• Many people read “do-it-yourself” books and think they now know everything about construction, home improvement, and even home inspections. But that’s not really the case. With his firm Advantage Inspection based in Raleigh, Dave Park serves the entire Triangle area of North Carolina, and talks here about why it’s important to hire a professional home inspector to carry out your next home inspection, instead of trying to do it yourself…

    Every year the number of home inspections rises. Every year the price of home inspections rises. Every year the “do it yourself” subculture rises. The “do it yourself” subculture is here and is here to stay.  Home improvement stores have commercials that tell you to save money and just do it yourself. And an assortment of television shows pride themselves on showing the average person how to fix it or renovate it or replace it. And at bookstores, shelves are devoted to the weekend warrior.

    At first blush, it might appear that these tools of education and instruction are bad for the home inspection business. business. But, do not worry as you need to consider what all this has all provided for the profession:

    1. They have raised consumer consciousness about the need to have a home inspection.
    2. Sure, people like to be educated, but the DIY culture has made people realize that deep down, they want to hire a professional.
    3. It takes a professional with years of experience to inspect a home in two to three  hours. How long would it take an amateur guided by a book?
    4. People are more aware now of liability: Who wants it and who has it?
    5. Tools. Home inspectors have them, and they know how to use them. Those DIYers do not.
    6. Objectivity. Home inspectors have it. Homeowners can’t have it: That’s why they leave it up to us.
    7. Nobody to blame but yourself. Saving $400 just cost the do-it-yourselfer $4,000 on something that was missed.

    The irony of the do it yourself media, both video and written, is that it carries a disclaimer that warns clients not to get in over their heads. So please just “do it yourself” –  and call in a professional home inspector.

    This interview was conducted by Wendy Sloane, writer with Yodle.

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    . . .  performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 18 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve:  Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.  Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area.
     

    Dave Park 

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    more than just an inspection company!”
    www.adrdu.com

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  • Thomas Paine

    Common Sense is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine. It was first published anonymously on January 10, 1776, during the American Revolution. Common Sense, signed “Written by an Englishman”, became an immediate success.

    Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood; forgoing the philosophy and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, Paine structured Common Sense like a sermon and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.   Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as, “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”

    One of the major concerns in the world today is depletion of energy. As concerned citizens all of us must make a concerted effort to be conscious citizens and save electricity. Electricity has become integral to life but imagine having to live without power.

    Conservation of electricity benefits you personally as you will pay lower bills.

    Consider these “Paine-fully” Simple Common Sense Tips:

    1.            Doing an energy audit. This will tell you how and when you use energy and where the wastage lies. You will be able to make an “energy savings plan” by pinpointing exactly how you can cut back on energy consumption. Some ideas may be as simple as don’t leave the coffee machine on at all times.

    2.            Think about resetting the thermostat ten degrees lower during the night. If you can do this for say approximately eight hours a day you will save 10% on electricity without sacrificing comfort. Insulate the home in winter by drawing shut the drapes.

    3.            Check all insulation in the house. If you increase attic insulation to around 12 inches the electricity consumption will reduce by 20 percent.

    4.            Plant more trees around the house these will cool the house in summer and insulate the house in winter. Studies show that a green cover benefits in many ways.

    5.            Have all electricity wires and outlets checked for leakage. Check all fuses and appliances.

    6.            Fluorescent light bulbs are energy efficient. They use 75% less energy than ordinary light bulbs. These have a longer life and contribute to great savings.

    7.            Use energy efficient appliances. These use less energy and believe it or not a high efficiency refrigerator uses less electricity than a light bulb.

    8.            When you are away even for a few hours or days you should turn off and unplug   all electrical appliances and turn settings on the thermostat, water heater, and refrigerator to   the lowest setting.

    9.            Ensure that you use a water-saving shower head. Water heating costs for a family can be lowered by at least US$ 250 a year.

