Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What Can We Do To Have The Fewest Issues In A Home Inspection?


Home inspectors don’t make a home fail the inspection, but a homebuyer struggling through a long list of defects in the inspection report will do it. Although no home is perfect with zero issues to write up, the fewer things your inspector lists on the report, the better. So we recommend preparing for the inspection by taking a few hours to find and take care of all the easy-to-fix minor problems.

You can also speed up the inspection by making sure everything is accessible for the inspector. The strategy is to shorten both the report and the inspector’s time at the house, which will make everybody happier. Here’s our “Top 10” list of suggestions:

1) Make sure the electric, water, and gas are turned on if the house is not occupied. Scheduling the local utility to turn them on at the day of the inspection is asking for trouble. Do it before.

2) Unlock any locked areas that the inspector needs to get into, and the space under the attic access hatch or ladder should be clear.

3) Clear the area in front of the electric panel, water heater, and HVAC system. The inspector will need to remove the covers of the electric panel and furnace/air handler, so provide sufficient space.

4) Take your pets out of the home during the inspection, or secure them out of the way. They will be a distraction under foot for the buyer and home inspector.

5) Replace any burned-out light bulbs and make sure that hand-held remotes for ceiling fans or wall air conditioner are easy to find. Inspectors don’t do trouble shooting on fixtures that don’t work. They just write them up and move on.

6) Test the smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors, and replace any dead batteries or non-functional units.

7) Check the air filters on your HVAC system, and replace or clean them if necessary. When there are air filters are at multiple return air registers, be sure to locate all of them.

8) Trim tree branches and bushes away from the walls and roof of the house.

9) Remove any stored items, and especially wood, from around the base of the home. These items can act as a “termite highway” to aid and conceal running their mud tubes into the home.

10) Repair or replace any broken or damaged minor components in the home, like doorknobs, latches, window panes, screens, gutters, and downspouts, switch and receptacle cover plates.

Homebuyers can be fickle and sometimes cancel their sales contract for reasons that are beyond your control. But each item you fix is one less on the inspection summary and one less reason for them to be anxious about their purchase. Just don’t worry about dust or whether the beds are made. Inspectors do not evaluate housekeeping.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

New Home and Builder's Warranty Inspections


The Panhandle area continues to grow. As a result, home builders continue to scramble for more and more land and seem to be building homes at a record pace. Owning a home is the American Ideal, but building a home is the Dream of a Lifetime. Unfortunately, for some new homeowners, it can come with problems they may not know how to deal with.

As a result of extraordinary growth in the Panhandle over the last few decades, builders have grown to rely upon subcontractors who are continually looking for qualified labor. Most of these subcontractors are exceptional and well trained. However, with the record pace of building, it is possible to have workers who are tired, overworked or not as qualified as they should be.

As a result, some new homeowners have found that these subcontractors have maybe forgotten to insulate portions of attics, have not installed electrical or plumbing components correctly, or have failed to finish their work such as not installing all the roof tiles needed for a roof.

If they do not document these items or catch them before the end of their warranty, the homeowner, not the builder, is responsible for repairing these items down the road when they sell their home and the buyers have an inspection performed.. As a result, these homeowners are faced with hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in costs that could have been avoided with a comprehensive inspection.

By working with SitePro, you can provide your builder with a thorough, detailed written summary of defects that need to be corrected while your home is still under warranty. It’s a good idea to have an independent authority conduct your home inspection. That way you have the peace of mind knowing you have a complete and accurate account of your home’s condition.

There are many local inspection companies who perform these types of inspections, but only a few are as thorough, experienced, or professional as a SitePro inspector. Understanding that buying a new home can be overwhelming and sometimes fearful, our inspectors take extra time to ask you what issues you are concerned about.

We encourage you to be present during the inspection and in some cases follow us so you can see what we see. Whether you follow us or not, we take time at the end of the inspection to walk through the home identifying issues.

Additionally, inspectors from SitePro take extra time to point out maintenance issues. Our inspections not only cover the basic items in a normal inspection, we spend extra time looking at systems and structural components to ensure potential issues caused by substandard workmanship are identified and corrected before they become an issue. SitePro inspectors are highly qualified in construction trades, building and zoning and real estate. We have an acute understanding of the process as well as typical mistakes that are made over and over by some subcontractors.

