To explain the reasons why, please view the following brief video. It will help you to have a good idea of why skipping the home inspection, even with a high demand property, is never a good idea.
It can often happen that you finally find your dream home only to discover that it’s the dream home of other people as well. What will you do in such a situation? No doubt, you will want your offer to be the most appealing to the buyer and you might start to look for ways you can sweeten the deal. Perhaps you're thinking “what if I offer to skip the buyers home inspection?” If this is the case, you might want to reconsider that course of action.
To explain the reasons why, please view the following brief video. It will help you to have a good idea of why skipping the home inspection, even with a high demand property, is never a good idea.
Do you have a sewer gas smell in you home? While there are a number of different possible causes for this the important thing is to have this checked out. Why is it important? Apart from the noxious odor, sewer gas leaks could be a potential health hazard for the home’s occupants. While the odor itself might be bad enough to deal with, there are other, more dangerous, risks such as fire or explosion, hydrogen sulfide poisoning which can be extremely hazardous and because sewer gases can displace the oxygen in the home, there is also risk of asphyxiation.
What are some of the causes of sewer gas leaking into the home? This can be caused from failures in the plumbing system which allow sewer gases to come back into the house. If plumbing fixtures start to dry out, traps also become dry which means that the water barrier that would prevent the gas from coming back into the home is no longer there. This could occur during dry weather or if toilets, sinks and showers etc. are not used very often.
Another reason sewer gas can leak into the home is when cracks start to form in vent pipes or in the plumbing drain. Although vent pipe cracks can be rather hard to identify, they can cause quite a lot of sewer gas to enter the house. Cracks in the house’s foundation can also cause sewer gas to leak into the home. If plumbing vents have been positioned too close to air intakes, you might find sewer gas entering the house, then there is also air and wind flow around the building which could also allow gas to enter.
While there are many possible causes of sewer gas leaking into your home, its important to have a plumber find out the cause so that you and your household remain safe.
A lot of homeowners enjoy having trees on their property which add beauty to any landscape. But what about when a tree or trees are positioned very close to your home? Could they be putting it at risk of structural damage etc.? Let’s look at some of the possible issues that can arise from trees being too close to a building:
One of the big worries for homeowners is that the trees roots will cause damage to the home’s foundation. Can this happen? If cracks already exist in the foundations, roots can make their way into the cracks. If roots grow big enough, they can also grow under the home’s foundation causing to lift.
There are other risks from trees being close to a home. For example, a trees branches or limbs could fall on the roof or power and communication lines. They could also easily fall and hit someone, causing injury. This risk is increased even more if the tree is old or dying. Falling leaves and branches could clog up gutters and downspouts which could start to create structural issues if left untreated. Insects and rodents would be able to gain easier access into the home and there is danger from fire, especially in an area at risk of wildfires.
Yes, there are certain risks associated with trees being positioned too close to a building. This is something you might wish to think about if you are building your own home. If there are trees close to your home, why not have a periodic check of them to make sure they are still healthy. A dead or dying tree would pose a greater danger and may need to be removed altogether.
There are certain odors in a home that can be especially difficult to eliminate. One of the worse and most stubborn odors is that which comes from tobacco smoke. Smoke particles are tiny and can permeate everything. If you move into an apartment where no one has ever smoked, you could still have a problem with tobacco odor from a neighboring apartment. So, what are some initial steps you can take to get rid of this type of odor in your new home?
As soon as you get access to your new place try to ventilate every room and get the air moving. If you can, leave windows and doors open for good air flow.
Perhaps you are someone who prefers a natural method of odor removal. There are a variety of things you can use to absorb or neutralize odors naturally, here are a few of them:
Coffee grounds work well at neutralizing bad odors. Put some coffee grounds in filters and place them in rooms around the home. Vinegar is another great odor neutralizer; the smell is sometimes a little off putting, but it is very effective. Baking soda also works very well against bad odors, be careful when using it around furnishing though.
Why not try citrus peel? Leave in around the home for a few days. This is also good as it has that fresh citrus scent. Charcoal is also great for tackling bad smells. Leave bowls of charcoal around the home.
Although tobacco smoke odor is a very difficult smell to tackle, these simple suggestions will help to neutralize and freshen your new place.
There are occasions when damage can happen to someone’s property during a home inspection. And while this is not something any home inspectors wants or intends to happen, should it always be assumed that the fault lies with the inspector? Should they automatically be held responsible for the damage? Let’s look at why the home inspector might not be to blame.
We should note that we are talking about something that could happen as a result of the home inspection itself, not the accidental breaking of a household object such as a mirror or lamp, this would be a different matter. By way of example, imagine the inspector is checking some electrical panel and a switch breaks or falls apart, should it be assumed that the inspector was too heavy handed? No, the fact is that the switch was probably going to break whoever it was that touched it next.
We can see from this example, then, that damage can occur as a result of the homes deterioration and not necessarily from the home inspector’s clumsiness. In fact, a home inspection is carried out so that these kinds of issues can be found by the inspector and not someone in the household who could potentially be injured by such a thing. So, if you need to have a home inspection in the near future, its good to keep this in mind.
Many buyers turn to foreclosures as a way of purchasing a property at a very low cost. With so many of them available, it might seem like great idea. While buying a foreclosure can work out in your favor, there are some things to think about. For example, if you are looking to purchase a bank owned foreclosure, you might find that your real estate agent discourages you from having a home inspection done on it. Why is that?
The real estate agent might reason that this will not alter the price on a bank owned property seeing that it comes “as is”. However, this is not in your best interests. What if there is a major flaw with the property that will end up costing you thousands? Isn’t it best to find this out before you sign the contract? Think about the very nature of a bank foreclosure property, if the homeowner couldn’t afford the mortgage, how much maintenance do you think has been done on the place? It also happens that sometimes a homeowner will strip the house of anything worth having. In some cases, they even vandalize their own properties or leave behind tons of junk and rubbish. These are all things you will be responsible for.
When buying a bank owned foreclosure, it’s always in your best interests to have it inspected. A home inspector can discover major problems with a property that would be extremely hard to find otherwise which could end up saving you a fortune.
Performing regular maintenance on your home is one of the best ways to avoid major issues later. Some jobs may seem rather insignificant, but if left unchecked, could end up creating a big problem. Take the bathroom for example, while most bathrooms are fitted with some type of extraction fan, how many of them are working as they should?
A bathroom fan can stop working for a few different reasons. One reason could simply be that it has become clogged with dust and dirt. A good cleaning should fix this issue but its best not to let it build up, so a monthly cleaning would be good.
Bathrooms are very humid places, so a fan is needed to extract excess moisture. If the fan has been installed correctly, it should extract that moisture through duct work leading to the exterior of the home. If it has not, problems could arise. What do we mean by this? In some cases, the duct work has not been installed properly and does not reach to the exterior of the house, instead it might only go as far as the attic space. Is this a problem? While it might not affect the bathroom itself, it will eventually cause deterioration of attic materials and even create mold issues.
Keep your eye out for signs that your bathroom fan is not working, look for corrosion of metal fixtures, paint peeling or bubbling and, of course, excessive moisture on tiles and ceiling.
If you are concerned about whether the bathroom fan is venting to the attic, why not have it inspected? In this way you will be able to prevent those bigger problems down the road.
Searching out alternate energy sources is something many people investigate, particularly if they are building their own home. If you are in this position, it’s important to study every aspect of it, for example, how expensive will it be to install? Will I save a lot of money? What kind of impact will it have on the environment?
Having these questions in mind, lets discuss solar energy. Installing solar energy panels can be expensive which could possibly put some people off, but when you take time to consider the long-term rewards, it’s easy to see that it doesn’t take long to recoup the initial outlay. In fact, you won’t just be saving money on your energy bills by choosing solar energy, you may even be able to make a profit from it. This can be done with the use of net metering which works by selling surplus energy back to your power company.
There are many advantages to choosing solar energy. Though the manufacture of solar panels will have somewhat of an environmental impact, the actual use of them produces no effect unlike fossil fuels etc. They are also not only safer environmentally but are also noise friendly as they do not use loud equipment. This is due to the fact that they do not need moving parts to function. An additional advantage is the fact that their source of fuel will never run out and can be found all over.
It’s obvious that there are numerous benefits to using solar energy, nevertheless, it is important that before making a big decision such as using solar energy, make sure this is the right choice for you by getting to know all there is to know about it.
Buying a home is a huge decision to make, there are many things to think about and you will, no doubt, experience a mixture of emotions. With this in mind, its important to make sure you have the right people working for you, people that you can feel confident in, knowing they will do the best job.
Please watch the following video which helps you to see what is important when it comes to having your home inspected. Here at Step By Step we work hard so that your home will be a the investment you want. Its important to us that you purchase a home knowing all the facts about the property, good or bad. Please don’t hesitate, if you have questions or concerns, to contact us. We are happy to help you and are confident you will be happy you chose us for all your home inspection needs.
We get to see all kinds of exterior cladding as home inspectors and one very popular choice is vinyl siding. So, what makes it so popular? And are there any disadvantages to using it that we need to be aware of?
The reason that vinyl siding is a good choice is that, when installed properly, it is very durable, is not easy to dent, is rust proof and also fade resistant. Considering that we need it to last for a long time, we can see that these are important qualities.
What can we say of any possible disadvantages? Well, if you’re looking for vinyl siding to provide you with extra insulation, you would be disappointed as it will not increase energy efficiency. Another thing to be aware of is that in the event of a fire, toxins that are harmful to health could be emitted from the vinyl siding.
As can be the case with many types of exterior cladding, in certain elements, vinyl siding can be prone to damage. For example, extremes of weather temperature can affect it. If temperatures become too hot, the siding could start to warp, melt and start to distort. If the temperature goes to the other extreme and becomes too cold, it can become brittle and easier to crack.
From this brief review, we can see that vinyl siding can be a very good choice of exterior cladding, but it should be installed by someone who knows how to do it correctly.
This is a question that home inspectors can hear a lot. If you are buying a brand-new home, you might be wondering the same thing, after all, the home has just been built and has never been lived in so what’s the point of having it inspected? The reasons for doing so might surprise you, for example, were you aware that a house could develop certain issues even before the construction has been completed?
This month’s brief video provides you with some other, important reasons why you should have an inspection performed on your newly constructed home especially if you might consider selling it in future years.
We are always here to help you with all your home inspection needs so please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions you might have so that we can assist you with the home buying process.
We are given many reminders on how important it is to frequently test the batteries in your smoke detector but, what else should we know about these life saving devices? For example, how many should there be in a home? And what is the best position to place them?
Did you know that roughly 3,000 people die every year in the United States due to residential fires? That’s a substantial number. Sadly, many of these deaths happen because the home did not have a properly functioning smoke alarm. It’s clear to see the importance, then, of making sure we have the correct number of smoke detectors for our home and ensuring that they are well maintained. Here are some things we should consider when it comes to smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms should be fitted on each occupied floor of the home, this would include basements and garages. Since many fires happen when the homes occupants are sleeping, it is also best to have them in each bedroom or close to each bedroom, where they can be clearly heard. They should be fitted to the ceiling or wall. When fitting them to a basement ceiling, place them close to the basement stairs. A very important reminder is to never disable the smoke detector, even if it is becoming annoying and going off when cooking is being done etc. It is just too easy to forget to connect it again.
It is good for the family to be conscious of what to do in case a fire starts in the home. Every so often, test the smoke detectors at night while others are sleeping to see if it effectively wakes up children and any members of the household, then educate them on what to do next. Make sure the smoke detector warning sound is unlike any other sound in the house so that it is clearly identifiable. Finally, make sure to test your smoke detectors at least once a month to ensure they are in good working order.
If you have your home on the market, you will know how much work this entails, but, you also know, that it will be worth it in order to get the best price for your home. You will, no doubt, then want the home inspection to go as smoothly and efficiently as possible. With that in mind, what are some ways you can assist the home inspector so that they can do their job thoroughly? Here are a few ideas:
Sometimes its just small, simple things that can prevent a home inspector from giving a full report. For instance, make sure that light bulbs do not need replacing and that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors do not require new batteries.
A home inspector will need easy, clear access to areas that are often used for storage like the basement and attic for example. Try and have these areas cleared and make sure there are no locked areas that would prevent access.
Pets very often hinder a home inspection. While they may normally enjoy access to all areas of the home, on the day of inspection, it would be best if they were in a secured area or kept away from the home.
You may have a list of repair jobs that you want to do to get ready for the sale. Try to have these completed before the home inspector arrives for the inspection. It would also be best to have any trees and shrubs that are too close to the house, trimmed back before inspection day.
While these are just some simple suggestions, they will go a long way to making the home inspectors job easier and more thorough.
Most households have to cope with unwanted pests in their homes which means they need to find an easy way of getting rid of them. There are a lot of different types of pest repellent available nowadays, so, which kind will be right for you? Perhaps you’ve considered ultrasonic pest repellents. The question is, though, do they actually work?
Ultrasonic pest repellents are designed to repel pests by emitting a high frequency noise that is so unpleasant to them that they stay away from the area. They are usually small devices that plug into a wall outlet, this makes them simple and easy to use. Another advantage to using them is that they are not harmful to humans or larger pets. However, let’s get back to the question, do they work?
Studies performed to test the effectiveness of such a device have yielded a variety of results. For instance, they have been shown to have very little effect on pests such as cockroaches and do not seem to have any effect on spiders and ants. It is also possible for some pests to even get used to the noise meaning that they could eventually stop becoming a deterrent at all. Another issue is that the high frequency sound will not pass through furniture or walls, this means that the area covered might not be that great.
On the other hand, there are many consumers who have experienced great results from ultrasonic pest repellents. So, what should you do?
The best thing to do if you decide you would like to try them out is do some research to decide which brand has the best reviews. In this way you will make an informed decision. If you find that this is not an effective pest control method, it might be wise to call a professional for advice on what you should do.
Selling your home is a big step and can also be a very stressful one. You will want to do everything you can to get your home in shape so that you can achieve the best price for it. As you will be very well aware, a potential buyer will have a home inspection performed on your home to make sure there are no hidden issues. But, how would you feel if this report showed up problems you were not even aware of? You would surely want to be the first to know.
For this reason, a pre-listing home inspection is such a key step to a successful sale. Please enjoy the following video which discusses why it is such a good idea to have this type of inspection performed.
We are here to help you with this stressful process. If you have any questions about pre-listing inspections or would like to schedule an inspection, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you live in a multistory home, going up and down the stairs will not be something you think twice about, but stairs are responsible for many of the accidents that occur in the home. Those especially vulnerable are the elderly, handicapped or young children, even guests to your home could be at risk if they are not aware of irregularities to do with your staircase. What then, are some of the hazards to be aware of?
Making sure all areas of our home are well maintained is a vital key to ensuring the safety of our households, so have a regular check of the staircase to ensure that they do not present a hazard.
Is buying a property listed “as is” a sensible choice? Before we respond to that question, let’s consider why sellers decide to sell a home “as is”. Much of the time it’s because they don’t wish to go through the bother of doing it up just to sell. Another reason is that they may want to avoid being responsible for any problems that may come with the place.
As to it being a sensible choice, it depends on how you go about the deal. If you have found an “as is” property that you like and it’s the right price, it can be a great option. But, before you sign on the dotted line, there are some things you should do first.
Make sure you have the property inspected by a certified home inspector. Yes, you are buying the property in as it comes, but you don’t have to simply hope you got a good deal. Having the home inspection done could end up saving you a fortune in the end by giving you an idea of the true condition of the home.
A written disclosure from the seller, informing you about the condition of the property is, in some States required by law. Does that mean that you can forego the home inspection in this case? The written disclosure is not always as honest as it should be and sometimes important information about the condition of the place is left out. The home inspection will let you know whether you can trust the seller or not, by showing if vital information has been omitted. If this ends up being the case, you may want to walk away from the sale.
So, as we can see, buying a property “as is” can be a sensible choice as long as you act with caution and do what you can to find out its true condition.
Are you about to purchase a home and need to schedule a home inspection? You may have a few questions you’d like answers to beforehand. A couple of questions you might have are: How long does it take to have the home inspection performed? And should you be present for it?
To answer the first question, the length of time it takes to complete a thorough home inspection will depend on a variety of factors such as the size of the home, how old it is, where its located and whether other areas like outbuildings etc. need to be looked at also. In general, though, you ought to expect the home inspection to take roughly three hours. Be wary of anyone who takes significantly less time to do it, as it may not be as thorough as it needs to be.
Should you be there for the home inspection?
It is always a good idea for you to be there for the inspection. There are a few reasons for this, one is that as you go through the home with the inspector, you will be getting to know a lot about the house you are wanting to buy. The home inspector will point out areas of concern or any defects with the property. That way, instead of just reading the findings in a report, you will have seen everything with your own eyes.
You will also get to know important features of the home such as heating, cooling and plumbing systems etc. It’s sensible to know as much about the property you are purchasing as you can.
A good home inspector will be happy for you to be there during the home inspection, but if they are not, this is possibly a caution against using them. If you would like to schedule a home inspection or have any other question, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Have you decided to put your own home on the market? Whether the reason to do it without the use of a real estate agent is to save money or to simply be more in control, what are some things you can do to make a success of it?
Good preparation is the key. You will need to gather as much information as you can about what types of rules and regulations you must abide by. Be ready for a lot of, it might be a good idea to have a lawyer help you with understanding contracts and administration.
An essential part of selling your home is making sure its appealing for a buyer. It should be in good order and ready for showing. You will also be up against experienced real estate agents who are also selling homes in your neighborhood, so you want to give extra attention to making the house look good.
Experienced real estate agents obviously want the best deal for their clients, so its going to be important that you know how to negotiate the sale. This could mean you have to turn down a few offers at first to get a reasonable price.
There are numerous websites available nowadays that offer information on how to sell a home. Take advantage of these valuable tools.
As we’ve stated, its vital that you find out all the legal requirements involved in selling a home. Remember, different laws apply for different zones, so find out as much information as you can about your specific location.
Having a Move In Certified home inspection completed is also a crucial step when it comes to a successful sale. It helps you be the first to know about any problems with your property, and not a potential buyer.
Please don't hesitate to contact us to schedule your Move In Certified home inspection.
We know how vital safety in the home is, but were you aware that every year countless injuries are caused by improperly maintained automatic garage doors? It’s a good idea, then, to have a check of these doors periodically to ensure they are working correctly. Although it’s important that a skilled professional is the one to fix your automatic garage doors, you as the homeowner can do some simple checks to determine if they are in need of work.
Become familiar with the way these automatic doors function, after all they are one of the weightiest, objects that is constantly moving in our home. They commonly have a spring-supported mechanism operated typically by a switch on the wall or a remote-controlled device. There are a lot of moving parts to these mechanisms, so it makes sense that occasionally some of these parts will stop working.
Maybe this is a good month to perform your simple, automatic garage door check.
Looking for a new home comes with many stressful challenges. You no doubt want to find a nice house that fits all of your households needs, make sure it’s in the right location and all within your budget. Just this in itself is overwhelming. Its understandable then, that most home buyers are not thinking about whether the property has the correct amount of slope, or grading.
Is the right amount of grading that important though? Well, yes, it is, as not having enough could lead to all kinds of problems. The following brief video will give you a good idea of why this is an important issue that needs to be considered when choosing the right property. It will also guide you as to how much is an appropriate amount.
As home inspectors, it is our top priority to make sure you are getting the right home, with no hidden problems. We are on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.
