Steinhausen Home Inspections
Why Have A Home Inspection
I think that it is probably in every home buyer’s best interest to have a home inspection, especially considering the cost relative to the investment. Every person that has provided me with feedback regarding my service said it was well worth the money. Unless you consider yourself an expert on every single component of a house, a home inspection is probably a good idea.
Health and Safety Issues: Trip and Fall Hazards, Mold, Radon, Lead, Mercury, Asbestos, Carbon Monoxide....
I am very candid regarding health issues because it is my obligation as a home inspector to educate consumers of the potential risks involved with owning and maintaining a property. My # 1 goal as an inspector is to protect the safety of the occupants and visitors of a home. I have been in numerous homes where people or animals died as a result of fire or hazardous gasses. I have also done inspections on many homes that were "red tagged" as a result of potentially dangerous natural gas leaks or improper fittings that may have led to an explosion or fire. There have been numerous injuries and even deaths in the Lincoln area in only the last two decades that were linked to faulty structures such as improper decks and railings. Some of my consulting has been for folks who suffer from "sick building syndrome" which is usually linked to conditions such as "off-gassing" from construction materials including carpets, paints, finishes and glues in laminated wood. Asthmatics have asked me to find the cause of conditions that trigger attacks. I think I am acutely aware of the dangers most likely to cause us harm because of all of my experience and dealings with families that have suffered catastrophic losses. As an engineering student it was stressed that our #1 job was to prevent injuries and death. With all that said, in my 20 + years in construction and building maintenance, I have never inspected a building where sudden and accidental death occurred as a result of a condition related to mold, radon, lead, mercury or asbestos, and I would stress that while these potential "long-term" hazards do exist, there are much more dangerous and lethal conditions in every home that are often overlooked! Health, safety and air quality issues inspected on every home include:*
▪ secure doors, locks and windows
▪ adequate ventilation, fresh air, clean ducts
▪ carbon monoxide dangers
▪ fire hazards
▪ smoke detectors
▪ insect and rodent infestation
▪ tempered glass in windows and doors
▪ odors and sources of odors
▪ adequate exterior lighting
▪ choking, hanging, strangling hazards
▪ railings, steps, trip / fall hazards
▪ stable structures, adequate and secure fasteners
▪ natural gas leaks
▪ moisture and mold detection
▪ presence of asbestos and lead-based paint
▪ conditions conducive to radon infiltration
* I inspect for conditions that are prevalent to hazardous materials or gasses being present.
I don't do scientific hazardous materials testing.
Understand Value and Maintenance: My #2 goal as an inspector is to make sure that homeowners and homebuyers are aware of all the circumstances that affect the value, livability and condition of a home. I strive to make my customers aware of the existing condition(s) of a property, what repairs are necessary now, and what repairs are to be expected in the future. A few dollars spent now on preventive maintenance may save thousands of dollars in future expenses, and I provide home owners with the information they need to know what repairs are required, prioritize those repairs, and estimate costs and time frames.
Who Needs a Home Inspection?
First time home buyers: I think that a home inspection is a must for first time home buyers. A home inspection will help ease the tensions that are associated with such an overwhelming monetary and responsibility commitment, in addition to helping give a buyer the confidence needed to follow through with their decision. Also, a whole home inspection will address issues regarding regular maintenance tasks that might otherwise be ignored by someone without homeownership experience.
Out-of-town buyers: Every community has different styles, methods and regulations of home building and repair. Probably most important is if a buyer is from a warmer climate or an area that doesn’t have many basements. I often do inspections for buyers from different climates that are unfamiliar “winterizing” or other maintenance issues associated with our extremes in climate and / or construction methods. It is important that home buyers understand the parts of a home so that it will be properly monitored and maintained.
Families: Some of the most overlooked conditions of a property are family safety and security issues. There are many conditions of a home that most adults would not ever consider as a risk to children, such as non-tempered glass, mini-blinds, lead based paint, air quality hazards, fire escape routes, electrical shock hazards, garage doors, etc. I also address security issues such as exterior lighting and door locks. One of my objectives when I do a home inspection is to find the weak link in security, the easiest access of entry for a potential criminal and find solutions to minimize risk.
Current homeowners: Often I do investigative inspections for existing homeowners. The most common reasons for these type of inspections are moisture / condensation problems, foundation settlement, cracking walls / ceilings, resolution of contractor disputes, and general consultation. See Other TYPES of Inspections.