Knoxville Home Inspection Reveals HVAC Deficiency

April 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

On a recent Knoxville home inspection, I came across a package heat pump unit that did not have a condensate drain or trap installed.  This omission allows condensate to accumulate inside the unit, and prevents proper drainage.  If the air handler is installed inside the house or in an attic space, moisture can fill the primary catch pan and spill over into the secondary pan under the HVAC unit.  Standing water can present a health hazard and corrosion issues.  To ensure proper operation, the condensate drain should be complete with a manufacturer-recommended drain trap.

To discuss your Knoxville home inspection, please call Dan Endsley at (865) 591-1121, or schedule on this website 24/7.

Knoxville Home Inspector Reveals Dangerous Condition

February 12, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

This is a video of an electrical hazard I discovered while doing a west Knoxville home inspection.   A large tree branch had fallen, and was being supported by the home’s electrical service drop.  The weight of this branch could pull the service drop conductors off the house, and present an immediate life safety issue.  Having your new home thoroughly checked by a professional Knoxville home inspector before closing will give you the peace of mind you deserve.

5 Questions for Screening Knoxville Home Inspectors

January 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

I am constantly amazed how many potential Knoxville home inspection clients call about my services, and ask only one question … “How much do you charge?”  While this is an important question, it’s not even close to being the most important question you should ask.  Most Knoxville home inspectors will price their inspections on a given house very similarly, usually within $50 from one inspector to another.  And the difference in the quality of the inspection and report you receive can vary greatly.  So, in addition to the “How much do you charge?” question, here are 5 questions you should ask before hiring anyone to inspect your Knoxville area home.

1) How long have you been a TN licensed home inspector, and how many inspections have you completed?

Although everybody has to start somewhere, and I appreciate all the clients who hired me during my first year as an inspector,  I realize now that becoming proficient in the home inspection business requires experience and practice.  Make sure your inspector has at least a few years experience under his belt, and has completed at least a few hundred inspections.

2)  How long do your home inspections last?

For an average sized (2000 sq ft) single family house, your inspector should generally set aside 2 – 3 hours for the on-site inspection.  If he estimates significantly less than 2 hours, you should expect a substandard inspection.

3) When will I receive the home inspection report?

Some Knoxville home inspectors advertise on-site report writing, which means the customer will receive the electronic or printed report as soon as the inspection is over.  While this may appear to be of benefit to the client, this system of reporting never worked for me.  First, the client rarely needs the home inspection report immediately.  I always give a full verbal summary after every inspection, so if immediate contract negotiations are necessary, my clients already know what will be noted in the report and can proceed.  Second, I would not trust myself (or any inspector) to throw together a report on-site, and have found that my reports are much more complete and accurate when I have time to organize my notes and thoughts before sending out the report.  I usually spend about 2 hours on each report, and these are sent via email the same day as the inspection.

4)  Do you belong to any professional associations (ASHI, NACHI, HITA)?

While this does not guarantee your inspector will be competent in the home inspection field, it certainly doesn’t hurt.  Home inspectors who join and stay active in professional associations like ASHI, NACHI and HITA are more likely to stay up-to-date on their knowledge and skills, and also have a community of Knoxville home inspectors to consult if needed.  I have personally found these associations to be helpful and encouraging in my professional development.

5)  Will I be able to attend and participate in the home inspection?

Some Knoxville home inspection clients are timid about shadowing the inspector, or actively asking questions as he goes about his business.  This is your time to get involved, and learn about your new house.  You have paid for the inspector’s time … get your money’s worth.  If an inspector sounds at all apprehensive when asked this question, it’s time to keep looking.  Find an inspector who sounds approachable and accommodating.  You may have several interactions with this individual before you close the deal on your new place, and you need to be sure you’re comfortable with him.

If you are thorough in your questioning and research of potential Knoxville home inspectors, you will greatly improve your chances of being completely satisfied with your choice.

Knoxville Home Inspection Reports: A Tool For Buyers

January 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Every Knoxville home inspection I have completed through the years revealed at least a handful of items that I considered noteworthy.  These noted items are always carefully described in my inspection reports, which are sent to my clients (usually homebuyers) to be used in further contract negotiation or otherwise as they see fit.

