Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted SASKATOON HOME INSPECTIONS EXPERT shares a tip on decks

A Great tip on securing a deck properly: 

Check that Deck!!


The securing of a deck to the home is often a poorly understood detail. Many professionally installed decks and DYI decks will be attached to a home improperly.

It is always important to have a flashing over the ledgerboard shown in the illustration below. This prevents water from being trapped behind the wood and creating rot.

 

 

Another important detail is the type of fasteners used. Deck screws are not an acceptable way of attaching the ledgerboard to the house. Preferably anchor bolts or anchor screws are used. Nails in my opinion are not acceptable. We also want to look for proper joist hanger connections, loose handrails and guardrails, column connections, rot and wood/soil contact. These are not the only issues found on decks but the most serious and most common.

Improper fasteners can have dramatic results, of course the higher the deck the higher the risk of injury. Deck collapse is more common than you think as you will see in this video. 

 

 


SASKATOON HOME INSPECTION EXPERT shares a tip on Thermal Imaging


Trusted Tip on Thermal Imaging 

Infrared imaging cameras can be an important tool during a home inspection.  infrared thermography (IRT) inspection service is also available to homeowners or commercial building owners who may be having trouble finding a problem with roof or basement leaks, energy efficiency issues, as well as a host of other solutions.

Thermographic inspection is a non-contact technology used to help identify potential building problems with little or no destructive testing.

A thermal imager can detect issues as outlined below:

  • Locate air leakage around windows and doors Verify missing, damaged or incorrectly installed insulation
  • Detect moisture intrusion (moisture damage & energy loss)
  • Extend the life of roofs by locating and fixing leaks & determine heat loss problems (i.e. flat roof applications)
  • Locate underfloor heating pipework & leakage
  • Locate damaged or unsealed components in HVAC systems Locate electrical hot spots (i.e. caused by loosely secured wiring connections or faulty equipment)
  • Locate mechanical system issues (steam traps, radiators, valve integrity, bearing temperatures, pumps & motors

 


SASKATOON HOME INSPECTION EXPERT shares a Trusted tip on ASPHALT SHINGLES ....


 

Trusted Tip, Asphalt Shingles

When our trusted inspectors perform a home inspection, we commonly find issues with Asphalt shingles. Typically asphalt shingles last about 20 years however this can vary based on the type. It can also vary based on conditions found at the home such as trees near the house, poorly ventilated attics, sunlight exposure etc. They are classified by the warranty offered by the manufacturer, 10 year, 15 year, 20 year, 25 year, 30 year, 35 year. An Asphalt roof is much more likely to leak at the flashings around pipe penetrations, roof vents, chimneys, wall intersections and valleys than it is to leak in the field of the roof. Even a brand new roof with improperly installed flashings can be leaking.   

When looking at a home you are considering purchasing, have a quick look at the roof from the ground. If you see the shingles curling, loosing the coloured granules, patches, roof tar or growing vegetation you should be suspicious that the roof may need replacement. It is also a good idea when inside the home to look up at the ceiling for signs of water damage or patching.

Replacing a roof on a home is a significant expense and can be more costly if the home as been affected by water damage. Of course it is still always recommended to have the roof looked at during a prepurchase home inspection from a trusted inspector.


Here is a CBC Marketplace investigation on Asphalt shingles ..be wary!

 

 

 

Trusted SASKATOON HOME INSPECTIONS EXPERT shares a tip on the 10 most common first time buyer mistakes


10 Worst First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

Are you gearing up to buy your first place? Shopping for a home is exciting, exhausting and a little bit scary. In the end, your aim is to end up with a home you love at a price you can afford. Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, many people make mistakes the prevent them from achieving this simple dream. Arm yourself with these tips to get the most out of your purchase and avoid making 10 of the most costly mistakes that could put a hold on that sold sign.

