Servicing: LAKE, MENDOCINO, NAPA & SONOMA COUNTIES

 

CHOOSING THE CHEAPEST INSPECTION
COULD BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE MISTAKE YOU'LL EVER MAKE!

                      
Member 249171                                                Member 6082094
10 Years                                                                            12 Years


BYRON DUERKSEN, ACI, CMI

707.245.7545 (cell/text) or 707.987.9970 (office)
EMAIL: Housecheck@mchsi.com

  MBA - CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT
ASHI CERTIFIED INSPECTOR * NACHI CERTIFIED MASTER INSPECTOR
HUD/FHA 203(k) INSPECTOR * CERTIFIED THERMOGRAPHER * CERTIFIED MOLD/RADON/AIR QUALITY TESTING
INSURED * ERRORS & OMMISSIONS * GENERAL LIABILITY

     


Welcome to Housecheck Inspection Services, locally owned and operated, and dedicated to meeting your highest expectations for a home inspection.  I am a Certified Master Inspector, a seasoned professional, having conducted thousands of inspections in Northern California's wine country in the last sixteen years.  The dictionary defines a "professional" as "skilled, proficient, knowledgeable, prepared, talented, competent, and experienced," in other words, a master of his craft.

I realize that you don't buy a house every day and probably do not know what to look for in a home inspector, so let me help you get the best value for your money.  ring the finest home inspector you can find, you get a thorough inspection covered by errors and omissions insurance, a 90 day warranty, unmatched customer service and an easy-to-read detailed report that you can understand that you can understandthat you can understandthat on every room, system and component with lots of pictures.  By hiring the finest home inspector you can find, you get a thorough inspection covered by errors and omissions insurance, a 90 day warranty, unmatched customer service and an easy-to-read detailed report on every room, system and component with lots of pictures.  No insurance?  No pictures in the report?  Red flag!

One home inspector is not the same as another in California.  Even with three identical quotes, you would receive three very different inspection reports, at least one of which might be missing key information. The report is a direct reflection of the inspector's knowledge and expertise.  Look at any sample report.  Can you understand it?  It should not resemble a contractor's checklist.

                                                        

Judge the home inspector by the quality of the Inspection Report which should speak for itself.  The report should be well written, skillfully prepared, and leave nothing to your imagination.  It must cover every room, component and system.  It should not require anyone to interpret it.  My reports are 60+ pages specific to your property with no fillers added.   My report is designed to walk you through each area of the house and show you what I saw and report on it right then and there.

An inspection, like a diagnosis, is not the place for bargain hunting.  Only an all inclusive, easy to read and understand home inspection report is a bargain, whatever the fee.   A home inspection costs relatively little compared to real estate commissions and down payments, but "the home inspection is the most important part of the real estate transaction" according to Consumer Reports Magazine.

The home inspection industry is largely unregulated in California.  Don't let anyone mislead you by claiming to be a State Certified or a Licensed and Bonded home inspector because there is no such thing.  Only in California can somebody be a dog catcher on Tuesday and be a home inspector on Wednesday, and I promise you I'm not making this up.  California does not license home inspectors.

CALIFORNIA TRADE PRACTICE ACT 338 prohibits home inspectors from repairing properties that they have inspected.

SB442 NEW CALIFORNIA POOL SAFETY ACT applies to single family dwellings with existing swimming pools.  As of January 1, 2018, State requires a home inspector to report on all Seven safety feature categories.  Reporting is mandatory.  All seven safety features must be addressed.  This is not optional for any home inspector.

WHEN YOU WANT THE BEST, THE CHOICE IS CLEAR


EXCEPTIONAL QUALIFICATINS AND CREDENTAILS

As a professional, I maintain my long standing memberships in the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), the two largest and most prominent national home inspector associations who set the standards for industry-wide protocols. 

*  Experienced, over sixteen years of home inspecting
Certified Master Inspector (NACHI) - international certification
*  ASHI Certified Inspector (ASHI) - international certification
Certified Master Inspector (AII) - national certification
*  Past President, American Institute of Inspectors (AII) - 3 terms
CREIA Master Inspector (CREIA) - California certification
*   Former Region 1 Director, California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA)
*   Professional Home Inspector (EBPHI) - national certification, requisite for license

Commercial Building Inspector (Carson Dunlop Weldon) - international certification
  Certified FHA/HUD Inspector, S0770 - federal certification
*  Former City Building Inspector (City of Clearlake)
*  Over 50 certifications in various disciplines
*  A+ Rating from Better Business Bureau for ethical practices

As a former contractor, I can tell you that home inspecting demands far more detailed education in every discipline than a general contractor.  A professional home inspector must possess a unique combination of disciplines, skills and education involving many elements that are particularly complex in order to perform the very detailed job of investigating a home’s structure and components.


ONE HOME INSPECTOR IS NOT THE SAME AS ANOTHER IN CALIFORNIA

California has no requirements for education, training, insurance or conduct of home inspectors. 

