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Habitat Home & Building Inspection Services Inc

Website: http://www.habitathomeinspection.com
Email: HabitatInspections@msn.com
Phone: (845) 897-5556
Hopewell Jct., NY 12533
Inspector: Bill Hughes
NYS Home Inspector License # 16000007002
CT Home Inspector License # HOI.0000091

 

Property Inspection Report
Client(s): Dan Stolzman
Property address: 54 Tompkins Road
Carmel, NY 10512
Inspection date: 3/25/2012
This report published on Monday, March 26, 2012 12:01:42 PM EDT

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This report is the exclusive property of this inspection company and the client(s) listed in the report title. Use of this report by any unauthorized persons is prohibited.

 
How to Read this Report
This report is organized by the property's functional areas.  Within each functional area, descriptive information is listed first and is shown in bold type.  Items of concern follow descriptive information.
Concerns are shown and sorted according to these types:
SafetyPoses a risk of injury or death 
Major DefectCorrection likely involves a significant expense 
Repair/ReplaceRecommend repairing or replacing 
Repair/MaintainRecommend repair and/or maintenance 
MaintainRecommend ongoing maintenance 
EvaluateRecommend evaluation by a specialist 
MonitorRecommend monitoring in the future 
CommentFor your information 

Click here for a glossary of building construction terms. Contact your inspector if there are terms that you do not understand, or visit the glossary of construction terms at http://www.reporthost.com/glossary.asp

Table of Contents
General Information
Grounds
Exterior / Foundation
Roof / Attic
Garage / Carport
Electric
Plumbing / Fuel Systems
Water Heater
Heating
Cooling / Heat Pump
Fireplaces / Stoves / Chimneys
Kitchen
Bathrooms / Laundry / Sinks
Interior Rooms / Areas
Private Well
Septic System Evaluation
Perspective Summary
 
General Information Return to table of contents
Report number: H12-0325-046
Time started: 12:00
Time finished: 4:00
Inspector: Bill Hughes
Weather conditions: Cloudy
Temperature: Cool
Ground condition: Damp
Type of building: Single family, Ranch
Age of building(s): 1948
Source for age: Client
Occupied: No
Present during inspection: Client, Realtor
1) Safety, Maintain - One or more hornet, bee or wasp nests were found at the building exterior. These can pose a safety hazard. A qualified person should remove nests or exterminate as necessary.
2) Safety, Comment - Structures built prior to 1980 may contain lead-based paint and/or asbestos in various building materials such as insulation, siding, and/or floor and ceiling tiles. Both lead and asbestos are known health hazards. Evaluating for the presence of lead and/or asbestos is not included in this inspection. The client should consult with specialists as necessary, such as industrial hygienists, professional labs and/or abatement contractors for this type of evaluation. For information on lead, asbestos and other hazardous materials in homes, visit:
http://www.epa.gov
http://www.cpsc.gov
http://www.cdc.gov

3) Repair/Replace - Evidence of rodent infestation was found in the form of feces in one or more areas. For example, in the attic, basement, interior rooms. Recommend consulting with the property owner about this. A qualified person should make repairs to seal openings in the structure, set traps, and clean rodent waste as necessary. Recommend following guidelines in these Center for Disease Control articles:
http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/prevent_rodents/seal_up.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/prevent_rodents/trap_up.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/rodents/prevent_rodents/clean_up.htm
 
Grounds Return to table of contents
Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: swimming pools, spas, hot tubs, water features and related equipment; playground, recreation or leisure equipment; landscape lighting; areas below exterior structures with less than three feet of vertical clearance; irrigation systems; invisible fencing; sea walls, docks and boathouses. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not test or determine the adequacy of drainage systems for grounds, walkways, below-grade stairs and roof downspouts. The inspector does not provide an evaluation of geological conditions and/or site stability, compliance of pool or spa fencing with municipal requirements, or determination that deck, balcony and/or stair membranes are watertight.
Condition of retaining walls: Appeared serviceable
Retaining wall material: Rock
Site profile: Mixed slopes
Condition of driveway: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Driveway material: Poured in place concrete, Gravel
Condition of sidewalks and/or patios: Required repairs, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
Sidewalk material: Paving stones, Grass
Condition of decks, porches and/or balconies: Appeared serviceable
Condition of guardrails: Appeared serviceable
Deck, porch and/or balcony material: Masonry
Condition of exterior stairs: Appeared serviceable
Exterior stair material: Masonry
4) Safety, Repair/Replace - Handrails at one or more flights of stairs were missing. This is a safety hazard. Standard building practices require that handrails be:

  • Installed at stairs with three or more risers
  • Sized and shaped so your hand can encircle them
  • Permanently and securely attached, and able to withstand a 200 pound force in any direction at any point
  • Continuous and extend for the entire flight of the stairs
  • Located between 30 and 38 inches above the leading edge of the stair treads

    A qualified person should repair, replace or install as necessary and as per standard building practices.

    Photo 5  
    Missing rail.
     

    5) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The driveway had cracks, settlement, erosion, heaving and/or deterioration in one or more areas. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace sections as necessary.

    Photo 1  
    Eroded driveway.

    Photo 8  
    Deteriorated section of concrete driveway.

    6) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Sidewalks and/or patios had cracks, settlement, heaving and/or deterioration near the stoop. There are no walks (only grass) from the driveway to the steps. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace sections as necessary.

    7) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more decks, porches and/or balconies were deteriorated, for example had loose stones and mortar. A qualified person should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary. Loose grout and stones.

    Photo 4  
    Loose stones and grout.

    Photo 17  
    Loose grout at stoop.

    8) Repair/Replace - The perimeter grading sloped toward the building in one or more areas. This can result in water accumulating around the building foundation. Recommend grading soil so it slopes down and away from the structure with a slope of at least 5% (10% or better is optimal) for at least 6 feet.

    Photo 3  
    Negative grade.
     

    9) Repair/Maintain, Monitor - Loose and fallen stones were found in one or more retaining walls. Maintain as necessary.