1. Not Knowing What You Can Afford

 If you don't already have a budget, make a list of all your monthly expenses (excluding rent), including vehicle costs, student loan payments, credit card payments, groceries, health insurance, retirement savings and so on. Don't forget major expenses that only occur once a year, like any insurance premiums you pay annually or annual vacations. Subtract this total from your take-home pay and you'll know how much you can spend on your new home each month. if you end up looking at homes that are outside your price range, you'll end up lusting after something you can't afford, which can put you in the dangerous position of trying to stretch beyond your means financially or cause you to feel unsatisfied with what you actually can afford. You may even learn that you can't afford the type or size of home that you desire and that you need to work on reducing your monthly expenses and/or increasing your income before you even start looking.

2. Skipping Mortgage Qualification

What you think you can afford and what the banks are willing to lend you may not match up, especially if you have poor credit or unstable income, so make sure to get pre-approved for a loan before placing an offer on a home. If you don't, you'll be wasting the seller's time, the seller's agent's time, and your agent's time and the home inspectors time! if you sign a contract and then discover later that the bank won't lend you what you need, or that it's only willing to give you a mortgage that you find unacceptable. Be aware that even if you have been pre-approved for a mortgage, your loan can fall through at the last minute if you do something to alter your credit score, like finance a car purchase. If you cause the deal to fall through, you may have to forfeit the several thousand dollars that you put up when you went under contract.

3. Failing to Consider Additional Expenses

Once you're a homeowner, you'll have additional expenses on top of your monthly payment. Unlike when you were a renter, you'll be responsible for paying property taxes, insuring your home against disasters and making any repairs the house needs (which will occasionally include expensive items like a new roof or a new furnace). A home inspection will outline what needs doing NOW, SOON and in the next 5 - 10 years....so figure that in to your expenses.If you're interested in purchasing a condo, you'll have to pay maintenance costs monthly regardless of whether anything needs fixing because you'll be part of a homeowner's association, which collects a couple hundred dollars a month from the owners of each unit in the building in the form of condominium fees. 

4. Being Too Picky

Go ahead and put everything you can think of on your new home wish list, but don't be so inflexible that you end up continuing to rent for significantly longer than you really want to. First-time homebuyers often have to compromise on something because their funds are limited. You may have to live on a busy street, accept outdated decor, make some repairs to the home, or forgo that extra bedroom. Of course, you can always choose to continue renting until you can afford everything on your list - you'll just have to decide how important it is for you to become a homeowner now rather than in a couple of years.

5. Lacking Vision

Even if you can't afford to replace the hideous wallpaper in the bathroom now, it might be worth it to live with the ugliness for a while in exchange for getting into a house you can afford. If the home otherwise meets your needs in terms of the big things that are difficult to change, such as location and size, don't let physical imperfections turn you away. Besides, doing home upgrades yourself, even when you have to hire a contractor, is often cheaper than paying the increased home value to a seller who has already done the work for you.

6.Being Swept Away

Minor upgrades and cosmetic fixes are inexpensive tricks are a seller's dream for playing on your emotions and eliciting a much higher price tag. Sellers may pay $2,000 for minimal upgrades or staging that you'll end up paying $40,000 for. If you're on a budget, look for homes whose full potential has yet to be realized. Also, first-time homebuyers should always look for a house they can add value to, as this ensures a bump in equity to help you up the property ladder.

7.Compromising on the Important Things

Don't get a two-bedroom home when you know you're planning to have kids and will want three bedrooms. By the same token, don't buy a condo just because it's cheaper when one of the main reasons you're over apartment life is because you hate sharing walls with neighbors. It's true that you'll probably have to make some compromises to be able to afford your first home, but don't make a compromise that will be a major strain.

8. Neglecting to Inspect

It's tempting to think that you're a homeowner the moment you go into escrow, but not so fast - before you close on the sale, you need to know what kind of shape the house is in. You don't want to get stuck with a money pit or with the headache of performing a lot of unexpected repairs. Keeping your feelings in check until you have a full picture of the house's physical condition and the soundness of your potential investment will help you avoid making a serious financial mistake. In other words...GET A HOME INSPECTION done by a TRUSTED HOME INSPECTOR  

9. Not Choosing to Hire an Agent or Using the Seller's Agent

Once you're seriously shopping for a home, don't walk into an open house without having an agent (or at least being prepared to throw out a name of someone you're supposedly working with). Agents are held to the ethical rule that they must act in both the seller and the buyer parties' best interests, but you can see how that might not work in your best interest if you start dealing with a seller's agent before contacting one of your own.

