Monday, December 19, 2016

The Home Inspection

You always need a home inspection before buying a house.

No matter how old, how new or how renovated you should never buy a house without an inspection first.

There is no such thing as the perfect house.  Every home has issues that need to be addressed now.

Even the current home owner or the builder won't know all the underlying issues uncovered during a home inspection.

A home owner isn't typically crawling to the back corner of their crawlspace to inspect for a plumbing leak and a builder isn't always over the shoulders of his sub-contractors making sure they don't miss a step during the new construction process.

During a home inspection performed by Lookout Inspections home inspector Edwin Bear, everything will be inspected at the property.  For a Chattanooga home inspection, or for one in the surrounding areas, if there is a Supra lock box present, and there usually is, Edwin Bear has access to these lock boxes, so your realtor does not need to unlock the home.  The inspection takes about three hours to complete.  At the end of the inspection a summary of the main issues will be reviewed if the buyer is present.

A detailed report will be sent to the buyer within 24 hours after the completion of the inspection.  It will include sections for the roof, exterior, foundation, attic, garage/carport, interior, kitchen, bathroom(s), HVAC, electric, plumbing and pool.  

The report will usually consist of 30-40 pages with all aspects of the property covered throughout the report including photographs and commentary.  The main issues that need to be addressed now will be summarized on the last few pages of the report.  This helps separate the issues that need repairs immediately compared to the minor issues from normal wear and tear.

The issues on the summary page(s) are what the buyer should speak with the seller about addressing prior to purchase.  This is used as a negotiating tool for the buyer to either have the seller hire contractors to make the repairs, or for the seller to give the buyer an allowance to make the repairs.  

Home inspectors are in the business of saving you thousands of dollars in a time when you are making one of the biggest investments in your life.  Lookout Inspections motto is 'Looking out for you and your home investment.'  

Remember, when buying a house you always need a home inspection.  And the same goes for commercial buildings.

Edwin Bear
HI 1078
InterNACHI 11011207
Chattanooga home inspector.  Tennessee home inspector.  Georgia home inspector. 
InterNACHI member.  HITA member.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chinese Drywall

Like Donald Trump says, "We're losing to China," and there's no difference when it comes to drywall.

Chinese Drywall contains sulfur causing a black corrosion and damage to electric wiring, HVAC components, plumbing lines, fixtures, household appliances and electronics.  It can also produce a 'rotten egg' smell and cause health issues, although there isn't enough information to prove any health concerns.

The majority came into the Port of Miami and Port Everglades around 2004, with the target period being from 2003-2009, according to the State of Florida.  Some say it started coming in around 2001 and maybe even sooner.

It didn't only arrive in South Florida, though, according to the Port Input Export Reporting Service, it came in to the majority of the ports in Florida and in other states including Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, and New Jersey just to name a few.  There are reports of Chinese Drywall being imported to other countries throughout the globe as well.

The most effective way to determine if drywall is from China is, of course, it is labeled "Made in China," although this is not always easy to determine when it is already installed.  If any of the Chinese Drywall indicators are in your home or apartment, no matter where you live, it is highly recommended to contact a licensed contractor, like a home inspector, for a Chinese Drywall inspection.

Lookout Inspections travels throughout Tennessee and Georgia with the majority of inspections being performed in Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, Cleveland, Soddy Daisy, Sale Creek, Ooltewah, Hixson, Jasper, Apison, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Red Bank, Englewood, Charleston, Middle Valley, South Pittsburgh, Collegedale, Dalton, Rossville, Ringgold, Chatsworth, Wildwood, Flintstone, Graysville, La Fayette, Rocky Face, Chickamauga, Rising Fawn, Rock Spring, Tunnel Hill, Fort Oglethorpe, Crandall, Varnell, Trenton, and Cohutta.  If your city is not listed Lookout Inspections will travel as far as you need for a home inspection in Tennessee and Georgia. We are still licensed for home inspections in Florida as well.  Chattanooga home inspector. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Importance of Re-Winterizing Properties After a Home Inspection

During the cold winter months vacant properties without electricity are typically winterized to keep pipes from freezing and bursting.

