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    What is a Home Inspection?     And         Why Do I Need One?

    A home inspection is a professional, objective, visual examination of the condition of a home.
    Home buyers view inspections as a way to gain valuable information about the biggest purchase of their
    lifetime. It helps them to determine whether there are any major defects or system inadequacies at the
    time of purchase. I am the only person looking out for your best interest in the whole transaction. All
    other parties have money vested in the successful completion of the sale. I will be your objective and
    impartial professional who looks for potential problems. Every other party to the transaction takes home
    several thousand dollars but for only a few hundred dollars you get a comprehensive report telling you
    what you need to know to decide if this is really the house for you. I take digital photographs and
    document all findings in a report that states the type of materials and features in the home, and further
    illustrates conditions that could require remedy before closing.

    In most cases, home inspections are performed after a sales contract, conditional upon a satisfactory
    home inspection, has been accepted by the seller. The inspection should be scheduled as soon as possible
    to fulfill the time required for the contract, plus allow time to consider the findings in the report. I am
    willing to schedule inspections to fit the clients schedule even on evenings and weekends. The home
    buyer is encouraged to attend the inspection, so that he/she can see first hand the workings of the home.
    The typical inspection takes Three hours. It also presents an excellent opportunity for the prospective
    buyer to ask questions about the home or to discuss potential changes.

    My service to my client is primarily one of education. My goal is to provide the client with a better
    understanding of the physical condition of the home in order that they can make a well-informed
    decision. It is also my role to keep my findings in perspective for the buyer. All homes have problems.
    Some can cost more than others and some are acceptable as is.

    What is inspected in a home? I inspect every house with the same thorough attention to detail regardless
    of age, size, or price. What is inspected is too long to list. A home inspector must pass state exams to
    become licensed in the state of Wisconsin. Most inspectors abide by ethics and standards and practices
    required by the state. These Standards dictate what we are to inspect and how to inspect them. You can
    read the text below. Or download the PDF version. I also abide by standards and practices with my
    affiliations with NACHI and WAHI. All require a pledge to the ethics which can also be downloaded here.
Standards And
My Service

    No house is perfect, here is a list of common concerns.   
    Does Your House Have Any Of These?
    Not Sure...
    You May Need An Inspection ! ! ! !

    Roofing defects:
    Problems with roofing material, due to aging, wear, or improper installation, are likely to be found in the majority of
    homes. Some roofs require replacement, others could use some type of maintenance or repair. I regularly find improper
    flashing details on new roof installations.

    Ceiling stains, indicating past or current roof leaks: Unfortunately, you often can't tell if the roof still leaks unless you
    inspect on a rainy day and when it is snow covered. Some stains are merely the residual effects of roof problems that
    have been repaired, while others may be related to leaky plumbing.

    Water intrusion into basements or crawl spaces due to ground water conditions:
    Faulty drainage can be pervasive, difficult to resolve, and sometimes very damaging to buildings. Correction can be as
    simple as re-grading the exterior grounds or adding roof gutters. Unfortunately, major drainage improvements are often
    warranted, requiring costly ground water systems such as perimeter drain tile and sump pump.

    Electrical safety hazards, especially (but not always) in older homes:
    Examples are ungrounded outlets, extension cords,  lack of ground fault current interrupters (shock protection devices),
    faulty wiring conditions in electrical panels or elsewhere in a building, etc. Such problems may result from errors at the
    time of construction but often are due to wiring that was added or altered by persons other than qualified electricians.
    Electrical upgrades are often desirable and necessary.

    Rotted wood at building exteriors and at various plumbing fixtures:
    In areas where wood remains wet for long periods, e.g. Roof eaves, exterior trim, decks, around tubs and showers, or
    below loose toilets, fungus infection is likely to attack, resulting in a condition commonly known as dry rot. If left
    unchecked, damage can be quite extensive.

    Building violations where additions and alterations were constructed without permits:
    Homeowners will often tell a home inspector, "We added the garage without a permit, but it was all done to code." This
    is a red flag to most inspectors, because no one could possibly know the entire building code, let alone the average
    person without construction knowledge. Whenever an owner offers code assurance, problems are likely to be found.

    Unsafe fireplace and chimney conditions:
    Problems with wood burning fixtures can range from lack of maintenance to faulty installation. Most common are
    missing spark arrestors and faulty placement of freestanding fireplaces.
    Wood-burning stoves are typically installed by homeowners and handymen, persons without adequate knowledge of fire
    materials within the building. Fire hazards of this kind are often concealed in attics, where they remain undiscovered
    clearance between hot metal surfaces and combustible safety requirements. Common violations involve insufficient
    hazards of this kind are often concealed in attics, where until a roof fire occurs.

    Faulty installation of water heaters:
    In most localities, less than 5% of all water heaters are installed in full compliance with plumbing code requirements.
    Common violations include: improperly installed overflow piping, unsafe flue conditions, or faulty gas piping. What's
    more, today's water heaters are designed to have shorter longevity. Leaks can develop in units that are only five years
    old. Sometimes installation of a new water heater is necessary.  

    Hazardous conditions involving gas heaters:
    Most gas-fueled heaters are in need of some maintenance, if only the changing of an air filter. In some cases, however,
    gas heaters contain life-threatening defects that can remain undiscovered until too late. These can range from fire
    safety violations, poor installations, improper fuel or electrical connections, or venting of carbon monoxide into the

    Wood decks:
    Frequently improperly built as a weekend project by amateurs I inspect wood decks for the most common defects and
    hazards. Inadequate railings and baluster spacing can lead to personal injury.

    Firewall violations in attached garages:
    Special fire-resistive construction is required for walls and doors that separate a garage from a dwelling. Violations are
    common, due to faulty construction, damage or alterations to the garage interior, or changes in code requirements since
    the home was built. In older homes, where firewalls' are not installed, sellers and agents will often suggest that the
    building predates the code. However, the fire separation requirement for residential garages dates back to 1927. Garage
    door openers have a separate set of concerns.

    I realize buyers are most concerned about the structure, roof, heating systems and a dry basement. Those areas in
    particular are evaluated meticulously, but I make sure to ascertain other areas that may be of some concern to you. I
    work for you, not the seller or the Realtor. I help you assess the risk of home ownership and disclose the defects in the
    home to you which will assist you in making an informed decision.  

    The process of inspecting a home is a crucial one. Many buyers purchase their home on impulse and find themselves
    suffering from buyers remorse upon discovering serious flaws in the home itself. I provide my clients with the tools they
    need to make an educated choice regarding the quality and condition of their potential new home. By hiring an
    experienced home inspector who has your best interest solely in mind, my clients are better able to judge the strengths
    and weaknesses of the home in which they are under contract to buy.
Please visit the publications page for additional
information about home ownership.
Cell Phone (262)-370-9633
Call for more information or to schedule your Inspection