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15

I can't agree enough with Greebo's statement that you should be present for the inspection. Even if you don't know why the inspector is doing everything he's doing, you can see that he's being as thorough as possible without causing damage to the house. Remember, Mike Holmes is called in when the homeowner discovers there's a problem, and so he has the ...


13

There are some electronic inspection cameras on the market. Might be an excuse to buy one. You would have to make one or more small holes to insert the camera.


13

There could be several factors that may be contributing to the situation. It sounds like an air quality problem. This could be caused by airborne mold spores, chemical contamination from bad paint or flooring adhesives (VOC's) etc. , CO from a malfunctioning heating or A/C unit or something from outside getting in. I have had to address this problem with ...


12

On shingles, look for shingles that might be broken, cracked, or missing, that are curled (no longer flat), and any that have lost their stone coating. The last two are important; this is the first sign of an impending roof failure and that your entire roof will shortly need to be replaced. If you have rubber seals around your vent stacks (between the ...


12

In my experience the biggest thing you can do is check out the home inspector you intend to use by checking references from past RECENT clients. I've bought about half a dozen properties since 1997 and I've had crap inspectors and great inspectors - the first two came recommended by my realtors at the time, and they were not very thorough and gave me form ...


10

A stud finder is completely non-intrusive and will give you a good idea of how the wall is built. Run it horizontally back and forth at several different heights to map where the studs are, then run it vertically within your newly-found stud cavities to see if there's any lumber going between the studs. You can guess at where the wiring might be by looking ...


8

At the risk of simply stealing something from the internet and re-posting it (oh the horror!)... http://coolthingstoremember.blogspot.com/2006/09/new-home-walk-through-checklist.html Pre-Delivery Checklist Bring a level, measuring tape, notepad/pen, flashlight, mirror, stud-finder … Doors Open and close all doors. See that doors are ...


8

Check the ridge tiles - assuming you have them - make sure they're properly fixed on. For slate and tile roofs they should be cemented. Not sure about shingles. Check the flashings where the roof meets any brickwork rising above the roofline. This will be chimney stacks, dormer windows and occasionally parapets. Check that there's no build up of leaves ...


8

Well, I don't think you will buy such thing again in the next years, so I suggest that you consider it a major purchase and plane for all reasonable usecases, not only for laying cables. You can use it later for all sorts of inspections - finding sources of noise, finding sources of leaks, finding clogs in ducts and sewers, etc. I believe ability to take ...


8

I'm guessing from the image that this is a sub-panel, in which case the inspector is correct. The National Electrical Code (NEC) says: National Electrical Code 2008 250.24 Grounding Service-Supplied Alternating-Current Systems. (A) System Grounding Connections. (5) Load-Side Grounding Connections. A grounded conductor shall not be connected to ...


7

It depends on the deal you make with the Electrician. It's common for the Electrician to get the permit, though not unheard of for it to be the homeowners responsibility. The only way to know for sure is to ask the Electrician, or read through the contract/estimate. It's also typical that if the Electrician pulls the permit, the cost will be passed along ...


6

For questions one and two: Legally, it's up to local code. I'm not up on code in Texas. But where I've lived, it's generally acceptable for homeowners to do most work themselves. If it's a structural change (new walls, new foundation, new electrical circuits etc.) It typically requires a permit and inspection. Granted, just because something requires a ...


6

Check with the local building department to verify that they pulled permits and passed inspection for the work. They could have just covered up big problems that inspectors would have forced them to fix. Even if they did get permits that does not guarantee that there are not still problems. Things that may have been hidden from the inspectors, just missed ...


6

My approach has been: Drop baseboards. Knock out a small hole behind the baseboard. Stick my iPhone in. Snap a bunch of photos with the flash on. If the photos aren't working well enough/providing enough coverage, I'll record a video with the flash on. This has been tremendously useful in working out where cables are and where they've been stapled to the ...


