Drones Give Home Inspectors Bird's-eye View

Drones make checking hard-to-reach places, such as steep roofs, much easier for home inspectors and insurance agents. With new rules for drone piloting making headlines and companies that sell goods online musing about the possibility of drone-based delivery, the tiny, unmanned aerial vehicles seem to be gaining traction that goes beyond recreational use. Although hordes of drones buzzing by to deliver consumer goods to your doorstep may be years away, home inspectors use them now to get aerial photos and video of hard-to-reach places, delivering better results and saving clients money in the process. Glenn Fricke, owner of DG Construction and Inspections in St. Petersburg, Florida, says he

HEAT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS

Radiators are used in steam and hot water heating. Heat is distributed through your home in a variety of ways. Forced-air systems use ducts that can also be used for central air conditioning and heat pump systems. Radiant heating systems also have unique heat distribution systems. That leaves two heat distribution systems -- steam radiators and hot water radiators. STEAM RADIATORS Steam heating is one of the oldest heating technologies, but the process of boiling and condensing water is inherently less efficient than more modern systems, plus it typically suffers from significant lag times between the boiler turning on and the heat arriving in the radiators. As a result, steam systems make i

WOOD AND PELLET HEATING

Today you can choose from a new generation of wood- and pellet-burning appliances that are cleaner burning, more efficient, and powerful enough to heat many average-sized, modern homes. Pellet fuel appliances burn small pellets that measure 3/8 to 1 inch in length. CHOOSING AND INSTALLING WOOD- AND PELLET-BURNING APPLIANCES When choosing a wood- or pellet-burning appliance, it's important to select one that's properly sized for the space to be heated. When an appliance is too big, residents tend to burn fires at a low smolder to avoid overheating, which wastes fuel and is one of the biggest causes of air pollution. An under-sized unit will not provide sufficient heat. You should discuss your

FURNACES AND BOILERS

Upgrading to a high efficiency furnace or boiler is an effective way to save money on home heating. Most U.S. homes are heated with either furnaces or boilers. Furnaces heat air and distribute the heated air through the house using ducts. Boilers heat water, and provide either hot water or steam for heating. Steam is distributed via pipes to steam radiators, and hot water can be distributed via baseboard radiators or radiant floor systems, or can heat air via a coil. Steam boilers operate at a higher temperature than hot water boilers, and are inherently less efficient, but high-efficiency versions of all types of furnaces and boilers are currently available. To learn more about furnaces, bo

5 Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Save for a Down Payment

Buying your first home conjures up all kinds of warm and fuzzy emotions: pride, joy, contentment. But before you get to the good stuff, you’ve got to cobble together a down payment, a daunting sum if you follow the textbook advice to squirrel away 20% of a home’s cost. Here are five creative ways to build your down-payment nest egg faster than you may have ever imagined. 1. Crowdsource Your Dream Home You may have heard of people using sites like Kickstarter to fund creative projects like short films and concert tours. Well, who says you can’t crowdsource your first home? Forget the traditional registry, the fine china, and the 16-speed blender. Use sites like Feather the Nest and Hatch My H

Should You Look for Your First House — Or Renew Your Lease?

Consider 5 key questions in your quest to decide whether you’re ready to go for it. Tired of working so hard just to build your landlord’s equity instead of your own? Been dreaming about paint swatches and obsessing over Pinterest projects? Making that leap from renting to owning a home comes with many perks — both financial and emotional. And even though home ownership comes with great responsibility, you might be surprised how achievable it can be. Certainly, the best time to trade security deposits for a down payment is different for everyone. If you’re thinking about switching from renting to owning, ask yourself these five questions to decide if you’re ready to embark on the home owners

Six Months After Quitting My Job – Here Are My Honest Thoughts

When I decided to pull the plug on my job at the end of 2015, there were a lot of thoughts running through my mind. On one hand, I was terrified. The idea of FINALLY quitting my job was something I had thought about for years, but it wasn’t something I actually considered doing until about 12 months ago. When I started looking at self-employment like a REAL, legitimate option for my future, a lot of conflicting thoughts came into the picture: Am I truly capable of surviving without a full-time job? What if all of my businesses fail and I suddenly stop making money? What then? What about health insurance? Do I really want to pay for that myself? What about all the other benefits my employer c

So You Want to Be a NY Home Inspector – Part 3

Let’s now take a look at your assets. For the record none of these are essential, just nice to have. 1. Experience with home construction 2. Interpersonal skills (people person) 3. Appearance (slim, gray haired, well dressed, 50 or so in age is ideal). 4. Credentialed (Engineering or Architectural degree) These assets speak for themselves but they are not essential. You could be a jerk, and #’s 1, 3, and 4 won’t save your career. I have always felt that inspecting a home is a two-man job and business, that is how I started and is a big part of my success. I first considered this business model when I was a rookie in 2003. A veteran, Joe Farsetta of ‘Downstate’, NY, was telling me about Ni

So You Want to Be a NY Home Inspector – Part 2

If you are considering becoming a Home Inspector you must take a personal inventory. Some of the obstacles that commonly impede success in this field are discussed below: Are you… 1. Stupid? 2. Old? 3. Young? 4. Female? 5. A racial minority? 6. Having difficulty being understood because of limited English proficiency? Of course I use the word “stupid” in a tongue-in-cheek manner because no one who is taking the time to read my words could be stupid. I refer to thinking in a certain way. The reason I put ‘stupid’ at the top of the list is that the only muscle that is important in the business of Home Inspection is the brain. It is not a particularly physically demanding job. It does take

NY Home Inspection – Part 1

Inspecting a house is a daunting task. Standing in front and looking at a house, an inspector can become overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that need to be checked in order to do a thorough inspection. It seems enormous; and it is. Look around the room you are in. Imagine that you need to examine and assess every item; from pencils to windows, walls to computer. Take a minute to see how many items there really are in our everyday environment. How would you begin? How would you be sure you did not miss something? You would need to list everything. You would need to break the items down into categories and systematically go through them and report your findings in a logical way. The fir

Door repair: how to fix a door that doesn’t latch

Repairing a door that doesn’t latch properly might seem like a quick and easy door repair, and it can be, but there are a few little tricks that make the job much easier. When a door doesn’t latch properly, it’s usually because the door has sagged in the opening, making it so the strike doesn’t line up with the hole in the jamb of the door, called the strike plate mortise. To know if that’s the case, you can typically just look at the strike plate to get an idea of whether or not things are lined up properly. You’ll notice that the metal will be worn where the strike hits; if this worn area doesn’t line up with the middle of the strike plate, it’s out of alignment. Try the easy stuff first B

Why You Need A Pre-Sale Home Inspection Before

If a home seller has Pre-Sales home inspection completed before putting their house on the market, they may be able to increase its value and get closer to their asking price by repairing issues uncovered during the home inspection. One of the main reasons home sale transactions fall apart are issues that are uncovered during the buyer's home inspection. When something unanticipated is discovered during the buyer's inspection of the property, oftentimes the buyers and sellers cannot agree on a remedy. A professional pre-sale inspection report is great sales tool. It sets your home apart from the thousands on the market. The more information prospective buyers have, the more thought they migh

FALL AND WINTER ENERGY-SAVING TIPS

This article will help you find strategies to help you save energy during the cool fall and cold winter months. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the winter. If you haven't already, conduct an energy audit to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings. Also check out no-cost and low-cost tips to save energy during the spring and summer. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HEAT FROM THE SUN Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close

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Kevin E. Maxwell, CPI (Owner and Operator) / T 1-800-598-4754 / maxwellhomeinspectionservcies@gmail.com 

 Maxwell Home Inspection Services, LLC, Albany, New York, 12202 / The Capital Regions #1 Home Inspection Service! 

Kevin Maxwell, NYS License #16000078744

Sean McCarthy, NYS License #16000102084

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