    Photo 9  
    Fallen retaining wall stones.
     
     
    Exterior / Foundation Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: below-grade foundation walls and footings, or those obscured by vegetation or building components; exterior building surfaces or components obscured by vegetation, stored items or debris. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Some amount of cracking is normal in concrete slabs and foundation walls due to shrinkage and drying. Note that the inspector does not determination the adequacy of sump pumps, seismic reinforcement, nor determine if support posts, columns, beams, joists, studs, trusses, etc. are of adequate size, spanning or spacing.
    Condition of wall covering: Appeared serviceable
    Apparent wall structure: Wood frame
    Wall covering: Vinyl
    Condition of foundation and footings: Appeared serviceable
    Foundation type: Unfinished basement, Crawlspace
    Foundation material: Poured in place concrete, Concrete block
    Anchor bolts for seismic reinforcement: None
    Condition of floor substructure: Appeared serviceable
    Pier or support post material: Steel
    Beam material: Built up wood
    Floor structure: Solid wood joists
    Condition of crawl space: Appeared serviceable
    Crawl space inspection method: Viewed from hatch
    Insulation material underneath floor above: Fiberglass roll or batt, Rigid
    Vapor barrier present: No
    Condition of the basement: Appeared serviceable
    10) Safety, Repair/Replace - Paper facing on batt insulation in the basement was exposed. The paper facing is flammable, and poses a safety hazard due to the risk of fire. Also, the paper facing typically acts as a vapor barrier, and if located away from the interior surfaces, can trap moisture from condensation in the cavity between the paper facing and the interior spaces. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects. The inspector was unable to evaluate the structure obscured by the insulation. A qualified person should reinstall or replace the insulation as per standard building practices and as per the manufacturer's instructions.

    Photo 48  
    Exposed paper on insulation.
     

    11) Repair/Replace, Evaluate, Monitor - Evidence of prior water intrusion was found in one or more sections of the basement. For example, water stains at support post bases, efflorescence on the foundation etc. Accumulated water is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms and should not be present in the basement. The client should review any disclosure statements available and ask the property owner about past accumulation of water in the basement. The basement should be monitored in the future for accumulated water, especially after heavy and/or prolonged periods of rain. If water is found to accumulate, a qualified contractor who specializes in drainage issues should evaluate and repair as necessary. Typical repairs for preventing water from accumulating in basements include:

  • Repairing, installing or improving rain run-off systems (gutters, downspouts and extensions or drain lines)
  • Improving perimeter grading
  • Repairing, installing or improving underground footing and/or curtain drains

    Ideally, water should not enter basements, but if water must be controlled after it enters the basement, then typical repairs include installing a sump pump.
    12) Repair/Replace - Gaps existed at one or more openings around the exterior, such as those where outside faucets, refrigerant lines, and/or gas supply pipes penetrate the exterior. Gaps should be sealed as necessary to prevent moisture intrusion and entry by vermin.

    The sharp edge of vinyl siding is touching the service entry cable and the wire insulation may get damaged. Correction needed.

    Photo 13  
    Gap in siding. Sharp edge of siding pressing on service entry cable.
     

    13) Repair/Replace - No vapor barrier was installed in the crawl space. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms due to the likelihood of water evaporating into the building from the soil. A qualified person should install a vapor barrier as per standard building practices.

    Photo 45  
    Missing vapor barrier on crawlspace dirt floor.
     

    14) Repair/Replace - The rigid insulation on the crawl space ceiling was was not fire rated. A qualified person should repair, replace or install insulation as necessary. For more information, visit:
    http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/insulation.html

    Photo 41  
    This insulation on the crawlspace ceiling is labeled that it is not to be left exposed for fire safety reasons.
     

    15) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - Moderate cracks (1/8 inch to 3/4 inch) and deterioration were found in the foundation. This may be a structural concern, or an indication that settlement is ongoing. The client should consider hiring qualified contractors and/or engineers as necessary for further evaluation. Such contractors may include:

  • Foundation repair contractors who may prescribe repairs, and will give cost estimates for prescribed repairs
  • Masonry contractors who repair and/or replace brick veneer
  • Geotechnical engineers who attempt to determine if settlement is ongoing, and what the cause of the settlement is
  • Structural engineers who determine if repairs are necessary, and prescribe those repairs

    At a minimum, recommend sealing cracks to prevent water infiltration. Numerous products exist to seal such cracks including hydraulic cement, resilient caulks and epoxy sealants.

    Photo 6  
    Deteriorated foundation block.

    Photo 11  
    Damaged foundation.

    Photo 46  
    Foundation crack.

    Photo 47  
    Foundation crack.

    16) Repair/Maintain - Parging on one or more foundation walls was damaged or deteriorated. A qualified person should repair as necessary.

    Photo 12  
    Loose foundation parging.
     

    17) Maintain - The exterior finish in some areas (on the windows) was failing. A qualified contractor should prep (pressure wash, scrape, sand, prime caulk, etc.) and repaint or re-stain areas as needed and as per standard building practices. Windows
     
