Edmonton Home Inspections, Home Inspector
Library 2017-05-11T03:29:12+00:00

Aluminum Wiring

May 11th, 2017|0 Comments

by Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard Between approximately 1965 and 1973, single-strand aluminum wiring was sometimes substituted for copper branch-circuit wiring in residential electrical systems due to the sudden escalating price of copper. After a decade of use by homeowners and electricians, inherent weaknesses were discovered in the metal that lead to its disuse as a branch wiring material. Although properly maintained aluminum wiring is acceptable, aluminum will generally become defective faster than copper due to certain qualities inherent in the [...]

A Garage Inspection

May 11th, 2017|0 Comments

By Kenton Shepard   This is the exterior of a townhome I was asked to inspect. During the inspection, I ran into a neighbor who told me that the roof of another garage, identical to the one pictured above two buildings down, had collapsed the previous winter under a snow load. So, I decided to keep my eyes wide open as I went through the garage. Above:  trusses and truss connections Some defects you have to search for, and some are pretty obvious. [...]

Pre-Inspected Listings, The Future of Real Estate

March 8th, 2017|0 Comments

Pre-Inspected Listings, The Future of Real Estate Home inspections have traditionally been for the benefit of the purchaser. Pre-inspected listings benefit all parties - purchasers, vendors and Realtors. Deals Won't Fall Through Home inspections, performed as a condition of the offer, can kill deals. Sometimes this is because the purchaser gets cold feet; sometimes there's a big problem no one knew about. Sometimes it is because the house has been misrepresented; sometimes it is because the home inspector scared the purchasers [...]

Vague Real Estate Terms

March 8th, 2017|0 Comments

Vague Real Estate Terms Through the years humorous articles have been written poking fun at comments in real estate ads. We all know that "close to public transportation" should be interpreted as "built over the subway". But the following are vague real estate terms that can get real estate salespeople into trouble. The age of consumerism has become the age of litigation, and the following terms should be avoided or used judiciously. New Roof The term "roof" is misleading in that [...]

Home Improvement Costs

March 8th, 2017|0 Comments

Home Improvement Costs The following costs are intended as ballpark estimates for repairs and/or improvements to a typical three bedroom home. Our experience has shown that actual contractor quotations can vary by as much as 300%. Naturally, the quality of workmanship and materials will influence costs. The complexity of the job, accessibility and even economic conditions can also alter actual costs.   Roofing / Flashings / Chimneys Install conventional asphalt shingles over existing shingles $2.00 - $4.00 per sq.ft. Strip and [...]

Knob and Tube Wiring

March 4th, 2017|0 Comments

In recent months, a number of our clients have discovered that they can't obtain insurance for the house they are about to buy, because it has knob and tube wiring. No insurance-no mortgage. No mortgage-no real estate transaction. Needless to say, we have had a number of concerned home buyers and realtors calling us to find out why we said the house was OK and yet the insurance company says it's not. A significant number of insurance companies now consider knob [...]

Alberta Home Inspection Contract

Forces Home Inspections Inc.

Report will be delivered within 24hrs of inspection.

Address of dwelling being inspected;

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING.

The Inspection of this property is subject to the Limitations and Conditions set out in this Agreement. It is based on a visual examination of the readily accessible features of the building.  The Inspection is performed in accordance with the Standards of Practice of the Canadian Standards Association CAN/CSA-A770-16.

 

The Home Inspector’s report is an opinion of the present condition of the property. The Inspection and report are not a guarantee, warranty or an insurance policy with regards to the property.

The inspection report is for the exclusive use of the client named above.  No use of the information by any other party is intended.

 

LIMITATIONS AND CONDITIONS OF THE HOME INSPECTION

 

There are limitations to the scope of this Inspection.  It provides a general overview of the more obvious repairs that may be needed.  It is not intended to be an exhaustive list. The ultimate decision of what to repair or replace is yours.  One homeowner may decide that certain conditions require repair or replacement, while another will not.  This inspection will be non-invasive unless the parties agree to specified invasive procedures.

 

 

 

1) THE INSPECTION IS NOT TECHNICALLY EXHAUSTIVE.

The Home Inspection provides you with a basic overview of the condition of the property.   Because your Home Inspector has only a limited amount of time to go through the property, the Inspection is not technically exhaustive.

Some conditions noted, such as foundation cracks or other signs of settling in a house, may either be cosmetic or may indicate a potential problem that is beyond the scope of the Home Inspection.

If you are concerned about any conditions noted in the Home Inspection Report, we strongly recommend that you consult a qualified Licensed Contractor or Consulting Engineer.   These professionals can provide a more detailed analysis of any conditions noted in the Report at an additional cost

 

2) THE INSPECTION IS AN OPINION OF THE PRESENT CONDITION OF THE VISIBLE COMPONENTS.

The Home Inspector’s Report is an opinion of the present condition of the property. It is based on a visual examination of the readily accessible features of the building.

A Home Inspection does not include identifying defects that are hidden behind walls, floors or ceilings. This includes wiring, heating, cooling, structure, plumbing and insulation that are hidden or inaccessible.

Some intermittent problems may not be obvious on a Home Inspection because they only happen under certain circumstances. As an example, your Home Inspector may not discover leaks that occur only during certain weather conditions or when a specific tap or appliance is being used in everyday life.

Home Inspectors will not find conditions that may only be visible when storage or furniture is moved.  They do not remove wall coverings (including wallpaper) or lift flooring (including carpet) or move storage to look underneath or behind.

 

3) WE DO NOT COMMENT ON THE QUALITY OF AIR IN A BUILDING.

The Inspector does not try to determine if there are irritants, pollutants, contaminants, or toxic materials in or around the building.

The Inspection does not include spores, fungus, mold or mildew that may be present. You should note that whenever there is water damage noted in the report, there is a possibility that mold or mildew may be present, unseen behind a wall, floor or ceiling.

If anyone in your home suffers from allergies or heightened sensitivity to quality of air, we strongly recommend that you consult a qualified Environmental Consultant who can test for toxic materials, mold and allergens at additional cost.

 

4) WE DON’T LOOK FOR BURIED TANKS.

Your Home Inspector does not look for and is not responsible for fuel oil, septic or gasoline tanks that may be buried on the property.  If the building had its heating system converted from oil, there will always be the possibility that a tank may remain buried on the property.

If fuel oil or other storage tanks remain on the property, you may be responsible for their removal and the safe disposal of any contaminated soil.   If you suspect there is a buried tank, we strongly recommend that you retain a qualified Environmental Consultant to determine whether this is a potential problem.

 

5) TIME TO INVESTIGATE

We will have no liability for any claim or complaint if conditions have been disturbed, altered, repaired, replaced or otherwise changed before we have had a reasonable period of time to investigate.

 

6) DOES NOT INCLUDE OUTBUILDINGS

Outbuildings such as sheds, bunk houses , pools, play structures, fences are not included except where they are connected physically to the inspected structures.  Detached garages and carports are included in the inspection.

 

7) REPORT IS FOR OUR CLIENT ONLY

The inspection report is for the exclusive use of the client named herein and will be provided within 24hrs of the inspection date.  No use of the information by any other party is intended.

 

8) CANCELLATION FEE

If the inspection is cancelled within 24 hours of the appointment time, a cancellation fee of 50% of the inspection fee will apply.

 

 

9) NOT A GUARANTEE, WARRANTY OR INSURANCE POLICY.

The inspection is not a guarantee, warranty or an insurance policy with regard to the fitness of the property.

 

 

10) THE INSPECTION DOES NOT INCLUDE HAZARDOUS MATERIALS.                                          Int_________

This includes building materials that are now suspected of posing a risk to health such as phenol-formaldehyde and urea-formaldehyde based insulation, fiberglass insulation and vermiculite insulation. The Inspector does not identify asbestos, asbestos roofing, siding, wall, ceiling or floor finishes, insulation or fireproofing. We do not look for lead or other toxic metals in such things as pipes, paint or window coverings.

The Inspection does not deal with environmental hazards such as the past use of insecticides, fungicides, herbicides or pesticides.   The Home Inspector does not look for, or comment on, the past use of chemical termite treatments in or around the property.

 

 

I have read, understood, and accepted the above Limitations and Conditions of this Home Inspection.

 

 

_____________________________________                                     ________________________________

Inspector                                             (DD-MMM-YY)                                  Client(Print/Signature)  (DD-MMM-YY)

Kyle Turner

Inspector License#: 345245

Aluminum Wiring

by Nick Gromicko and Kenton Shepard Between approximately 1965 and 1973, single-strand aluminum wiring was sometimes substituted for copper branch-circuit wiring in residential electrical systems due to the sudden escalating price of copper. After a decade of use by homeowners and electricians, inherent weaknesses were discovered in the metal that lead to its disuse as a branch wiring material. Although properly maintained aluminum wiring is acceptable, aluminum will generally become defective faster than copper due to certain qualities inherent in the metal. Neglected connections in outlets, switches and light fixtures containing aluminum wiring become increasingly dangerous over time. Poor connections cause wiring to overheat, creating a potential fire hazard. In addition, the presence of single-strand aluminum wiring may void a home’s insurance policies. Inspectors may instruct their clients to talk with their insurance agents about whether the presence of aluminum wiring in their home is a problem that requires changes to their policy language. Facts and Figures On April, 28, 1974, two people were killed in a house fire in Hampton Bays, New York. Fire officials determined that the fire was caused by a faulty aluminum wire connection at an outlet. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), "Homes wired with aluminum wire manufactured before 1972 ['old technology' aluminum wire] are 55 times more likely to have one or more connections reach "Fire Hazard Conditions" than is a home wired with copper." Aluminum as a [...]

By | May 11th, 2017|Categories: Electrical|0 Comments

A Garage Inspection

By Kenton Shepard   This is the exterior of a townhome I was asked to inspect. During the inspection, I ran into a neighbor who told me that the roof of another garage, identical to the one pictured above two buildings down, had collapsed the previous winter under a snow load. So, I decided to keep my eyes wide open as I went through the garage. Above:  trusses and truss connections Some defects you have to search for, and some are pretty obvious. These first two defects were obvious from the doorway: improper alterations; and improper bearing points. Trusses cannot be altered in any way without the approval of a structural engineer. When you see plywood gussets added at truss connections like these triangular gussets, then an alteration of some sort has obviously been made and you have to recommend evaluation by a structural engineer.  So, that condition went into the report Trusses are designed to bear loads at very specific points. Typical roof trusses should not touch any interior walls and should bear only on the exterior walls. The two trusses at the left of the above photo are bearing on an offset portion of the garage wall. A portion of the structural roof load was being transferred to the bottom chords of the trusses at a point at which they were not designed to support a load. Above:  the connection Then I walked over and looked more closely [...]

By | May 11th, 2017|Categories: Structures|Tags: , |0 Comments

Pre-Inspected Listings, The Future of Real Estate

Pre-Inspected Listings, The Future of Real Estate Home inspections have traditionally been for the benefit of the purchaser. Pre-inspected listings benefit all parties - purchasers, vendors and Realtors. Deals Won't Fall Through Home inspections, performed as a condition of the offer, can kill deals. Sometimes this is because the purchaser gets cold feet; sometimes there's a big problem no one knew about. Sometimes it is because the house has been misrepresented; sometimes it is because the home inspector scared the purchasers by not explaining that minor and typical problems are just that - minor and typical. If the home inspection is performed prior to the house being listed, all parties will be aware of the physical condition of the house before an offer is drawn. There will be no surprises after the fact. Deals will not fall through. Pre-inspected Listings Avoid Renegotiation In a buyers' market, most houses have to be sold twice. It takes a lot of work to get a signed Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Then the home inspection is done and the purchaser wants to renegotiate. If all parties know the condition of the house prior to the offer, there is no need for renegotiation. As most real estate agents know, renegotiation is very difficult. Vendors have already mentally sold the house; purchasers are suffering buyers' remorse. Egos, pride and frustration can muddy the already emotional waters. A vendor who pays for [...]

By | March 8th, 2017|Categories: Advice|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Vague Real Estate Terms

Vague Real Estate Terms Through the years humorous articles have been written poking fun at comments in real estate ads. We all know that "close to public transportation" should be interpreted as "built over the subway". But the following are vague real estate terms that can get real estate salespeople into trouble. The age of consumerism has become the age of litigation, and the following terms should be avoided or used judiciously. New Roof The term "roof" is misleading in that it implies the roof covering plus the roof sheathing, rafters or trusses. The word "new" is rather nebulous as well. "Shingles replaced in 1990" is a more accurate description. Updated Wiring Does updated wiring mean the size of the service has been increased or additional circuits have been added? Does it mean that the older knob tube wiring has been torn out (which is usually not necessary)? Sometimes it means that the old outlets have been replaced with modern-looking ones, however the wiring has not been changed at all. A better approach may be to comment on the adequacy of the incoming service and more importantly the adequacy of the distribution network. Both of these however, are very difficult to assess without a solid understanding of electricity. We all know that you cannot determine the size of an electrical service by reading the sticker on the main box in the basement. It may be best [...]

