buck vinyl siding test

A Trade Secret: “Buck’s Vinyl Siding Test”

There's still a lot of confusion in the Real Estate industry about brick veneer cracks. I've been preaching for years that well over half of all cracking in brick veneer homes is NOT due to major foundation problems. But there are still dozens of home inspectors out there who are afraid of these cracks and the liability they think the cracks present, so they recommend that home buyers enlist the "Free" services of a foundation repair company to determine if the cracks pose a true threat. So, I'm going to help you in this little article to determine, with 90% accuracy, whether or not that brick veneer crack is of any major concern. I call it "Buck's Vinyl Siding Test."

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Are You a Fiduciary?

So, are you a Fiduciary?

"A fiduciary is a person who holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust with one or more other parties (person or group of persons)."

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never be able to sell this house

We’ll Never Be Able to Sell This House!

"We'll never be able sell this house!" This is a statement I've heard countless times during my three decade inspection career. It's a harrowing statement agonized by way too many homeowners and often sympathized by their ill-informed Realtors. Based on my personal experience, ninety-plus percent of the time this statement is ridiculous.  Why is it often spoken?  It's always because of silly little cracks that form in a home's drywall, brick veneer and/or foundation walls. It seems that most folks believe that any crack is a telltale sign of structural failure, and so some type of major (expensive) repair must be performed in order to give a prospective buyer confidence that the cause of the crack(s) has been taken care of via some form of foundation underpinning or structural repair. The saddest thing is that way too many times, expensive structural repairs are implemented without the proper studies to determine if they are really needed. It's usually a complete waste of money-money the homeowners probably did not have to spend.

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second opinion

You Need a Second Opinion

Imagine for a moment that you fell to the ground and got a scratch on your arm. You go to a clinic to get the scratch looked at and they tell you that you need a $10,000 operation to save your arm. There were no broken bones...no internal organs damaged...just a minor scratch on your arm! Would you take their word for it that you need this expensive operation, or would you get a second opinion?

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drought-induced foundation settlement

Drought-Induced Foundation Settlement?

What's all this talk about drought-induced foundation settlement in houses?

Well, it could very well be true!  If you live in and around Huntsville, or many other areas in North Alabama, where your home is founded on a highly plastic clay soil you might be seeing some foundation movement due to the past hot summer and limited rainfall.

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Guide to Structural Cracks in Homes

Do you have a crack in your home that you're concerned about? Are you unsure if your concern is valid? Is there a way to know if that crack indicates serious structural distress or if it's just cosmetic? We'll help you figure it out. 

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Our house is breaking in two

“Dear God, Martha, Our House is Breaking in Two!”

When I arrived at the home, the sellers were sitting at the kitchen table and the wife was in tears. “Our house is breaking in two!” “My husband has been laid off and the contractors are telling us it’s going to cost more than $10,000.00 to repair our cracked foundation.” I asked if I could see the floor crack. The husband took me into the living room and showed me. It was about 3/8-1/2-inch wide and extended across the entire width of the room, from the back wall toward the front. He explained, “we pulled up the carpet to put down hardwood flooring and we found this.” “It’s pretty bad, isn’t it”, he exclaimed. I peered around the room in a 360-degree glance and did not see any drywall cracks in the walls or ceiling. I walked across the floor and did not detect any floor slope. Finally I explained, “Mr. Smith, you have nothing to worry about!” This is simply a shrinkage crack. It is not a structural crack or sign that your foundation is breaking apart. It’s purely cosmetic. Read more