Not All Renovations are Created Equal

I just read today that home owners in certain parts of the U.S. spent an estimated $1,400 each on renovations and remodels in 2013. The report, issued by the National Association of Home Builders, went on to state that those homes, on average, were built in the late 1960’s and 1970’s.   However, in Georgia, this average expenditure registered slightly higher at $1,648 per owner.

This information made me wonder how many of these home owners hired professional contractors to help versus undertaking the task themselves. Sometimes, I see innovative remodels that make me scratch my head.  Take this remodel for example – new appliances and updated countertops with cabinetry. However, the lack of planning is evident as indicated in this photo.

A lack of planning new appliances and cabinets no date

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other times, I see well planned and executed improvements such as this bathroom renovation.

 A well executed renovation no date

 

I guess what I want to say is that if you are going to spend $14oo- $1600 on average, and in some cases much more to renovate your home – you may as well maximize your spending in order to get the most out of the investment in the long run.  Why install new appliances and cabinetry if you cannot access everything? Also, if and when the time comes to sell the property, you will want to ensure that the remodel makes sense. A bathroom with ample space and a combination of traditional as well as modern features will translate to more than one type of market segment.

This just goes to show that not all renovations are created equal. That just makes the home inspection process that much more interesting – and important!

 

To see what we do visit our youtube video site at:http://www.youtube.com/user/ihihomeinspections?feature=guide .

To read our maintenance tips visit http://www.ahomeinspectoratlantaga.com, and

to book an inspection online visit our website http://www.ihihomeinspections.com .

We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience theIHI Difference. 404-788-2581

 

 

Finding Snake Skins in the Attic Can Raise a lot of Questions

Snakeskin in the attic no date   Snake’s rely on their skin to protect, conceal, and aid in movement. According to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, “Starting at its head, a snake peels out of its old skin. The new skin accommodates the snake’s growing body”(n.d.).

Now, I don’t know about you, but seeing this snake skin during a recent home inspection in Atlanta made me think twice about that whole accommodating the growing body thing. I mean, think about this. That skin looks to be a fairly decent size to begin with and now I know that the snake that crawled out of it is bigger than before. This just solidifies the fact that the skin is serving its purpose as a leading defense mechanism! The current owners of the home and hopeful buyers of the property share this sentiment and are a bit squeamish about proceeding. After all it means the home offers dark, damp, coolness or possibly small rodents.

So what can be done to ease worried clients and remedy the situation?

Wildlife and pest control experts have stressed the importance of sealing off attractive areas and trimming back vegetation that allures small rodents. Of course, most homeowners do not want to tackle this on their own for one reason or another. At that point consult the local pest control professionals. Most termite companies also have a wildlife specialist on board. However, if one wants to take matters into his or her own hands, then there is a way to lure a snake out of its hiding spot. Piles of damp towels or burlap bags can be placed in the area where the snake was seen. The Orkin website suggests waiting a few days and then removing the towels or bags with a shovel. If one is lucky the snake has crawled into the damp, cool bag or towel (2014).

As for my role in all of this – I just snap photos and report the findings. I do have reputable pest control companies that I refer, also. I don’t consider myself a snake charmer or an expert on the topic, so I leave all of that to the wildlife pros.

Visit our website at http://www.ihihomeinspections.com to book your Atlanta home inspection today!

http://www.youtube.com/user/ihihomeinspections?feature=guide .

To read our maintenance tips visit http://www.ahomeinspectoratlantaga.com, and

to book an inspection online visit our website http://www.ihihomeinspections.com .

We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience the IHI Difference. 404-788-2581

Drainage Issues: Why it is important to your health

Basement wet no date

 

 

Drainage Issues: Why it Should Matter

 

So, the inspector has been to the property and discovered there are drainage issues. What does this mean? Well, for starters, if water is not properly draining away from the home, this means the water is settling somewhere within the home, most likely the basement or crawlspace. Why is this important to note? Not because we don’t want the deal to follow through, but because we as inspectors do not want to see the client subjected to one of the leading promoters of mold growth. After all, nobody wants to inhale mold spores for an extended period of time (at least not that I am aware of).

 

Mold, according to the CDC (center for disease control) causes noted symptoms in otherwise healthy adults and children. There is  ” sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition” (CDC.gov).

 

Since mold thrives in damp, humid atmospheres, it is a good idea to find out in advance if the home you wish to purchase has a drainage issue that will promote mold growth which could lead to serious health issues.

 

 

While detection of water intrusion may be a game changer, it is not always a deal breaker. There are solutions to issues that arise. Sometimes all that is needed is a better ventilation system or a change in humidity level. Small changes can help eliminate the risk – such as not carpeting lower level areas.  Drainage issues can sometimes be fixed by landscaping around the home. By grading around the home, this will shift the surface water. Sometimes, it is imperative to place a barrier in the water shedding layer of the soil to route the drainage in the proper direction away from the home.  Sloping away from the home’s foundation is the key.

 

Remember that water damage in a basement or crawlspace can be caused by any of the following:

 

  1. faulty plumbing
  2. failed sump pumps
  3. improper window installation
  4. leaking walls and foundation 

 

If the water is within the walls, then they most likely will need removed and replaced in order to prevent the growth of mold. Also, a professional waterproofing company may be able to assist in warding off any further water damage. There are 4 Types of Interior Waterproofing and a professional can help determine which type of drainage issue may be present and which type of interior or exterior waterproofing may be needed.

 

 

Visit our website at http://www.ihihomeinspections.com to book your Atlanta home inspection today!

http://www.youtube.com/user/ihihomeinspections?feature=guide .

To read our maintenance tips visit http://www.ahomeinspectoratlantaga.com, and

to book an inspection online visit our website http://www.ihihomeinspections.com .

We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience the IHI Difference. 404-788-2581

 

A Few Items the Atlanta Home Inspector checks under your home

insulation catastrophe

It is important, no matter the age of the home, to have a home inspection performed during a real estate transaction. Don’t assume that a brand new construction will not have any issues. The Atlanta home inspector sees many new constructions, as well as historic and typical home structures. It is not uncommon to find just as many issues with new builds as with the historic properties. Here are some items Atlanta home inspections looks for when underneath a home of any age:

 

  1. Moisture levels – Moisture levels underneath a home can help the Atlanta Home Inspector uncover issues from inside the home.  For instance, if there are signs of water damage below the area where the refrigerator sits, this could be an indication of a water line leak. Other important areas are underneath the toilets, sinks, tubs and showers – anywhere there could be a sealing or plumbing issue. However, moisture issues in the crawlspace are not limited to a leak. It could mean that the area just isn’t properly ventilated. This is a key element in the inspection, because a high moisture level contributes to wood rot and promotes the growth of mold and mildew. Span and load is the support system of the home. Buckling, breaking or rotting support systems can fail due to an elevated moisture level.

 

 

  1. Electrical – There should not be any loose wires dangling or strewn about within the crawlspace. Junction boxes should not be open and all wires should be properly contained. Loose, exposed wiring can not only electrocute someone, but possibly start a fire.

 

 

 

 

  1. Ductwork – Ductwork should be properly connected and supported. There should not be any kinks or binds in the connections to ensure proper airflow throughout the system. Also, the ductwork should be in place and not hanging, bulging, or gaping open.

 

 

 

  1. Wildlife – Wildlife evidence can be found underneath homes. Sometimes, the wildlife itself is found. Bugs that can threaten the structure of the home can be found and also snakes are sometimes present.

 

 

 

These are just a few of the items the Atlanta Home Inspection team will search for at your property. Remember it is important to be armed with information so that you and your client can make the best decisions moving forward.

 

Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website.

 

Listings needed for Buyers in Canton GA

We need listings.  Want to sale, and move up?  Now is a great time!

Increasing sales combined with decreasing inventory of listings reduced the months of supply to 4.2 months in December, 2012, reflecting the change from a “Buyer’s Market” to a “Seller’s Market” condition during 2012 Call Us today at 404-788-2580! It’s a great market!

Want to just find out what it’s worth? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT YOUR HOME IS WORTH TODAY

Visit my Best Atlanta Real Estate For Sale website today for local information.

Check out my Facebook page for Cherokee Real Estate Deals

Log Home Retreats: What the Atlanta Home Inspector Looks for

Cabin in north georgiaWhile nothing can compare to the emotion, the ambiance, or the restorative nature of the mountains, there are a few contrasts to consider regarding the composition of your log home retreat.
We dislike spoiling your relaxation, so here are a few items the Atlanta Home Inspector suggests to keep in mind about your log home:
• Look to see if there is any timber rot or any sort of past water damage. Make sure to check the top, ends, and corners of logs.
• Fungus or mildew can appear on logs in dark streaks. Look for any indicators of this occurrence.
• Check all of the logs for gaps, but remember that a little cracking of your house logs is to be expected.
• Look for visible damage from insects, such as termites. Always look along the exterior walls, all of the overhanging roof trim, gable trim, and edges for little round holes made by carpenter bees, as well.
• Check your porches and decks – it is extremely common to discover water damage and mold underneath porches and decks, particularly if the flashing has not been installed properly. Also check to see that decks and porches are attached properly.
• Logs should not be touching the soil. A clearance of 12 inches would be recommended.
• Interior and exterior doors will indicate shrinking log walls. If doors are opening and closing properly – walls have not decreased in size.
• Rafters and framework especially where the roof surface area is situated on the log walls needs assessed to determine if there is at least a 18” or more overhang.

If you need assistance determining these aspects of your log home, don’t hesitate to enlist the services of a North Georgia home inspector. The Atlanta Home Inspector will record the findings in a computerized report and provide you with pertinent information to help maintain the conditions of your mountain escape.

Visit our website at http://www.ihihomeinspections.com to book your Atlanta home inspection today!

http://http://www.youtube.com/user/ihihomeinspections?feature=guide .

To read our maintenance tips visit http://www.ahomeinspectoratlantaga.com, and

to book an inspection online visit our website http://www.ihihomeinspections.com .

We look forward to working with clients and agents during the real estate process. Experience the IHI Difference. 404-788-2581

10 items to help you prepare to sell your home

  Now that the new year is in full swing, you may be considering placing your home on the market. You may have already called an agent to represent you, and you may already be shopping for your new residence. It is important to assess your current home prior to any open house or client walk through, though.   If you want to maximize your top dollar and perhaps sell your property quickly, you may want to check out the Atlanta Home Inspectors  to do list:

1. Repair or remove screen doors with holes and tears

2. Pressure wash windows, sidewalks, and siding

3. Paint your front door and polish the doorknob

4. Pull weeds, seed bare spots, and lay down mulch

5. Touch up holes, dings and cracks in paint

6. Clean grout and re-caulk sinks, bathtubs and showers

7. Buy new cabinet hardware

8. Fix leaky faucets and toilets

9. Spray lubricant on squeaky doors

10. Get clutter into storage and out of the way

These may seem like no-brainers, but they are chores that are often overlooked. Hectic work and family schedules can keep homeowners from maintaining a residence. However, the simple little details will help sell a property.  Another idea to consider is a Pre-Listing home inspection  .  Any surprises can be found early and fixed, so that you can come closer to receiving your requested value amount on the home. Also by unveiling them in advance, they can be used as negotiation tools.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

Why the FOR SALE sign is Still in Your Front Yard

Has your house been on the market for several months – years even? Have you evaluated the situation completely to determine why the For Sale sign is still perfectly perched in the front lawn? There are a number of circumstances that can prevent a home from selling. The Atlanta Home Inspector would like to share a few of the reasons.

v Is it “move-in” ready? – Unless someone is specifically looking for a home to fix or remodel, chances are they would much rather move-in and not have to lift a finger to make it inhabitable. A pre-listing home inspection could help you find problem areas that you may be unaware of – areas that would cause the home not to sell.

v Where is it located? – Location truly is important. If the home sits on a heavily traveled, noisy roadway it will not be attractive to someone with children, pets, or a 3rd shift work schedule.

v Is the price realistic? – Many times there are unreal expectations regarding worth. It is difficult to separate the emotional attachments, upgrades and all other ties that bind the person selling the home to the property. However, in order to remain competitive a realistic value must be placed on the home and a realistic asking price.

v Does anyone realize the house is for sale? – Making sure a marketing plan is in place for the property is essential. In today’s hi-tech society, internet searches help consumers with the decision-making process. If your home is not visible on the internet, then it is not visible to those who search it hoping to find a new home!

