It is difficult to discuss pre-drywall or framing inspections here in Georgia without taking a historical look at framing workmanship. For years, men learned construction from their fathers, learned on-site as apprentices or attended trade schools and studied construction. The quality of residential construction was quite good and consistent through the 1960s and 70s. There are many homes from that era that have withstood the test of time. This article will only deal with the carpenters building the house. These folks were unique in a strange way. The electricians, plumbers and heating, ventilating and air conditioning workers were all trades people that were licensed by the State and were already required to follow national codes specific to their industry. Not so with the guys actually building the house.
We have completed a thorough inspection of the home. We have looked in all the nooks and crannies. And now it is time to put our observations and recommendations in the inspection report. Providing a written inspection report is one of the few requirements the State of Georgia places on home inspectors. If the customer accompanied the inspector during the inspection and the inspector discussed the items that need attention then part of the job has been done. If the other extreme was the case and the customer was not at the inspection then the report must be sure to accurately describe problem items, where they were located and what the recommendations for correction might be.
During a home inspection, if you ever want to raise the level of anxiety in a room with a prospective home buyer and a real estate agent, bring up the topic of Radon. The discussion and level of awareness of Radon and its effects has improved over the years as home buyers have become much more knowledgeable of this cancer causing gas. This article is only intended to give an over-view of Radon and is based on a three hour class Edifice provides for the real estate community. Although there are numerous references for the studying of Radon, this article and the class it is taken from will use information provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA website is epa.gov/Radon
There always seems to be several sections in some home inspection reports that stir more disagreement and confusion than most. One of those is the discussions of and recommendations for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) and Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) found or not found in the home. Hopefully, this article will help to relieve some of the stress and establish a basis for the discussion of those electrical devices. The best place to start is with a non-technical definition of each of these devices and then an explanation of how they operate and why they are used.
This article is the last in the series that actually follows the home inspection process as we go through the property. We started with the Grounds with Article 2 and will finish up with the bath rooms and kitchen. Future articles will be topic specific but still related to home inspections and the real estate process.
The first thing you have to do when inspecting bath rooms is to identify which one you are talking about. Sink faucets, drains, water shut-offs, are inspected for proper operation and any leaking. All faucets are also checked to be sure the hot and cold water are not reversed and that there is sufficient water flow to all fixtures. Loose sinks can cause water leaks and actually move out of position if not properly fastened and sealed. Toilets have to be sufficiently secured to prevent movement. Fittings and the surrounding flooring are checked for evidence of leaking. Sufficient water flow is checked and also that the fill kit shuts the water off when the storage tank is full.