Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pre-Auction Home Inspection

HABITEC offers Pre-Auction Home Inspections in Nashville Tennessee. Please see the article below for details.

PRE-AUCTION HOME INSPECTION

A Pre-Auction Home Inspection is recommended before you make an offer on a home for sale by auction. Making an offer without knowing what condition the home is in can cause you to lose a lot of money! Be informed and protect your investment!


Time permitting, the Pre-Auction Inspection is a walk-through of the home to evaluate from a Home Inspector's perspective. With the Client present a HABITEC Inspector will visibly inspect the house in a manner consistent with the time allowed for the Inspection. A verbal report is provided to the Client as the Inspection progresses.

Frequently a house for sale by auction is offered for viewing and inspection for only a limited time on the day of the auction. This limitation makes a normal Home Inspection impossible but does usually provide enough time for a reasonable yet quick visual inspection by an experienced Home Inspector. If time constraints are in place only a representative number of some components may be inspected.

Also, in a normal real estate transaction, when an offer to buy a house accepted, the buyer has a period of time to secure financing and have the home inspected. In a home for sale by auction transaction, the deal is often finalized on the day of the auction and the general rule is usually for sale "as is, where is". It's the "as is" part that can cost you a lot of money.

The Pre-Auction Home Inspection is not like a normal Home Inspection. There are no pictures taken and no Home Inspection Report is written. But, the cost is also a lot less than a normal Home Inspection.

Please call HABITEC at 615-376-2753 for more information about the Pre-Auction Home Inspection!

Thank you,

Richard Acree


http://habitecinspections.com

Comments in this article are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

REALTOR Responsibilities During a Home Inspection?

Recently a Home Inspector in Minnesota, Rueben Saltzman of Structure Tech Home Inspections, posted on his ActiveRain Blog an interesting comment offering his opinion about REALTOR responsibilities regarding the Home Inspection. Judging by the response, over 100 comments so far, some agreeing with him and some not, Rueben may have struck a nerve. Please see his comments below. You can read all the comments at his BlogSite at http://activerain.com/blogsview/1863518/dear-real-estate-agent-this-is-your-job .

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Dear Real Estate Agent,

This is YOUR JOB. While I could spend my time explaining all of these things to you while scheduling every single inspection, I feel that as a real estate professional, you should already know this stuff. I shouldn't have to tell you. Most real estate professionals do know this stuff and follow through, but certainly not all. I come across offenders almost daily.

Tell your seller to leave for the inspection. The seller should not be home for the inspection - it's uncomfortable for everyone present to have a home inspector pointing out defects while a seller winces or gets defensive. If I show up to a house and the seller isn't planning to leave for the inspection, I politely ask them to take a hike. Sellers are usually very accommodating, but I always think to myself "Why the heck am I telling them this?"

Tell your seller that the buyers will also be attending the inspection. I could personally care less, but it's always funny when the sellers obviously thought it would just be the inspector, and they didn't bother to clean up the house. Here's how it goes: the buyers have already been through the house twice, and the house looked immaculate both times. Now the inspection happens, the buyers are there, and everything is a mess; there are dishes in the sink, dishes on the counters, clothes all over the floor... it's always quite a shock for the buyers. The sellers should clean up their house for the inspection the same way they do for a showing.

Schedule more than an hour for the inspection. There's no reason why the seller should be coming home an hour in to the inspection and asking me why I'm not done yet.

Tell your seller to lock up any animals or take them with. Please don't expect the home inspector to be in charge of not letting the cat out, not letting the cat in the crawl space, not letting the cat in to the attic... etc.

Tell your seller to give the home inspector access to everything. The home inspector will need to check the crawl space, the garage, the attic... everything. If the garage is locked, leave a key. If the attic access is blocked with stored stuff, please move it. This is just basic stuff that many sellers don't think of. I'm not 'special' when it comes to needing access to these items - every home inspector needs this.

Tell your buyer about radon. The first time your buyer hears about radon shouldn't be at the time the home inspector asks them if they want a radon test with the inspection. I can understand not mentioning radon if it doesn't exist in your part of the country, but here in Minnesota, it's huge. New houses can't even be built without a passive radon mitigation system.

Make sure the utilities are on. If the water, gas, or electricity isn't turned on at the time of the inspection, this severely limits what the home inspector can check. I'm not a real estate agent, so I don't get involved with this, but I've been told that the purchase agreement will typically specify who is responsible for getting the water turned on. If the home buyer calls me, the home inspector, and asks if I will contact the various utility companies to get everything turned on, someone else isn't doing their job.

