Tag Archives: whidbey island

DOING YOUR ELECTRICAL WORK? BE CAREFUL!

Surprisingly, electrical issues are common discoveries at home inspections, with the most common being improperly wired switches, outlets, and handyman/unprofessional wiring practices. Purchasing an outlet tester (costs less than $10) is a simple, quick way to determine if your home’s outlets are correctly wired. You’ll probably be surprised to find a few in your home! Unless you’re entirely confident and competent, I recommend hiring a licensed, bonded, and insured electrician to perform any and all electrical work. 

If you DIY and your work doesn’t appear professional (think PERFECT), it will likely be called out by a home inspector when your home is sold. Competent electricians are fastidious and “fussy” with their work (it’s their signature after all), and there’s nothing better than a “fussy” electrician I like to say! 

Be sure to check with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, as most electrical work requires a permit and final inspection. Permits are easily obtainable and inexpensive. Furthermore, having a third-party review of electrical work is just another layer of safety and insulation against potential future electrical issues. Plus, it’s the law! Finally, for the DIY homeowners out there, a great book is “For Pros by Pros: Wiring a House by Rex Cauldwell. I’ve relied on this book for years of building and remodeling. It’s excellent!

If you have questions or comments about electrical work, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

Fun Facts Friday

George Washington Carver reputedly discovered three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more for soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes.

Besides being an amazing addition to your cookies, macadamia nuts contain the largest amount of monounsaturated fatty acids of any nuts.

Brazil nuts have a delicate and creamy flavor that provides an amazing source of fiber and magnesium. Not only that, but it only takes one ounce of Brazil nuts to obtain more than 700% of your daily value of selenium!

DON’T LIKE INSECTS? THEN LOSE THE MOISTURE!

Wood-destroying insects are attracted to moisture and seek it out, so it’s imperative to keep your home dry. This moisture may come from issues such as plumbing leaks, water intrusion, and improper ventilation.

Good news, though: If your home is dry, these wood destroying insects will not have any interest in your home’s wood elements. So, keep on top of the moisture, and you stay on top of the problem.

I recently came across active water and insect activity/damage while inspecting a laundry room facility in a house on Whidbey Island. In my report, I noted insect frass, delaminated floor coverings, and saturation when probed with a moisture meter. I also noted the possibility of underlying damage not visible without invasive inspection.

Do you have questions or comments about insect activity in your home? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: STREAM SCENE

On Saturdays throughout the year, I hope to give you a peek of what I see as a home inspector traveling around San Juan, Island, Whatcom, and Skagit counties through photos and videos I’ve taken along the way.

I’m sure if you know or live in Northwest Washington, you probably feel the same about how special it is here. That’s why I invite you to share your Northwest Washington imagery!  Simply take your picture or video showing why you appreciate the region, and tag it with #AllIslandsLife on Twitteror Facebook.

If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

DON’T NEGLECT THE MAINTENANCE OF YOUR NEWLY CONSTRUCTED HOME

So, you’ve purchased a newly constructed home. Congrats! 

It’s super shiny, bright—and even smells like a new home (although apparently, not everyone likes the new home fragrance). Mission accomplished, right? Now, you can sit back, relax and enjoy without worry. Or can you?

Not exactly. 

While new construction often comes in a mostly worry-free package (at least in the beginning), that doesn’t mean you can completely mail it in when it comes to routine maintenance. For those of you who wish to stay on top of the “to-do list” and take care of your investment, I recently ran across this handy dandy article appropriately titled, “10 Ways to Maintain Your New Home.” The National Association of Home Builders published the piece, which covers everything from furnace filters to noisy water pipes. It may not be exhaustive, but it will hopefully help you move forward in your efforts and spawn additional ideas.

Just remember: Staying on top of your maintenance responsibilities can help you avoid costly expenses later on.

Questions or comments about new home maintenance or home inspections in general? Do you have anything you’d like to add to the list cited above? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

Winter holiday safety tips

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

Holiday decoration fires are most likely to happen in the living room, family room or den. Almost half of all home decoration fires are started by candles. Half of holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed. See more of the National Fire Protections Association’s suggestions for winter holiday decorating and entertaining safety.

Video: Handyman Furnace Filter Cover

Typically, furnace filters have a sheet metal cover with latches for ease-of-removal and replacement. In this case, tape was used which, while effective, isn’t really a professionally installed filter compartment cover. This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.

Video: Handyman Support Posts in Crawl Space

Handyman support columns and bases were discovered under a masonry fireplace in the crawl space at a recent home inspection in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. Upside down CMU masonry blocks (holes should face upwards!) and aggressive shimming, together with the lack of a positive connection between the post base and above floor structure, warranted further evaluation and repair by a qualified contractor.

VIDEO: Mold Discovered in Attic at Freeland Home Inspection!

At a recent home inspection in Freeland on Whidbey Island, I discovered apparent mold in the attic. This video explains what I’m looking at and how it’s customarily repaired and remediated. It’s important to look into your attic every once in a while and look for any signs of water intrusion or mold. If noted, I recommend dealing with it as soon as possible as repairs become more expensive with time.