Category Archives: Crown Home Inspections

Knowledge is King

iw-orlando-head1I can’t stress enough the importance of continuing education. The home inspector that gives up learning should also give up inspecting. In this profession, there is always something new and old to learn. Hiring a home inspector that continues to invest in knowledge is a good investment as a home owner.

I recently returned from ASHI’s InspectionWorld 2009 in Orlando. As usual, the variety of topics and quality of speakers was phenomenal. Continuing education sessions ranged from advanced plumbing, electrical, building codes, green buildings, roofing, foundations, stucco and on and on.

If I’m looking for a doctor, I want the most educated one I can find. The one with the most up-to-date knowledge in his business. One that invests in himself.

The same should hold true for anyone looking for a home inspector.

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You Get What You Paid For

We have all heard the phrase “You get what you pay for.” We’re firm believers in continuing education and – yes – this all costs time and money.

Sadly, there are many inspectors offering big discounts at the buyer’s expense. What do I mean by that? When an inspector offers a discount, it’s usually for a reason. Many times it’s because of their lack of experience or lack of education. Because they don’t invest in themselves, thereby making them better at their profession, they choose to skimp on that aspect of their business and pass that “savings” on to you.

For example, lets talk about radon measurements. In KC there are about 250 inspectors, full time and part time. Almost all of these inspectors offer radon measurements. But how many have taken the time to take the Kansas radon measurement courses offered by Kansas State University in conjuction with the Kansas Dept.of Health. The last time I checked only about 10% have taken this course and are certified to offer Radon Measurements. 

It takes a lot of time and money to go to this level. Wouldn’t it be comforting to know that the person testing your home for a class “A” carcinogen actually knows what he/she is doing and why? Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and you may have selected the person to measure your home based on price and not expertise and training. The Kansas Radon Proficiency Program will only list providers that are trained and tested, but doesn’t list their price. (Yes, we’re listed there). When we finished our initial inspector-training courses we did not stop there. We continue to take additional courses several times a year to provide the best service to you that we can provide.

So the next time you think you are saving a little money by hiring or referring the cheapest inspector, think again. We can save the client money because we understand the whole home system better through our continuing education. Some of the continued education courses we have taken include National Fire Safety, National Environmental Health Association Radon Proficiency, Roofing, Exterior Cladding Systems, Electrical Systems, this is just a few. Not only can we inspect these systems with more knowledge, we can also explain what we report. So the next time you think you saved fifty bucks on an inspection, think again. The true cost may end up being much more than that.

The best compliment I have received is a “thank you” from a real estate agent saying I made them look good for the referral.

Leaks, Leaks, and More Leaks!

The Exterior Design Institute (EDI), based in Norfolk, Virginia, is “a non-profit organization founded for the purpose of training and certifying Building Envelop and EIFS Inspectors and Moisture Analysts to promote quality control within the EIFS industry.”

Recently, the authors of this website were certified by EDI to perform building envelope inspections.

The “building envelope”, in simple terms, is the outside of our homes. Water infiltration is the #1 cause of damage to any residence. Moisture enters the home in many different ways. It also originates inside the home, and tries to get out in many different places. Locating and resolving those sources of moisture intrusion quickly can drastically reduce the causes of costly damage to any residence.

When hiring an inspector, consider their qualifications. Have you ever heard the adage “If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail?” If your inspector doesn’t have the proper training to diagnose problems in a house you’re buying or selling, will the inspector be any help to you?

We’re here to help.

Inspector Television

kcpt_logo.gifOn Thursday, March 6th, Kansas City Home Inspectors John Clason and Randy Sipe will appear on Kansas City’s KCPT Television, Channel 19. Along with other members of the Great Plains Chapter of ASHI, we’ll be taking phone pledges from 7pm till 10pm. Tune in. And be sure to call in your pledge for support of public television.

Home Buyers Beware

Beware of the home inspection price wars in Kansas City. This is America, and anyone can price their services at any level they want. But here’s a few thoughts to chew on as you get prices for home inspectors:

You’re about to buy a house and give your Real Estate Professional somewhere around 7% of the price of the home in commisions. (“No, I’m not giving it to them – the seller is!” Who’s name is on the mortgage?). For a 200,000 house, thats $14,000. Thats equivalent to a year of college. Its also a pretty nice car for many people. 

In our opinion, a thorough home inspection is worth that same amount of money. Home Inspectors are the only people involved in the real estate transaction that truly have no financial interest in whether or not you buy the home. Who else is truly looking out for your best interests? 

Fortunately for you, prices for home inspections only range from $95 to $600. But thats still a pretty sizeable gap: So whats the difference?

If you have a problem with your luxury car, who are you going to take it to? The service station down the street, or back to the dealer? I’m willing to bet most people will choose the dealer. Why? Because you want someone the most qualified person to take care of your problems. By the same token, you’re going to spend at least 1/3 of your life asleep in the house you’re buying, and at least 1/2 of your life in the same house, isn’t it worth the satisfaction having the most qualified inspector look over your house to know whether or not the house is safe for you and your family?

Before you decide to save $50 on the biggest investment of your life, ask yourself if its worth it. Cheaper doesn’t always mean better. Ask yourself why the other guy is cheaper.

Here’s an article that appeared recently for your review regarding home inspector pricing.

Make sure your inspector is an ASHI CERTIFIED INSPECTOR. Many advertise it – others can prove it.

Johns ASHI ID Badge      randy_id_badge.jpg

Feel free to call John or Randy. We’ll be glad to talk to you about pricing – at no charge!

By the way, for those of you following, Kansas House Bill 2315 passed through the House of Representatives this week and was sent to the Senate. Looks like regulation of home inspectors in Kansas is one step closer.