5

You can get home test kits at most hardware stores ... you scratch up the paint a little bit, and put some chemical on the little indicator strip, and it'll change color of lead is present. One of the big things I'd look at is if or when the windows were replaced; as the original wooden windows will be grinding the paint, even if there's a layer of paint ...


5

If you have an attic or a basement get over/under the wall and look. The sill plate and the cap may hide some things, but there will inevitably be something poking through nearby. You've already thought of plumbing, are there any outlets or vents on that wall? What about cold air return grates?


5

Laws and rules vary widely across the country. Most towns or counties have the right to inspect the interiors of dwellings for the purpose of tax assessment, health and safety conditions. Construction inspections fall into all these categories. Insurance companies may require inspections to assess their risk of loss. The purpose of most govt inspections is ...


4

Theoretically you'll never have to get it cleaned or inspected again as you're not putting smoke, soot and damp air up it. However, if you do get it back in working order you'd be better off to keep using it on a regular basis and then cleaned regularly too.


4

Some things we found under our crawl space that you can keep an eye out for: Joist hangers weren't secured to code, not enough nails. Insulation wasn't properly secured and was sagging. If the crawlspace is part of an addition, make sure ducts and vents arn't coverd up and carry through to the exterior of the house. Make sure any vents aren't leaking air ...


4

You have to actually eat, inhale, or otherwise take in lead paint for it to cause lead poisoning: it can't be absorbed through touch. So, if you find paint flaking anywhere, you should keep your children out of the room, scrape the flaking area (while wearing a mask), and repaint. Then clean the area thoroughly, especially if flecks fell on anything they ...


4

Any attached worn, frayed or fatigued wiring such as cable TV, phone or electrical supply. As always around electricity, be careful.


4

Congrats on your pending venture, a new home! I am a certified Home Inspector and have a few ideas for you. Actually, there are several items that a good home inspector is going to look at that are not on your list. Keep in mind that an inspector is going to be able to render an opinion on the condition of the systems and structure of the house. Other ...


4

It would help if you told us where you are, and what you are showing us a picture of. If it's a main panel, neutral and ground and bonded together. If it's a sub-panel, neutral and ground must be kept separate.


3

Look behind EVERYTHING. A flipped house like that, chances are they went really cheap and covered over problems rather than solving them. New floor in the basement? be suspicious. Are they covering flood damage, which happened a LOT in the past few years? New walls? what's behind them...mold, bad wiring, rats nests? Cracks from the house sagging? New ...


3

In addition to the basics, seen in this answer: What are some of the best books/resources on home inspection for first time home buyers?, the fact that someone's been messing around with the innards of the house means you should pay extra attention to the areas you know they've worked on, and whatever's around it. You mentioned they replaced the roof. Get ...


3

Unless you get a very wide field of view and a very good quality image a static picture will not tell you much anyway, so a video function would be more useful that static pictures. However I believe you can get USB inspection cameras that are cheap and allows you to record/view on your laptop - they may be a better option for DIY.


2

Move to the UK, as Lead paint does not give many real problems in the UK unless you are removing it with a sander or hot air stripper. Or it may just be that in the USA a lot of people make lots of money by offering testing services etc.


2

I used to think it was being overprotective to worry about kids eating paint, but I've caught mine doing it more than once, and not in areas that were already peeling or flaking. Anyplace they can get their teeth on, like corners, window sills, or molding, I would seriously consider completely stripping down and/or replacing, especially in areas where they ...


2

Actually it is quite simple. Take your dimensions of the area to be covered. Example: 25 feet X 20 feet = 500 square feet. Determine what kind of insulation you are going to use. Fiberglass blanket, blow in cellulose, etc. Blanket is easy, select the R-value type you need, look on the package for how much area it covers. Example; a package covers 88 sq ...


2

You also may be able to check out a lot of the plumbing while you're down there. I'm sure this isn't that common, but I've found a broken drain pipe (god knows how that happened), and two (so far) never-glued PVC connections in the crawlspace under our rental cottage. Also look for signs of leakage or deterioration.



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