Supervise your clients during the inspection, if necessary. The home inspector is there to inspect the house, not babysit the buyers kids and keep them from messing up the sellers house. If you know your buyer has unruly children, tell your buyer not to bring them. If your buyer lacks basic social graces like not stealing food from the seller or not trying on their clothes, you damn well better attend the inspection.

Tell your buyer that the home inspection is not a stick to beat the seller over the head with. I cringe when buyers tell me they want the sellers to fix every little thing that I find. Settle down. It's a used house.

While I could email this list to all involved real estate agents for every home inspection that I schedule (and I know home inspectors that do), it would be much easier if agents could just do this stuff without being asked. You're the real estate professional. You're supposed to do this stuff.

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections - Email - Minneapolis Home Inspections

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So where do you come down on these points?

Thank you,

Richard Acree

Comments in this article are the copyrighted intellectual property of Richard Acree, President, HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, and are intended to educate and otherwise assist home owners, sellers and buyers, building owners, sellers and buyers, realtors, real estate investors, property managers, and lenders in the process of owning, buying or selling homes or commercial buildings. HABITEC is a residential (home) and commercial building inspection company serving Middle Tennessee including Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Mt. Juliet, Hendersonville, Dickson, Belle Meade, Columbia, Spring Hill and more! In addition to building inspections HABITEC offers Environmental Services for mold assessments, radon testing and water quality analysis. Additional information about HABITEC can be found on our website at http://habitecinspections.com, or call 615-376-2753.

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections Blog and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Poor Brick Step System Installation, 11-4-10

Nashville Home Inspections - Poor Brick Step Installation

Ever seen a set of exterior entry steps that are falling apart or caving in. Why is that? Look at the picture below.

HINT: Actually, two hints. First, mortar is porous and, second, brick steps need a solid foundation.


So in the photo above perhaps you can see the deteriorated mortar around the brick. Look closely at the poor repair where the steps meet the stoop. A DIY installation of mortar is unsightly and not serving much purpose. And, if you follow the line of the mortar just above the DIY mortar installation, you should be able to see the steps starting to drop down on the right hand side. What can cause this?

Well, like the hint above indicates, mortar is porous and can allow water to penetrate and cause problems inside the brick structure. Usually that shows up in loose bricks, not bricks caving in. Another possibility is the slab that the steps rests on has started to fail and drop down, taking the brick step system with it. But I happen to know that in this case that slab had already been repaired and lifted back into the correct position. So what else can be wrong? You would never guess unless I showed it to you. What do you think is holding those bricks up? Concrete? Look below.


In the pic above you are looking down into the area below the top step in the earlier pic. What is holding the brick steps up is more brick. But loose brick. Most of the bricks below the steps are just laid in place to add vertical support. No mortar was used to put the bricks in place permanently. So over time they can move due to vibration, weight, or poor installation. And that is what happened. When the slab dropped first, separation between these bricks was present. Without vertical pressure to keep them in place, they were free to react to vibrations and weight. Then, when the slab lift was completed, some of the bricks were knocked out of place. So they did not do anything to support the brick steps. Look at the closeups in the following two pix.




Can you beleive it? Nothing but pressure held the support bricks in place. How do you think this should have been done? For the answer, see below.


ANSWER: The correct way to support brick steps is with poured concrete and metal rebar reinforcement. Above is the first layer of concrete and rebar going into postion. Below is a closeup of how the rebar connects into the porch behind the steps.


Now these steps are not going anywhere!

Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on FaceBook or Linked. Thank you!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Electrical Panel Issues - 10-17-10

Nashville Home Inspections - Electrical Panel Issues

Bugs in the electrical panel, what harm can that be? Well, look at the picture below. Any harm there? How did this happen?

HINT: Bugs, like water, need a hole to get inside the panel.


ANSWER: Electrical panels have concentric circles called knockouts. They are used for entry/exit of conductors (wires). An electrician can literally knock them out to allow conductors to pass through, a great little feature of all electrical panels. But, if they are knocked out and then not used, a hole will remain. Holes in the electrical panels can allow all kinds of bad things to get into the panel. Things like water, insects, little fingers, or little fingers holding metal things like Daddy's screwdriver. All bad things to pass through an open knockout and into the panel where live electricity is located. In the pic above we see the effect of water and insects entering the panel through open knockouts on the top and bottom of the panel. A lot of damage has been done and this panel needs to be replaced.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on FaceBook or Linked. Thank you!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nashville Home Inspections - Residential Security System Battery System

Residential Security System Battery Issue

So you wake up one night and you hear the security system in your home making a beeping noise. Since it is intermittent and unusual because it does not stop, you know it is not an intruder. What can that be all about? So you go to the control panel and you see what is in the picture below.

HINT: Most security systems have a backup power source.


In the picture above you can see the "TROUBLE" light is illuminated. But what trouble? There are no other lights illuminated. So you remember you have a manual for this system. Once (if?) you find the manual, you look under troubleshooting to find guidance for these symptoms: the "TROUBLE" light is ON and the system is beeping intermittently. The manual has you enter a set of keys to interrogate the system. For this ACE system the keys are *2. You do that and you see the following indication on the control panel. (NOTE: The manual can also be found on-line for most manufacturers.)


In the pic above you can see the "TROUBLE" light is still ON but that the #1 light is also ON. Again back to the manual, #1 indicates a "weak battery" Battery, what battery? This system is hard-wired electrical isn't it?

ANSWER: Yes the security system is electrically hard-wired to the house electrical system, but with a battery backup for when the power goes out. So the security system monitors the battery and if it loses ability, the system signals the error with a "TROUBLE" light and intermittent beeping to draw your attention to the problem. But where is the battery? See the pic below.


This panel is usually behind a bunch of personal items in a hall closet and rarely given a thought. So you open the panel to look for the battery. See the pic below.


AHA, a battery! Now what do I do? Well, you can either call for a technician to replace the battery, or you can disconnect the battery and take it in for a replacement yourself. If you do it yourself you'll save yourself the technician fee. The replacement battery is about $50. A technician fee can add $100. To replace the battery yourself, simply disconnect the two cables at the top by pulling on them. You will not hurt or impact the system by doing this. Remember, the battery has failed already anyway. So removing it now won't make things any worse. Take the battery to a local dealer and get a replacement. Once the battery is replaced the system should automatically return to normal.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

MTAR Nominees for Officers and Directors, 2011

MTAR Nominees for Officers and Directors, 2011

The Middle Tennessee Association of REALTORS (MTAR) has announced the following nominations for Officers and Directors for 2011. Please see the list below.

Electronic voting by eligible REALTOR® members will be available online at www.mtar.org beginning Wednesday, October 13th, 2010. Each REALTOR® member shall be entitled to cast one (1) vote. Proxies are prohibited. If there are no additional petition candidates presented for election, the slate of Officers and Directors can be approved by acclamation.

The Nominations Committee has presented a slate of Officers and Directors to the MTAR Board of Directors for approval for 2011. The proposed slate listed here has been approved by the Board and is presented to our members for election. Officer and Director nominees, upon election, shall serve on the Board of Directors beginning January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2013.


MIDDLE TENNESSEE ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® - NOMINATION OF 2011 OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS

2011 PRESIDENT-ELECT - CHARLIE MONTGOMERY

2011 SECRETARY - BILL PARSLEY

2011 TRESURER - RICHARD LEWIS


DIRECTORS FOR 2011-2013

Scott Abernathy, Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro

Chris Garrett, Century 21 United Realty, Murfreesboro

Willie Mangrum, Crye-Leike REALTORS®, Murfreesboro

Kay Petty, Bob Parks Realty/Land/Auction, Murfreesboro


Director for 2011

Lynne Davis, Exit Realty Bob Lamb & Associates, Murfreesboro


Returning Directors:

Pam Boles - Crye-Leike, REALTORS®, Murfreesboro

Joyce Johnson - Vance Clay Realty & Auction, Shelbyville

Mack Meeks, Century 21 Mid-State Realty, Monteagle

Mark Messick - Weichert REALTORS®, Joe Orr & Associates, Tullahoma

Dale Patterson - Keller Williams Realty, Murfreesboro



2011 President - Janet Nettles

Past President - Dave Patton

Electronic voting by eligible REALTOR® members will be available online at www.mtar.org beginning Wednesday, October 13th, 2010. Each REALTOR® member shall be entitled to cast one (1) vote. Proxies are prohibited. If there are no additional petition candidates presented for election, the slate of Officers and Directors can be approved by acclamation.

HABITEC is an Affiliate Member of MTAR and presents this information in an effort to help get out the vote!

Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nashville Home Inspections - Orange Plumbing Pipe - What is That For?

Nashville Home Inspection - Orange plumbing pipe, what is that for?

So you are walking around the new house you bought and you see a panel on the wall in the garage. You look inside and you see the orange plumbing pipe in the picture below. What is that? I thought most plastic plumbing pipe was white. Like PVC.

HINT: Orange is one of the colors in a flame.


ANSWER: So this orange plumbing pipe is used for a fire suppression sprinkler system. It should not be accessed by a plumber for any part of the supply system to the potable water for the house. And the sprinkler heads could look like the white dot in the picture below, mounted on the ceiling throughout the house. These are "pop-down" devices designed to descend into the area below to allow water to be distributed down.


Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

SALE on Home Inspections in Nashville and Middle Tennessee!

FALL HOME INSPECTION SALE IN NASHVILLE AND MIDDLE TENNESSEE!

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, (HABITEC) is pleased to announce that our FALL HOME INSPECTION SALE starts October 1, 2010 and goes through December 20, 2010!! During this time, if our schedule will allow, HABITEC will beat by 10% any reasonable and written price for a Home Inspection that is offered in the Nashville, Tennessee Metropolitan Area to include the Tennessee counties of Davidson, Dickson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, and Cheatham. *

For this limited time your Client can have one of the best home inspections in Middle Tennessee at the best price in the Middle Tennessee!

Please forward this exciting offer to your associates!!

Please click here to see details of this offer.

Please call me, Rick Cozby or Ron Rittiner at 615-376-2753 should you have any questions.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nashville Public Speakers: DIY Home Inspections - Interior Spaces

Nashville Public - Guest Speaker: Do-It-Yourself Home Maintenance Inspections - Interior Spaces

HABITEC Home and Building Inpections, LLC,
offers public guest speaker classes in Home Inspection topics of interest to all home owners and renters. This post is specifically about the presentation for Interior Spaces.

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Interior Spaces and Components - 1.0 hour - The purpose of this class is to learn how to evaluate interior components common to all interior spaces such as walls, floors, ceilings, doors, and windows and to discuss topics particular to kitchens, bathroom and laundry rooms such as appliances, sinks, showers, toilets, GFCI electrical, drains and ventilation.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------These classes are available to your group with Richard Acree as the Guest Speaker. Whether it be a civic organization, church congregation, work group, renters association, or just a group of friends, these classes will educate and entertain your group with information everyone needs to know.


The classes are offered as a power point presentation with hundreds of fascinating pictures and interesting perspectives offered by Richard. These classes also give those attending a chance to interact with a certified and licensed Home Inspector, ask questions and discuss in general and in detail the issues that all home owners or renters should be aware of. The classes are offered for a small fee. Please call 376-2753 for more information about the fee and to schedule Richard to speak to your group.

PURPOSE: The purpose of these classes is to explain to home owners or residents how they can look at their own homes or residence to better maintain them. Many of the issues that are identified by a Home Inspector could have been identified by a home owner or renter if they simply knew where and how to look at their own residence. Terminology, methods of inspection, tools and limitations of the Do-It-Yourself Home Maintenance Inspection processes will be included. The end result of these courses will be to help home owners know and understand how to safely and visually look at their residence to better maintain their residence.

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FEES: Fees for these classes are very affordable, especially if your group can provide the venue, projector and projector screen. Please call HABITEC at 615-376-2753 to discuss fees and scheduling a presentation. Thank you!

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Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nashville Guest-Public Speaker - DIY Exterior Surface and Components Inspection - 9.24.10

Do-It-Yourself Exterior Surface and Components Inspection

HABITEC offers public guest speaker classes in Home Inspection Topics of interest to all home owners and renters. This post is about the Exterior Surface and Components presentation. This is a one hour course with Richard Acree providing the presentation. The purpose of this session is to learn how to evaluate all exterior components of the residence to include exterior shell material, windows, doors, drainage, landscape material, driveways, walkways, patios, decks, steps, stoops, porches, electrical connection, and plumbing devices. This is similar to the Water Management System Course but goes even further to include components not directly related in the management of water mostly outside the residence. Look at the picture below to see an example of items covered in this presentation.


These classes are available to your group with Richard Acree as the Guest Speaker. Whether it be a homeowners association, civic organization, church congregation, work group, renters association, or just a group of friends, these classes will educate and entertain your group with information everyone needs to know. The classes are offered as a power point presentation with hundreds of fascinating pictures and interesting perspectives offered by Richard. These classes also give those attending a chance to interact with a certified and licensed Home Inspector, ask questions and discuss in general and in detail the issues that all home owners or renters should be aware of. The classes are offered for a small fee. Please call 376-2753 for more information about the fee and to schedule Richard to speak to your group.


Nashville Guest Speaker
The purpose of these classes is to explain to home owners or residents how they can look at their own homes or residence to better maintain them. Many of the issues that are identified by a Home Inspector could have been identified by a home owner or renter if they simply knew where and how to look at their own residence. Terminology, methods of inspection, tools and limitations of the Do-It-Yourself Home Maintenance Inspection processes will be included. The end result of these courses will be to help home owners know and understand how to safely and visually look at their residence to better maintain their residence.

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FEES Fees for these classes are very affordable, especially if your group can provide the venue, projector and projector screen. Please call HABITEC at 615-376-2753 to discuss fees and scheduling a presentation. Thank you!

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Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nashville Public-Guest Speaker: The Top 10 Most Common Home Inspection Issues - 9.24.10

Guest Speaker, Nashville - The Top 10 Most Common Home Inspection Items You Need to Know About

This one hour presentation lists the Top 10 Most Common Items identified by HABITEC Home Inspectors in Middle Tennessee Home Inspections and these are items you need to know about. Richard Acree, President of HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, uses a power point presentation to show and explain what the most likely issues are with any home that HABITEC sees in a Home Inspection. Knowing about these 10 issues will help the home owner or resident avoid some of the most costly and difficult issues that can be a problem in any home, whether it is for sale or not. Once you know what to look for and how to spot these issues, you can prevent these issues from becoming a problem in your residence. Please call HABITEC at 615-376-2753 to book Richard at your next gathering! See the picture below for a sample of the Top 10.


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COURSES OFFERED: HABITEC offers public guest speaker classes in Home Inspection topics of interest to all home owners and renters. These classes are available to your group with Richard Acree as the Guest Speaker. Whether it be a homeowners association, civic organization, church congregation, work group, renters association, or just a group of friends, these classes will educate and entertain your group with information everyone needs to know. The classes are offered as a power point presentation with hundreds of fascinating pictures and interesting perspectives offered by Richard. These classes also give those attending a chance to interact with a certified and licensed Home Inspector, ask questions and discuss in general and in detail the issues that all home owners or renters should be aware of. The classes are offered for a small fee. Please call 376-2753 for more information about the fee and to schedule Richard to speak to your group.


PURPOSE: The purpose of these classes is to explain to home owners or residents how they can look at their own homes or residence to better maintain them. Many of the issues that are identified by a Home Inspector could have been identified by a home owner or renter if they simply knew where and how to look at their own residence. Terminology, methods of inspection, tools and limitations of the Do-It-Yourself Home Maintenance Inspection processes will be included. The end result of these courses will be to help home owners know and understand how to safely and visually look at their residence to better maintain their residence.

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FEES: Fees for these classes are very affordable, especially if your group can provide the venue, projector and projector screen. Please call HABITEC at 615-376-2753 to discuss fees and scheduling a presentation. Thank you!

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Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nashville Public-Guest Speaker - DIY Home Maintenance Inspections

Nashville Public - Guest Speaker: Do-It-Yourself Home Maintenance Inspections

HABITEC Home and Building Inpections, LLC,
offers public guest speaker classes in Home Inspection topics of interest to all home owners and renters. Please see the list of subjects below. These classes are available to your group with Richard Acree as the Guest Speaker. Whether it be a civic organization, church congregation, work group, renters association, or just a group of friends, these classes will educate and entertain your group with information everyone needs to know.


The classes are offered as a power point presentation with hundreds of fascinating pictures and interesting perspectives offered by Richard. These classes also give those attending a chance to interact with a certified and licensed Home Inspector, ask questions and discuss in general and in detail the issues that all home owners or renters should be aware of. The classes are offered for a small fee. Please call 376-2753 for more information about the fee and to schedule Richard to speak to your group.

PURPOSE: The purpose of these classes is to explain to home owners or residents how they can look at their own homes or residence to better maintain them. Many of the issues that are identified by a Home Inspector could have been identified by a home owner or renter if they simply knew where and how to look at their own residence. Terminology, methods of inspection, tools and limitations of the Do-It-Yourself Home Maintenance Inspection processes will be included. The end result of these courses will be to help home owners know and understand how to safely and visually look at their residence to better maintain their residence.


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SUBJECTS


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Top 10 Items You Need to Know About - 1.0 hours - The Top 10 Items identified by HABITEC in most Home Inspections are things you need to know about. Hear from Richard what the most likely issues are with any home that HABITEC sees in a Home Inspection. Knowing about these 10 issues will help the home owner or resident avoid some of the most costly and difficult issues that can be a problem in any home. Once you know what to look for and how to spot these issues, you can prevent these issues from becoming a problem in your residence.


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Amazing Home Inspection Pictures - 1.0 Hour - Richard presents a full hour of amazing photographs of issues found on Home Inspections. You won't believe some of the things HABITEC Home Inspectors find while completing everyday Home Inspections. Informative, funny, scary - you name it. You will feel all these emotions as you see what we see as we go about the business of completing Home and Commercial Building Inspections. See the pic below for an example of these amazing pictures.