Why not REQUEST AN INSPECTION today and have the PEACE OF MIND you always wanted for a fraction of replacing or repairing or installing items in the future?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Inspecting Fiber Cement Siding



When people hear this term they immediately associate it with Asbestos cement shingles. Many homes were sided with them years ago. Concrete or cement fiber shingles are still available; however, Asbestos is no longer used. New cement fiber siding consists of Portland cement, sand, and cellulose (wood) fibers. There has been a wave of new cement fiber siding products over the last several years. Whether you liked older Asbestos cement shingles or not, there is no denying that they are very hardy (although brittle). I inform my clients that older cement fiber shingles are durable, and can easily be painted. They wear very well and will last a long time with very little maintenance. Because the Asbestos fibers are contained in the shingle, they do not pose a significant risk, unless they are drilled, cut or sanded.

We are now seeing issues and even lawsuits regarding new fiber cement siding. You can see in these pictures some issues associated with cement siding:




The pictures at the top of this article will give you an understanding of how cement siding should be installed. So what are some of the things a home inspector should be looking for and how should you properly advise your client when inspecting cement fiber siding.

· Cement fiber siding should not be installed wet or if it has been saturated. Doing so will cause it to shrink after being nailed in place causing gaps
· A properly installed weather resistive barrier must be installed under siding
· Cement fiber siding should be kept a minimum of 6 inches above grade
· Cement fiber should not be used for fascia or trim pieces
· Joint flashing should be used behind the siding at joints and seams
· It should be nailed between ¾” and 1” below top edge of siding
· The maximum distance lap siding should be installed over studs is 24” OC or directly to a minimum 7/16” thick wood substrate
· Trim should not be installed over the siding. Instead, there should be an appropriate gap and caulk should be used
· There should be a 1 ¼” starter strip installed
· Appropriate corrosion resistant, galvanized, or stainless steel nails and fasteners should be used
· Aluminum fasteners, staples, or clipped head nails should not be used
· Fasteners should be perpendicular and snug to the siding, no air gaps and not countersunk
· Cement fiber siding will warp due to improper nailing
· Flaking of the surface can be due to water exposure or manufacturer issues
· Cement fiber siding will also crack if struck
· Flashing should be installed as necessary, similar to any siding material especially top cap flashing

Monday, August 21, 2017

Why A Maintenance Home Inspection?


Why a Maintenance Home Inspection? Can you really afford to have a home that is unsafe for you and your family? For a fraction of the cost of what you purchased your home, you can have your home checked out and repaired before damaged or unsafe conditions worsen. Why risk it?

Our experienced, fully trained and licensed inspectors not only know what issues to look for but can advise you on important maintenance and care items that will help you maintain your home for years to come. Moreover, this will give you a complete “honey-do” list without all the guessing and uncertainty that goes into most home improvement projects. For more information, please view our What We Inspect page.

Reasons to have a Maintenance Home Inspection:

  • Find those small problems before they become big problems.
  • Have a detailed and comprehensive report detailing the current condition of your home.
  • Save money! By doing minor repairs now it will save you from the big repair in the future.
  • No surprises when you sell. When you do sell your home in the future there won’t be any unexpected surprises.
  • You may be unable or unwilling to examine areas of your home on your own.

Call 850-934-6800 To Schedule Your Inspection Today!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Homebuyers of Newly Constructed Homes May Not be Aware They May Have an Inspection Clause Included with Their New Home Contract


The truth is, a new homebuyer can greatly benefit from using a professional home inspector during the construction and completion of their new home.New Home Inspection Services in Florida

The majority of construction tasks (foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, etc.) are usually subcontracted out to the lowest bidder, with speed, not quality being an important consideration for the builder. With many separate activities going on at the same time, it’s nearly impossible for the contractor/builder to personally monitor all phases of the home construction.

Don’t assume your builder — or the contractors — did everything right just because the home passed code. An inspector is your last line of defense against major defects that could quite literally sink your financial future.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Closing Inspection Services


Prior to closing on a property the home buyer or a representative for the home buyer should conduct a pre-closing inspection.

This is when to take the prior home inspection list and make sure all of the items have either been addressed or fixed. SitePro will do this for a nominal fee at the Buyer’s Request.

Here is a general checklist:

Closing Inspection Services in Florida

GENERAL ELECTRICAL

Are the items agreed to be left by the seller present?
Do the lights come on at each switch?
Is there visible damage with the owner’s furniture now gone that you couldn’t see before?
Are all of the light fixtures and ceiling fans present and working?
Are the smoke detectors functional?
Do the breakers work correctly?

