cracks in brick veneer homes

Top 5 Causes of Cracks in Brick Veneer Homes

Based on my personal experience over the past 32 years of inspecting houses, I would say that differential brick expansion is the most common cause of cracking in brick veneer homes. The second is sag in double-wide garage door steel lintel beams. The third is steel lintel expansion. The fourth is differential foundation settlement and rounding out the list at fifth is reflective cracking.

As I’ve said many times, foundation repair contractors lump all five of these into one category: foundation settlement or foundation failure. This is literally the farthest thing from the truth when talking about cracks in brick veneer homes. We seldom see any differential foundation settlement problems that warrant expensive foundation underpinning repairs!!!

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Two Major Real Estate Deal Breakers

Two Major Real Estate Deal Breakers

There are two places within most homes that the homeowner seldom visits… the attic and the crawlspace. Because these two places are seldom visited or inspected, the homeowner is completely unaware of the issues– major real estate deal breakers –that are “hidden” from their view. As the old saying goes “Out of sight, out of mind.”

As a home inspector, I would guess that of the all the deals “I’ve purportedly killed” over the past 31 years, most of them would likely be based on problems that I found beneath the home or inside the attic space. Whenever I’ve found a problem and explained it to the buyer, they naturally became alarmed. When the Realtor told the seller, they became offended, and the next thing (it seemed), everyone was mad at each other. All of this could have been avoided had the homeowner requested a pre-listing home inspection. In a pre-listing home inspection the attic and crawlspace are carefully inspected to ensure that the homeowner is made aware of issues they might not have known existed. Necessary repairs can be made before the home is listed. As a result, when the future home buyer requests a home inspection, there won’t be any “unexpected surprises”.

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When it Comes to Home Inspections, is Cheaper Better?

When it Comes to Home Inspections, is Cheaper Better?

It never ceases to amaze me that the number one question home buyers ask about a home inspection is, “How much do you charge?”

I certainly understand this to a degree, but when they go on to try and negotiate price, or ask for discounts, I can’t say I get it.

Here’s why: “A home inspection is (not) a home inspection is (not) a home inspection.” In other words, you get what you pay for – and cheaper isn’t always better.

Why would someone want to spend hundreds of thousands on real estate, and skimp on the inspection? If something truly is wrong, it’s that very inspection that could possibly keep them from making a colossal mistake — that is, if the inspector hired to do the job is a seasoned professional. Read more

Home Inspections

Home Inspections are like Phone Cases

My friend, Greg told me his story about going to buy a new iPhone last Friday night. He said that he and his wife hadn’t bought a new phone in several years and they were shocked to find out how much the newest model cost. As the sales rep was setting up the new phones that were purchased they went to pick out the cases for their new phones. There was a wide variety of cases at a wide variety of prices..from $20 to $70 and more. Greg told me “At first we were just going to find the cheapest case on the shelf, but then I got to thinking ‘I’ve just spent a considerable amount of money for this phone, so I’m going to protect my investment by buying a better constructed, higher-end case…it wouldn’t make sense to put a cheaply-made case around such an expensive phone!’ ”

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