Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

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 ...


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

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

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

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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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?


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

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

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 ...


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.


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 ...


2

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 ...


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

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.


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 might call the local rental center and ask if they have something. If you just need it once why buy? An inspection camera is nice, but you might also be able to see what you need with a mirror. Another idea might be to slide pipe insulation or split tubing over the pipes. This can trap the leak and guide it to where you can see it.


1

My experience with some of these cameras is that they are OK for locating pipes, wires or other objects, but not so good at honing in on small details, especially with low light (like in your walls). Unless there is water gushing out, it is unlikely you'll see the exact location of the leak IMO. If you are lucky you might find water but that doesn't mean ...


1

I think the target demographic for saving pictures is pros who want to show the homeowner what they're talking about so they're not accused of making things up. When would a homeowner want to save pictures? You want to take the picture in to the store / to your friend / post it here to solicit help with something You find something like mold and want to ...


1

When I've done such cable running jobs my usual approach was to use a stud detector, or even a neodymium magnet, to find the studs in the wall which will therefore give me an idea of position of the vertical, and horizontal, wooden supports. The next step I took was to head to the floor above to access the gap between the cavity wall from above and do some ...


1

A simple home made metal detector.all you need- 5 minutes free,some tape,a calculator and an AM Radio http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Homemade-Metal-Detector OR http://www.instructables.com/id/HomeMade-Metal-Detector/



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible