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Why Get A New Home Inspected?

SINCE 1972

I am very particular with the referral partners I work with. Referring my clients to a house inspector who will educate, understand, and go the extra mile for my clients is so important. Brad Hanson from Hanson Inspections has proven himself to be one of the best home inspectors I have had to privilege to work with over the years. Here is Brad letting giving us a few tips on why a new home should be inspected.

There are some very important reasons why new home buyers should always get a home inspection done before purchasing. Buying a new home is an exciting experience, with great opportunities to pick your finishes, choose your colours, and to decide what floor coverings you want.  But with all the excitement of choosing your decor and finding your new daily route to work, don’t forget to have your new home inspected.  While it’s best to have your first home inspection when the home is in the early phases of construction, when more of the home is visible, it’s still a good idea once it is all finished.

New homes can have a wide variety of problems. Building a home is a complex and often complicated orchestration involving many different subcontractors and their employees, each working on a different system of the house. Each subcontractor has their own set of priorities and commitments. These are not always in line with the builder or the homeowner! While the vast majority of home builders want to build the best home possible, it is very difficult for any builder to carefully inspect each and every portion of each phase of the construction process. With all the different phases happening at once, even the best builders will likely miss something.

Municipal building inspections are not the same as home inspections. The responsibility of the municipal building inspector is to check for compliance to the local building codes for that area.  Building codes are based on minimum industry standards. Even so, while most municipal building inspectors are doing their best to keep a close eye on things, they are often hindered by factors and circumstances beyond their control, and this alone will not be effective enough for quality control.

Problems found before you purchase the home can be fixed before moving in to your new home. This can save you from having to deal with dust and noise from repairs being made, or from the inconvenience of having to stay home from work while workers are in your home. While there will likely be some small touch ups and repairs required after you move in, you will want the builder to fix any significant repairs right away.

Defects can be repaired before they result in serious or substantial damages or costs to you. Safety items, such as gas leaks or electrical hazards need to be addressed to protect you and your family. Missing attic insulation that will result in higher utility bills can be installed. Raised shingles, which can lead to water damages such as rotted roof sheathing, should be repaired before you take possession of your new home.

These issues, and having the proper repairs made, matter for resale and they will matter for your peace of mind. When you decide to sell your formerly new home, the buyer will likely get a home inspection. Deficiencies that date back to the original construction will undoubtedly be discovered, even if you did not know that they existed. At this point, it is usually too late to get the builder involved, and these problems are now your own.  Your potential buyer will, in all likelihood, either ask that you have these repairs made, or they will lower their offering price to cover the cost of the repairs.

A home inspection on your new home will also allow you to learn about the necessary upkeep and maintenance of your home. A proper home inspection will do more than just identify deficiencies and necessary repairs to be made.  It will also highlight many important maintenance steps and requirements that will enable you to protect your investment and the ongoing enjoyment of your problem free home.

As you can see, having a home inspection on your new home can more than pay for itself, both monetarily and with the peace of mind and confidence that comes with knowing your new home is ready to for you to fully enjoy well into the future.

Have a few more questions about home inspections? Connect with Brad through his website.

7 Roofing Related Tips to Look Out For When Buying a Home

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When you are buying a new house, it is extremely important to check the roof. Knowing about the roof will give you an idea of what kind of maintenance you should expect. Roof damage can be a deal-breaker because roof repairs aren’t something you would want to deal with when you move in.

This article from Crest Roofing gives you 7 roof-related tips to look out for when buying a home.

1) Check what type of roof it is.

As a general rule, the simpler the roof, the easier it is to maintain. There are many types of roofs and for Alberta’s climate, certain types of roofs hold up better than others over the years.

Gable and hip roofs are both simple, easy to maintain, and they are very durable against Alberta weather elements. Check Crest Roofing’s blog for more pros and cons of each type of roof.

Is it a flat roof?

If you’re looking at a flat roof, check to see what kind of material it’s made of. Each type of roofing material for a flat roof has a different lifespan and maintenance requirements. With flat roofs it is also best to have an experienced roofing contractor or roof inspector come do an assessment. Flat roofs can make for beautiful and elegant homes, but if not done right they can cause problems.

2) How old is the roof?

It depends on what the roofing material is and you have to check with the manufacturer for specifics, but here is the general guideline for roofing material lifespans:

Shingled roof: 15-20 years

Tar and gravel roof: Up to 30 years or more

EPDM Roof: 20-30 years

SBS Membrane roof: Up to 30 years or more

Metal Roof: Up to 50 years

Keep in mind that these numbers reflect ideals and to meet these lifespans, the roof will require regular and proactive maintenance.

3) Are there problems with the shingles?

Curling, cracking, buckling or missing shingles are all signs that you may need to get them replaced soon. Here are 5 Signs your Shingle Roof Needs Replacement or Repairs.

4) Check the roof gutters

They may look all right from the ground, but if you actually go up and look into the gutters, you can look for the following things:

  • What shape are they in? Check for rust, dents, and gaps.
  • Where do the downspouts go? Make sure the downspouts run off somewhere away from the house like into a draining system, rain barrel, the street.
  • Is there debris in them? Check for gutter gunk and for shingle granules building up in the gutters. Shingle granules could mean the shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan.
  • Are they draining properly? Check to see if there is water sitting in the gutters. It should drain properly to avoid turning your troughs into a garden along the eaves of the roof.

5) Is the roof soft to walk on?

There are only two reasons why a roof will be soft:

  1. The plywood/supports are rotten or weak.
  2. It is a flat roof that is made with rigid fiberglass insulation. It feels spongy, not soft. (Usually with commercial roofs)

If you buy a house with a soft roof, repairs or replacement are going to have to happen soon.

6) Are there lots of trees near the house?

Trees are wonderful to have on a property. They’re great for shade, you can mark a milestone by planting one, they can provide fruit, and they’re just lovely to look at. Unfortunately they can also be risky to have around homes.

Winter storms that dump huge amounts of snow in a short time can make trees or branches fall onto your roof. It happens every year in Alberta. Especially in Edmonton where we have a lot of old, impressively sized, Elm trees (Did you know? Edmonton has one of the largest concentrations of uninfected American elms left in the world?)

Branches can rub on the shingles and rip or tear them. It might not be happening now, but look for trees that have the potential to make contact with the roof. On flat tar and gravel roofs, trees brush away the gravel and leave the membranes exposed to the sun, which can cause cracking, blisters, and premature wear.

Trees that hang over your roof drop seeds, leaves, and pollen. These seeds can potentially grow under and between your shingles and cause damage. Seeds, leaves, and pollen can also clog up your gutters so at the very least you’d have to be vigilant about cleaning your gutters.

Wildfire danger is significantly increased if there are a lot of old, dry trees around your property and/or neighbourhood. This summer we experienced major home loss due to wildfires, even as close as St. Albert and any damage that you can prevent by not having a ton of trees near your home and roof could potentially save your neighbourhood.

7) Are there water stains on the ceiling or walls?

Water stains look like brown circles on the ceiling inside of the home. They can be caused by leaking pipes, but if the ceiling is on the top floor, it could mean a leak in the roof – make sure and get a proper inspection of the roof done before purchasing a home.

Are you looking for a home in the Edmonton area? We can help you find a home that’s right for your needs, give us a call – let’s chat!

If you are currently house-hunting and looking for experienced roofing pros to inspect your potential home’s roof, get in contact with the roofing experts at Crest Roofing.