Monthly Archives: May 2017

Home Inspection Tools: What You’ll Need For Your Home Inspection Business

So you’ve completed home inspection training and finished all your certifications. Now it’s time to go shopping. There’s always been a debate over what you should or should not inspect and what kinds of tools you should use or not use in the field. This guide isn’t meant to tell you what you should or should not inspect, but rather give you a list of the most common tools that home inspectors use and let you decide for yourself. Here is a general list of home inspection tools that many inspectors own:Tool belt and carry bag: A large carry bag will carry all your bigger items and accessories. A tool belt is usually used to carry a flash light and smaller items such as electrical testers and screwdrivers.Flashlights: Most inspectors have at least two or three flashlights. A very handy light is a head light that is used hands free for attics and crawl spaces. You’ll also need a large spot light type in case there are areas you can’t get to. A small pocket light is also convenient to carry in your front pocket for quick access.Screw drivers: Screw drivers are used for various tasks. You never want to be without a variety of them.Shoe covers: Keeping a fresh supply of shoe covers will keep home owners and realtors happy. The cheap thin plastic blue ones work just fine and will keep you from tracking dirt and mud all over the house. These can be purchased in bulk from most tool supply companies.Inspection Mirror: A telescoping inspection mirror will help you inspect those hard to reach areas. Typical sizes are 1 ½” round mirrors and 2″ x 3″ rectangular.Measuring tape: Tape measures are used for different measurements such as room size and window height. Many times the home buyer will need one to measure for furniture so it’s always nice to lend them yours if they don’t have one.

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Electrical GFCI outlet tester: A GFCI tester is used to test the proper function of GFCI outlets and will also detect non grounded outlets, switched wires, and a few other things. The cost of an inexpensive model is around $12-$20. You can also purchase the more expensive digital testers that have more features and capabilities. These can cost up to a few hundred dollars.Ladders: Most inspectors carry at least one extendable ladder and one step ladder. The little giant series makes a great product but make sure to get the non-conductive type. Aluminum ladders don’t go well with power lines. There is also a ladder called Xtend and Climb which seems to be fairly popular.Binoculars: Some inspectors walk on the roof and some don’t, it’s a personal choice. If you do decide to walk on the roof there may still be times when it’s unsafe to climb on the roof. It’s always nice to have a good set of binoculars in case you need to inspect from your ladder.Digital camera: A good digital camera is a must have these days. Clients expect to see color photos of any discrepancies that you find. A decent quality camera will make it much easier to focus in low light areas and get you a clear shot the first time around. You can find good quality used cameras on eBay for around $100-$200.Combustible Gas Detector and carbon monoxide tester: These are used for checking gas leaks and carbon monoxide. You can purchase these separately or buy an all in one tool that will check both.Voltage Detector: A good voltage tester can save your life. Instead of using the back of your hand to test for voltage, pick up a voltage detector for panel covers and rogue wires.Probe (a sharpened Phillips screwdriver works well): A probe is a good tool to use to check for termite damage and dry rot.Thermometer: A good thermometer will help you check the outside temperature and also test the AC system. There are several different options available, including infrared versions that can test temperatures from several feet away.Moisture Meter: If you see a stain it’s a good idea to test it with a moisture meter to see if it’s active. There are also models that have longer probes. These are great for inserting into the walls to check for exterior leaks. If you’re testing for EIFS this is a must have.Extra batteries and light bulbs: It’s always good to keep a supply of extra batteries and light bulbs on hand.A computer and home inspection software: Hand written reports are becoming obsolete. Providing your clients with a typed report that includes color photos will ensure that you’re running a professional business. Inspectors usually use one of the following three reporting methods:1. Take hand written notes on a clipboard on site, then complete the report on a desktop computer when they get back to the office.2. Bring a laptop to the inspection and put it in a central area such as the kitchen counter. Then inspect one section and fill it out on the computer before moving to the next. 3. Take a tablet touch screen and fill out the report while inspecting the home.Coveralls: To keep your clothes from getting dirty in the crawl space and attic, it’s a good idea to invest in a set of coveralls or disposable paint suits.Leather gloves: When you’re crawling around under a home it’s important to protect your hands. You might encounter spiders, snakes, sharp objects, or just plain nastiness, so a good set of gloves is a must have.

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Protective Face masks: You never know when the insulation in an attic might contain asbestos. There can also be harmful mold spores if you’re sensitive to mold. A good safety mask can help protect you in these situations.Pen and notebooks: Always carry a pen and notepad with you. If your computer crashes or your forgot to charge your battery the night before, you’ll be glad you did. It’s also a good idea to carry a backup printed copy of your inspection checklist in your vehicle.Power screwdriver or power drill: These are great for removing crawl space access covers and electrical panel covers.Thick rubber shoe covers: These are made of thick rubber and slipped on over your shoes. They snap in place so they won’t fall off. Unlike the thin covers used to walk inside the home, these are made of thick rubber and will keep your shoes from getting scratched and muddy in the crawl space. They can usually be found at farm supply stores.Here are a few other tools to consider:Knee pads
Humidity tester
See snake camera
Septic Die test tablets for checking for water leaks and faulty septic systems.This list of home inspection tools will hopefully give you a good idea of where to start. There are several companies online that specialize in selling home inspection tools. First, you could try searching in Google and visit some of the major inspection tool distributors. eBay is also a great place to pick up good quality new and used tools, usually at a reduced price. Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below and I’ll update the list if there’s something I missed.