In my dealings with some Realtors and several homebuyers, I have come to realize that there is some confusion about how the home inspection report should be used in a real estate transaction.  Last year, I was called to re-inspect a Knoxville home for a young first-time homebuyer after the sellers had supposedly made the recommended repairs.  One item that was not repaired was a roofing condition that I considered fairly important.  The young buyer told me that the sellers refused to repair the condition because my inspection report recommended that the condition be “evaluated by a roofing contractor”.  He argued that because I hadn’t recommended “evaluation and repair”, he had no responsibility to fix it.  Ridiculous!

Home inspection reports should be used by homebuyers as a tool to re-negotiate their purchase contract, if necessary.  Rather than allowing the seller to interpret the home inspection report to his benefit, homebuyers should interpret the report for themselves, then request repairs they deem necessary.  My clients have used my Knoxville home inspection reports to help them save hundreds of thousands of dollars through the years – new HVAC units, new windows, new roofs, etc.  This has always driven me to give my best effort for every client.

Knoxville Home Inspector Discovers Crazy Drain

July 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I did a home inspection in a neighboring county last week for a young couple who was planning to buy a home from their landlord. They showed maturity beyond their years when they decided to decided do internet research on Knoxville home inspectors, and have the home professionally inspected before they closed the deal.

Here’s what I found under the kitchen sink:

It always amazes me how much effort a person will put into doing a job incorrectly.  These young buyers knew the drain wasn’t done the right way, but I don’t think they realized just how ridiculous this drain configuration really was!  You can trust The House Scout with your Knoxville home inspection.

Knoxville Home Inspection Reveals Troubled Crawlspace

June 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A few weeks ago, I was called by a Knoxville area realtor to do a home inspection for one of her clients, a first-time homebuyer.  The house was a small one, less than 800 square feet.  The buyer was getting “a deal” on the place and felt he had looked it over pretty closely, and fortunately he decided to take his real estate agent’s recommendation and hire a professional Knoxville home inspector before closing.

The home had many of the problems commonly found in foreclosed properties:  damaged floorcoverings and drywall, minor electrical wiring concerns, and questionable plumbing system condition due to no water service at time of inspection.  These were all items the buyer considered acceptable in light of the attractive purchase price.  However, when I emerged from the tiny crawlspace access hatch, I knew his purchase decision would require more thought and consideration.

The crawlspace under this house was moisture-laden, the ground was saturated, there was evidence of past standing water, floor framing was significantly moisture-damaged, and I was a muddy mess.  Because of the difficult access to this area, I assume the previous owners may not have realized what the conditions were beneath them, or how they might have deteriorated over the years.

Knoxville home inspectors come across surprises like this every week.  For me, it’s very satisfying to know I have protected my client from making an uninformed purchase.  Don’t take a chance on your next home purchase!  You can trust The House Scout with your Knoxville home inspection.

Maryville TN Home Inspection Reveals Electrical Hazard

May 30, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Last week I was called to do a Maryville TN home inspection for a couple buying a house from an estate.  In these situations, hiring a professional Maryville home inspector is especially important because the sellers are no longer around to answer important questions for buyers.  And family members often live in other parts of the country, and may have limited information about the house anyway.

After removing the cover from the electrical breaker panel in the garage, I noticed some discoloration and bubbled insulation on the neutral service entrance cable.  I expected to see evidence of a loose connection between the neutral lug and the stranded cable.  Then I noticed a drywall screw wedged behind the neutral lug, with evidence of overheating in the immediate area.  I advised my client about this hazard when he arrived, and recommended evaluation and repair by a licensed electrician.  He said he had some experience with household wiring and felt he might be able to take care of the problem himself.  What he didn’t realize is that to make this repair, the electric meter would have to be pulled.  In most jurisdictions, this requires a licensed electrician to pull an electrical work permit with the local codes department before making the repair.

By having this house professionally inspected before closing, my client was able to determine which repairs he could safely do himself and which ones would require a licensed tradesman.  And if he negotiated these repairs with the sellers before closing, he very likely got back the home inspection fee many times over.  Get the peace of mind you deserve!  You can trust your Maryville TN home inspection to The House Scout. 