    Roof / Attic Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The following items or areas are not included in this inspection: areas that could not be traversed or viewed clearly due to lack of access; areas and components obscured by insulation; solar roofing components; any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not determination if rafters, trusses, joists, beams, etc. are of adequate size, spanning or spacing. The inspector does not provide an estimate of remaining roof surface life, does not determine that the roof has absolutely no leaks at the time of the inspection, and does not determine that the roof won't leak in the future. Only active leaks and evidence of past leaks observed during the inspection are reported on as part of this inspection. To absolutely determine than no leaks exist, complete access to all roof structure areas must be available during a wide variety of weather conditions, including prolonged heavy rain, high wind from varying directions, heavy accumulations of snow and/or ice, and melting snow and ice.
    Condition of roof structure: Appeared serviceable
    Roof type: Hipped
    Roof inspection method: Traversed
    Condition of shingle and/or shake roof surface materials: Near, at or beyond service life
    Roof surface material: Asphalt or fiberglass composition shingles, Wood shingles
    Apparent number of layers of roof surface material: One
    Condition of exposed flashings: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of gutters, downspouts and extensions: Appeared serviceable
    Gutter and downspout material: Metal
    Gutter and downspout installation: Full
    Condition of attic: Appeared serviceable
    Attic inspection method: Traversed
    Roof structure type: Rafters
    Ceiling structure: Wood joists
    Ceiling insulation material: Fiberglass loose fill, Vermiculite loose fill
    Ceiling insulation depth: 6 1/2"
    Ceiling insulation rating: R-19
    Attic ventilation type: Soffit, Gable, Cupola
    Roof ventilation: Appears serviceable
    18) Safety, Evaluate, Comment - What appeared to be vermiculite insulation was found in the attic. This material may contain asbestos, which is a known carcinogen, and may pose a health hazard. However, even if this material does contain asbestos, it may not pose a health hazard since it's not in a living space. The client may wish to have this material tested for asbestos by a qualified lab and/or consult with a qualified industrial hygienist or remediation specialist, and should definitely do so if they plan to remove it or disturb it through remodeling. For more information on asbestos use in homes, visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/453.html

    Photo 29  
    Vermiculite insulation in attic.
     

    19) Major Defect, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - All sections of the composition shingle roof surfaces were near or at the end of their service life will need replacing now or in the near future. The client should consult with a qualified roofing contractor to determine replacement options and costs.

    Photo 19  
    De-granulated roof shingles. Fiberglass mat visible.
     

    20) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Extensions such as splash blocks or drain pipes for many downspouts were poorly sloped, damaged. Water may accumulate around the building foundation as a result. A qualified person should evaluate and repair, replace or install as necessary

    Photo 7  
    Crushed gutter leader extension.
     

    21) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more exhaust fan ducts in the attic were not connected to a vent cap. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects and organisms due to increased moisture levels in the attic from the exhaust air. A qualified person should evaluate and make permanent repairs as necessary and as per standard building practices, so all exhaust air is vented outside.

    Photo 26  
    Bath fan vents into attic.
     

    22) Repair/Replace - The ceiling or wall insulation in some areas of the attic was missing, uneven. This may result in increased heating or cooling costs due to decreased energy efficiency. A qualified person should repair, replace or install insulation as necessary. For more information, visit:
    http://www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/insulation.html

    Photo 27  
    Fallen insulation on attic wall.

    Photo 30  
    Missing insulation where wind coming through gaps in fascia has blown the vermiculite.

    23) Repair/Replace - Many attic vents were blocked by insulation , boards. This can reduce air flow through the attic, reduce the life of the roof surface because of high temperatures, and/or increase moisture levels in the attic. Materials or items blocking vents should be removed as necessary.

    Photo 31  
    Cupola vents sealed.

    Photo 32  
    Gable vent sealed.

    24) Maintain - Debris had accumulated in one or more gutters. This is a conducive condition for wood destroying insects since gutters may overflow and cause water to come in contact with the building exterior or make water accumulate around the foundation. Gutters should be cleaned now and as necessary in the future.
    25) Evaluate, Monitor - Stains were visible on the roof structure in one or more areas. These areas were dry at the time of the inspection. The stains may be caused by a past leak. Recommend asking the property owner about past leaks. The client should monitor these areas in the future, especially after heavy rains, to determine if active leaks exist. If leaks are found, a qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    26) Comment - The whole house fan was not tested and is excluded from this inspection.
     
    Garage / Carport Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The inspector does not determine the adequacy of firewall ratings. Requirements for ventilation in garages varies between municipalities.
    Type: Attached
    Condition of garage-dwelling doors: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
    Condition of garage vehicle door(s): Appeared serviceable
    Garage vehicle door type: Sectional
    Number of vehicle doors: 1
    Condition of automatic opener(s): Appeared serviceable
    Condition of garage floor: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of garage interior: Required repair or evaluation (see comments below)
    27) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The garage-dwelling door entered a bedroom. Standard building practices prohibit this due to the risk of vehicle fumes and/or fire entering the bedroom(s). A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary, and as per standard building practices. For example, replacing the door with a permanent, fire-proof wall structure.
    28) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The self-closing device on the garage-dwelling door is missing. This door is intended to prevent vehicle fumes from entering living spaces and to slow the spread of fire from the garage to living spaces. A qualified person should evaluate and make repairs as necessary.
    29) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The walls, ceilings between the attached garage and interior living spaces and attic had missing or substandard surface materials. These surfaces are intended to prevent vehicle fumes from entering living spaces, and to slow the spread of fire from the garage to living spaces. There are steps leading from the garage into the basement. This can allow liquid spills and gas fumes to enter the basement. A qualified contractor should evaluate and make repairs as necessary so the attached garage wall and ceiling surfaces that adjoin living spaces are tightly sealed and fire rated as per standard building practices. Typically these surfaces require a one-hour fire rating.

    Photo 28  
    Garage is open to attic. Non-fire rated material on walls.

    Photo 35  
    Open stairwell from garage to basement Can allow liquid spills and fumes to enter basement.

    30) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Substandard shelving was installed. This is a potential safety hazard due to the risk of collapse, especially if heavy items are stored on the shelves. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair, replace or remove shelving as necessary.
    31) Safety, Repair/Replace - The garage-dwelling doors posed a fire risk because they are not fire-rated (metal or solid-core construction). A qualified contractor should replace doors with fire-rated doors.
     
