, Decks, Doors, Windows, Cabinets, Floors, Appliances and Porches will also be checked. All systems will be checked for proper operation and it will be noted if that system is working poorly or in an unsafe condition. Please note, the inspector is not a code inspector, they do not get paid by the city or county.

A home inspection can be a key factor in your final decision. The life expectancy of major systems and appliance can also be determined in an inspection. For example, the life expectancy of a central air conditioning unit is between 7 to 15 years. If the unit is more than 15 years old, that item itself could pose a great insight to the condition of the rest of the home. Is the furnace as old, what else is at the end of its  life cycle? You could possibly spend thousands of dollars replacing those items in the first few years of home ownership.

A home inspection is a MUST if you’re buying a home from out of state. The inspector should provide you with plenty of photos and possibly even video of the property. Items such as paint colors, paneling  and carpeting will be overlooked by the inspector. Those are items of personal taste, and not of concern to the overall function of the home and its subsystems. With those photos, you should be able to consult and interior designer or landscaping professional if so needed.