Archive for the ‘For the Homeowner’ Category

Could I Have a Roof Leak at a Plumbing Vent?

Roof leaks are associated with problems in the roof covering, but we have various vents disrupting this surface. Plumbing vents are one of those penetrations. Older lead flashing on plumbing vents are giving way to the new plastic vents, which may not be so great.

How Can I Tell if the Wiring is Wrong in My Breaker Box?

You need to upgrade part of your electrical system, and the electrician tells you that the job will be bigger than expected. Or your home inspector tells the wiring is wrong, but the seller says it works, and no one had a problem before.

Ways You Can Protect Your Home and Contents

Guest post exploring ways to protect your home and contents include installing a security door, having a high wall and front gate and installing a security alarm.

Why Do I Have Two Light Switches When One Does Nothing?

I examine many houses, so I take things for granted. A home inspector needs to stop at times, and consider if their clients understand why their house has certain items, like two light switches. A builder does not put these in without a reason.

Should I Insulate Under My Pier and Beam Home?

A further question to ask is should I insulate a home built the 1920s? There are different schools of thought to this question, so let us explore the reasoning behind why you will hear different contractors make various suggestions.

Why Did My Air Conditioner Suddenly Stop Working?

Your air conditioner was working fine, but then it stopped without notice. One reason may lie with the evaporator coil and its drain lines.

Handy Skills to Have When Building a Kit Home

The following is a guest post about when building a kit home handy skills to have include being able to follow detailed plans, having some knowledge of construction and being able to ask for help when you need it.

Buying An Energy Efficient Furnace

Older furnaces can cost you money, so find out what you need to know when buying a new furnace.

What Are the Slits for in My Window Frame?

Window manufacturers are always making slight improvements that we may not notice. Drainage holes for windows is one such innovation. But why do we need them?

Powering Up the Shed: Installing Electrical Conduit to Your Outbuilding

Most sheds are where we store gardening equipment, but for some of us, this becomes a workspace. We look for ways to power are tools, or we want power for that window air conditioner. We need those electrical outlets, so we run power to the shed.

Is That Toilet Hanging From the Wall Falling Off?

Commercial equipment in residential buildings happens. In fact most innovations begin in commercial buildings, but we may want to consider if we really want them in our homes. A toilet may be an example of this idea.

How Can I get Out of My House When There Is a Fire?

Do you think about fire safety? Do you practice escape routes out of the home with your family? None of us want or expect a fire, but not being prepared can lead to awful consequences.

Can I Turn My Porch into a Room?

We all want more space. Garages are turned into rooms. Porches are also converted into rooms. However, this may not be a wise idea.

Cracked Rafters: A Home Inspection Case Study

Why do rafters crack? Relating the story of what a client heard that caused them concern, and how the idea behind the cause was developed.

How Often Do I Need to Caulk Doors, Windows, and Wall Joints

Keeping wall joints and wall penetrations caulked keep moisture problems down, and caulking helps with energy efficiency. If you caulk once, do you need to caulk again?

Why Do I Have a Gurgling Sound from My Sink?

Do you hear a gulping noise coming from your plumbing? You may think that this is a clogged drain, but it may be something in the opposite direction.

Installing Another Hose Bib on the Side of the Home

Having access to water through a hose bib is a convenience, so adding a water faucet in an extra location can help.

Why Is One Room Getting Colder, But the Other Room Is Staying Hot?

As people are becoming more concerned with energy efficiency, they are paying attention to how the air conditioning is behaving in each room. So why is that room seem to be getting the cool air is a question I am hearing more often.

Can I have a Gas Water Heater in a Closet?

Some people prefer gas water heaters, but when the unit is coming into the house, we have to be concerned with the burner, so most installations indoors choose the electric water heater. You can use a gas water heater if you follow certain precautions.

A List of Common Home Maintenance Items

During my home inspections, there are consistent findings which a homeowner could fix or at least have fixed, so here is a list to help you out.

The Importance of Doorstops

Have you seen holes appearing in your walls? Holes in other doors? A simple doorstop can prevent so much damage, and yet we forget to maintain them.

Do You Need Photographs of Your Home for the Insurance Company?

When obtaining insurance, or even a loan, you may need pictures of your home. Here are some examples and tips.

Preventing Grease Fires in the Kitchen

When looking at a foreclosure, or at a home where the appliances have not been switched out, I find signs of grease fires. Often these may not be dangerous, but you can take steps to avoid them, since these fires can go out of control.

Common Findings with the Lawn Sprinkler System

Lawn sprinklers can be of great use to the homeowner. You can set your watering schedule, and not have to worry about your yard; however, there a few common problems which can be easily remedied by the homeowner.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Get Your HVAC Serviced

A guest post posing the idea that during the winter, it may be better to have your HVAC serviced, instead of waiting till the heat of summer.

How Do I Shut Off the Water to My Home?

A pipe is leaking, spewing out water into your home, and you need to know where to go to shut off the water to the home.

How Much Workspace Do You Need Around Your Equipment?

There is a struggle for space in your attic, outside of your home, the utility room, and the garage. It may not seem important to you now, but not having enough workspace can make jobs more difficult.

Water Damage and the Stucco Wall

Stucco may look nice, but you do have to be careful with this wall covering.

Can I have Insulation Around My Recessed Lighting?

To have better energy efficiency we need insulation. For design reasons, we want a recessed light. These two things do not always go together.

Why Is there No Water from This Faucet, but the Others Work?

A look at what could be happening to a faucet that has a low flow of water

How Roofs From New Additions Should Be Attached to the Older Roof

We want bigger homes. To improve the square footage of an older home, we add onto the space with new rooms that require new roofs.

Do I Need Flashing Over My Windows?

A popular retrofit for older homes is new windows, but you may not be installing them correctly. Proper flashing is one concern.

Can I Put Tile on My Stairs?

Home inspections do not go into design choices, but inspectors are frequently asked about design choices as they might relate to the concerns of my reports.

The Problem with Splashguards

Diverting water away from your home is important, because of the damage water can cause. Splashguards are a common method to achieve this goal.

Damaged Fins on the Exterior Air Conditioning Compressor

Concerned about energy efficiency? Being concerned with the parts of your air conditioning system can be a first step.

Can That Roof be Repaired?

At what stage does a roof need to be fixed? Are there roofs so bad that they cannot be repaired?

A Quick Look at the Bathroom Plumbing without the Fixtures

A few photographs at the plumbing in the bathroom when fixtures, like the toilet and sink, are not in place.

Should I Have Gutters on My Home?

When homes are being built, buyers forget that they have to choose each detail they want, or they do not realize why one detail is important. Gutters frequently are not standard on the rear of homes, so you have to choose them.

The Brick Window Sill and Water Leaks Around the Window

Brick exteriors are quite popular, but did you builder take the time to consider leak problems with brick window sills?

Corrosion Around the Water Heater Connections

One problem that can be seen often on water heaters is the corrosion that occurs around the water inlet and outlet fittings.

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