    Electric Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: generator systems, surge suppressors, inaccessible or concealed wiring; underground utilities and systems; low voltage lighting or lighting on timers or sensors. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not determine the adequacy of grounding or bonding, does not determine if this system has an adequate capacity for the client's specific needs, nor determine if this system has any reserve capacity for additions or expansion. The inspector does not operate circuit breakers as part of the inspection, install or change light bulbs, nor determine the operability of every wall switch.
    Primary service type: Overhead
    Number of service conductors: 3
    Service voltage (volts): 120-240
    Service amperage (amps): Not determined- probably 200
    Primary service overload protection type: Fuse
    Service entrance conductor material: Aluminum
    Main disconnect rating (amps): Not determined
    System ground: Ground rod(s) in soil
    Condition of main service panel: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of sub-panel: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
    Location of main service panel #A: Garage
    Location of sub-panel #B: Garage
    Location of main disconnect: Lever on right side of fuse panel or top of sub-panel
    Branch circuit wiring type: Non-metallic sheathed, (BX) Armor clad flexible, Copper
    Condition of branch circuit wiring: Serviceable
    Solid strand aluminum branch circuit wiring present: None visible
    Condition of smoke detectors: Appeared serviceable, Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
    Smoke detectors present: Yes
    Carbon monoxide detectors present: Yes
    32) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The service drop wires were less than 10 feet above ground or walkways. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. The utility company and/or a qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 10  
    Electric wires about 6' above ground.
     

    33) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The service drop wires were less than three feet above one or more sections of roof with a slope of 3/12 (three inches vertical for every 12 inches horizontal) or more. This is a safety hazard for shock since people on the roof may come into contact with the service drop wires. The utility company and/or a qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 14  
    Wires close to roof surface.
     

    34) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Neutral and equipment ground conductors were combined at sub-panel # B. This should only occur in the main service panel, and is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. Neutral conductors should be attached to a "floating" neutral bar not bonded to the panel, while grounding conductors should be attached to a separate grounding bar bonded to the sub-panel. A qualified electrician should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 33  
    Ground and neutral bar connected in sub-panel.
     

    35) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Two-pronged electric receptacles rather than three-pronged, grounded receptacles were installed in some areas. They are considered to be unsafe by today's standards and limit the ability to use appliances that require a ground in these rooms. Examples of appliances that require grounded receptacles include:

  • Computer hardware
  • Refrigerators
  • Freezers
  • Air conditioners
  • Clothes washers
  • Clothes dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Kitchen food waste disposers
  • Information technology equipment
  • Sump pumps
  • Electrical aquarium equipment
  • Hand-held motor-operated tools
  • Stationary and fixed motor-operated tools
  • Light industrial motor-operated tools
  • Hedge clippers
  • Lawn mowers

    This list is not exhaustive. A qualified electrician should evaluate and install grounded receptacles as per the client's needs and standard building practices.
    36) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more electric receptacles at the kitchen, bathroom(s), garage, basement had no visible ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of shock. Recommend having a qualified electrician evaluate to determine if GFCI protection exists, and if not, repair as necessary. For more information, visit:
    http://www.mikeholt.com/documents/nec/pdf/GFCI_requirement_page2.pdf

    37) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Some light fixtures were damaged or loose. A qualified person should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.

    Photo 24  
    Missing top at exterior light fixture.

    Photo 36  
    Loose light fixture.

    38) Safety, Repair/Replace - Based on the age of this structure and the appearance of existing smoke alarms, the alarms may be older than 10 years old. According to National Fire Protection Association, aging smoke alarms don't operate as efficiently and often are the source for nuisance alarms. Older smoke alarms are estimated to have a 30% probability of failure within the first 10 years. Newer smoke alarms do better, but should be replaced after 10 years. Unless you know that the smoke alarms are new, replacing them when moving into a new residence is also recommended by NFPA. For more information, visit this article: NFPA urges replacing home smoke alarms after 10 years.
    39) Safety, Evaluate - Branch circuit wiring installed in buildings built prior to the mid 1980s is typically rated for a maximum temperature of only 60 degrees Centigrade. This includes non-metallic sheathed (Romex) wiring, and both BX and AC metal clad flexible wiring. Knob and tube wiring, typically installed in homes built prior to 1950 may be rated for even lower maximum temperatures. Newer electric fixtures including lighting and fans typically require wiring rated for 90 degrees Centigrade. Connecting older, 60 degree-rated wiring to such newer fixtures is a potential safety hazard due to the risk of fire. Repairs for such conditions often involve replacing the last few feet of wiring to newer fixtures with new 90 degree-rated wire. This often requires installing a junction box to join the old and new wiring.

    It is beyond the scope of this inspection to determine if such incompatible components are installed, or to determine the extent to which they're installed. Based on the age of this building, the client should be aware that this safety hazard may be present in this building. Recommend consulting with the property owner to determine if and when newer fixtures were installed, and/or to have a qualified electrician evaluate and repair as per standard building practices.

    40) Repair/Replace - Electric panel(s) at location #A were not opened and fully evaluated due to the following conditions: cover would not open. Recommend that repairs, modifications and/or cleanup be performed as necessary so panels can be opened and fully evaluated.

    Photo 34  
    Main panel could not be opened.
     

    41) Evaluate - Some light fixtures were inoperable. Recommend further evaluation by replacing bulb(s) and/or consulting with the property owner. Repairs or replacement of the light fixture(s) by a qualified electrician may be necessary.
    42) - One or more carbon monoxide detectors didn't respond when tested. A qualified person should evaluate and replace detectors, replace batteries or make repairs as necessary. For more information, visit http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5077.html
     