Winterizing properties can be done in a few ways.  Most typically the water is first shut off at the meter.  Then, the water is drained and an air compressor is used until the supply and drain lines are completely emptied. Finally, a special non-toxic anti-freeze solution is filled into the drain traps.  Sometimes companies will go an extra step and disconnect the hot water heater, dish washer and washing machine.

To de-winterize a property it is best to contact the company that winterized it originally to come out and reverse their steps as they know exactly how the property was winterized.

Another way to de-winterize a property is to simply run the water.  This is what's done during a home inspection.  A home inspector will make sure all supply and drain lines are connected prior to turning on the water at the meter.  Once the water drains through the lines this will wash away most or all of the anti freeze along with allowing water to sit in the supply and drain lines.

A home inspector will shut the water back off prior to the completion of the inspection and will run the water until the supply and drain lines appear free of water.  Of course, traces of water can and probably will remain in the supply and drain lines unless an air compressor is used to flush the lines completely.  A home inspector will not add anti-freeze to the plumbing system as it is prohibited unless licensed in the field.

With vacant properties, typically once the electricity is turned on it will be shut back off within a few days.  Once the electricity is shut back off, this will leave the pipes at risk of bursting due to water left in the pipes freezing.  And, of course, without electricity the heating system can not be turned on to help keep the water in the pipes from freezing.

Once a home inspection is complete on a vacant property make sure to re-winterize prior to the electricity being shut off to keep the property's pipes from bursting. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lookout Inspections Joins HITA

Lookout Inspections owner and home inspector Edwin Bear joined the Home Inspectors of Tennessee Association (HITA) this past week.

HITA announced they will offer a one year membership to all International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) members and vice versa.  Bear has been an InterNACHI member for four years coming this January.

Lookout Inspections current memberships include HITA, InterNACHI and the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors (GCAR).  With the GCAR membership Bear has access to all properties with a Supra lock box key, allowing realtors and potential home buyer/sellers the luxury of not being present during a home inspection.

Lookout Inspections home inspection servicing areas are anywhere in Tennessee or Georgia including Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, Cleveland, Soddy Daisy, Sale Creek, Ooltewah, Hixson, Jasper, Apison, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Red Bank, Englewood, Charleston, Middle Valley, South Pittsburgh, Collegedale, Dalton, Rossville, Ringgold, Chatsworth, Wildwood, Flintstone, Graysville, La Fayette, Rocky Face, Chickamauga, Rising Fawn, Rock Spring, Tunnel Hill, Fort Oglethorpe, Crandall, Varnell, Trenton, and Cohutta. 

Bear also continues to hold his home inspector license in Florida.  Any Florida home inspections can be scheduled per request.

Lookout Inspections is looking out for you and your home investment throughout Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


When issues are found during a home inspection it is always recommended to have the repairs completed by a licensed contractor in the related field.

For example, if reversed polarity (hot and neutral wires reversed) is found at an outlet it is recommended to contact a licensed electrician for repairs.

This way if any issues happen after the repairs were made you will have documentation from the licensed contractor, putting liability on the contractor to come back out and fix the issue.

Even with documentation showing repairs from a licensed contractor some potential home buyers still want a licensed home inspector to come back out and re-inspect the repairs made since the initial inspection to ensure they were done correctly.

This is very understandable as purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.  Double checking is never a bad idea.

Lookout Inspections will come back out once all repairs are made to do a re-inspection of the previous issues found for just $75.

Lookout Inspections is looking out for you and your home investment.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lookout Inspections Renews InterNACHI Membership
Lookout Inspections owner, Edwin Bear, renewed his International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) membership for the third consecutive year.  Bear's InterNACHI membership began January 2011.

InterNACHI is the largest home inspection association in the world with members in all 50 states as well as members in over 60 other countries.

InterNACHI members are obligated to stand by the organization's code of ethics and standards of practice.  Members have access to continuing education courses online to take at anytime for state licensing requirements and for simple refreshers.

In Tennessee and Georgia it is not required to be apart of an inspector association to obtain a home inspector license.  There are education course requirements prior to the passing of a certified state licensing exam, then continuing education requirements for Tennessee.  In Georgia there are no educational or licensing requirements.

With a Lookout Inspections comprehensive home inspection in Chattanooga, TN and the greater surrounding areas you are receiving a reputable InterNACHI backed home inspection.