Felix Home Inspection now includes a free subscription to the Home Binder Software.
Now when you choose our inspection service. As a part of our service, you will be receiving a free lifetime subscription to HomeBinder ($120 value).
HomeBinder allows you to organize and save all related home information in a convenient online application. From storing paint colors, to getting maintenance reminders, HomeBinder will ensure you have all the details you need in the future right at your fingertips.
Soon after the inspection you’ll get an email from HomeBinder with a link to access your personalized binder. All you need to do is pick a password and you’ll have private access to that binder going forward. If you need or want, you can share the binder with your spouse or family member.
Best of all, we’ll get it setup for you to minimize the effort to begin managing your greatest asset. We’ll include a maintenance schedule and your inspection report at a minimum so you’lll get emailed maintenance reminders about key home tasks and always have access to your inspection report. Although you’ll probably not think about selling for some time, when you do, your HomeBinder will help with buyers, your accountant and the appraiser.
You can learn more at www.homebinder.com.
Whether you’re buying or selling a real estate property it’s a good idea to be familiar with the Home Inspection process. For this topic I will be focusing on a General Residential Inspection.
So, what is a home inspection? The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) Standard of Practice define a home inspection as follows:
"A general home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property performed for a fee, which is designed to identify defects within specific systems and components defined by these Standards that are both observed and deemed material by the inspector. The scope of work may be modified by the Client and Inspector prior to the inspection process.
-The general home inspection is based on the observations made on the date of the inspection, and not a prediction of future conditions.
-The general home inspection will not reveal every issue that exists or ever could exist, but only those material defects observed on the date of the inspection."
In a nutshell, a home inspection is a visual examination of the different components of the house in order to identify Material Defects that may affect the value of the property and/or posses an unreasonable risk to people. There is no pass or fail grade on a Home Inspection, the inspector is only identifying material defects noted on the day of the inspection. The identified defects and/or any other findings will then be presented on a Home Inspection Report. The home inspection report format varies depending on the Inspection Company and Standard of Practice (SOP) that’s being followed for the Home Inspection. There are companies that only show a check list of items inspected and maybe a short comment on the defects and findings, others might include pictures on the report with a more detail explanation and maybe suggestions, the report can also (not recommended) be a verbal report with the inspector just pointing out the findings to the client.
When a home inspector is hired he/she will conduct the inspection according to the SOP specified in the inspection agreement. The SOP is established by the state (if in a state that requires home inspectors to be licensed) or by a Home Inspector Association (InterNACHI, ASHI, ect.). SOP’s varies slightly from state to state and/or Association, so it’s a good practice to become familiar with the SOP that will be followed. It’s also a good idea to verify the home inspector’s credentials, especially if your state does not require home inspectors to be licensed.
Home selling and/or buying is stressful to all parties involved and home inspections are part of the process. There are several suggestions in order to have a smooth Home Inspection whether you're a buyer or a seller. Its a good idea to be familiar with what needs to be done before, during, and after the Home Inspection, that way the process will be more efficient for everyone involved.
In conclusion, when hiring a Home Inspection Company to conduct a home inspection on a big investment like a house, ask questions such as: Does the state require home inspectors to be licensed? Does the inspector have a good standing license with the state? Is the inspector member of a recognized Home Inspector Association? And, has the inspector met the requirements to be certified by the Home Inspector Association? Also, visit the home inspection company website and find out as much as you can; do they have a sample Inspection Report and Inspection Agreement? What are their fees, warranties, guaranties, any additional ancillary services that can be added to the inspection (pool and spa, pest inspection, etc…). And very important, is the Inspection Company Insured? The Inspector will be going into attics, crawl spaces, checking the electrical system and climbing ladders make sure they have a good liability and errors/omissions insurance in order to cover everyone involved in the transaction.
Inspectors should be prepared to protect themselves and their clients from the unique challenges posed by flood-damaged buildings.
Hazards in and around flood-damaged buildings include the risks of:
Child-Proofing Your Home: 12 Safety Devices to Protect Your Children
by Nick Gromicko and Kate Tarasenko
About 2.5 million children are injured or killed by hazards in the home each year. The good news is that many of these incidents can be prevented by using simple child-safety devices on the market today. Any safety device you buy should be sturdy enough to prevent injury to your child, yet easy for you to use. It's important to follow installation instructions carefully.
In addition, if you have older children in the house, be sure they re-secure safety devices. Remember, too, that no device is completely childproof; determined youngsters have been known to disable them. You can childproof your home for a fraction of what it would cost to have a professional do it. And safety devices are easy to find. You can buy them at hardware stores, baby equipment shops, supermarkets, drug stores, home and linen stores, and through online and mail-order catalogues.
InterNACHI inspectors, too, should know what to tell clients who are concerned about the safety of their children. Here are some child-safety devices that can help prevent many injuries to young children.