    Plumbing / Fuel Systems Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: private wells and sewage disposal systems; main, side and lateral sewer lines; gray water systems; pressure boosting systems; incinerating or composting toilets; fire suppression sprinkler systems; water softeners, conditioners or filtering systems; plumbing components concealed within the foundation or building structure, or in inaccessible areas such as below tubs; underground utilities and systems; overflow drains for tubs and sinks; backflow prevention devices. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not operate water supply or shut-off valves due to the possibility of valves leaking or breaking when operated. The inspector does not test for lead in the water supply, the water pipes or solder, does not determine if plumbing and fuel lines are adequately sized, and does not determining the existence or condition of underground or above-ground fuel tanks.
    Condition of service and main line: Appeared serviceable
    Location of main water shut: At jet pump
    Water service: Private
    Service pipe material: Plastic
    Condition of supply lines: Appeared serviceable, Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
    Supply pipe material: Copper, Galvanized steel
    Condition of waste lines: Appeared serviceable
    Waste pipe material: Plastic, Cast iron
    Condition of fuel system: Appeared serviceable
    Location of main fuel shut: At boiler
    Visible fuel storage systems: Oil tank in basement
    43) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more plumbing vent pipes terminated less than 10 feet horizontally from a window or door that opens. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of sewer gases entering the structure. A qualified contractor should make repairs as necessary so vent pipes terminate at least 10 feet horizontally from openings into living spaces, but preferably above the roof surface.
    44) Safety, Comment - Copper water supply pipes in buildings built prior to 1986 may be joined with solder that contains lead. Lead is a known health hazard, especially for children. Laws were passed in 1985 prohibiting the use of lead in solder, but prior to that solder normally contained about 50 percent lead. The client should be aware of this, especially if children will be living in this structure. Evaluating for the presence of lead in this structure is not included in this inspection. The client should consider having a qualified lab test for lead, and if necessary take steps to reduce or remove lead from the water supply. Various solutions such as these may be advised:

  • Flush water taps or faucets. Do not drink water that has been sitting in the plumbing lines for more than six hours.
  • Install appropriate filters at points of use.
  • Use only cold water for cooking and drinking. Hot water dissolves lead more quickly than cold water.
  • Use bottled or distilled water.
  • Treat well water to make it less corrosive.
  • Have a qualified plumbing contractor replace supply pipes and/or plumbing components as necessary.

    For more information visit:
    http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5056.html
    http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead/index.html
    45) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more outside faucets were leaking. For example, from the valve stem when turned on or from the spigot when turned off. The handles at one or more outside faucets were missing. One or more outside faucets were not the "frost-free" design, and are more likely to freeze during cold weather. A qualified plumber should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 16  
    Missing handle on exterior hose bib. Faucet is dripping. Not frost free type.
     

    46) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Evidence of one or more possible abandoned underground oil tanks was found (vent pipe, metal supply lines, etc.). The client should determine if underground oil tank(s) exist on this property, and if tank(s) have been removed or legally decommissioned.

    If the tank(s) haven't been decommissioned or removed, then the client may be liable for decommission and/or cleanup of contaminated soil in the future. Recommend the following:
  • Have any non-decommissioned, abandoned underground oil tanks legally decommissioned or removed as necessary.
  • Have the soil tested for oil contamination.
  • Have contaminated soil removed as necessary.

    Photo 49  
    Pipes to abandoned underground oil tank.
     

    47) Repair/Replace - The laundry sink drain leaks and needs repair.
    48) Evaluate, Comment - Based on the apparent age of the water supply lines and/or observations made during the inspection, some of the water supply lines in this building were near the end of their service life. The clients should monitor these lines for leaks and budget for replacing supply lines as necessary in the near future.

    Photo 43  
    Galvanized steel supply and drain pipes. These supply pipes are likely the reason for the low water flow in the hall bathroom.
     
     
    Water Heater Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: solar water heating systems; circulation systems. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of remaining life on water heaters, does not determine if water heaters are appropriately sized, or perform any evaluations that require a pilot light to be lit.
    Condition of water heater: Near, at or beyond service life
    Type: Domestic coil in boiler
    Manufacturer: Peerless
    49) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Active leaks were found at the domestic coil in the boiler. A qualified plumber should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.

    Photo 50  
    Leak at domestic coil in boiler.
     
     
    Heating Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters; solar, coal or wood fired heat systems; thermostat or temperature control accuracy and timed functions; heating components concealed within the building structure or in inaccessible areas; underground utilities and systems; safety devices and controls (due to automatic operation). Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of remaining life on heating system components, does not determine if heating systems are appropriately sized, or perform any evaluations that require a pilot light to be lit. It is beyond the scope of this inspection to determine if furnace heat exchangers are intact and free of leaks.
    Condition of heating system: Near, at or beyond service life
    Location of heating system: Basement
    Heating type: Hot water
    Fuel type: Oil
    Manufacturer: Peerless
    Last service date: 4/2/10
    Source for last service date: Label on heater
    Condition of burners: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of venting system: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
    Condition of combustion air supply: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of distribution system: Appeared serviceable
    Distribution system: Pipes and convectors, Pipes and radiators
    Condition of controls: Appeared serviceable
    50) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more sections of metal flue pipe were reverse-sloped or had a substandard rise. This is a safety hazard due to the risk of leaking exhaust gases. Standard building practices typically require flue pipes to rise a minimum of 1/4 inch per foot of length. This minimizes accumulation of corrosive condensation in the flue pipe and ensures that exhaust gases vent up through the flue pipe as intended. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 51  
    Negative slope at boiler flue.
     

    51) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Combustible materials were too close to the flue pipe. This is a fire hazard. Combustible materials should be moved well away from the flue or repairs made by a qualified contractor as necessary. Standard building practices typically require the following clearances:

  • Minimum one inch from "B" vent for gas-fueled burner
  • Minimum two inches from double wall pipe for oil or gas-fueled burner
  • Minimum 18 inches from single wall pipe with no draft hood for oil or gas-fueled burner
  • Minimum 9 inches from single wall pipe with a draft hood for oil-fueled burner
  • Minimum 6 inches from single wall pipe with a draft hood for gas-fueled burner
    52) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - What appeared to be asbestos was visible on pipes. It was significantly deteriorated in areas, and if it was asbestos, it may pose a health hazard and require abatement. Recommend having this material tested at a qualified lab. If the material is found to contain asbestos, recommend consulting with a qualified asbestos abatement contractor or industrial hygienist. For information on asbestos hazards in the home, visit:
    http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/453.html

    Most of the insulation has been removed but there are remnants that are in friable condition.

    Photo 42  
    Remnants off asbestos insulation on heating pipes.
     