What sets Housecheck apart - (1) locally owned and operated, (2) highest level certifications, (3) advanced continuing education, (4) extensive home inspection experience, (5) professional, high-quality, detailed reports, (6) errors and omissions insurance, and (7) outstanding customer service. 

TRAINING - Going online with a credit card cannot provide training.  As with any legitimate profession, an apprenticeship with a seasoned professional referred to in the industry as “ride-alongs” must be served.  But many inspectors lack this vital step and have no training.  Many do not provide service contracts or the  Standards of Practice to their clients, and most do not carry any insurance.  They just make it up as they go along, producing a minimal report that will leave you with more questions than answers. 

EXPERIENCE - Another thing a home inspector can't buy online with a credit card is experience.  Experience specifically in home inspecting can make a huge difference in what you receive.  I have over sixteen years of home inspecting experience, am a former contractor and have been a real estate agent.

EDUCATION - Significant changes in the California Building Codes were made in 2016.  And, effective January 2018, mandatory requirements for inspecting swimming pools have been passed in California.  Continuing education separates a professional home inspector from the others.  I take audited classes and proctored exams.  It is necessary to keep abreast of new materials, advanced methods, code changes and different applications.  I have attended Conferences and Seminars all over the United States to obtain advanced education.

EQUIPMENT - I use state of the art equipment: tablets, drones, infrared camera, laser devices, and the most sophisticated software utilizing the Cloud, in order to conduct the highest quality inspection and produce the finest report available. 

VALUE - You will receive a detailed investigation by a Master Inspector, resulting the most comprehensive, easy to read 60 page report in both PDF and bound, hard copy, along with a separate recall check report, a 90 day warranty on structure and mechanicals and a very useful 225 page ebook to answer any home maintenance questions you may have.  And unmatched customer service even long after the inspection.
 
YOU GET SO MUCH MORE WITH A HOUSECHECK INSPECTION

Our main focus is to provide FULL SERVICE for our clients.  We continually strive to improve our customers’ home inspection experience, performing high compliance inspections, and providing a comprehensive, detailed, easy to understand report, unlike any other.  We include these additional services at no cost to you:

1.  WALK-AROUND FOLLOWING INSPECTION - Following my inspection, I invite you to walk around with me to discuss what I have found, explore remedies and to answer any questions you have.  There is no time limit placed on this.

2.  THERMAL IMAGING DETECTION - By utilizing my infrared camera, I can detect costly leaks and potentially dangerous electrical hot spots.

3.  90 DAY WARRANTY - You will have a 90 Day Limited Structural and Mechanical Warranty from American Home Warranty, from the date of the inspection.

4.  INSPECTION REPORT BOOK - In addition to providing you with the PDF of your inspection report, I will mail you a printed copy in a plastic cover for easy reference.  Why settle for an inferior report of only a dozen pages with check boxes OR 2 letter acronyms for you to decipher?   That's not a good value at any price.  My 60 page reports have no filler pages and do not require a secret decoder ring. 

5.  SAFE HOME E-BOOK FOR MAINTENANCE - And, finally I will send you a valuable 225 page e-book.  This book is designed to provide you with tips and information to keep your family safe and your home in top condition.

            
"You simply cannot find a better home inspector anywhere, at any price."

THE BEST INSPECTION AND REPORT DOESN'T COST, IT PAYS  

In fact, it could very well prove to be life saving.  This is your last opportunity to gain information and understanding on a property which is a major long-term financial commitment.

I provide a 60+ page, room-by-room, system-by-system report written in plain English with pictures every step of the way.

THE CHEAPEST INSPECTION MAY BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE MISTAKE YOU CAN MAKE

There are times when cheap is just too expensive.  Home repairs can be some of the costliest expenses consumers face.  The few dollars you think you could save may cost you thousands of dollars down the road because of missed or overlooked defects, some of which can injure or even kill you.  

Identifying potential problems with a home's infrastructure or its major systems before close of escrow can ultimately save thousands of dollars in repair costs.  Current or potential issues that are identified during the home inspection can then be used as a negotiating tool.  A seller might reduce his price, or may even fix the problem before the close.

The fact is, a large percentage of home inspectors rely on real estate agent referrals to bring in work and keep them in business.  While this is not necessarily bad, it is illegal in states that license home inspectors because there is an inevitable conflict of interest inherent in such a relationship but I have no such conflicts of interest.  I won't minimize the extent of  the issues to please someone involved in the transaction whose agenda may be different from yours.  Neither will I exaggerate the extent of the issues in hopes of getting the repair work which is an illegal practice.  The State prohibits home inspectors from making any repairs to homes they inspected.  I will report to you exactly what I find.

Neither will I put my business on some website with a "Home Inspectors List' that misleads the public into believing they have picked the best inspectors out of all the inspectors -- Absolutely False.  Those inspectors on the list pay a monthly fee and there are literally hundreds of websites making these bogus claims.  Those websites know absolutely nothing about the home inspectors except what the inspectors have told them.  What they know for sure is that the inspector's credit card clears every month.  It's just advertising, nothing more.

