This year, I've noticed that the homes in my neighbourhood are decorated more than they have ever been in the past. I don't know whether there is an unspoken competiton going on that I don't know about. But it has got me thinking...
During the Christmas season, many households find that they don't seem to have enough electrical outlets to light up all their Christmas decorations or their electrical outlets aren't located where they need them.
A thorough home inspection by the best home inspector may have pointed that out, however the easy solution for most people is to just use extension cords without giving it another thought.
If extension cords can’t be avoided (I'm guilty too as I'm using a couple in my home this Christmas season), you should use multi-outlet power bars that are CSA-approved and provide surge protection. Make sure that electrical cords of any kind are not concealed under carpets or rugs where they can be easily damaged. Avoid overloaded circuits and octopus wiring as well as the use of extension cords as permanent wiring.
Other helpful tips include:
Just some thoughts from Windsor's Most Meticulous House Inspector. With that being said, happy decorating and remember the reason for the season!
Being the oldest home inspection company in Windsor and Essex County, I have had the privilege of inspecting a home for a client who was pregnant at the time of the building inspection. That in and of itself is not unusual. The interesting part comes in when I received a phone call from that same client 25 years later to inspect the home her son was planning to buy. You see, she was pregnant with him when I inspected her home! That's when you know you've been in the house inspection business for a long time!
In 25 years, I've certainly seen this industry change. I've seen countless house inspectors and home inspection companies come and go. There is no government licensing for Home Inspectors either. With the 'hot' housing market in the Windsor and Essex County area, most homes are not inspected as the home buyer is afraid his offer won't be accepted with a home inspection clause in the offer. This has resulted in a shift in the home inspection industry here in Windsor and in many larger cities. Many home inspectors have had no choice but to move on to other careers.
One Windsor home inspector (who, as of the date of publishing this blog, is still a practicing home inspector in Windsor) even became a local realtor! Although this is clearly a conflict of interest, the home-buying public is unaware of this. Then there is the current trend for quick verbal home inspections. This has also negatively affected the building inspection industry....and the consumer. First of all, if a home inspector is a member of a home inspection association, then he cannot perform these quick verbal house inspections because they violate the home inspection association's Standard of Practice. Yet unfortunately many house inspectors in the Windsor and Essex County area are doing just that....violating the Standards of Practice that they should be upholding. Indeed that says a lot about a home inspector's character!
A recent unofficial survey was conducted asking local Windsor home inspectors whether they perform quick verbal house inspections. We were pleasantly surprised to see that there are a few home inspection companies who abide by their home inspection association's Standards of Practice and Code of Conduct/Ethics. Sadly, many Windsor home inspectors stated that they do indeed perform quick verbal home inspections. One house inspector even went on to say that after he is paid in cash, he will claim that he was never at the property! Most quick verbal home inspections take about half an hour vs. approximately 3 hours for a real home inspection. This is detrimental to the real estate transaction and of course the consumer is the only one negatively affected. The 'home inspector' gets paid, the realtor gets their commission and the home buyer's largest investment was influenced by a 'home inspector' who did not provide a written report (which is mandatory) nor did he inspect as per the Standards of Practice. Therefore there is virtually no legal recourse because the insurance company will state that it's a "he said, she said" scenario and remember.....the home inspector was NEVER there!
Home inspectors must decide which hat they will wear. Will the home inspector abide by his/her association's standards or sell out to the almighty dollar?
Home inspection Consultants Inc. has refused every verbal inspection it has been offered and will continue to do so. Why?, because of our CHARACTER and we have our outstanding 25-year reputation to uphold.
You see, our character when we performed the home inspection for the pregnant lady hasn't wavered because of the real estate market. No, her son received the same professional best home inspection that his mother received 25 years ago!
I'd have to say that 9 times out of 10, while doing a home inspection, our home inspectors find that the air intake located at the exterior of the home to the HRV unit is dirty....not just dirty, they are down right clogged. This causes the unit to have to work harder reducing its life expectancy and air quality in the home.
Oops, don't know what an HRV is? Not all homes have them, but newer homes usually do. A Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) brings fresh air into your home while getting rid of the stale air. Properly maintained, an HRV can save energy costs while maintaining a clean, healthy indoor environment.
7 Simple HRV Maintenance Steps
Regular maintenance throughout the year takes only 7 simple steps to keep your HRV in peak condition (check your HRV owner's manual for specific instructions).
I've come across a lot of interesting tidbits of information during my 25 year career as a home inspector. I've been told that I'm pretty meticulous and a good 'teacher', so hopefully you'll find some interesting information here..