Knoxville Home Inspector Gets Realtor Review

May 18, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Dan,
 
I want to THANK YOU for providing a valuable service to my client.  Your professionalism is evident. My client was extremely pleased with the inspection and felt that you covered every aspect and provided the necessary information to let them to make informed decisions.  You were very much at ease and made them feel confortable throughout the whole inspection.
I even understand that he contacted you after you completed the inspection with some additional concerns.  I enjoyed the interaction that you had with my clients and the honest responses from you.
I feel that we will have a long lasting relationship.  Looking forward to working with you in the future.
 
Susan S., Knoxville area Realtor
 

Knoxville Home Inspection 101: Do I Really Need an Inspection?

April 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

So you’ve found a house you love, and your real estate agent recommends that you have the home inspected. She even provides you with a few names of home inspectors she knows and trusts. But you can’t help but wonder, “Do I really need to have this done?” and “Will it really be worth the money?”

These are very common questions for homebuyers, especially first-time or relatively inexperienced homebuyers, who may not realize that they could potentially end up owning a “money pit”. Imagine the disappointment and frustration you would feel if you closed the deal on your new home, then quickly realized it had a laundry list of problems no one had ever mentioned! Shouldn’t the sellers have told you everything? Maybe, but that doesn’t always happen, and now you’re left with a bunch of unexpected expenses.

A professional home inspection is your safeguard against closing on a house that may not be as it appears on the surface. Although home inspectors conduct only visual inspections (they don’t cut access holes in drywall or pull up carpet), they are usually so thorough that the potential homeowner gets an accurate description of the condition of the home. With this information they can make a well-informed home-buying decision.

Knoxville home inspection fees vary by geographical area, house size, house age and other factors, but a good starting estimate would be $300 to $400 for a medium sized home. Sounds like a lot of money, but let’s see what you get. Most reputable Knoxville home inspectors would spend 3+ hours on site doing the physical work of the inspection, and then another hour or two putting together a comprehensive inspection report. This report would describe systems and components present in the home. It would also specify areas of concern, which could include such things as heating and cooling systems not functioning as intended, hazardous conditions inside electrical breaker panels, and damaged or rotted floor framing seen in the crawl space. Items like these would most likely go unnoticed during a casual “walk through” of the property, which is the extent of inspection most buyers do before making a decision.

Because a professional home inspector is viewed as an unbiased third party, his opinions and notations carry a lot of weight in the home buying process. With a comprehensive inspection report in hand, homebuyers are well-equipped to renegotiate their purchase contracts, if they decide to do so. And as a result, they commonly get the home inspection fee back many times over at the closing table. Spending a few hundred dollars on a professional home inspection before a home purchase can save the buyer thousands in the end.

Knoxville home inspector review

March 29, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Dan was ABSOLUTELY the right choice for our home inspector. I had a business emergency and had to leave before our scheduled appointment and when I explained this to him the night before I would have to leave he made sure to be there the very next morning so that I was able to be present for the inspection. I interviewed several potential inspectors and when it comes down to it, the owner of the business that you speak to on the phone is rarely the person who comes out and does the actual inspection. Most often you’ll get a young employee who may be experienced but will be more likely to cut corners when it comes to getting into some of the dirty/hard to reach places. I own my own business and I know that when I’m on site the quality of work is much higher than when I send an employee with less experience. That’s why I was happy to hear that I’d be meeting “The House Scout“, in person. Dan did a very thorough inspection lasting around 3 hours in which he crawled into many hard to reach places to examine for any potential … our home inspector. I had a business emergency and had to leave before our scheduled appointment and when I explained this to him the night before I would have to leave he made sure to be there the very next morning so that I was able to be present for the inspection. I interviewed several potential inspectors and when it comes down to it, the owner of the business that you speak to on the phone is rarely the person who comes out and does the actual inspection. Most often you’ll get a young employee who may be experienced but will be more likely to cut corners when it comes to getting into some of the dirty/hard to reach places. I own my own business and I know that when I’m on site the quality of work is much higher than when I send an employee with less experience. That’s why I was happy to hear that I’d be meeting “The House Scout“, in person. Dan did a very thorough inspection lasting around 3 hours in which he crawled into many hard to reach places to examine for any potential problems. He was extremely knowledgable and professional and emailed me my 24 page detailed inspection report that very night. The report was very well put together and included pictures. With his report, it was easy for us to counter the seller and have those problems fixed before we move in. I will definitely use Dan when I purchase a home again, and I know that if you choose “The House Scout” you’ll be in good hands.

- Miles H., Knoxville home inspection client

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