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Water Management Systems - 1.5 hours - The #1 issue in most Home Inspections and Commercial Building Inspections is a failure of one or more component of the building water management system. Mostly located on the outside of the house, failure of any components of this system can lead to structural failure and/or mold, two of the most costly and difficult issues to deal with. Listen to Richard explain what the components of this system include and what you can do to prevent failure within this system from costing you thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches.

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Exterior Surface and Components - 1.0 hour - The purpose of this session is to learn how to evaluate all exterior components of the residence to include exterior shell material, windows, doors, drainage, landscape material, driveways, walkways, patios, decks, steps, stoops, porches, electrical connection, and plumbing devices. This is similar to the Water Management System Course above but goes even further to include components not directly related in the management of water mostly outside the residence.

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Interior Spaces and Components - 1.0 hour - The purpose of this class is to learn how to evaluate interior components common to all interior spaces such as walls, floors, ceilings, doors, and windows and to discuss topics particular to kitchens, bathroom and laundry rooms such as appliances, sinks, showers, toilets, GFCI electrical, drains and ventilation.

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Plumbing Systems and Components - 1.0 hour - The purpose of this session is to learn how to evaluate plumbing issues including supply piping, drain/waste/vent system, leak identification, pipe support, faucets and fixtures, plumbing fixtures and hot water heaters. Issues pertaining specifically to kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms are discussed.

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Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning - 1.0 hour - The purpose of this session is to learn how to evaluate the systems used for heating, venting and air conditioning the structure. Session discusses furnaces, air conditioning systems, fireplaces, and insulation.

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Structure and Foundation; Roof and Attic - 1.5 hour - The purpose of this session is to learn how to evaluate the building structure is constructed looking at the building from the foundation up, into the attic and on the roof. Items covered include materials used, construction methods and installation, ventilation, insulation, water management, the exterior roof coverings and the inside of the attic spaces with special attention as to how the attic components make up the roof and attic ventilation.

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Electrical Systems - 1 hour - The purpose of this session is to learn how to evaluate electrical components including panels, conductors, circuit breakers, outlets, switches, lights, and the grounding electrode system. Richard helps make sense out of the mystery that often surrounds a home or commercial electrical system.

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Environmental Issues: Radon and Mold - 1 hour - The purpose of this session is to discuss two of the most significant environmental issues common to many homes and buildings in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that can seep into any building and create elevated concentrations of radon gas. The EPA credits radon with approximately 20,000 deaths per year due to lung cancer caused by radon gas. Mold is common in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Richard will explain how mold can become an issue inside your residence or building and what you can do to prevent mold growth or mitigate should you already have a mold issue.

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FEES: Fees for these classes are very affordable, especially if your group can provide the venue, projector and projector screen. Please call HABITEC at 615-376-2753 to discuss fees and scheduling a presentation. Thank you!

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Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Continuing Education Course for REALTORS in Tennessee!

Continuing Education Course for REALTORS in TN!!

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, is pleased to announce that our Continuing Education Course for REALTORS licensed in TN has been approved again by TREC for 2011-2012!! This 6 hour course is taught by Richard Acree, President of HABITEC shown in the pic below, and is available at very affordable rates. Additional information about this course is available on our website at http://habitecinspections.com/EducationMaterial.aspx .


HABITEC offers this course in Home Inspection topics pertinent to REALTORS. Please see the list below. The classes are offered as a power point presentation with hundreds of fascinating pictures and interesting perspective offered by Richard. These classes also give REALTORS a chance to interact with a certified and licensed Home Inspector, ask questions and discuss in general and in detail the issues that come up during a Home Inspection.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this course is to explain the rules of the State of Tennessee, Department of Commerce and Insurance, for Home Inspection procedures, methods and requirements. The classes will help REALTORS understand what the Home Inspector should be looking at and what the Home Inspector should be looking for. Terminology, methods of inspection, tools and limitations of the Home Inspection processes will be included. The end result of this course will be to help REALTORS understand the State of Tennessee rules and requirements for Home Inspections and better prepare the REALTOR to discuss the Home Inspection Report with their Client. The Client will then be able to understand the report and make a better decision regarding the real estate transaction.

COURSE SUBJECTS:

Introduction, Sign-In and Overview - 30 minutes - 0 Credits - This time is spent introducing the Instructor, signing in for class, collecting fees, going through an overview of the following classes and schedule, and discussing general requirements of Home Inspections. This class is best suited for realtors new to the business although experienced realtors may also find this session informative.


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Exterior Surface and Components - 50 minutes - 1 credit - The purpose of this session is to review exterior components of the house to include exterior shell material, windows, doors, drainage, landscape material, driveways, walkways, patios, decks, steps, stoops, porches, electrical connection, and plumbing devices.