By | March 8th, 2017|Categories: Technical|Tags: |0 Comments

Home Improvement Costs

Home Improvement Costs The following costs are intended as ballpark estimates for repairs and/or improvements to a typical three bedroom home. Our experience has shown that actual contractor quotations can vary by as much as 300%. Naturally, the quality of workmanship and materials will influence costs. The complexity of the job, accessibility and even economic conditions can also alter actual costs.   Roofing / Flashings / Chimneys Install conventional asphalt shingles over existing shingles $2.00 - $4.00 per sq.ft. Strip and reshingle with conventional asphalt shingles $2.75- $5.50 per sq.ft. Strip and reshingle with premium quality asphalt shingles $5.00 - $10.00 per sq .ft. Strip and re-roof with cedar shingles $9.00 - $18.00 per sq .ft. Strip and replace built-up tar and gravel roof $10.00 - $20.00 per sq.ft. (min. $1000) Strip and replace single-ply membrane $10.00 - $20.00 per sq.ft. (min. $1000) Reflash typical skylight or chimney $500.00 - $1000.00 Rebuild typical chimney above roof line $25.00 - $50.00 per row of bricks (min. $400) Rebuild typical single flue chimney above roof line $200.00 - $400.00 per lin.ft. (min. $1000) Exterior Install galvanized or aluminum gutters and downspouts $5.00 - $10.00 per lin.ft. (min. $500) Install aluminum soffits and fascia $8.00 - $16.00 per lin.ft. Install aluminum or vinyl siding $6.00 - $12.00 per sq.ft. Repoint exterior wall (soft mortar) $3.00 - 6.00 per sq.ft. (min. $500) Repoint exterior wall (hard mortar) $5.00 - $10.00 [...]

By | March 8th, 2017|Categories: Home Maintenance and Improvement|Tags: |0 Comments

Knob and Tube Wiring

In recent months, a number of our clients have discovered that they can't obtain insurance for the house they are about to buy, because it has knob and tube wiring. No insurance-no mortgage. No mortgage-no real estate transaction. Needless to say, we have had a number of concerned home buyers and realtors calling us to find out why we said the house was OK and yet the insurance company says it's not. A significant number of insurance companies now consider knob and tube wiring unsafe or a significantly higher risk. We disagree. It requires two wires (normally a black one and a white one) to create a circuit. With modern wiring, these two wires (along with a ground wire) are bundled together in a single plastic sheathing. Older knob and tube wiring was installed so that the black wire and the white wire ran separately. It was installed in houses up until about 1950. Modern wiring runs directly through holes in the structural components (such as floor joists). Knob and tube wiring used protective ceramic tubes placed in the holes to prevent the wire from chafing against the woodwork. Modern wiring uses staples to hold the wiring against structural members. Knob and tube wiring used more elaborate ceramic knobs to clamp the wire to the structural member. Connections between modern wires are completed within enclosed junction boxes. Knob and tube wiring had visible connections. The wires [...]

By | March 4th, 2017|Categories: Electrical, Technical|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Condensation

There are two rules at work here: When warm moist air touches something cool, condensation will form. Warm air can hold a lot of moisture; cold air cannot. (While warm air can hold a lot of moisture, it doesn't necessarily have to. Take a trip to Arizona). Despite the threats of global warming, it's still pretty cold outside in the winter. Consequently, windows are cold. If the inner glass surface is extremely cold, condensation (in the form of water or ice) will form, even in a house which has normal indoor humidity. This, believe it or not, is the principle reason for storm windows. The exterior pane of glass provides enough of a buffer zone, that the surface temperature of the interior pane of glass stays warm enough, and condensation is less likely to form. After doing what we can to raise the temperature of cool surfaces, we should turn our attention to reducing the moisture in the air. The easiest way to maintain low humidity levels is to buy an old house that is not particularly well sealed. Admittedly, the house might be drafty but the drafts mean that cold outside air is sneaking into the house. When that cold air warms up it will have very low humidity. Similarly, warm air that has picked up moisture from cooking, bathing, etc is flushed out of the house. Unfortunately, this approach flies in the face of [...]

By | March 2nd, 2017|Categories: Insulation and Ventilation|Tags: , , , |0 Comments
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