EXTERIOR AND STRUCTURE

Check cracks, or separations?
Have the repairs and painting been finished?
Are wooden decks and hand rails secure?
Have you walked around the property?

KITCHEN

Are the appliance accessories present?
Do the appliances still operate satisfactorily?
Are the instructions/warranties left for the appliances?
Do the cabinets, countertops, or floors appear damaged?

CRAWL SPACE, AIR DUCTS

Are the lowest portions dry?
Are crawl space vents open for good ventilation?
Do you see any wet spots?

HEATING AND COOLING*

Do the systems function when you operate the thermostat?
Are the air filters clean?
Any extra filters left?
Is there debris clogging the exterior air units?

LOT AND GROUNDS

Any changes to the driveway, patio, or sidewalks?
Are the fences tight, and do the gates operate?
Reset the automatic sprinkler to minimum setting.

GARAGE

Do the vehicle doors work smoothly and reverse?
Do you have the car door remote controls?
Do you see any damage with the personal items gone?

INTERIOR WALLS, CEILINGS, AND FLOORS

Are the carpets stained in closets near the shower areas?
Are there holes or damage from the move-out?
Are there broken or “fogged” windows or doors?

SURFACE WATER CONTROL

Has the re-grading (if any), been accomplished?
Are the gutters aligned and cleaned of debris?
Do the downspouts direct water positively away?

PLUMBING

Do the faucets and drains function satisfactorily?
Is there hot water at each appropriate location?
Do the toilets flush and cycle normally?
Check beneath each cabinet for leaks or moisture.

ROOF

Are there missing shingles since the last visit?
Have the roof repairs (if any), been performed?
Is the attic ventilation open and working if power?
Are the bushes and trees trimmed back and not touching?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Don't Wait to Find Out the Condition of Your Commercial Building - Get an Inspection from SitePro!


Commercial Inspections

Whether you own, lease, or are purchasing a building, don’t wait to find out the condition of the building and its systems. It is a pretty good hunch that this property was a major investment and the last thing you want are more costs. After all, no one likes surprises. That’s why an inspection is intended to tell you the condition of the building and property–and, reduce your risk.

A SitePro inspection is an objective review of your building and property. Knowing the condition of a building will allow you to budget more accurately and provide for expenditures in the future — whether it’s a new roof, HVAC or simply maintenance related items. Not knowing this information, or worse yet guessing, can have major consequences.

  • What condition are the building’s systems and components in?
  • What costly defects are there which require attention now?
  • What expenditures will be required to repair, maintain or replace items in the near future?

If you can’t answer these questions about the property you’re planning to buy or lease, you probably should consider an inspection before buying the property.

Buying a building and property is a very anxious time filled with doubts, deadlines and so on. Reducing or removing uncertainties can make your real estate transaction go smoother. The same holds true when you lease, by knowing the condition of the building and property from the outset. Estimating future repair costs and the replacement of building components and systems requires an inspection to determine their current condition. With this information, estimated life spans can be ascertained along with the related costs to repair, maintain or replace items.

What Type of Commercial Properties are Typically Inspected?

We inspect commercial buildings of all shapes and sizes. For example:

  • Shopping Centers & Strip Malls
  • Office Buildings, Apartments & Condominiums
  • Light Industrial Properties
  • Religious & Institutional Properties
  • Recreational Facilities & Sports Complexes

What Does SitePro Look For?

Our building inspections are tailored to meet our clients’ needs and include items such as:

  • Foundation — construction, walls, floors
  • Roof — covering, flashing, chimneys, drainage
  • Attic — ventilation, vapor barriers
  • Insulation — type, amount
  • Interior Spaces — Walls, Floors, Rooms, Offices, Kitchens, Washrooms
  • Exterior — Site, Walls, Windows & Doors
  • Electrical & Plumbing Systems
  • Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning

Other services we can provide include:

Safety concerns for fire & other hazards

We do not inspect commercial equipment such as refrigeration units, coolers, commercial grade ovens, stoves or pizza ovens.

Why a SitePro Report?

We provide a comprehensive narrative-style written report. Our reports….

  • Are Not A Checklist
  • Are Easy To Read
  • Are Not Overly Technical
  • Tell You The Condition Of Your Property In Every Day Language


Call 850-934-6800 To Schedule Your Inspection Today!!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Four-Point Inspection is Often a Requirement When Obtaining a New Homeowners Insurance Policy or Renewing an Existing Policy


After hurricane Andrew in Florida, insurance companies in Florida have been trying to encourage home owners to make their homes safer and reduce insurance claims. Many of the insurance companies and JUA (Joint Underwriting Association) now request a Four Point Inspection.

