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.

Home Inspector Knoxville TN Finds Federal Pacific Panel

February 20, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

On a recent home inspection in north Knoxville, I came across a Federal Pacific (FPE) electrical breaker panel installed on the outside of a home.  These panels were popular from the mid-1950′s through the early 80′s.  There are several issues associated with these panels, and I’ll mention a few of them here.

The first problem obvious to a home inspector or electrician is the difficulty encountered in removing the panel cover (deadfront cover).  The FPE breakers are designed so that their handles extend out over the cover opening, making removal of the cover precarious at best.  It’s very likely that an unsuspecting inspector will trip some breakers while removing this cover, and FPE breakers will also tend to “jump off” the bus bar with a little encouragement! 

Secondly, the FPE breaker design often lacks good contact with the bus bars.  The FPE breaker “stab” only touches the bus bar with its edge, at right angles.  This minimal contact area and pressure allows for loose connections between the two pieces of metal, and commonly leads to arcing and overheating in the panel. 

Additionally, FPE breakers have a dismal history of failing to trip when overcurrent conditions exist.  And a breaker is, after all, generically referred to as an overcurrent protection device!  This failure allows conductors inside the home to overheat, and has been the cause of numerous house fires across the country.

In short, Federal Pacific electrical breaker panels may very well be a potential hazard to you and your family.  I’ve found several of these panels while conducting Knoxville home inspections, and they are usually replaced at the seller’s expense before closing. 

Interestingly, this house had a previous inspection conducted by another Knoxville home inspector prior to listing.  The seller showed me the previous report, which mentioned nothing about this dangerous electrical condition.  With a House Scout home inspection report in hand, you’ll be fully aware of dangerous conditions such as this.  You’ll also be in a better position to renegotiate your purchase contract before closing, if necessary.  There are plenty of Knoxville home inspectors around, but none work harder for their clients than The House Scout!

Make sure you don’t get stuck owning a money pit, and end up with a bunch of unexpected expenses after closing!  Send Out the Scout Today!  (865) 591-1121.


When Will I Get My Knoxville Home Inspection Report?

February 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

When you schedule your home inspection with The House Scout, either here on the website or over the phone, your information will be entered into my online system.  This information is then pre-loaded into my inspection report software, which saves precious time when it comes to generating your report.  You will receive your report as an email attachment (PDF file) shortly after the inspection is complete, and always the day of the inspection. 

Some inspectors offer printed reports on-site.  I choose not to offer this “benefit” to my clients.  Instead, I offer my clients another hour or two of my time, which is blocked off specifically for report writing.  This allows me to deliver a well-prepared, timely report to every client, without rushing to make it to the next appointment.  Additionally, I always present a short, verbal summary of my findings to my clients and their realtors in case they are trying to meet a strict contractual deadline. 

You’ll find my inspection reports to be clear, concise and easy to read.  No unnecessary wording or confusing technical jargon.  Plenty of color pictures are always included to pinpoint noteworthy conditions.  You can trust The House Scout to deliver an inspection report that is among the best in the business!

Knoxville home inspector review

February 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Hi Dan!

I called you out on two separate occasions to look at two separate properties. In your inspection of the first house I honestly think you saved me from a bad purchase because your brought forward several leaking plumbing issues and a leaking sliding glass door problem that seemed to be long standing and likely very costly to fix. None of this had been noticed on my previous visits to the property by either myself or my realtor.

That is why I called you out a second time with the second property I was looking at, and which is the house I ultimately bought and am living in very happily now. Again with the second property you did a very thorough, professional inspection and I felt confident from my first experience with you that you would bring forward everything positive and negative so that I could consider all information when deciding upon purchasing the property.

Because of this I now have a house that has proven to be everything I dreamed with no major issues requiring costly repairs. I greatly enjoyed touring the property with you because you explained many things which I was not aware of when inspecting a property. You educated me on some electrical history, plumbing and sewage considerations, and attic and insulation considerations. I felt very confident that I was making the right decision based on your candid and unabashed inspection.

I would recommend you without compunction to others looking for a professional, thorough, and friendly home inspector.

Devin P. – Oak Ridge area homebuyer, inspected May 2010

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