What are the deal breakers of a home inspection?

When you go to the doctor for an annual physical exam, you get professional feedback on your health. Often, this is when you learn if you have any medical issues that need to be resolved. And just like you can’t fail a physical (no matter how poor your health may be), a house can’t fail an inspection. A home inspection is simply a visual examination of a house’s overall condition. The home inspection report describes a house’s physical shape and identifies what might need crucial repair or replacement. Although what’s covered in a standard report can vary by inspector, typically the status of the following will be included: heating system, central air conditioning system, interior plumbing and electrical systems, roof, attic, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement and all structural components. So, what are the deal breakers of a home inspection? That depends entirely on you. What is and is not a deal breaker depends on each person’s preferences and needs. For example, an inspection that identifies damaged floor joists might be a deciding factor for one person who feels the problem is too expensive or time-consuming to fix. However, the same trouble with joists might be absolutely acceptable for another client who has resources to fix the issue. A good home inspector does not tell a customer whether or not to buy a house. Rather, it’s his or her job to provide all the available information so that home buyers (or sellers) can make the decision right for them.   Inspect the Home Inspection   If you’re considering buying a house and an inspector identifies...

Are home inspections really necessary?

If you’re like most potential home-buyers, you don’t have extra money to throw away on a house that you may realize later is an absolute dump; so, yes, home inspections are really necessary. A house is one of the most important items you’ll ever buy. You want to get your money’s worth and avoid the tremendous aggravation of either living in unsafe quarters or having to pay to fix things that, had you known about beforehand, you never would have closed on the house. Hire Brian Champagne an experienced inspector who is certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors, and go with him as he makes his inspection, asking whatever questions you have. The inspection should run around $400 to $500, and you should get a copy of the inspection results, typically within 24 hrs. The inspector will be looking for plumbing problems and termite infestation, cracks in the foundation and a damp basement, leaky appliances and rotting stairs. If your agreement to buy the house is contingent on the results of the inspection, if a problem like the above is found, you can either be released from the contract or you can choose to let the seller of the house fix the problem. In addition to this thorough inspection, if you apply for an FHA or VA loan, you’ll need another inspection, but this one is usually not as extensive as the above one. Even new houses that have never been lived in can have problems with plumbing that was never installed correctly, light fixtures that don’t work, or doors that aren’t hung properly. A professional inspector  knows...

3 REASONS A PRE-LISTING INSPECTION IS GOOD FOR YOU

You may not consider a pre-listing inspection to be a worthy expense before you sell your home, since buyers will want their own inspections anyway and it could cost you time and money if an expensive issue crops up. However, in today’s market, the reality is that a pre-listing inspection from Champagne Home Inspections is quickly becoming the norm, if not a necessity. The following are the top three home inspection tips you need to know when determining whether a pre-listing inspection is in your best interest—and how it can help smooth the way to a quick sale: 1. It Will Justify Your Position Some sellers may have an inflated view of what their home is worth, even when presented with comparable homes to review. One of the best home inspection tips is to justify your listing price through a pre-listing inspection. With these results in hand, you’ll feel confident that you’re asking for the best price based on the condition of your home, and buyers will feel reassured that what they see is what they’ll get. A pre-listing inspection often prompts buyers to make an offer on a home without a home inspection condition, especially in a hot market in which multiple offers are likely. It also shows buyers you’re serious about selling and helps you list your home’s assets and updates, all of which strengthen your home’s selling power. 2. It Will Let You Keep the Upper Hand If you’re concerned about buyers shying away from defects, it’s important to remember that although no home is perfect, a pre-listing inspection report puts many issues into perspective. Providing estimates on how...

Asbestos Cement Siding

Asbestos Cement Siding Inspection Original Article By: Nick Gromicko Edited By: Brian Champagne Asbestos cement is a composite material consisting of Portland cement reinforced with asbestos fibers.  When manufacturers figured out ways to produce siding made using asbestos cement, it became very popular for a number of years before being banned in the U.S. in the 1970s.  InterNACHI inspectors are likely to come across this form of exterior cladding during inspections.  Inspectors and homeowners alike can benefit from knowing more about how the known health risks of asbestos apply to asbestos cement siding, too, as well as some of the common problems and issues associated with the material’s damage and deterioration. History Asbestos cement first came into use as an exterior cladding after 1907, when Austrian engineer Ludwid Hatschek came up with a way to shape the material into sheets, allowing it to be manufactured as siding and shingles.  By the 1920s, the National Board of Fire Underwriters recommended that asbestos cement replace wood as siding and roofing material because of its superior fire-resistant properties.  This recommendation from a nationally known insurance board contributed to a boost in sales and, by the 1940s, hundreds of thousands of homes in the U.S. had been constructed using asbestos cement siding. During the late 1960s and early ‘70s, however, the news media began to report on the health hazards associated with asbestos.  As reports increased, concern grew, so the federal government took action and, in 1973, the EPA banned the use of asbestos in the manufacture of building products. Health Risks Associated with Asbestos Cement Asbestos fibers are a proven health hazard...

Safer Inside Your Home

During the colder months, some of the household appliances and equipment you use every day could truly be accidents waiting to happen. HVAC equipment is often the culprit, causing house fires or other dangers for unsuspecting homeowners. Fortunately, there are some simple precautions you can take to keep both your family and your home safe this winter. Danger: Dryer Fire Something as harmless as dryer lint can cause major problems. Your dryer’s venting can get clogged with lint which in turn can cause heat to buildup in the vent and possibly a dryer fire. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, over 15,000 structure fires costing over $100 million in losses occur each year. Safety Tip: Clean the Venting This is a simple fix. Just use special cleaning brush to clean the venting from your dryer to the outside at least twice a year. A good warning sign that it’s time to clean your venting is if it takes longer than usual to dry your clothes and  recommend using a Dryer Airflow Checker to monitor lint buildup and blockage in your venting. It alerts you when it’s time to clean it out. Danger: Snowblower Accident Since 2003, over 9,000 Americans have lost a finger or two in a snowblower-related injury. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Well, it turns out these people like to use their hands to unclog a snowblower jam – without turning off the machine. Safety Tip: Other Ways to Clean a Jam Don’t be a Statistic. Use a small shovel or the end of a broom –  Consider using safety glasses when snowblowing to protect from flying ice...

