Are you buying a home with plans to renovate in the future?
Do you want to ensure house transforms into your dream home?
Do you desire an efficient, high-performance house but not sure of the steps involved?
I have 25 years of experience as an inspector, real estate broker and high-performance home builder. Let me answer your questions and guide you in your home buying decisions.
Home inspectors truly provide a valuable resource for a home buyer. But, what if the buyer considers a house that needs a lot of renovations or additions? An experienced inspector saves the buyer concerns. In contrast, an inspector with little experience does not understand all the budget considerations. Subsequently, a more qualified inspector identifies budget items for the buyer and anticipates unexpected costs.
Likewise, you need to obtain an accurate budget assessment from a contractor. The accuracy of this assessment depends greatly on the contractor’s experience. If you choose to obtain a budget from a renovation contractor, the assessment sometimes falls short of the full needs of the project. A friend of mine refers to such assessments as “contractor optimism.” It is not an intentional misrepresentation of the budget needs. Contractor optimism comes from the excitement generated by the possibility of a new project. As a result, their enthusiasm leads them to underestimate the true cost and time it will take to get the job done.
Most noteworthy, over the past 25 years, I assessed hundreds of homes in energy performance and energy upgrades. These assessments included remodels and additions. Hence, I know the quality (and lack of quality) in houses built in our area. With this level of experience, I understand how to make homes better. Moreover, my experience helps me realistically estimate the costs associated with such projects. Therefore, I deliver a complete and unbiased assessment of the house.
First of all, I believe timeliness is important. Therefore, I provide your inspection report within 24 hours of the inspection. My depth of knowledge allows me to quickly inspect and evaluate the potential of the home. I apply the same process to your property inspection as I apply to the properties I have purchased.
Disclosures – When you receive the inspection report, it includes several items. One of the items is a termite report. Another is the home inspection report (if both the termite report and home inspection report are available). In addition, my report includes any other disclosures on file.
Your Plans – Next, I address your specific plans and goals for the property. I include a discussion of my observations in regards to your plans.
High-Performance Assessment – As part of the process, I visit the site to determine the quality of the home construction. I consider the homes’ fit for your plans. During the site visit, I perform a visual performance inspection. From this visual inspection, I list a breakdown of how the house measures up to a high-performance home.
The Scope of Work – Finally, the report includes a scope of work required to transform the home into a high-performance home. In the report, I provide a preliminary budget for the renovations or additions you desire, if you request one.
My Experienced Opinion – In the summary, I address what you have in mind and annotate feedback on how the house fits your goals. Occasionally other inspectors miss something or possibly listed an item of little concern.
And, of course, you may obtain my services as a consultant or project manager if you move forward to buy the house and take on the project.
I provide assessments on both new homes and houses that you purchase to flip.
Honest and Transparent – With my many years of experience, my opinions are honest and transparent regarding the quality of workmanship.
First, during a home inspection, I identify areas where the home will perform well. Next, I report where the home performs poorly as a high-performance home. Also, the report includes a scope of work that identifies what needs to be done to transform the property into a high-performance home.
As the inspector, I include a discussion of my assessment of the property. I communicate how house fares in respect to four key high-performance factors. The four factors are efficiency, air quality, comfort, and durability. In addition, I prepare a list of home improvements to elevate the home’s performance level.
In keeping with my goal of a thorough inspection, my typical home performance assessment also includes a pressure test of the duct system and the house. Based on my years of experience, I equip you with an accurate assessment of how the house performs without doing the testing.
Home inspectors check out at the HVAC system. However, the inspection requirements do not call for a test in the level of performance. From my experience, inspectors indicate whether or not the HVAC system turns on. But, there is no indication of performance level. Typically, inspectors look in the attic and in the crawlspace. On average, the inspection report indicates whether or not the home includes insulation. In my years of work in thei field, most inspectors omit opinions on the systems’ installation. In contrast, my experience with high-performance homes allows me to easily formulate an opinion on how the how this particular house will perform.
I can tell you from years in the business that contractors get excited about the potential for a new project. A part of our human nature, the prospect of a new project often leads to underestimating the full scope of work. For that reason, under-budgeting often occurs in regard to high-performance upgrades.
Avoid the frustration and disappointment that results from underestimating the full cost of the project. Choose wisely. Start with a consultant who equips you with an unbiased opinion of what needs to be done and the budget needed to complete the project.
Home inspections provide value. Unfortunately, their value is limited. For example, if you buy a fixer with the intention of major renovations, the value of a home inspection report is reduced. Work with someone with extensive knowledge of renovation projects. His/her experience contributes value in the decision process as you determine the right project for you. He considers the kind of project you want to do. His experience equips you with budget planning and guidance. Through the years, I have purchased several fixers based on a simple inspection I performed myself.
In the beginning, most homes do not need an extensive performance test. As home energy audits and HERS whole house ratings increase in popularity, they are not necessary up front. As an experienced home performance inspector, my thorough reports result from visual inspections, occasionally coupled with infrared imagery. You receive sufficient information for a solid home performance report.
In many cases, you do not need to do extensive testing to determine a home’s performance. Unfortunately, many builders and house flippers desire the most money possible. They do not set durability and quality as part of their overall gameplan. Building codes set a low minimum standard that building inspectors must meet. Subsequently, many inexperienced inspectors do not focus on the quality of products used in the projects. Keeping quality in mind requires someone in charge who knows the difference.