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!

 

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

 

 

Renovation No-No’s

 

chandelier no date     Are you planning a renovation? One no-no that Learnvest suggests is forbidden is ornamental lighting (Bianchi.2014). “Some people    go all out when decorating a dining room, but the next owner may want to turn the dining room into a bedroom, so it’s often a waste,”  Rockower of Learnvest states.

 

So what are you supposed to do?

             Try to suit your needs for less, especially if you plan on moving one day.

 

Another renovation “Don’t” is converting a bedroom into a personal interest room such as a library or hobby room. Once the room becomes personalized it is harder to sell it to someone who may have different interests. Besides, most people do ask for that extra bedroom not a model railroad room  – right?

Just remember that unless you plan to stay put in your home, those renovations that seem so special to you, may be worthless to the next person to move into the home.  Don’t end up spending unnecessary funds on a useless investment.           http://www.ihihomeinspections.com      

hobby model railroad room no date

What is a Macerating Toilet?

macerating toilet                                                                     Macerate: to soften or break into pieces.

 

A macerating toilet, also called an upflush toilet system, creates a fine slurry of waste and paper, sending it directly to the septic               or  sewer system.  The macerating pump is a good choice when traditional plumbing just will not work. For instance, a bathroom           addition  in an  under the stairs closet or on concrete flooring such is found in a basement make it difficult to install traditional        toilets and  require more money and cutting through concrete to install.  Basically, a macerating toilet is a cost effective and more              simple solution  to  your family’s growing bathroom needs!

 

 

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

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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

 

RecallChek Services are Free with every IHI home inspection!

dryer_fire3

Your family’s safety is one of the Atlanta Home Inspector’s top priorities. One way we provide peace of mind is through the service of RecallChek.  This service checks model and serial number information against a database of recalled appliances and alerts clients as well as agent of any new recalls that occur. The service is FREE. It is also provided for a lifetime. Even when you purchase  a new appliance, you can still receive the monthly reports. By providing the new appliance model and serial RecallChek will begin checking it for any recalls, as well.

 

Here are a few of the reasons Atlanta Home Inspections thinks it is important to offer this recall service FREE to clients:

 

Faulty heating equipment resulted in 1,520 civilian injuries, and $1.1 billion in direct property damage in the last few years, according to the National Fire Protection Associaton.

 

Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually.” U.S. Consumer Protection Agency

Recalled products are being recycled (so if concerned about the waste of parts or units, know that the salvageable portions are, and put to good use)

 

Our nation recorded approximately 6.5 recalls each day, according to studies conducted by Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration.

 

Be sure to ask if your home inspector provides this or a similar service to help protect your family and your investment.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta Home Inspection Process is Non-Invasive

home inspection is a bright idea  The key word to remember during the Atlanta home inspection process is  “VISUAL”. The inspection process is non-invasive.  We do not pull apart, pry, move, or open items. Any sight of cracks in foundation, chimney, roof or any other major area of the home will be recommend to a professional for further investigation. We crawl under the house, walk on the roof, check plumbing, HVAC, electricity, exterior and interior walls.

Our Atlanta home inspection reports indicate either repair, routine maintenance or replace as options for items on the list. We are often complimented on our easy to read reports and the simpler language included to help everyone understand the findings.

 

Additional services can be added to any home inspection. Radon, termite and infrared testing  can instill peace of mind for new home buyers, agents, and sellers alike.

 

 

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 – See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4209168/a-health-and-wellness-check-up-for-your-home#sthash.0Is3G9LY.dpuf

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Have you turned on your heat pump yet? – Efficiency tip by the Atlanta Home Inspector

jjjjoIn our region, we seldom have to turn on the heat until the winter months. However, today with the wind making itself know,it made me start to think about needing to turn up the heat. I was also thinking about the home inspections in Atlanta that are performed.

During Atlanta home inspections is your current inspector checking the furnace or heat pump?

Did you know that heat pumps are an efficient choice when the temperatures are 32 degrees or higher? With that being said, when it drops below that temperature, the heat pump must “ask” for a little assistance. This assistance comes in the form of electric heat strips (also known as auxiliary heat), which increase the operating cost of the entire system. Sometimes, this can even be as much as 5 times the normal operation.

So, how would a homeowner avoid using the auxiliary heat? Well, it is always a good idea to service the heat pump to ensure that it is working properly. By keeping dirt and debris out of the unit, the air will flow more freely, as well.

It is also a great idea to keep the thermostat set at a constant temperature. Typically, somewhere below 70 degrees will keep the usage down – meaning the bill will more than likely be less.

 

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
- See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4209168/a-health-and-wellness-check-up-for-your-home#sthash.0Is3G9LY.dpuf

 

 

 

Tips for protecting yourself and your pet against snakebite

Snake at inspection no date

  Atlanta Home Inspections sometimes encounters snakes or evidence of snakes during Atlanta Home Inspection services.

 

Did you know that snakes can strike from a distance that is half their body length away? This makes it very important to steer clear of areas that could promote the snakes to thrive. While we as humans might realize the dangers of stomping through tall grass, our furry four-legged friends might not – and may even be enticed to investigate.  So here are a few pointers for you that the APCC (Animal Poison Control Center) have put together.

 

  • Walk your pet on a leash

 

  • Steer your pet away from bushes.

 

  • Guide your pet away from yards that have not been mowed

 

  • Steer Clear of dead snakes. They can still strike reflexively for up to an hour after death!

 

If you find yourself in an emergency situation where your pet has been bitten by a snake make sure to keep him or her as calm as possible. Remove the collar and keep the bite below heart level. Restrict movement, also. This will prevent the venom from circulating in the bloodstream as quickly. Of course, get to the vet as quickly as possible.

 

If you are bitten by a snake try to remain calm, also. The steps listed above are also applicable to humans who have been snake bitten.

 

If you have a snakebite kit make sure it contains a suction pump device to extract the venom. Older kits do not contain these devices. Make sure you have a newer kit on hand. Note: If you can get to a medical facility no longer than 30 minutes after being bitten, you will not need to attempt to extract the venom.  Medical professionals are not great supporters of the suction pump device found in snakebite kits. They maintain Antivenom is the best method. (American Red Cross).

 

The next time you are out walking or jogging make sure to be aware of your surroundings. The best way to prevent a snakebite is to avoid areas where they live or hide.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.