Recent Posts: Inspection Notes

Attention ALL Home Owners

Is your home as energy efficient as you would like? Are your energy bills outrageous? Do 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 can 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 $2400 on their home energy costs this year. That breaks down to about $200 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


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.