Are you are looking to change the flooring of your home? Perhaps you’re wondering if laminate flooring would be a good option. Consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of this type of flooring.
It is commonly known that laminate is less expensive, easier to install and can change the appearance of a room in many ways. There are different options when it comes to which type of laminate flooring you could choose, it usually falls under the hardwood look. However, there are other type of laminate flooring like marble and granite. There is more to it than just the top layer also, it is usually installed with multiple layers. It's installed much like hardwood flooring with individual pieces or panels fitting together, and each of these pieces has an outer laminate or skin but the principal material used is fiberboard with a melamine resin. This resin contains formaldehyde, but if you have a sensitivity, you can find products that emit less toxins.
It is also important to understand the risks that can come from installing laminate flooring in your home. There is a great possibility that the floor can shift or move due to various factors. If the floor wasn’t installed properly you could see gapping or peaking. Moisture in the sub floor or from a leak can cause warping and buckling. Also, if not monitored, mold can easily grow under the flooring.
Another disadvantage to this type of flooring is the fact that it can be very noisy, so if you are installing it, look for ways to dampen the sound that comes from walking on it.
Laminate flooring can be inexpensive and look nice. But it’s good to do your research before installing it in your home.
In a previous blog, we talked about Greywater and what it is. What are some of the pros and cons to using Greywater though?
As we have previously mentioned, Greywater can be a very useful tool when it comes to water conservation, especially in areas of drought. This, we know, is something we must all be conscious of.
Because of the fact that Greywater can be used for irrigation, it can provide water for landscaping, which is especially good in areas where water is a precious commodity. This is particularly beneficial with public areas like parks and golf courses, as it saves the community money.
Both in new construction homes and older homes, greywater systems can be installed. Some localities even offer tax incentives for having one. You should always check your local area for this though.
Were you aware that dish water can contain nutrients which help improve the soil? This is another added benefit.
What can we say about the disadvantages of using greywater? Much care must be taken when handling greywater to make sure it does not become a serious hazard.
Not everyone is familiar with greywater systems, so you need to make sure that a plumber knows what to do before installing one. This could prove to be very expensive for you. Also, the maintenance and parts for these systems can also be very costly.
It is very important that you consult your local town council to see what kind of guidelines they have with regard to using greywater, as some areas may not allow it to be used inside the home.
As we can see, installing a greywater system can have many advantages, especially in areas where water is in short supply, but much care and research needs to be done first to see if it’s a good idea in your area.
What is Greywater? Simply put, it is the water left over from things we do every day in the home. Things like bathing, laundry and washing dishes all produce greywater. Although this used water is not fit to drink, it can be used for other things like flushing the toilet or some types of irrigation. It is important to note that Greywater must not to be confused with blackwater, which is extremely hazardous as it contains all kinds of harmful contaminants such as fecal matter.
Greywater can be used in areas that are prone to drought, and is regularly used in third world countries, however, its use is becoming more popular in the United States as well.
There are a couple of different types of greywater, treated and untreated. While treated greywater can be stored, untreated must be used immediately.
Differing opinions exist when it comes to the use of greywater. There are those that are pro greywater usage because it can be used as a non-potable water source both inside and outside of the home. Then there are those that are opposed to its use, as they believe it would be easier to quickly spread disease.
By this brief overview, its clear that there is much to consider if you are thinking about using greywater in your household. A lot of research will be required to determine if it would be good for you. In our next blog, we will be discussing the several advantages and disadvantages of using greywater. We are always here to help so if you feel you would like more information on this or any other home inspection question, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Have you decided that 2018 will be the year you look for a new home? Does this mean your current home will be put on the market? This will no doubt involve much planning.
When a potential buyer has your home inspected, there are many things you will want to do to make it easier for the home inspector. This short video helps you to know what to expect and how to prepare for the home inspection.
We are here to help you. Please contact us with any questions you have.
David Tearle, Certified
Home Inspections in Seattle, Bellevue, Renton, Issaquah, and Surrounding Areas of Washington