    10.          Weatherize your home. This helps reduce heating bills by 20% and cooling by at least 10 percent. Even when building a home or decorating it use weather friendly materials—those that are not good conductors of heat and cold. Install windows and glass panes in the roof in such away that you use sunlight to light up the rooms during day light hours. Make an effort to switch off lights and fans when leaving a room. Ensure that the filters in air conditioners and heaters are always cleaned and free of clog and dust.

    Common Sense

    If you live an energy efficient lifestyle you will see the numbers on the energy bill actually reducing. The power to cut energy costs is well within your control. It is as simple as only washing full loads and that to in cold water. Use the hot wash option only for very dirty clothes.  Cook food only just before you are ready to eat that way you can save reheating costs as well as refrigerating costs of storing the food. Turn the thermostat of the refrigerator to minimum in cold or cool weather. Switch off freezers if they are not in use. Small contributions can all add up to significant amounts of power saved. And, power saved means money in the bank.

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    . . .  performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 18 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve:  Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.  Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area.
     

    Dave Park 

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    more than just an inspection company!”
    www.adrdu.com

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  • What is a Home Warranty?

    Often the words “home warranty” used with homeowners not having a clue about what they mean. Well, you can learn a thing or two from Dave Park. He owns the home inspection company Advantage Inspection in Raleigh, North Carolina, and here answers all your home warranty questions.

    What is a home warranty?

    A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of many of the most frequently-occurring breakdowns of home system components and appliances.

    Why do I need a home warranty?

    Your home is most likely one of your biggest investments. Unexpected repair or replacement costs can easily strain your budget. Plus, finding an approved and insured contractor to solve your problem can be stressful and inconvenient. A home warranty cannot prevent systems or appliances from breaking, but it can help make covered repairs or replacement easier and less costly.

    Is everything in my home covered by a home warranty?

    No. While not everything is covered, coverage is, as mentioned, predominantly for many of your home system components and appliances that break most frequently. You need to review a sample contract for specific covered items, terms and conditions, limitations and exclusions.

    How many times can you use a home warranty?

    Usually a home warranty is unlimited during your contract term.

    What if I have an appliance that just can’t be fixed?

    If the home warranty company determines your covered system component or appliance can’t be repaired by a service contractor, it will be replaced. See contract for details.

    What out-of-pocket expenses will I have?

    For each service request, you will pay a Trade Service Call Fee to each contractor of a different trade (such as plumber or electrician) who visits your home to diagnose a problem or perform a service. Additional costs may be associated with the repair or replacement of covered items. Details will be included in your contract. Advantage Home Warranty has the lowest Trade Service Call Fee in the business at $40. See contract for details.

    How do I know my service contractor is qualified?

    Advantage’s comprehensive network of approved and insured contractors are consistently monitored and graded on their performance through our customer satisfaction survey program.

    Is the Advantage Home Warranty (AHW) renewable?

    Yes, warranty holders may renew their AHW coverage (at the option of AHW). We will notify the homeowner prior to the expiration date and will offer a variety of convenient payment plans.

    Is there a limit to the number of repairs Advantage Home Warranty covers?

    No. AHW allows an unlimited number of covered repairs.

    I’m in the market for a home. What’s the benefit of buying a home protected by an Advantage Home Warranty?

    An AHW helps provide confidence during and after a home purchase. An unexpected breakdown can be devastating to your budget. Enjoy your home without the hassles of worrying about breakdowns. When a covered system component or appliance breaks down, call one number to request service. There’s no need to get back in touch with the real estate agent or track down the previous owner.

    I’m selling my home. Why would I want an Advantage Home Warranty?

    An AHW helps give buyers additional confidence in the real estate transaction. They’ll know that AHW stands behind the covered systems or appliances in the house. An added benefit is that we can also protect your home while it’s on the market, which can help you avoid surprises and additional unforeseen repair costs.

    Does Advantage Home Warranty need to inspect my home systems and appliances before I purchase them?

    Yes. How can any company insure your home’s systems without visually looking at the system? A warranty without an inspection is a blind warranty. Advantage’s warranty is a “No Denied Claims” warranty, meaning claims will not be turned down due to pre-existing conditions or inspector error.

    This interview was conducted by Wendy Sloane, writer with Yodle.