While this list points out a few reasons, there could be other factors that cause a home to sit on the market for an extended amount of time. From the neighbors to the transportation availability, if your house has been listed for a while and nothing seems to be happening, make sure you are frequently communicating with your listing agent to ensure that they are providing you the best service available.

 Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

 

Inexpensive Fixes Before Listing Your Home

First impressions are everything! The Atlanta Home Inspector agrees that potential home buyers will need to be interested in the home upon first glance in      order to even make it through the front door. Here are a few inexspensive fixes to consider before listing your home:

Outside:

1.  Weed and seed your lawn.Mulch where needed. Make sure plants, trees and shurbbery are trimmed.

2.  Clear and wash sidewalks. Pressure wash siding and windows.
3.  Make sure the front door is suitable. If there are any issues with the screens or glass, repair them.

Once the buyers have entered the home make sure they are not disappointed. Some quick inside work :
1. New hardware on cabinets will freshen up the overall appearance.
2. Make sure there are no squeaky doors.
3. Any painted surfaces that are cracked or peeling should be touched-up.

4. Make sure the bathroom is free of leaks and has been recaulked, including shower, sink and bathtubs.

The number one rule is to declutter!

Nobody wants to see a years worth of magazines, mail or school papers all over the place!  Organization items such as folders, baskets, filing cabinets can be useful. Today there are different styles that can be used to dress up your unsightly paperwork debris!

We hope that these tips will help you before listing your home. However, you may find them just as useful if you are looking to energize your current home.

Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website. 

 

Rodents, Chemicals, Asbestos Beware!

David suited up for the atticChances are, if you have recently had an Atlanta Home Inspection, you noticed the Atlanta Home Inspectors  wearing special white jumpsuits when entering attics, basements and crawlspaces.  Although the suits subtley remind us of astronaut gear, and they make the inspectors look quite sytlish-  it actually  is a protective outerwear. Tyvek® clad home inspectors are able to enter into areas where squirrels, oil, and perhaps toxic substances could be found.  Rodents, chemicals, asbestos beware!  The polyethylene fibers and random pattern bonding of the material make home inspectors invincible… sort of.  When suited up, the inspectors are resistant to water, chemicals, UV rays, and depending on the grade of suit, fire.

A DuPont researcher named Jim white, invented Tyvek® in 1955. However, it wasn’t until 10 years later that DuPont officially trademarked the product as Tyvek®. DuPont still manufactures the product today. The synthetic can be found in clothing, envelopes,tape, and home wrap – to name a few.  Builders install Tyvek®  as a moisture barrier. It also works to prevent air infiltration.

Keeping safe is just one of the many facets of being an Atlanta Home Inspector. They boldly enter where most men don’t dare to go (insert chuckle here), to keep home buyers and home sellers safe. It is always a good idea to have a home inspection in Atlanta or wherever you live, in order to protect your family and your investments.  Ask about special tests such as radon, air quality and pest control when buying a new home. Understading what a home inspection is and what the benefits are to you is an important piece of the real estate puzzle.

Do us a favor if you or someone you know is about to buy that perfect home, please recommend us to them. When you find your dream home, make sure that you get a thorough home inspection in Atlanta, GA from the home inspector Atlanta, GA, David Lelak of IHI Home Inspections, they serve Atlanta and all of North Georgia. Call us today at 404-788-2581 for a thorough home inspection in Atlanta. We won’t let you buy the money pit.  You can also schedule your Atlanta home inspection today online.  We create Peace of Mind One Atlanta home inspection at a time.  Be sure to check out all the other reasons other customers chose IHI Home Inspections at our original website.