Daily Archives: May 20, 2008

Kansas Registration Act Signed By Govenor

On Sunday, May 18th, Govenor Sebelius signed HB 2315 to require registration for all home inspectors practicing in the state of Kansas. This bill establishes minimum requirements for professional home inspectors in our state. It also establishes a Kansas Home Inspector Registration Board.

Key elements of the new law include:

  • As of July 1, 2009, all home inspectors working in counties with populations greater than 60,000 are required to have:
    • Proof of General Liability Insurance coverage of at least $100,000.
    • Proof of Errors & Omissions Insurance (or similar fiscal responsibility) of at least $10,000.
    • Proof of membership in good standing in one of the nationally recognized home inspection organizations (TBD by the board by January 1, 2009).
    • Have passed a proctored exam by a testing organization approved by the board.
    • Obtain a minimum of 16 hours of continuing education credit each year.
    • And have done one of the following options prior to May 18th, 2009:
      • Completed an 80 hour classroom course on home inspections
      • For inspectors operating in counties with populations of 60,000, have been in business for two years and completed 100 fee-paid inspections.
      • For inspectors operating in counties with populations of less than 60,000, have been in business for two years and completed 35 fee-paid inspections.
    • Inspectors working in counties of 60,000 or less have an additional 18 months to meet these qualifications (till January 1, 2011).
  • Home inspectors may not limit their liability to less than $10,000. By the same token, home inspectors are not liable for damages in excess of $10,000 (unless otherwise agreed by the inspector and the person hiring the inspector – and, most likely, additional fees paid).
  • Home inspectors liability extends 12 months. Any actions to recover damages from an inspector must be brought no later than 12 months from the date of inspection.

It bears repeating – this bill establishes the MINIMUM requirements for home inspectors. Does it protect the consumer? Time will tell.

There will still be a difference among inspectors – some better than others.  As we’ve said in previous blogs, its important to interview your inspector. Take time to understand what he/she will do for you.  Regardless of the new law, you’ll still get what you pay for, so make sure you understand what you want before you make the call to hire a home inspector. It’ll save you a lot of aggravation in the long run.

 

Tune Ups Are Not Just For Cars

With the rising cost of gasoline we hear a lot about tuning up your car, but have you considered tuning up your home?

Yes, homes need tune ups also. We often neglect the things that work but most often those are the things that need scheduled maintenance the most. We can save a lot of money in energy costs by taking care of the house, and avoid repair costs due to neglect.

The most obvious but the most overlooked is your furnace filter. We call it a furnace filter but actually it filters your homes air whether it be for the furnace winter time use or the summer A/C. The filter should be changed per the filter manufacturers specifications. If you buy the cheap 50 cent filters, they need changed every month. These are only good for filtering basketballs and large toys. The better filters starting in cost from $4 and up are your best choice and need changing less often – every couple of months.

If you have never had your HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) system cleaned and tuned now is the time. With summer heat, the A/C needs to function as cool as possible. For the best cleaning, call a professional for a complete cleaning. The professional can clean areas of the A-coil Evaporator that you do not see but can build up with a nasty mess, restricting air flow and dramatically decreasing efficiency. A HVAC professional will also clean the condenser unit (the outside unit) and will check refrigerant levels. While they are there, go ahead and have them tune the furnace as well.

If you do not have a programmable thermostat this can be great way to save money and the payback is within a few months.

What does all of this cost? Most HVAC tune ups run around $100 plus refrigerant or replacement parts. This is cheap considering the cost to efficiently run your system. If this is outside your budget right now, at least change your filter and hose down the condenser unit. If you have a lot of vegetation growing around the condenser, trim it back at least a couple feet so the unit can breath.

All of these things will save you money and keep your home cool and warm.