    53) Safety, Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The last service date of this system appeared to be more than one year ago, or the inspector was unable to determine the last service date. The client should ask the property owner when it was last serviced. If unable to determine the last service date, or if this system was serviced more than one year ago, a qualified heating and cooling contractor should inspect, clean, and service this system, and make repairs if necessary. For safety reasons, and because this system is fueled by gas or oil, this servicing should be performed annually in the future. For more information visit: http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml05/05017.html
    54) Major Defect, Comment - The estimated useful life for most steel boilers is 20 years. This boiler appeared to be beyond this age and/or its useful lifespan and may need replacing or significant repairs at any time. Recommend budgeting for a replacement in the near future.
     
    Cooling / Heat Pump Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters; thermostat or temperature control accuracy and timed functions; cooling components concealed within the building structure or in inaccessible areas; underground utilities and systems; safety devices and controls (due to automatic operation). Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of remaining life on cooling system components, does not determine if cooling systems are appropriately sized, and does not test coolant pressure. Condensation pans and drain lines may clog or leak at any time and should be monitored while in operation in the future.
    Condition of cooling system and/or heat pump: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below), Near, at or beyond service life
    Type: Packaged units
    Manufacturer: Friedrich
    55) Major Defect, Comment - The estimated useful life for most cooling systems and heat pumps is 10 to 15 years. This system appears to be this age and/or its useful lifespan and may need replacing or significant repairs at any time. Recommend budgeting for a replacement in the near future.
    56) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The following conditions were found at the AC: corrosion. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 18  
    Deteriorated AC.
     

    57) Comment - The outdoor air temperature was below 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the inspection. Because of this, the inspector was unable to operate and fully evaluate the cooling system.
     
    Fireplaces / Stoves / Chimneys Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: coal stoves, gas logs, chimney flues (except where visible). Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not determine the adequacy of drafting or sizing in fireplace and stove flues, nor determine if prefabricated or zero clearance fireplaces are installed in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. The inspector does not perform any evaluations that require a pilot light to be lit.
    Location #A: Brick and stucco chimney with 3 flues
    Location #B: Fireplace
    Fireplace type: Masonry
    Fuel type: Wood
    Condition of chimneys: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
    Chimney type: Masonry, Stucco
    58) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Some masonry chimney terracotta flue tiles were deteriorated at location #A. This is a potential fire hazard. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 23  
    Interior of flue appears to be cracked and spalled.
     

    59) Safety, Evaluate - The chimney is a dead head type. This means that the vent pipe from the boiler enters at the base of the chimney with no space in the chimney below the entry of the vent pipe. Any debris falling down the chimney would block the vent pipe and exhaust gasses could enter the house. Installation of a metal flue liner is one way to correct this. You should consult with a chimney sweep or other qualified person for an adequate solution.

    Photo 52  
    Corroded boiler flue. Water stains below. Chimney is likely a dead head type.
     

    60) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The damper at location #B was corroded , difficult to operate. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    61) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The masonry chimney crown at location #A was cracked. The crown is meant to keep water off of the chimney structure. The chimney can be damaged by wet masonry going through freeze-thaw cycles. A properly constructed chimney crown should:

  • Be constructed using either pre-cast concrete slabs, cast-in-place steel reinforced concrete, solid stone, or metal
  • Be sloped down from the flue a minimum of 3 inches of fall per foot of run
  • Extend a minimum of 2-1/2 inches beyond the face of the chimney on all sides
  • Not directly contact the flue liner (if installed), and this gap should be filled with flexible caulk
  • Have flashing installed between the bottom of the crown and the top of the brick chimney

    A qualified chimney service contractor or mason should evaluate and repair or replace the crown as necessary.

    Photo 22  
    Cracked crown.
     

    62) Repair/Replace - There is a flat screen on top of the fireplace flue. Leaves or debris can accumulate on the screen and the blocked smoke may enter the house. Have the chimneys and any fireplaces or stoves cleaned and inspected by a qualified chimney sweep.

    Photo 21  
    Flat screen on fireplace flue.
     

    63) Repair/Maintain - The rain cap for the chimney flue at location # was deteriorated and the support bricks were loose. They prevent the following:

  • Rainwater entering flues and mixing with combustion deposits, creating caustic chemicals which can corrode flues
  • Rainwater entering flues and causing damage to masonry from freeze-thaw cycles

    A qualified person should install or replace rain caps, or make repairs where necessary. Flat screen on one flue

    Photo 20  
    Gap at rain cap. Closer stone is cracked and sagged.
     
     
    Kitchen Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: free-standing or portable appliances such as dishwashers, trash compactors, refrigerators, freezers, ice makers; specialty appliances such as hot water dispensers, water filters and trash compactors; appliance timers, clocks, cook functions, self and/or continuous cleaning operations, thermostat or temperature control accuracy, and lights. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not provide an estimate of the remaining life of appliances, and does not determine the adequacy of operation of appliances such as dishwashers, garbage disposals, trash compactors, ovens, broilers, etc.
    Condition of counters: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of cabinets: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of sinks and related plumbing: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of dishwasher: Near, at or beyond service life
    Condition of range, cooktop: Required repair, replacement and/or evaluation (see comments below)
    Range, cooktop type: Electric
    Condition of refrigerator: Appeared serviceable, 2010
    64) Safety, Repair/Replace - The range could tip forward, and an anti-tip bracket may not be installed. This is a safety hazard since the range may tip forward when weight is applied to the open door, such as when a small child climbs on it, or if heavy objects are dropped on it. Anti-tip brackets have been sold with all free standing ranges since 1985. An anti-tip bracket should be installed to eliminate this safety hazard. For more information, visit http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/remodeling/article/0,1797,HGTV_3659_2017492,00.html
    65) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Leaking or dripping was found at the kitchen sink faucet base. A qualified plumber should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 37  
    Leak at kitchen sink faucet.
     

    66) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The sink sprayer was inoperable. A qualified person should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    67) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more sinks drained slowly. A qualified person should evaluate and repair as necessary.

    Photo 38  
    Kitchen sink drains slowly, probably due to s-trap.
     

