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 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.

Knoxville Home Inspections 101: Buyer’s Expectations

March 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

So you’ve found a home that you love.  You’ve walked through it a few times with your Realtor, and decided to call a Knoxville home inspector to verify that the home is as perfect as you perceive it to be.  You anticipate asking the sellers to address any concerns noted by the inspector before closing, so your new house will be trouble-free after you move in.  Sounds reasonable, right?  And this is how many homebuyers see the home inspection phase of the homebuying process.  Unfortunately, it hardly ever turns out this way.  Let’s take a look at some of the obstacles to such a smooth transaction.

First, there are no perfect houses.  I’ve personally inspected hundreds of homes in the Knoxville area over the last several years, and have yet to find one!  Many homebuyers have the expectation that the next house they purchase will be perfect, which could never really happen.  When choosing a house or a spouse, a perfect choice may not be possible, but a poor choice will make you miserable.  So in both cases, the best you can hope for is to make a very good choice. 

Secondly, home inspections are not intended to point out all items in the home that are less than perfect.  Most Knoxville home inspectors will make note of an item when it is not functioning as intended, or should reasonably be expected to stop functioning in the near future, or presents a safety concern to occupants.  Many other items may be seen as less than perfect by the buyer, but will not be mentioned in the home inspection report. 

Next, very few sellers will agree to address every item brought to light during the home inspection, though it does happen.  Usually sellers are more likely to accept financial responsibility for major problems or safety issues because they know if the present deal falls through, they’ll likely have to face these issues again with the next potential buyer.  So buyers are much better served by keeping some perspective on what’s really important in the transaction, and compromising  when necessary.

And finally, homes require periodic upkeep and maintenance.  Mechanical systems fail, plumbing systems develop leaks, and roofs will eventually need replacement.  This is the reality of being a homeowner.  However, by contracting with a professional Knoxville home inspection service at the appropriate time in the process, buyers are exposed to much less risk of unexpected expenses after closing ….. and find themselves much more content with their decision.

Dan Endsley – The House Scout, 132 W. Jackson Ave., Knoxville, TN 37902

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.

 

Why Should I Trust My Knoxville Home Inspection to The House Scout?

February 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

That’s easy.  Our inspections are so complete and thorough that when you send out The House Scout to inspect your Knoxville home, you can be sure you won’t get stuck owning a money pit!

Every home inspector is an individual, and is unique in the way they conduct an inspection.  Some come from a technical or engineering background, while others may have work experience in carpentry, plumbing or HVAC.  However, previous work experience or educational background matter little if an inspector is uncomfortable putting in the work required to properly inspect your home.  Don’t take a chance on a cheap, inexperienced, physically unfit or lazy inspector!

The House Scout comes from a well-rounded background – military service, 4-year college degree, municipal fire service and commercial fire inspection, and is no stranger to good, old-fashioned hard work.  You deserve a Knoxville home inspector that will work hard for you, and nobody works harder for their clients than The House Scout!

Get the peace of mind you deserve.   Get the assurance that the property you’re considering will be a safe, healthy and happy place for you and your family to live for years to come.  Don’t settle for less!  You can trust The House Scout with your Knoxville home inspection.  Call Today … (865) 591-1121.

How Much Will My Knoxville Home Inspection Cost?

February 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Schedule your home inspection on our website and the following fees will apply:

  • Less than 1000 sq ft  -  $275
  • 1000 – 1999 sq ft  –  $300
  • 2000 – 2999 sq ft  -  $325
  • 3000 – 3999 sq ft  –  $350
  • 4000 - 4999 sq ft  -  $400

Greater than 5000 sq ft  -  Please Call for Estimate ….. (865) 591-1121.

Our home inspection fees are determined by the square footage of the house, period, and are very competitive in the market.  Some Knoxville home inspectors add trip charges for travelling to surrounding counties, additional fees for homes with crawlspaces, and higher rates for houses more than 40 or 50 years old.  It’s true that these items can add to an inspector’s work load, but we decided long ago that it all averages out over time.  Some houses require more work and time than the average to properly inspect, while others require substantially less.  As in most other jobs, some days for a home inspector are just more difficult than others. 

Regardless the size or condition of your home, you can be sure the service provided by The House Scout is unrivaled by any Knoxville home inspector.  And don’t be tempted to shop around for the cheapest inspector…. you will truly get what you pay for!  The cheapest inspectors charge less because they know less and do less.  The harder we work for you, the less you pay at the closing table!

Home inspection fees are due at or before the inspection.  We accept cash, check, Visa and MasterCard.

Home Inspectors Knoxville TN Discovers Unsafe Chimney

February 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Recently, I conducted a home inspection on a 50 year old brick rancher.  This home was in generally good condition, and well-constructed throughout.  A fireplace insert was installed in the fireplace, and my clients advised me that they were looking forward to burning a lot of wood before spring.  The insert looked to be in good condition and lightly used.  I went up on the roof to inspect the masonry chimney, and was shocked to see the chimney pictured at left.  It appeared to be only a shell of a proper chimney!  I removed the pieces of slate that had been placed on top of the chimney to keep some of the rain out, and discovered that the chimney was totally empty!  No flue tile liner, no built-up masonry, no chimney crown!  Check out the picture at right.  You can see at the bottom of the chimney is the fireplace damper.  There was literally nothing between the damper and the great outdoors!   And only a single course of brick separated the hot flue gases from living spaces and combustible attic framing!  Obviously, the only reason this house was still standing is that the former owners used this fireplace very little.  I have responded with a local municipal fire department to many incidents involving chimney fires over the last 20 years.  This chimney could never withstand the extreme temperatures commonly found in a chimney fire.  I advised my clients that this chimney was unsafe to use in its present condition.  They may use this information to renegotiate their purchase contract, or even opt for another house altogether.  In any event, this is a good example of the importance of hiring a professional home inspector before closing on your next home.  You can trust The House Scout with your Knoxville home inspection.

Knoxville Home Inspector Finds Dangerous Water Heater Installation

February 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

On a recent home inspection, I found a direct vent water heater installed in the basement of a well-maintained home.  This type of water heater has special venting and installation requirements, which were not met in this case.  Usually, direct vent water heaters are installed against an exterior wall and vented directly (“direct vent”) to the exterior, using manufacturer’s recommended or supplied vent components.  This one was vented using single-wall metal vent, and was approximately 8 feet from the exterior wall.  Additionally, the single-wall vent pipe was in contact with combustible wall paneling as it passed through a nearby wall.  I recommended that my client have this installation evaluated and corrected by a licensed plumber before closing.  This could be an expensive correction!  Don’t get stuck with unexpected expenses after closing!  You can trust The House Scout with your Knoxville home inspection!

Do I Need to Attend My Knoxville Home Inspection?

February 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

That’s entirely up to you.  I certainly enjoy meeting my clients, and prefer that they spend a few minutes with me at the house if possible.  I also realize that most people have busy lives, some clients live hundreds of miles away, and a few just have no interest in attending …. and that’s fine.  The choice is yours.

Most clients tell me that attending the inspection, at least for awhile, increased their understanding of noteworthy conditions in the home, and reduced the number of questions they had after reading through the home inspection report.  Some real estate agents suggest their clients attend the second half of the inspection, which gives the inspector a running start on his work and keeps the client from having to endure the entire 3-4 hours if they’d rather not …. makes good sense to me. 

In short, you’re welcome to answer this question for yourself, and do what makes you feel comfortable.

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