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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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.

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

Top Priority for new home construction clients this year may surprise some

New Construction home inspections no dateTop Priority for new home construction clients this year may surprise some


In the past, clients who chose to build new homes were concerned with specific details that would help them maintain a steady resale value down the road. For instance, the average styles, textures, and colors were requested, which reflected the trends of the time. However, we all know that trends come and go; think bell-bottoms, big hair, and bobby socks all of which were trendy to different eras and cherished by different generations. Today, the top priority of new home construction clients may surprise some, because it is not about color variation or popular appliance brands. It isn’t even about how pretty the house looks when seen from the curb.

According to the NAHB Housing and Economic Policy Group, a 2012 survey indicated that the home buyers’ top priority was energy efficiency. What were the two most requested items on new construction homes? Energy smart windows and Energy Star appliances. What were the least requested items in new constructions? Laundry chutes, wine coolers, and outdoor kitchens (Kavjian, M., Aug. 2013. NAHB. Best in American Living.).

In Atlanta, we see an increase in new home constructions, and have completed several inspection services on newly constructed homes. Remember, it is important to have a home inspected regardless of age, because even the newly built homes can be flawed. The most common issue discovered on new constructions by the Atlanta home inspection team is roof related, whether shingles are not attached properly, are not fully installed or are gapping in places, it is our priority to gather the clues for the home buyers’ so they can ensure their new home is precisely what they want it to be.

Those of you who handle newly constructed properties, what do you see as the latest “must-haves” of your market? Are clients more concerned with function or appearance?

New Construction home inspections no date



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

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.



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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.


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 to book your Atlanta home inspection today!

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To read our maintenance tips visit, and

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

Garbage Disposal Etiquette with the Atlanta Home Inspector


Garbage Disposal  Are you using your garbage disposal properly? What foods do you consistently flush down the drain, and which foods do you pitch elsewhere?  The Atlanta home inspection crew has created a list of consumables that need to avoid garbage disposal territory. Make sure that the disposal stays clog-free, and that the trap does not become blocked.  Even though a plumber could help in this situation, why pay for a service call if you can educate your family ahead of time and avoid the situation if possible!

Here’s that short list of food waste that’s better suited for the garbage

  • Rice and pasta : Small particles can never be completely pulverized, and will swell in the presence of water. This can clog pipes and traps.
    • Egg shells : Tiny, granular waste can get “bound” with pipe sludge, creating a thick clog.
    • Coffee grounds : Same as for egg shells. As a clog thickens, it’s harder for water to pass through.
    • Grease : Liquid fats turn to solid when in contact with cold water. Over time, this creates a clog like plaque on an artery.
    • Potato peels : Once ground, peels turn starchy like mashed potatoes. This can clog a drain pipe instantly.

With kitchen garbage disposals, the general rule for flushing food should be “when in doubt, leave it out”. Use your disposal for convenience, not for a trash chute substitute!

On a side note, The Atlanta home inspector takes pictures of every garbage disposal and submits the model and serial numbers to RecallChek to ensure that your disposal has not been recalled for issues. There could be an underlying issue with the disposal if you are experiencing issues, yet using the appliance properly.

Visit our website at to book your Atlanta home inspection today!

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To read our maintenance tips visit, and

to book an inspection online visit our website .

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




Are you a landlord? Don’t forget to have your investment property inspected!


            Rental properties have become exponentially more popular. They are in demand. Partially due to the high rate of short sales and foreclosures, and partially because segments of society have become more transient, the prices on rentals are climbing.  The Atlanta home inspector has noticed this current trend.

             Short sales and foreclosures mar a person’s credit, which means that, that person must wait until they can become approved for a mortgage loan. So, this means that most likely, this segment of society is now categorized as rental property clientele.

            Now more than ever, jobs require travel and relocation to stay active in the market. Due to this change in the employment environment, people cannot tie themselves to a home for several years knowing that they will be moving on to another location. So, this segment of society is also categorized as rental property clientele. This segment also keeps townhomes and condos on their list of choices.

            In this ever-changing real estate market, it is always wise to schedule a home inspection. Whether you are purchasing an investment property that will be rented-out to others, or stepping into the townhome of your dreams. By alleviating any concerns and realizing precisely what you are purchasing, a home inspector can provide you peace of mind and inform you about the simple maintenance items that can be found in most homes.

Details make the inspectors job interesting. Don’t let those details be your problem. Call a thorough, detailed, friendly, trustworthy and knowledgable inspector, David Lelak at IHI Home Inspections. IHI Home Inspections provides computerized home inspection reports. Call us today 404-788-2581 or better yet you can now schedule your home inspections completely online at  We provide peace of mind one home inspection at a time!

If you’re a home owner who wishes to simply maintain their home in the best possible manner call us today for a maintenance inspection.

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Hey, We Could Use a Little Support Around Here!

In every movie there is always a hero or heroine, who is the main character of the story.  Throughtout the plot the character’s life unfolds and we learn their entire story. However, the story would not be as interesting without the supporting character roles. In most movies, it is the supporting cast that actually allows the star to shine.  While the Atlanta Home Inspector doesn’t have much spare time to watch movies, he does have time to understand the importance of a supporting role.

A Supporting Role that May Fall Flat!


Calculations are a very important process, if not the most important process of the building experience. It is imperative that the locations of all deck support posts be determined in advance. As in any equation, variable must be taken into consideration. By knowing the land, the building materials, the weather and the use for structure, the proper supports can be utilized.   As in this picture, it is obvious that someone did not take any variables into consideration… the result… a supporting rold that may fall flat!    Ensure your family’s safety by having the Atlanta home inspector  investigate your home from the topmost of the roof to every nook and cranny underneath the home, the inspector will provide your family peace of mind – and help you find the house that you can call home! 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.

Why do Roofing Nails Burst out of the Roof?

By spending several hours per week performing Atlanta Home Inspections,  David Lelak discovers many interesting issues.  As part of the criteria for inspecting homes in Atlanta, roofs are walked to spot those items which cannot be seen from the ground with binoculors.  One common rooftop occurrence is nails that are seemingly bursting right out of the shingles.

Why do roofing nails burst out of the roof?

The answer is simple. SCIENCE.  Given the location of a roof, it is always exposed to the elements. Therefore, when it rains ( or other forms of moisture occur),  the wood that roofs are constructed from will expand.  Once the sun pops out it not only dries up all the rain, but it also creates heat.  The nail will become hot and extricate itself from the nail hole.  The heat also creates the shingles themselves to increase in temperature, thus provoking the nails to burst out of their proper places.  When one is found at an advanced stage, it is the end result of this process occuring repeatedly over time.

If you are looking for a detailed home inspector in Atlanta, look no further than IHI Home Inspections.  We provide easy to read inspection reports with pictures.  Call 404-788-2581 or visit us on the web at  Don’t forget to follow us on facebook at Atlanta Home Inspector – IHI Home Inspections.

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