    68) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - 1, 2, 3, 4 cooktop were inoperable. A qualified person should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    69) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The dishwasher drain line was not configured with a "high loop" or "air gap". A high loop is created by routing the drain line up to the bottom surface of the counter top above, and securely fastening it to that surface. It is meant to prevent water from siphoning out of the dishwasher, and to prevent water from the sink drain or food disposal from entering the dishwasher. Some dishwashers have a built-in high loop where one is not required to be configured in the drain line. The client should try to determine if a high loop is required for this brand and model of dishwasher (review installation instructions, etc.). If one is required, or it cannot be determined if one is not required, then a qualified contractor should install a high loop as per standard building practices.

    Also, no "air gap" was installed. An air gap is another device meant to prevent water from the sink drain or food disposal from entering the dishwasher. They are required in some municipalities for new construction and when remodeling. The client should consult with a qualified contractor to determine if an air gap should be installed.

    Photo 39  
    Low dishwasher drain.
     
     
    Bathrooms / Laundry / Sinks Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: overflow drains for tubs and sinks; bidets, heated towel racks, saunas, steam generators, clothes washers, clothes dryers. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not determine the adequacy of washing machine drain lines, washing machine catch pan drain lines, or clothes dryer exhaust ducts. The inspector does not operate water supply or shut-off valves for sinks, toilets, bidets, clothes washers, etc. due to the possibility of valves leaking or breaking when operated. The inspector does not determine if shower pans or tub and shower enclosures are water tight, or determine the completeness or operability of any gas piping to laundry appliances.
    Location #A: Hall
    Location #B: Garage end
    Condition of counters: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of cabinets: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of sinks and related plumbing: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of toilets: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of bathtubs and related plumbing: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of shower(s) and related plumbing: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of ventilation systems: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of laundry facilities: Machines not tested
    Gas supply for laundry equipment present: No
    240 volt receptacle for laundry equipment present: Yes
    70) Safety, Repair/Replace - The clothes dryer was equipped with a foil, accordion-type, flexible exhaust duct. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission considers these types of ducts to be unsafe, and a fire hazard. These types of ducts can trap lint and are susceptible to kinks or crushing, which can greatly reduce the air flow. This duct should be replaced with a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct, and by a qualified contractor if necessary. Most clothes dryer manufacturers specify the use of a rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct. For more information on dryer safety issues, visit:
    http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5022.html

    71) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - There was either no water, or a low flow from the hot, cold water faucet at the shower at location #A. A qualified person should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    72) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The exhaust fan at location #B was inoperable. Moisture may accumulate as a result. A qualified person should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.
     
    Interior Rooms / Areas Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The following items are not included in this inspection: security, intercom and sound systems; communications wiring; central vacuum systems; elevators and stair lifts; sources of obnoxious odors; cosmetic deficiencies due to normal wear and tear in wall, floor and ceiling surfaces and coverings, or in equipment; deficiencies relating to interior decorating; low voltage and gas lighting systems. Any comments made regarding these items are as a courtesy only. Note that the inspector does not evaluate any areas or items which require moving stored items, furnishings, debris, equipment, floor coverings, insulation or similar materials. The inspector does not test for asbestos, lead, radon, mold, hazardous waste, urea formaldehyde urethane, or any other toxic substance. Some items such as window operability are tested on a sampled basis. The client should be aware that paint may obscure wall and ceiling defects, floor coverings may obscure floor defects, and furnishings may obscure wall, floor and floor covering defects. If furnishings were present during the inspection, recommend a full evaluation of walls, floors and ceilings that were previously obscured when possible. Determining the cause of odors is not within the scope of this inspection.
    Exterior door material: Wood
    Condition of exterior entry doors: Appeared serviceable
    Condition of interior doors: Appeared serviceable
    Type of windows: Wood, Single pane, Multi-pane, Sliding, Casement, Fixed, Awning
    Condition of windows: Appeared serviceable
    Wall type or covering: Drywall or plaster
    Condition of walls: Appeared serviceable
    Ceiling type or covering: Drywall or plaster, Tiles
    Condition of ceilings: Appeared serviceable
    Flooring type or covering: Vinyl, Wood, Tile
    73) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The inspector was unable to verify that the glass used in one or more exterior doors, storm doors was approved safety glass. Glazing that is not approved safety glass located in areas subject to human impact is a safety hazard. Standard building practices generally require that approved safety glass be used in swinging and sliding doors except where "art glass", jalousie windows or glazing smaller than a three inch opening are used. A qualified contractor should evaluate and replace glass if necessary, and as per standard building practices.
    74) Safety, Repair/Replace, Evaluate - The inspector was unable to verify that the glass used in some windows was approved safety glass where required. Window glazing that is not approved safety glass located in areas subject to human impact is a safety hazard. Standard building practices generally require that approved safety glass be used in but not limited to the following conditions:

  • Windows with a pane larger than nine square feet, having a bottom edge closer than 18 inches to the floor and a top edge higher than 36 inches above the floor within 36 inches, horizontally, of a walking surface
  • Windows that are both within a 24 inch arc of a door and within 60 inches of the floor
  • Glazing in walls enclosing stairway landings or within five feet of the bottom and top of stairways where the bottom edge of the glass is less than 60 inches above the floor

    Note that "art glass" (leaded, faceted, carved or decorative) may be an acceptable alternative for safety glass due to its visibility. Also, a 1 1/2 inch wide protective bar on the accessible side of the glass placed 34 to 38 inches above the floor may serve as an acceptable substitute for safety glass.

    A qualified contractor should evaluate and replace glass or make modifications if necessary and as per standard building practices.

    Photo 40  
    Non-tempered glass in windows in stairwell.
     