Top Tips for Buying Furniture Online

Shopping for furniture at online stores has many advantages. You can determine your budget beforehand, giving you the option to browse in your price category without having to drive around. You can also browse only those websites that stock the type of furniture that suits your specific taste. Comparing prices online is also much more convenient than doing price comparisons at brick and mortar stores. In this article we will give you some valuable tips to make buying furniture online a breeze.Scrutinise the photographsMost online home furniture shops have multiple images of their products and it is important to have a good look at these photos before making a choice. Most photos are taken in a decorated room setting, accentuating the pieces and making it look more appealing, which could deter from the actual piece itself. Make sure you look at additional photos, taken from different angles, and don’t get ‘side tracked’ by the decor. Picture the item in your own home, taking your existing decor into account.

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Read the descriptionDon’t just scan through the furniture descriptions but rather read them thoroughly. Keep in mind that online stores choose the wording in their descriptions very carefully which can sometimes keep the focus away from the actual materials, especially when it comes to ‘cheap’ furniture. Composite or veneer woods can look very much like solid wood, especially in photographs so be sure to read the specifications as well as care and cleaning instructions so that you know exactly what you buy.Check the measurementsInstead of assuming that the furniture piece will fit in the space that you have allocated for it, make sure you check the measurements as photos can be deceiving. Remember that the item will not only have to fit in its allocated space; it also needs to fit through doorways, hallways, around corners and up stairways.Ensure you get the colour you wantWhile most furniture shops will do their utmost to provide photos that are a true reflection of the actual furniture item, sometimes photos can distort the true colours. Especially darker furniture such as the popular ‘espresso’ colour that are very popular at the moment, often tends to look lighter online than it actually is. Take special care when you order items in a particular colour from different online stores. Not all ‘espressos’ (or any other colour for that matter) are the same across a range of different suppliers.Be smart when it comes to price comparisonsMany online furniture stores sell items that other stores stock as well, which makes price comparisons a breeze. Google picture search is a great tool for this. Take additional costs such as VAT and shipping costs into consideration as well when you make a decision. Some furniture stores offer free shipping services; either as a standard service or as a promotion. Keep in mind, however, that free shipping does not always mean free shipping. To recoup costs, shipping fees are sometimes worked into the price of the item.

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Browse for specialsOne of the advantages of buying furniture online is pricing. Online businesses have fewer overheads compared to their brick and mortar counterparts, allowing them to sell products at competitive prices. Online home décor shops often have special deals as well, so if you see a piece that you like but which is a little out of your budget, chances are that it will go on sale at some point. This only works to your advantage, however, if you are patient and willing to wait for the right moment.While shopping for furniture online can definitely save you time and money, extensive research to find the best deals is a must. Make sure you shop at a site that is trustworthy and before you spend your heard-earned cash, compare, compare, compare; factoring in shipping costs and other possible fees.

Shopping for Luxury Home Furniture: A Solution for All Homeowners

Luxury home furniture shopping is not the easiest task to undertake these days, taking into account, how the market has changed. Nevertheless, luxury furniture sets are exemplary assets to enhance your home’s architectural qualities. A home is such a beauty, when optimized with immaculatefurnishings, designed to electrify one’s inner passion for furniture at first sight. Reasonably, this is no longer a stance for the wealthy alone, because luxury does not have to be expensive. If a buyer does his or her research well, finding affordable luxury furniture in the marketplace shan’t be challenging.Debating the price of luxury home furniture is a responsibility all shoppers ought to take seriously, because the cost does not always determine the quality. Surprisingly, some cheaper furniture feature equal qualities, as that of the expensive brands. Whilst valuing the detail of the design is crucial, when buying luxury furnishings, getting the best bargain is also all-important. An excellent recommendation is to shop around to find collections from esteemed furniture designers to know the aspects to decide if the product features impeccable qualities. Depending on what is evident in the design to decide on authenticity, then make a comparison with other products and determine the benefits. Since many designers are available, it is wise to choose a brand or designer to go with and remodel your space according to your desire.For your interior space, make the decision of having either modern or antique-styled furnishings to complement your architecture. Once settled, do not hesitate to pick exquisite styles that blend well with your home’s design and transforms your house entirely.