10.Not Thinking About the Future

It's impossible to perfectly predict the future of your chosen neighborhood, but paying attention to the information that is available to you now can help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road. Some questions you should ask about your prospective property include:

•What kind of development plans are in the works for your neighborhood in the future?

•Is your street likely to become a major street or a popular rush-hour shortcut?

•Will a highway be built in your backyard in five years?

•What are the zoning laws in your area?

•If there is a lot of undeveloped land? What is likely to get built there?

•Have home values in the neighborhood been declining? If you're happy with the answers to these questions, then your house's location can keep its rose-colored luster. Conclusion Buying a first home can seem stressful and overwhelming, and it isn't without its share of potential pitfalls. If you're aware of those issues ahead of time, you can protect yourself from costly mistakes and shop with confidence. For many people, a home is the largest purchase they will ever make, but it need not be the most difficult!



Trusted SASKATOON HOME INSPECTIONS EXPERT shares a tip: Do YOU need a Home Inspection


 

 

DO YOU NEED A HOME INSPECTION?

Before you buy a home, one of the things you should do is to have the home checked out by a professional home inspector. Buying a home is expensive enough as it is - why would you choose to fork over another $400 if you're not required to? In this article, we'll delve into what a home inspection can reveal and why you shouldn't forgo this optional procedure. (If this is your first time buying a home, be sure to read 10 Worst First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes.)

The Home Inspection Contingency

Your first clue that a home inspection is important is that it can be used as a contingency in your purchase offer. This contingency provides that if significant defects are revealed by a home inspection, you can back out of your offer, free of penalty, within a certain timeframe. The potential problems a home can have must be pretty serious if they could allow you to walk away from such a significant contract. (For more on closing on your home, read Understanding The Escrow Process.)

What a Home Inspection Examines

Inspectors vary in experience, ability and thoroughness, but a good inspector should examine certain components of the home you want to purchase and then produce a report covering his or her findings. The typical inspection lasts two to three hours and you should be present for the inspection to get a firsthand explanation of the inspector's findings and, if necessary, ask questions. Also, any problems the inspector uncovers will make more sense if you see them in person instead of relying solely on the snapshot photos in the report.

The inspector should note:

• whether each problem is a safety issue, major defect, or minor defect

• which items need replacement and which should be repaired or serviced

• items that are suitable for now but that should be monitored closely

A really great inspector will even tell you about routine maintenance that should be performed, which can be a great help if you are a first-time homebuyer. (To learn more, read First-Time Homebuyer Guide.) While it is impossible to list everything an inspector could possibly check for, the following list will give you a general idea of what to expect. (Home maintenance can cost you more than you bargained for. Read Four Overlooked Homeownership Costs to learn more.)

Exterior

• Exterior walls - The inspector will check for damaged or missing siding, cracks and whether the soil is in excessively close contact with the bottom of the house, which can invite wood-destroying insects. However, the pest inspector, not the home inspector, will check for actual damage from these insects. The inspector will let you know which problems are cosmetic and which could be more serious.

• Foundation - If the foundation is not visible, and it usually is not, the inspector will not be able to examine it directly, but they can check for secondary evidence of foundation issues, like cracks or settling.

• Grading - The inspector will let you know whether the grading slopes away from the house as it should. If it doesn't, water could get into the house and cause damage, and you will need to either change the slope of the yard or install a drainage system. (Read about managing the expense of a yard in Save Money On Summer Bills.)

• Garage or carport - The inspector will test the garage door for proper opening and closing, check the garage framing if it is visible and determine if the garage is properly ventilated (to prevent accidental carbon monoxide poisoning). If the water heater is in the garage, the inspector will make sure it is installed high enough off the ground to minimize the risk of explosion from gasoline fumes mingling with the heater's flame.