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    . . .  performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 18 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve:  Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.  Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area.
     

    Dave Park 

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    more than just an inspection company!”
    www.adrdu.com

    Tags: , , , , ,

  • Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh

    A professional home inspection begins with a comprehensive visual examination of a property.  As a buyer, a thorough home inspection is your first step toward protecting your investment in your new home.

    When you hire a home inspector, you can expect that he or she will carefully examine the property before preparing a written report that describes the construction of the home and the working condition of all its systems. Many inspectors will also include digital photographs of defects, especially in hard-to-reach areas such as the crawlspace, roof and attic.

    The following home inspection checklist outlines all areas a thorough inspection should include.

    General Information
    Persons present during the inspection, approximate age of the structure, construction type and style, weather and soil conditions at the time of inspection, residence type, number of stories and approximate house orientation (direction the house faces).

    Description of the Lot, Grounds and Landscaping
    Grade relative to drainage, yard drains, walks, driveway, landscaping, patio/slabs, outside lighting, dangerous trees or limbs, fences and gates, outside faucets and retaining walls.

    Condition of the Foundation and Basement/Crawlspace/Slab
    For basements: Accessible areas, moisture penetration, piers, foundation walls, floor joists, sills, girders, subfloor, slabs and insulation.

    For crawlspaces: Accessible areas, moisture penetration, sump pump, vapor barrier, piers, foundation walls, floor joists, sills, girders, subfloor, ventilation and insulation.

    For slabs: General condition of viewable components, cracks and signs of settling.

    Condition of the Home’s Exterior
    Siding, shutters, trim rot, paint and caulking, fascia, soffits, eaves, porch, porch rails, stoop, stoop rails, deck, deck rails, doors, sliding doors, garage, garage door openers and windows.

    Current State of and Estimated Life Expectancy of Roof
    Material type, roof style, flashing and roof penetrations, skylights, gutters, downspouts, splash blocks, rafters and other upper framing elements, ceiling joists, roof decking, water penetration, whole house fan, ventilation, insulation and attic access.

    State of Chimney and Fireplace
    General condition, gas logs, damper, chimney condition, flue liner, signs of settling and loose masonry.

    Condition of Electrical System
    Service entrance, service wires (size and types), grounding equipment, main panel, sub panels, over current protection, ground fault protection, 110 volt and 220 volt circuits, receptacles, light fixtures, switches and safety concerns.

    Condition of Heating System
    Unit manufacturer, model number, serial number, location, air temperature rise, general condition, heating unit description, energy source, system type and total capacity relative to area served and approximate age.

    Condition of Cooling System
    Unit manufacturer, model number, serial number, location, air temperature drop, general condition, cooling unit description, energy source, total capacity relative to area served and approximate age.

    Condition of Plumbing System
    Water supply, well pump, water shut offs, water pressure, water pipes, water pipe support, water pipe insulation, water heater, waste water disposal, waste and vent pipes, waste pipe support, plumbing fixtures, laundry connections, dryer exhaust and bathrooms.

    Assessment of All Interior Spaces
    Rooms, floors, walls, smoke alarms, ceilings, stairs and doors.

    Current State of and Estimated Life Expectancy of Permanently Installed Appliances
    Unit manufacturers, dishwasher, disposal, oven and energy source, range and energy source, refrigerator, trash compactor and microwave.

    Final Thoughts on Your New Home Inspection
    Remember that an inspection is simply an examination of the current condition of a home. It is not an appraisal or a municipal code inspection. An inspector, therefore, will not “pass” or “fail” a building, but will simply describe its condition and indicate which items need repairs or replacements.

    You, as a buyer, will find the information contained in the home inspection to be an invaluable resource as you make an offer on the home, negotiate that offer, close the deal, and assume ownership of the home.

    This check list was brought to you by Lowes and Sponsored by Advantage Inspection!

     

     Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    . . .  performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 18 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve:  Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.  Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area.
     

    Dave Park 

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    more than just an inspection company!”
    www.adrdu.com

    Tags: , , , , , , ,

   

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