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For those with little experience remodeling homes; an interior decoration specialist is the best candidate for the job. He or she should have the capacity to make excellent choices, especially with luxury home furniture. Having the freedom to customize the theme with matching or suitable luxury furniture beautifies the entire setting to demonstrate a uniformed and comfortable environment. In the past, luxury furnishings brought on much expense, depriving to the average homeowner of such vanities. With the revolutionary changes in technology and science, the greater fraction of homes in present-day feature the finest luxury architecture and furniture, as well.This is achievable with access to the right medium and expert planning. One’s imagination plays an essential role, when decorating and is a quality all luxury furniture shoppers’ need, when shopping.With the right approach, realizing one’s ambition should not be difficult. The Internet features many useful resources to get in touch with reputable luxury furniture designers and is the best research tool for shoppers to find reasonable deals.

Some Rambling Thoughts on Home Improvement

People these days are focusing on how to make their home a more pleasant place to live. We can find all manner of ways to alter the appearance and aura of our home. You can choose the most appropriate home improvement tools and methods depending on your preferred style and, of course, your budget. The market has everything to fulfill any of your desires. This is true whether you want a classical appearance or a modernistic look, any preference can be fulfilled.Door and window replacements are great to begin with. You probably know that doors and windows have a terrific impact on your house’s overall look. By altering your doors and windows, you make a strong step towards revamping the feel of the whole house. There are many kinds of doors and windows on the market, however, the most favored types right now are energy efficient and composite doors and windows.

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If you have a garden, you should try changing how your garden looks in order to change the overall aura of your home. Your garden is where the whole family will spend time together, therefore, it should be a comfortable place so that you all can relax and enjoy nature. Your friends will also be impressed by your garden when they come to visit you. Some features you should try having in your garden are fountains, seating areas, and gravel paths. You should also plant extra flowers, shrubs and blossoming trees.A solar room is something you should consider when you need more space for your house. A solar room is a glass walled unit that will bring sun light and openness to your living space. They are also wonderful for your plants. You will be able to enjoy invaluable moments with your family in a natural setting. Your guests will be greatly impressed by the spaciousness of an added on solar room.A painting can augment or worsen the look of the home. If you know how to choose a specific type of painting to alter your home’s ambience you will be able to establish the look you want. However, if you don’t know how to select a painting, you can end up choosing the wrong kind of painting and possibly take away from your house’s attractiveness.When you don’t have the pocket book to replace all the furniture, why don’t you just change the upholstery of your sofa or chair? Upholstery fabrics can be very agreeably priced and you can completely change the ambience of the home with the right kind of upholstery. There are many colors, patterns, and textures on the market and you just have to choose the one that agrees with your need and taste.

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You may also think about changing the flooring if you want to completely revamp the look of your home. You can find all types of floor covering choices to work with any sized budget, from inexpensive laminates and vinyls to solid or engineered woods, ceramic tile, or even natural stone or slate tile.Above are just some of the home improvement choices you can use to change the look of your home. By using the right home improvement tools and ideas, you can make your house a more comfortable place to live.

Buying An All In One System

These days, more and more people are turning away from memberships to gyms and instead choosing to invest money in a home gym. You can put a home gym in a spare corner of your home, or even in the basement if you wish. Along with helping you save money by combining several different types of equipment into one machine, these types of equipment can easily fit in small spaces and type up a lot less weight than their individual counterparts.

When you are considering to buy an all in one piece of exercise equipment, you should first think about your goals. You should consider what you hope to achieve from exercising and just how well this piece of equipment will benefit you.

There are several types of all in one equipment for exercise on the market and almost all of them are advertised well on television, in magazines, and on the internet. The most popular types on the market are those types that are geared towards individuals who are interested in lifting weights.

Right now, the two most popular types of all in one exercise systems are the Bowflex and Total Gym brands. The Bowflex system uses resistant bows that bend instead of the traditional weights that simply lift. Bowflex is designed to fit a wide variety of budgets and needs, it’s widely adaptable and extremely popular as well.

To make things even better, you can store the basic Bowflex system in small and tight places, even under a bed if you choose. The larger and more expensive Blowflex system competes with the types of professional equipment that you can find in gyms, which allow you a quality workout on quality equipment.

The Total Gym system is great as well, as it is advertised by martial arts legend Chuck Norris and supermodel Christie Brinkley. It is less expensive than the Bowflex and uses gravity and resistance instead of traditional weights. By using this system, you have the ability to adapt the machine to a wide variety of exercises that will work many different areas of your body.

When you make that decision about buying an all in one exercise system, you must also decide on price, features, brand, and just who will use the machine. If your family plans to use it as well, then you’ll need to get a system that everyone will agree on. You obviously wouldn’t want a machine that is too complicated for others in your home.

Even though Bowflex and Total Gym are the 2 most popular types of all in one equipment, there are several others out there as will, from brands such as Weider and many others. Before you make your choice, you should look at several to see which one offers you more for your money.