• Roof - The inspector will check for areas where roof damage or poor installation could allow water to enter the home, such as loose, missing or improperly secured shingles and cracked or damaged mastic around vents. He or she will also check the condition of the gutters. (The roof offers opportunities for energy-conscious homeowners. Read Building Green For Your House And Wallet to learn more.)

Interior

• Plumbing - The home inspector will check all faucets and showers, look for visible leaks, such as under sinks and test the water pressure. He or she will also identify the kind of pipes the house has, if any pipes are visible. The inspector may recommend a secondary inspection if the pipes are old to determine if or when they might need to be replaced and how much the work would cost. The inspector will also identify the location of the home's main water shutoff valve.

• Electrical - The inspector will identify the kind of wiring the home has, test outlets and make sure there are functional ground fault circuit interrupters (which can protect you from electrocution, electric shock and electrical burns) installed in areas like the bathrooms, kitchen, garage and outdoors. They will also check your electrical panel for any safety issues and check your electrical outlets to make sure they do not present a fire hazard.

• Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) - The inspector will look at your HVAC system to estimate the age of the furnace and air conditioner, determine if they function properly and recommend repairs or maintenance. An inspector can also give you an idea of the age of the home's ducting, whether it might have leaks, if your home has sufficient insulation to minimize your energy bills and whether there is any asbestos insulation.

• Water heater - The home inspector will identify the age of the heater and determine if it is properly installed and secured. The inspector will also let you know what kind of condition it is in and give you a general idea of how many years it has left.

• Kitchen appliances – The inspector will sometimes check kitchen appliances that come with the home to make sure they work, but these are not always part of the inspection. Be sure to ask the inspector which appliances are not included so that you can check them yourself. (Energy-efficient appliances can save you big bucks. Read Ten Ways To Save Energy And Money to learn more.)

 • Laundry room - The inspector will make sure the laundry room is properly vented. A poorly maintained dryer-exhaust system can be a serious fire hazard.

• Fire safety - If the home has an attached garage, the inspector will make sure the wall has the proper fire rating and that it hasn't been damaged in any way that would compromise its fire rating. They will also test the home's smoke detectors. (Learn more about protecting your home from fire in Insurance Tips For Homeowners.)

• Bathrooms - The inspector will check for visible leaks, properly secured toilets, adequate ventilation and other issues. If the bathroom does not have a window and/or a ventilation fan, mold and mildew can become problems and moisture can warp wood cabinets over time.

Home Inspection Shortcomings

A home inspection can't identify everything that might be wrong with the property - it only checks for visual cues to problems. For example, if the home's doors do not close properly or the floors are slanted, the foundation might have a crack - but if the crack can't be seen without pulling up all the flooring in the house, a home inspector can't tell you for sure if it's there. Furthermore, most home inspectors are generalists - that is, they can tell you that the plumbing might have a problem, but then they will recommend that you hire an expert to verify the problem and give you an estimate of the cost to fix it. Of course, hiring additional inspectors will cost extra money. Home inspectors also do not check for issues like termite damage, site contamination, mold, engineering problems and other specialized issues. After the Inspection Once you have the results of your home inspection, you have several options.

• If the problems are too significant or too expensive to fix, you can choose to walk away from the purchase, as long as the purchase contract has an inspection contingency.

• For problems large or small, you can ask the seller to fix them, reduce the purchase price, or to give you a cash credit at closing to fix the problems yourself - this is where a home inspection can pay for itself several times over. (Read 10 Tips For Getting A Fair Price On A Home.)

• If these options aren't viable in your situation (for example, if the property is bank-owned and being sold as-is), you can get estimates to fix the problems yourself and come up with a plan for repairs in order of their importance and affordability once you own the property. (To learn more, read Do-It-Yourself Projects To Boost Home Value.)

Bottom Line A home inspection will cost you a little bit of time and money, but in the long run you'll be glad you did it. The inspection can reveal problems that you may be able to get the current owners to fix before you move in, saving you time and money. If you are a first-time homebuyer, an inspection can give you a crash course in home maintenance and a checklist of items that need attention to make your home as safe and sound as possible. Don't skip this important step in the home-buying process - it's worth every penny.

 

 

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