Bug Zappers – Good or bad?

 Original Article by Nick Gromicko Edited by Brian Champagne CHI A bug zapper is a popular exterior appliance installed by a homeowner or food handler to attempt localized control of flying insect populations. Its name comes from the “zap” sound produced when an insect is electrocuted. Around homes, they are primarily used to kill biting (female) mosquitoes, which create itchy bumps and can transmit the West Nile Virus. How They Work The transformer, which is the device that electrifies the wire mesh, changes the 120-volt, electrical-line voltage to 2,000 volts or more. Bug zappers work by luring flying insects with fluorescent (typically ultraviolet) light into a deadly electrical current. Because the flower patterns that attract insects are better revealed in ultraviolet light, many flying insects that feed on flowers will be drawn to the bug zapper. Before they reach the light, however, they contact the wire mesh, completing the electrical circuit and disintegrating. Bug zappers can kill many thousands of flying insects nightly. Some have a tray designed to collect scattered insect parts, although many models allow the debris to fall to the ground below. Effective or Not?  Despite their widespread use, studies have questioned their effectiveness and safety of these bug zappers. Two of the more pressing issues are the following: Female (biting) mosquitoes and other biting insects are more attracted to the carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor in the breath of animals than to ultraviolet light. As a consequence, standard bug zappers typically kill large numbers of harmless and beneficial insects, such as beetles and fireflies, and ultimately fail to reduce the number of the types of...

Tick season

Ticks are an epidemic this year, Use a lint roller right after being in the woods or on a brush walk.. for humans & pets: ! Time for camping, hiking and getting outside to play. Don’t let those pesky annoying ticks stop you. Here’s how with a simple homemade solution! Repellent for your pets: For pets, add 1 cup of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Ticks hate the smell and taste of vinegar, and will be easily be repelled by this ingredient alone. Then, add two spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil, which both contain sulfur (another natural tick repellent). To make a repellent that will also deter fleas, mix in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint oil, any of which will repel ticks and fleas while also creating a nicely scented repellent. Spray onto the pet’s dry coat, staying away from sensitive areas including eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. When outdoors for an extended period, spray this solution on two to three times per day. For you and your family: In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water. To make a scented solution so you do not smell like bitter vinegar all day, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Eucalyptus oil is a calm, soothing scent that also works as a tick repellent, while peppermint and citrus oils give off a strong crisp scent that also repel ticks. After mixing the solution, spray onto clothing, skin, and hair before going outdoors. Reapply every four hours to...

10 Spring Home Improvements

10 Spring Home Improvement Projects Now that winter is at its end and Spring is beginning its reign, now is the best time to work on those home improvement plans you’ve been talking about for the past couple of months. The following projects are perfect for a Spring home makeover and can also add resale value to your house. 1.) Update your Rain Gutters: Without rain gutters, our homes are defenseless against the raging rain storms. The water from rain could erode the soil around the foundation, splash dirt onto the siding of the house and leak into the basement causing internal damage to the house. Modern covered gutters cut maintenance to a minimum – no more climbing the roof to clean out the clogs.   2.) Build a Deck: Decks allow you to fully enjoy the sun and serve as a great place for socializing and dining. Decks come in all sizes and can be built in a short time with pressure treated wood that withstands everything the weather can throw at it. 3.) Add a Hot Tub: Did you know the ancient Egyptians were big fans of hot tubs? Treat yourself like a Pharaoh this Spring.  Hot tubs are calming after a long day and provide a fun social setting and major health benefits. 4.) Update the Siding: All winter long you were inside keeping warm, while outside your house’s exterior was enduring the winter’s harsh temperatures and intense weather conditions. Have your siding inspected and consider replacement with today’s great looking, high performance, energy efficient vinyl siding options.   5.) Install an Enclosed Porch or Florida...

HEATING – For Every Action There Is An Even And Opposite Reaction

It seems like a waste to heat unused rooms, but closing heat registers may actually increase heating costs, especially with newer systems. Unintended results Closing the heat register and door without sealing the return air duct can actually increase cold air infiltration and cost you more than you thought you’d save. There are three good reasons to get an HVAC contractor involved before you start closing off heat vents, especially with today’s high-efficiency furnaces and well-balanced systems.First, it might actually add to your heating bill. That’s because with the heat vent closed, the suction from the return air duct can pull in cold air from the outside through any cracks around windows, exterior doors or exterior wall electrical boxes.Second, if the heat duct seams haven’t been sealed properly, the extra pressure from closed-off vents will force hot air through the leaks. That can be as much as 15 percent of heated air into basements, crawl spaces and floor cavities instead of into rooms. Finally, if you have a well-designed, finely tuned heating system, closing off too many rooms can damage your furnace because it has to work too hard to distribute the air. So, if you still want to seal off these rooms, consider hiring an HVAC contractor for advice. Please, Visit us on Facebook...

Secret Passage Ways For Your Home

A secret room would be a perfect retreat from the world for a while. Click on the pictures to watch a short video. They also offer the possibility of a “safe room” that enables you an additional degree of safety from intruders. This fire place is one of my favorites. Click the link to watch a short video. Please Click Here Visit us on Facebook HERE...