1. Use safety latches and locks for cabinets and drawers in kitchens, bathrooms, and other areas to help prevent poisonings and other injuries. Safety latches and locks on cabinets and drawers can help prevent children from gaining access to medicines and household cleaners, as well as knives and other sharp objects.
Look for safety latches and locks that adults can easily install and use, but that are sturdy enough to withstand pulls and tugs from children. Safety latches are not a guarantee of protection, but they can make it more difficult for children to reach dangerous substances. Even products with child-resistant packaging should be locked away out of reach; this packaging is not childproof.
But, according to Colleen Driscoll, executive director of the International Association for Child Safety (IAFCS), "Installing an ineffective latch on a cabinet is not an answer for helping parents with safety. It is important to understand parental habits and behavior. While a latch that loops around cabinet knob covers is not expensive and easy to install, most parents do not consistently re-latch it."
Parents should be sure to purchase and install safety products that they will actually adapt to and use.
2. Use safety gates to help prevent falls down stairs and to keep children away from dangerous areas. Look for safety gates that children cannot dislodge easily, but that adults can open and close without difficulty. For the top of stairs, gates that screw into the wall are more secure than "pressure gates."
New safety gates that meet safety standards display a certification seal from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). If you have an older safety gate, be sure it doesn't have "V" shapes that are large enough for a child's head and neck to fit into.
3. Use door locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers, including swimming pools.
To prevent access to swimming pools, door locks on safety gates should be placed high, out of reach of young children. Locks should be used in addition to fences and alarms. Sliding glass doors with locks that must be re-secured after each use are often not an effective barrier to pool access.
Door knob covers, while inexpensive and recommended by some, are generally not effective for children who are tall enough to reach the doorknob; a child's ingenuity and persistence can usually trump the cover's effectiveness.
4. Use anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads, and set your water heater temperature to 120° F to help prevent burns from hot water. A plumber may need to install these.
5. Use smoke detectors on every level of your home and near bedrooms to alert you to fires. Smoke detectors are essential safety devices for protection against fire deaths and injuries. Check smoke detectors once a month to make sure they're working. If detectors are battery-operated, change batteries at least once a year, or consider using 10-year batteries.
6. Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks and landings. Window guards and safety netting for balconies and decks can help prevent serious falls. Check these safety devices frequently to make sure they are secure and properly installed and maintained. There should be no more than 4 inches between the bars of the window guard. If you have window guards, be sure at least one window in each room can be easily used for escape in a fire. Window screens are not effective for preventing children from falling out of windows.
7. Use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces. Corner and edge bumpers can be used with furniture and fireplace hearths to help prevent injuries from falls, and to soften falls against sharp and rough edges.
Be sure to look for bumpers that stay securely on furniture and hearth edges.
8. Use receptacle or outlet covers and plates to help prevent children from electrical shock and possible electrocution.
Be sure the outlet protectors cannot be easily removed by children and are large enough so that children cannot choke on them.
9. Use a carbon monoxide (CO) detector outside bedrooms to help prevent CO poisoning. Consumers should install CO detectors near sleeping areas in their homes. Households that should use CO detectors include those with gas or oil heat or with attached garages.
10. Cut window blind cords to help prevent children from strangling in blind-cord loops. Window blind cord safety tassels on miniblinds and tension devices on vertical blinds and drapery cords can help prevent deaths and injuries from strangulation in the loops of cords. Inner cord stops can help prevent strangulation in the inner cords of window blinds.
However, the IAFCS's Ms. Driscoll states, "Cordless is best. Although not all families are able to replace all products, it is important that parents understand that any corded blind or window treatment can still be a hazard. Unfortunately, children are still becoming entrapped in dangerous blind cords despite advances in safety in recent years."
For older miniblinds, cut the cord loop, remove the buckle, and put safety tassels on each cord. Be sure that older vertical blinds and drapery cords have tension or tie-down devices to hold the cords tight. When buying new miniblinds, vertical blinds and draperies, ask for safety features to prevent child strangulation.
11. Use door stops and door holders to help prevent injuries to fingers and hands. Door stops and door holders on doors and door hinges can help prevent small fingers and hands from being pinched or crushed in doors and door hinges.
Be sure any safety device for doors is easy to use and is not likely to break into small parts, which could be a choking hazard for young children.
12. Use a cell or cordless phone to make it easier to continuously watch young children, especially when they're in bathtubs, swimming pools, or other potentially dangerous areas. Cordless phones help you watch your child continuously without leaving the vicinity to answer a phone call. Cordless phones are especially helpful when children are in or near water, whether it's the bathtub, the swimming pool, or the beach.
In summary, there are a number of different safety devices that can be purchased to ensure the safety of children in the home. Homeowners can ask an InterNACHI inspector about these and other safety measures during their next inspection. Parents should be sure to do their own consumer research to find the most effective safety devices for their home that are age-appropriate for their children's protection, as well as affordable and compatible with their household habits and lifestyles.