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Interior Spaces and Components - 50 minutes - 1 credit - The purpose is to review interior topics common to all interior spaces such as walls, floors, ceilings, doors, and windows and to discuss topics particular to kitchens, bathroom and laundry rooms such as appliances, sinks, showers, toilets, GFCI electrical, drains and ventilation.


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Plumbing Systems and Components - 50 minutes - 1 credit - The purpose of this session is to review plumbing issues including supply piping, drain/waste/vent system, leak identification, pipe support, faucets and fixtures, plumbing fixtures and hot water heaters. Issues pertaining specifically to kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms are discussed.


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Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning - 50 minutes - 1 credit - The purpose of this session is to review the systems used for heating, venting and air conditioning the structure. Session discusses furnaces, air conditioning systems and fireplaces.


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Structure and Foundation; Roof and Attic - 50 minutes - 1 credit - The purpose of this session is to discuss how the building structure is constructed looking at the building from the foundation up, into the attic and on the roof. Items covered include materials used, construction methods and installation, ventilation, insulation, water management, the exterior roof coverings and the inside of the attic spaces with special attention as to how the attic components make up the roof and attic ventilation.


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Electrical Systems - 50 minutes - 1 credit - Purpose of the session is to discuss electrical components including panels, conductors, circuit breakers, outlets, switches, lights, and the grounding electrode system.


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LOCATION: Classes will be conducted either at a facility of choice provided by a group of realtors or at a location provided by HABITEC. Class locations must be consistent with rules established by the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC). According to TREC, "No course in real estate which is designed to satisfy educational requirements ... may be conducted in a facility which is also used for conducting business of a [real estate] broker or a brokerage firm". All classes will be open to any REALTOR licensed in the State of Tennessee. Permission to attend any class will be granted on a first come, first served basis and may be restricted by the number of seats available. REALTORS with reservations will be guaranteed a seat. Walkups will be granted access if seats are still available.

FEES: Attendance for all credited courses is charged at one low sum. Special Group Rates are available! Please call 615-376-2753 for details and reservations!


REFERENCES: The following REALTORS have attended the Class and have graciously offered to use their name as references for the course.

Susan Diebolt, 497-4344, susan@thedieboltgroup.com, Bill Edwards, 516-4736, EdwardsW@crye-leike.com Donna Goff, 293-8734, dgoff@realtracs.com, Danielle Hagar, 429-7333, danielle.hagar@crye-leike.com, Sherita Hill, 397-3871, sherita.hill@crye-leike.com, Carol Horan, 370-1303, carolhoran@comcast.net, Annette Hutchinson, annette.hutchinson@crye-leike.com, Billie Lewis, 373-2044, lewisb@crye-leike.com , Tina Perry, 417-9982, tinaperry@realtracs.com Martha Sloan, 330-1771, sloanm@crye-leike.com, Debra Snodgrass, 583-5050, snodgrass@realtracs.com Mykalynne Taylor, 419-9130, tnhousehunter@gmail.com, Jon Young, 403-8254, jon@thinkyoungrealtors.com

Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!

Nashville Home Inspector - Crawl Space Insulation Damage - 9.20.10

Crawl Space Insulation Damage

Did you know that sometimes the insulation in the crawl space gets damaged? "How can that be?", you ask. Well, at least I did. Take a look at the pic below. What do you think caused this?

HINT: Look down as well as up.


ANSWER: This is what insulation can look like after it has gotten wet. The pooled water on the moisture barrier is left over after the May 2010 floods in Nashville, TN. The water was high enough in the crawl space to reach the joists and insulation. See another picture below.


Depending on the extent of the damage, this insulation may have to be replaced. Surely the area above the insulation has to be checked for water damage as well. Below is what the insulation should look like.


Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nashville Home Inspector - Roof Failure and the Ripple Effect - 9.18.10

Roof Failure and the Ripple Effect!

So I was walking around the outside of a home the other day doing a Home Inspection in Nashville Tennessee and saw something frightening, yet all too familiar. See the picture below. I wondered how the seller could leave this for a potential buyer to see, easily, and I wondered what caused this damage to begin with. Then I also thought, how far does this go? Where does the damage stop? What is the ripple effect? So if you see this type of damage, what do you think caused it and where does the damage stop?

HINT: Water follows the path of least resistance. What could be the water source of the damage in this pic?