    75) Safety, Comment - Stairs were unsafe due to the following non standard configuration: low overhead clearance. Standard building practices require that:

  • Riser heights not vary by more than 3/8 inch on one flight of stairs
  • Risers should not exceed eight inches in height
  • Treads should be at least nine inches deep, but preferably 11 inches deep
  • Minimum stairway width is 36 inches (although 30 inches is common in older homes)
  • Minimum overhead clearance at stairs is six feet eight inches

    At a minimum, the client should be aware of this hazard, especially when guests who are not familiar with the stairs are present. Ideally a qualified contractor should evaluate and repair as necessary, and as per standard building practices.
    76) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more exterior doors wouldn't latch. A qualified person should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    77) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - One or more storm doors missing. A qualified person should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.

    Photo 25  
    Missing storm door.
     

    78) Repair/Replace, Evaluate - Some interior doors were sticking, were misaligned. A qualified person should evaluate and repair as necessary.
    79) Repair/Replace - The weatherstrip around one or more exterior doors was missing. A qualified person should repair or replace as necessary.
    80) Repair/Replace - Glass in some windows was cracked or broken. A qualified contractor should replace glass where necessary.

    Photo 44  
    Cracked glass.
     

    81) Repair/Replace - Fixtures such as door stops were missing in one or more areas. A qualified person should install missing fixtures as per standard building practices.
    82) Repair/Replace - Some sections of flooring had deterioration or damage. For example, cracked tile in bathroom. A qualified person should repair as necessary.
    83) Repair/Maintain, Evaluate - The glazing putty at some windows was deteriorated. A qualified person should evaluate and repair as necessary. For more information, visit:
    http://www.oldhouseweb.com/stories/Detailed/12216.shtml

    Photo 15  
    Deteriorated glazing putty.
     
     
    Private Well Return to table of contents
    Limitations: The inspector does not test private well water for contamination or pollutants, determine if the supply and/or flow are adequate, or provide an estimate for remaining life of well pumps, pressure tanks or equipment. Only visible components are evaluated. The client should have qualified lab test the well water for bacterial contaminants. A qualified well specialist should evaluate the well and perform a yield test.
    Condition of private water supply: Appeared serviceable
    Type of well: Not determined
    Condition of pump: Appeared serviceable
    Type of pump: Two pipe jet pump
    Condition of pressure tank: Appeared serviceable
    84) Repair/Replace, Comment - The well was not observed or evaluated during the inspection. It is most likely a buried well. Buried wells can allow surface water or contaminants into the well. Ideally the well casing should be extended to at least 12" above the ground.
     
    Septic System Evaluation Return to table of contents

    85) Evaluate - There appears to be two sanitary disposal systems. It is unknown if the they are septic systems or cesspools, or if the tanks are concrete or steel. There is a depression in the lawn on the left side that may be an indication of a collapsed steel tank. It needs further evaluation.
    86) - Dye was injected into the system via the first floor toilet and water was allowed to run for a period of time exceeding one hour. Toilets were flushed in an attempt to load the system. A septic system that has not been in service for any amount of time, prior to the test, is difficult to evaluate. Systems should be in continual operation prior to the test. If the system has not been in continual use for the preceding 90 days then a level I inspection would be required to determine the condition of the system. It is recommended that additional inspections and testing be performed prior to closing on the property


    87) - The field was walked and the system appeared to be operating normally. No dye or standing water were noted. The tank was not located or inspected and pumping of the tank would be recommended to obtain accurate information on the condition of the tank and drainage field.
    88) - All information contained in this report is based upon conditions observed by the inspector at the time of the inspection only. Many factors contribute to the satisfactory and safe operation of a sewage disposal system. Any change in those factors or usage may alter the performance or continued use. Regular maintenance should be performed. This survey is not intended as either an approval or disapproval of the sewage disposal systems and continued operation cannot be guaranteed. There was no system information provided at the time of the inspection. A septic service company should be retained to pump and evaluate the septic system prior to closing.
     
    Perspective Summary Return to table of contents
    Perspective Summary: The Home In Perspective:

    While we look for significant issues and deficiencies, another part of our job consists of providing basic factual information to the client. Often, this factual information, when put in perspective, provides valuable insight into the condition of the home.

    We provide facts to the client. Sometimes these facts and descriptions disclose obvious deficiencies at the property or the home, such as leaking pipes. Other times the facts might be as basic as describing the materials used in the construction of the home: the driveway is gravel; the sidewalk is concrete; the heating system is new, propane and 80% efficient; the home has a septic tank; the water comes from a well; the shingles are architectural grade composition material and so forth. On other occasions, we might provide interpretations of the facts, such as explaining why a certain deficiency is a significant problem and not merely a trivial annoyance.

    It is not unusual to find that providing the facts will disclose a deficiency, even if other obvious problems are not readily apparent. As an example, old knob and tube wiring (pre-1950's) is a safety concern that makes a home harder or more costly to insure. Old galvanized steel pipes, used as supply pipes or for drain systems, are of such an age that they are currently past their design lives. Whether these old steel pipes are rusted, leaking or in good condition at the time of the inspection, anyone buying a home with pipes of this vintage should be told that the plumbing will need an upgrade in the not too distant future.

    On the other hand we have the responsibility to point out items in the home that would be considered above that of the typical or average home. That may be a 200 ampere electric service where a 100 ampere system would be expected. A high efficiency heating system; a greater amount of insulation then code calls for; granite kitchen counter tops; a higher level of trim and finishing. Etc.

    Any home inspector, who does not provide essential information on the systems, components and materials found at the home, is not a thorough professional and is not doing a quality job that serves the best interests of his or her clients.

    With all the information provided we look at a house in perspective to its peers. That is we compare that 1950 brick ranch to other homes of the same type and age. We never compare new homes to old homes, etc.

    This home in perspective would be considered to be:

    Grounds: Average
    Exterior / Foundation: Average
    Roof / Attic: Average
    Plumbing / Fuel: Average
    Garage: Below Average
    Electric: Average
    Water Heater: Average
    Heating: Below Average
    Cooling: Below Average
    Fireplace / Chimneys: Average
    Kitchen: Average
    Bathroom / Laundry: Average
    Interior: Average
    Well: Average
     
    Thank you for using Habitat Home & Building Inspection Services, Inc.