Articles filed under Stone, Barry

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  • How to best insulate walls of an old house Jul 18, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We have an 80-year-old home with lathe and plaster on the inside walls. The house is hard to heat in the winter and becomes very hot in the summer, so we want to add insulation. What do you recommend?

     
  • Home inspector advised buyers not to buy Jul 11, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. The people who were buying our home canceled the deal on the advice of their home inspector. During the inspection, he found a crack in the foundation, which he blew entirely out of proportion.

     
  • Faulty septic system not disclosed Jul 4, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. When we bought our house, the sellers disclosed that the septic tank was only two years old. They also gave us a report from a local septic contractor that said the system had passed inspection. Recently, we had a sewage backup in our home and have now learned that the septic tank is old and needs to be replaced.

     
  • Ask the House Detective: Home inspector says nothing about mold Jun 27, 2014 8:38 AM
    Q. When we bought our house, the home inspector included pictures of the foundation under the building. In one photo, there are black stains that look like mold, but nothing about mold was mentioned in the report. Why would a home inspector say nothing about mold in his inspection report?

     
  • Buyer says home inspectors are worthless Jun 20, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. Your articles often advise people to hire home inspectors. In my opinion, that is bad advice. I had an inspection and it was a total waste of money.

     
  • Homebuyers discover unpermitted addition Jun 13, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. When we bought our home, we knew that the bonus room was an addition, but the sellers never disclosed that it was not approved by the building department. Recently, we received a notice from the city that a permit for a bonus room was pulled and will soon expire.

     
  • Sellers worried about lack of permits Jun 6, 2014 4:22 PM
    Q. We are in the process of trying to sell our home and are concerned about the various improvements we have done over the years without obtaining building permits. Will these be an issue when we sell the home?

     
  • New home inspector trying to get started May 30, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I am a new home inspector and am trying to break into the business. Some agents don’t want to recommend me to their buyers because I don’t have experience. What’s the trick to getting started in this business?

     
  • Leaky basement was masked by fresh paint May 23, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We bought our home about a year ago, and no one disclosed the water seepage in the basement. The concrete walls were freshly painted when we were in escrow, but now the paint has bubbled. The sellers never said a word about this in their disclosure statement. What do you think about the lack of disclosure, and how can we fix this problem?

     
  • Sinks, tub often drain to separate leach field May 16, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We bought our home a few months ago and discovered there is an open pipe that spills water into our backyard. Fortunately it only drains water from the kitchen and laundry. Nothing was disclosed by the sellers or our home inspector, and the home warranty company says this kind of problem is not covered by the policy.

     
  • Deal fairly with unpermitted dwellings May 9, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. In a recent article, you gave some advice that showed a lack of professional ethics. Someone wrote to you about an unpermitted guesthouse in their backyard. Rather than advising them to obey the law, you showed disdain for the building code and suggested ways of avoiding compliance.

     
  • Overreaching advice from home inspector May 2, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I am selling my home, and the buyer’s home inspector recommended replacing the furnace and water heater because of their age. Both are 20 years old and in good working order. Should I replace them even though they are in good condition?

     
  • Inspector’s repeat customer requires second look at same house Apr 25, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. One of the homes I inspected three years ago is now being resold, and the buyers want me to do the inspection. The seller, therefore, was the buyer who hired me three years ago. So I’m wondering if taking this job would be a conflict of interest, especially if there are differences in the findings of the two reports. What do you think about this?

     
  • Buyers experience substandard repairs Apr 11, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. When we bought our house, our home inspector found a list of defects, and we submitted a request for repairs to the sellers. The sellers hired a contractor to make the repairs. When he was finished, we got a copy of his $5,700 receipt stating that the repair work was completed. Since moving in, we found that five of the windows were not replaced.

     
  • Debate over bedroom closets continues Mar 28, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. In a recent article, you stated that a closet is not required in a bedroom. This was incorrect. As an ex-chief Appraiser for FHA, any bedroom without a closet is not considered a bedroom.

     
  • No excuse for inspector’s failure to document findings Mar 21, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. I am selling my home, and the buyers’ inspection report was hideous! The house is 40 years old, and I just spent $150k on a total remodel. According to the home inspector, the toilets are loose, but I’ve pushed against them and they don’t budge.

     
  • Home inspector did not inspect attic Mar 14, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We bought our home seven months ago and recently found cracked roof rafters in the attic. The warranty company denied our claim because the roof framing is over-spanned, and they said this should have been reported by our home inspector. They also found evidence of foundation settlement and suggested further evaluation of the structure.

     
  • Builder didn’t install insulation in unusual floor Mar 7, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. Our custom home was built about 10 years ago, and we recently discovered a major construction defect. The architecture is unusual, with the second story being cantilevered past the outer walls of the first story.

     
  • Association warns of “hot spots” in aluminum wiring Feb 28, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. Our condo was built in 1971, and the electrical system is wired with aluminum. Fortunately, all of the wire ends were retrofitted with copper “pigtails” about five years ago.

     
  • White particles signal a problem with the furnace Feb 21, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. Ever since we installed wood flooring, we notice little white granules on the floor every morning. We previously had white carpet, so we never noticed this before. We suspect that this is coming from the forced air registers in the ceiling, but we had the furnace checked by a heating contractor.

     
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