A “Four Point Inspection” focuses only on four main areas of interest in a home:Four Point Inspection Services in Florida

  • HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning)
  • Electrical wiring and panels
  • Plumbing connections and fixtures
  • Roof

Most homes older than 25 years are required by their insurance companies to get this inspection done. Insurance companies require four point inspections to evaluate the age and condition of the components of your home. Though homeowners insurance policies don’t typically cover these areas, if they are old or in disrepair, they could contribute to a covered event such as damage from a fire or severe weather.

Some insurance companies have their own forms they want complete but most of them accept forms filled out by our licensed professional inspectors. The report needed includes specific information about the HVAC, plumbing, electrical system and roof in a short one or two page signed document.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Thorough Home Inspections With Your Interests In Mind


After saving and dreaming for months and years, you’ve finally found the home of your dreams. It has just the right d├ęcor, space, bedrooms and amenities you and your family need right now. You’ve checked out the schools. You’ve checked out the neighborhood. You‘ve even timed the drive to and from work.

BUT, have you taken seriously the importance of having a BUYER’S HOME INSPECTION done on your home? One where YOUR interests are in mind? Probably not.

Perhaps your neighbor has mentioned a home inspector or your REALTOR has referred their favorite home inspector? Can you be assured that this home inspector will take the time not only to perform a thorough and detailed inspection, but walk through the entire home explaining defects mentioned in the report as well as maintenance items? Will this inspector explain how systems work in a fun and educational manner so you know and feel comfortable with your home? After all, this is YOUR home and you want to know as much as you can about it!

Finally, when you are nearing the end of the inspection, will the inspector be scrambling to get you a report onsite or will he review his notes and prepare one of the most easily understood and professional reports in the industry within 12-24 hours? After all, it is your home.

Do you want a rushed inspection and report with possible errors or one that has YOUR best interests in mind? SitePro always has your interests in mind! After all, the largest part of our business is from happy past clients who have gone through the home buying process just like you.

So buy that home and schedule your inspection today knowing you have a trusted inspection company with your interests in mind!

Call 850-934-6800 To Schedule Your Inspection Today!!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Are Drop-In Toilet Bowl Cleaner Tablets Safe?


Toilet bowl cleaner tablets that sit in the bottom of the tank have two advantages over the older type that hang on the side of the bowl: they are easy to install without having to touch the toilet bowl and not visible when in place. But, because they dispense a disinfectant chemical into the tank instead of the bowl, the flush mechanism is exposed to the chemicals, which often includes chlorine bleach.
 
Toilet manufacturers noticed an immediate surge in leakage complaints about their products after the drop-in tablets were introduced in the early  1990s. One of the problems the manufacturers discovered the new product was that if a homeowner left on vacation or, even worse, installed the tablets in a seasonal home, the concentration of the chemicals would intensify in the tank to corrosive levels as the tablet slowly dissolved without any toilet flushes to dilute it.
 
The Clorox Company responded to a class action suit claiming damage to toilet mechanisms, even though the manufacturer claimed that their Clorox Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner “does not damage toilets,” with an $8-million settlement. Clorox denied any wrongdoing but has since added the statement “tablets should be used in toilets that are flushed daily” to the product packaging. Unfortunately, it is not practical for a consumer to fish the tablet out of the bottom of the tank before leaving home for an extended period.

Toilet manufacturers responded to the problem by adding warning stickers, like the one shown below by Kohler, to the inside of their toilet tanks as a consumer warning.


Plumbers also recommend not using the tablets based on their experience replacing deteriorated plastic, metal and rubber flush mechanism parts—especially the flapper. The tablets have also been documented to cause tank leakage or an inadequate flush.


Van Hibberts, CMI

Certified Residential Building Code Inspector ICC-5319905
IBHS Fortified  Certified Inspector  #FEV32561020109
ARA Certified Inspector #20302 (Applied Research Associates)
Florida-State Certified Master Inspector Lic. #HI 89
Certified Owens-Corning Roof Data Inspector
Florida-Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector
WDO Certificate #JE190791
InterNACHI #10071802

362 Gulf Breeze Parkway, #214
Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561

850.934.6800  (Office)                                        
850.485.3209  (Cell / Text Msg)