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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 ...


12

Well this is a pretty big deal because we don't know the cause. First let's go over common reasons we get cracks on new floors. Soil wasn't properly compacted. Soil should be compacted with a rock bed on top. Bad mixing at site. Especially in the summer contractors pump too much water in the mix. The water makes the concrete weaker and it does crack ...


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 ...


11

Actually, there are different types of sprinkler systems. In lots of residential homes, a personal protection type system are being installed. These systems use existing water pressure and lower flow heads. The heads are not interconnected and only release water if the temp is high enough at the individual heads. The purpose is not to extinguish the fire, ...


10

Although David Moore is somewhat correct, there are a lot of varied explanations to your question depending on where you live, the market etc. In large markets, there are large corporate home builders that have multiple crews covering all trades and do a turn key package. Many do custom homes from your plans. Many however will only build your home on land ...


10

Bed bugs are hard to see. They get in small cracks (e.g. between the flooring and wall) and can survive for months. Finding them by sight will be next to impossible. But you could have a service inspect the place before you move in. I think some use trained dogs that can smell them. That said, no matter how careful you are, bedbugs can migrate through small ...


9

You should consider, but not invest now. Wait and test, before treating. Small design changes now, can make implementing a fix later, easier. Radon is everywhere, to some level. If you have higher levels of radon, then you need to be concerned with the rate that fresh air is exchanged in your home. Houses are much tighter today, so be more aware with a new ...


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 ...


7

Pick up a copy of New Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual from Reader Digest. This is an awesome book, and a great resource when you're just starting out in home repair.


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

As a former construction estimator, I would suggest that you get in touch with the contractor sales department at a building supplies store in the area in which you're considering building. Quite often the estimators there will have a ballpark "per-square-foot" price for materials, and may have an idea of a ballpark price for labour, too. They can probably ...


6

Yes, you're being paranoid. If it was installed correctly, there really isn't much of anything that will go wrong with it from sitting - most septic problems are from using the system and not maintaining it, leading to material that should have been pumped out getting into the drain field and clogging it. If it's not used, that won't happen. The materials ...


5

Welcome! You will certainly find lots of specific questions and answers on this site but not as many general how-tos; it is after-all a Q&A site. Firstly, you need some tools! There is a great thread on this site about the tools everyone should own, I suggest you give it a read! The internet is a great resource and you will find answers to almost any ...


5

If you are in an area with granite rock (there are other indicators of Radon, but granite is the most common) then you should get a soil survey done. As @Tester101 said, results may already exist for your area, so check this first. If the results show high radon levels, definitely get ventilation fitted - this is important for basement levels, but you ...


5

You are going to get lots of opinions on this but in general I would say people with experience building homes - maybe 30% (I think I am being overly optimistic) could do a custom right with no major problems. General contractors - ha. You are looking at 5% if that. You need someone with experience with custom homes. You need an architect to OK it. Not ...


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

Ethically? Legally? It all depends, I guess. Radon is linked to cancer, so if you care about not getting cancer, and are planning on living there, I'd look into it. Basements are more of a problem as are 'tight' houses due to lack of air exchange. We had our old house with a basement retrofitted for Radon for about $1500. I imagine it'd be significantly ...


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

First thing to confirm would be which direction the switches are being fed from. There are 2 ways that you can do this - feed from the switch: Or feed from the fixture: When feeding from a fixture, you'll notice that one of the white wires is actually being used as a black wire. It is common practice for this to be "coded black", usually with a single ...


2

I have been researching this subject and it seems like its pretty cheap to add sprinklers during the construction stage. If I was building a house I wouldn't hesitate for even a second to install one. I don't understand why someone wouldn't do if given a choice. Moreover I think it should be mandatory for all new construction. I'm currently saving up money ...


2

Here's a Wall Street Journal article (published in 2007, granted it maybe a little dated, but should still be current enough to help you get a workable ballpark figure) that contains some useful links that should prove helpful in the process of calculating the cost of building your own home: Calculating the Cost Of Building a New Home Here's another link ...


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

Your home will give you ideas on what projects that should be done, because you will see things that need "improving". Start small and work your way up to larger projects. Some good starter projects: Paint a room Replace a light fixture Replace faucets or other hardware Mount a flat screen on a wall Caulk cracks or drafty areas around doors or windows ...


2

I'm guessing the circuits are sharing a neutral, and so are considered a multiwire branch circuit. Branch Circuit, Multiwire. A branch circuit that consists of two or more ungrounded conductors that have a voltage between them, and a grounded conductor that has equal voltage between it and each ungrounded conductor of the circuit and that is ...


2

There are plastic-sheets available for putting under the concrete-foundation of a house that are long-term radon-safe, i.e. that won't let radon trough even after several decades. Putting such a sheet under the foundation is low-cost and easy, and I don't see any reason -not- to do so. Pay attention that you don't perforate the sheet with ...


2

From Google: or·ange·ry /ˈôrənjrē/ Noun A greenhouse where orange trees are grown. Synonyms hothouse So, structurally speaking, there is no difference between the terms. The difference is merely based on what you put inside of it (whether or not you put orange trees in it). (If you grow lemon trees, is it a Lemony?)


2

They make kits that attract the bed bugs and trap them in a container so you can inspect it for their presence. Bed Bug Detection Travel Kit I have never used one of these so I cannot vouch for their accuary. However, I would not substitute this for a professional opinion in the event it is negative.


2

The usual disclaimer: I'm not an engineer, lawyer, contractor, or septic installer... this advice is worth what you paid for it :) As Ecnerwal says, I'd guess the system itself should be fine. If you have doubts, septic pumping companies often offer a pump out (necessary for inspection) and inspection for a cost perhaps in the $300 to $400 range (highly ...


1

I particularly like the attention to design in the 3rd photo, which shows blocking for the hand rail, and a pocket for the post. My guess is that you are posting because you are the owner and are acting as the general contractor. If so, I suggest on a quiet day to bring in your other trades to have a look over before 'signing off' on the framing, as there ...


1

Building regulations are generally controlled by either the municipality (city/town/township/village) if you live in one, or the county Start with the first. Most often there is a planning or zoning office that regulates both commercial and residential construction. Or you could consult a local builder and ask him or her what permissions you need (but ...



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