ANSWER: A possible source of this damage is in the background of the pic above. Note the gutter and downspout behind the damaged eave. To see how this all got started you have to go up on the roof. Look at the pic below. This is the view looking down from the roof on this same corner of the house. Notice the loose and lifted shingle. You can see debris has a path into the gutter from here. What you cannot see is how clogged the gutter is. A lot! Sometimes people think that once they install gutter guards they are done cleaning gutters. NOT SO! Even in a well maintained gutter system with gutter guards a lot of little stuff gets by gutter guards and can eventually clog the gutter/downspout. Not sure why the shingle broke loose, but it is consistent with all else that is going on in this corner. Was the loose shingle a victim of the ripple effect or ground zero for the start of the ripple. You can see that by color this shingle looks newer than those around it so this may be a poor attempt at a roof repair that also failed.


So, back to the ripple effect. Hard to know what came first in the pic above, the loose/damaged shingle or a failed/clogged gutter/downspout system. Regardless, the water management system failed at this point and the ripple effect was to damage the eave below as the gutter/downspout clogged and water followed the path of least resistance to the eave. So do you think the ripple effect is done? Think again.

Let's take a walk inside the attic to this same area of the home. Remember, the roof, eaves and attic are all connected and rather closely. Look at the pic below. This is the area of the attic opposite the corner of the failed gutter and the damaged eave. Look how much water intruded and all the damage it did inside the attic. All because of a failed gutter. The only question remaining is how long was this allowed to go on. I suspect a long time.


Fortunately this did not show up inside the home, yet. But it is only a matter of time before it does, because of the ripple effect.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!

Tennessee Home Inspector - Beware the Home Addition - 9.17.10

Beware the Home Addition!

One fairly frequent and common theme noticed by HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, while completing home inspections in Nashville and Middle Tennessee, is that many home additions do not stand the test of time when it comes to structural integrity. Take a look at the pictures below. See if you can find any structural issues.

HINT: Structural stress cracks commonly appear in the downslope corner of the home/addition.


In the pic above you are looking at an addition to the original ranch style home. You should be able to see that the downslope corner of the addition is the one in the foreground. Looking at that corner, note that we have a crawl space vent to the right and an access to the crawl space to the left. Also at that corner is located a downspout that connects to an underground composite extension.

Now in the picture below we have zoomed in on the crawl space vent to the right. What do you see that could be a symptom of a structural event?


ANSWER: The grey mortar repair. In this case these gray lines of newer mortar indicate someone has been here to make a repair. Fortunately, it looks like it was done by a professional. But one thing to keep in mind when evaluating a stress crack is to look for sympathetic cracks on the other side of the wall, if possible. We do this to see how significant this crack is. Is it just the veneer that cracked, or something more than that? So now lets go inside that crawl space access we saw above. See the pic below.


AHA! There is more to it. This is a significant structural crack almost 1" in width in places. And it is located near the area where the crawl space vent is located. So these two events are related. Now the good news in this case is that the brick veneer was professionally repaired and the probable cause of this failure, water management failure at the corner downspout/extension, was also repaired. So life goes on here. But when you are looking at homes, beware the home addition!

Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nashville Mold Inspector - Red Flags for Mold - 9.16.10

Red Flags for Mold

Tennessee Mold Assessments/Inspections completed by HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC, involve first a mold survey or inspection where we look for "red flags" that are indicative of conditions conducive to mold growth. Common red flags include a musty odor in the building, growth of foreign material on a wall, water leaks, and so forth. Sometimes the red flags can include non-standard issues like those common issues mentioned before. Look at the two pics below. Why would a home owner have these components as part of there air conditioning system?

HINT: Sometimes homeowners try everything under the sun that they can think of to deal with mold issues.


In the pic above you are looking at a UV cleanser that is bolted onto the HVAC ductwork near the interior unit of a split system. Now look at the pic below. This cannister of Bad Air Sponge was found near the same unit as is in the pic above. Hmmm! What do you think this is for?


ANSWER: The Eclipse UV Cleanser is available as an air purfication system for controlling mold, mildew, bacteria, germs, viruses, etc. UV stands for ultra violet, like rays from the sun. Get it, the sun?

The can of Bart Simpson Bad Air Sponge (get it?) is available, apparantly at Bed Bath and Beyond, to aid as an air freshener and odor removal.

So these two components have some common ground. They are used to mitigate air quality issues like those caused by mold. Hmmm. Someone better check the disclosure statement regarding mold issues in this home. If not there, maybe someone should ask the owner why these components are needed. Both of these components will qualify as red flags for mold growth in this home.

Thank you,

Richard Acree

HABITEC Home and Building Inspections, LLC

http://habitecinspections.com

Richard Acree is the author of the HABITEC Home and Building Inspections blog at ActiveRain, WordPress and Blogger and founder of the ActiveRain Group Tennessee Home and Building Inspectors. All are welcome to join and see more blogs like this one. You can also follow HABITEC on Facebook or Linked. Thank you!