You couldn't put a price of your family's health and safety.  Your home inspection costs very little but it will tell you a whole lot.  It's worth much more than the inspection fee.  My fees are reasonable and affordable, and depend on the perceived amount of time it will take to inspect the property and to produce a fully documented report.

CALIFORNIA HAS A FULL DISCLOSURE LAW

This law requires the seller to disclose all known issues.  The home inspection report also becomes part of the disclosures but is separate from the seller's form and is not meant to be a substitute for it.  The home inspection may reveal an issue or several issues that had not been disclosed by the seller, or may even be unknown to the seller.  All disclosures are available to anybody interested in the property.

The importance of having access to all the relevant information on a house before making a purchase decision should not be underestimated.  Equally important is getting information that is accurate, complete, and unbiased.  The purpose of a home inspection is not to compose a repair list for the seller.  It is to provide you with total disclosure before you close escrow, to let you know what you are buying, before you buy it.

Let Housecheck provide you with the most qualified inspector and the most comprehensive report you can find.   It's the difference between your peace of mind and nagging doubts.

PHOTOGRAPHS ARE ESSENTIAL TO EVERY REPORT

Without photographs, you get less than half the information.  In my experience as a home inspector, sellers have removed etched shower doors, wood carved mantles, brand new water heaters, air conditioners, even doors between the inspection and close of escrow.  And since they replaced them with like items, albeit of lesser value, they see no harm.  What do you think?

Pictures show why a fascia board should be replaced even if you don't know what a fascia board is.  My reports are unmatched in details, in number of pictures and in readability.  View any inspector's sample report online and compare.

UNINSURED HOME INSPECTORS COST BUYERS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS

If an inspector has no E&O insurance (errors and ommisions) specifically for home inspecting, you are at risk for potential undisclosed issues.  You have a lot of home inspectors from which to choose and you also have a lot to lose.

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INVESTORS

You have found a potential property investment in the Northern California Wine Country that will suit your needs and it shows promising growth in equity and profits.  With my experience in inspecting a diverse range of commercial properties, I can supply you with a commercial property condition assessment report that will further reduce the financial risk you are about to undertake.  This report can be used as a tool for negotiations.     READ MORE

MY PROMISE TO YOU

Sophisticated buyers as well as first time buyers call me directly to book inspections.  Some are out of state and a few have contacted me from as far away as Japan, Afganistan, and Italy.  My first priority is to provide you, the client, with an honest and complete evaluation of the property you are about to purchase.  Every inch of the property is inspected -- all structural, electrical, air conditioning, heating and plumbing are examined.  I crawl under the house.  I climb into the attic.  I inspect the roof.  I will notify you of any item that has a current or potential issue.           

       



COMMON POTENTIAL ISSUES

BAY AREA DECK COLLAPSES CAUSE DEATHS AND INJURIES

Decks cause more injuries and loss of life than any other part of the home.  It can happen in a split second without any warning.  The deck suddenly collapses to the ground, injuring and sometimes killing the people who were on it.  About 45,000 people a year are injured or killed in deck collapses. Deck collapses may be caused by decades old rotting wood and corroding fasteners.  Many deck collapses, however, are newer decks, improperly constructed.  About 40% of today's decks are unsafe.  Many capable contractors do not know how to build a deck properly.   With recent changes in California building codes, more stringent laws have been enacted for building decks and stairs.         . . . read more

     

A deck may look good, even beautiful, but if it isn't built correctly, it is a huge safety risk.

THERMAL IMAGING

There are times when a visual inspection is just not enough, like seeing the tip of an iceberg.  In those cases, I use my infrared thermal imaging camera.   Infrared allows us to see what our eyes cannot.


  

Infrared thermography cameras produce images of invisible infrared or "heat" radiation and provide precise non-contact temperature measurement capabilities. If objects emit infrared energy at different levels, and we can see the difference in a camera, then we can find and solve problems much quicker and at a lesser cost.

The cost of unseen and undisclosed moisture intrusion and electrical hot spots could cost you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars if not discovered.      . . . read more

RADON

Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. The release of this radioactive gas enters the air you breathe, causing a potential health risk to you and your family. Radon gas can be found in just about anywhere. It can get into any type of building -- homes, offices, and schools -- and build up to high levels.

You cannot see radon and you cannot smell it or taste it, but it may be a problem in your home. This is because when you breathe air-containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Testing is the only way to find out about your home's radon level. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing of all homes below the third floor for radon.

If you find that you have high radon levels, there are ways to fix a radon problem. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.

FOUNDATIONS

This area of Northern California has an average annual rainfall of 24 to over 75 inches of rain.  This is typically concentrated in a period of 5 to 6 months.  That is a huge amount of water seeping under a house if it is not properly controlled.  The end result is foundation cracking, shifting and rotting wood structure or mold.

Walk past the hairline cracks in the foundation wall. Those are a normal sign of settling. But large cracks, dramatically uneven blocks or bowed walls suggest potentially catastrophic and expensive issues.



        
For crawl space homes, poor drainage amd hydrostatic pressures are the number one culprit.  As pressure builds beneath the surface around the crawl space, force is exerted on the walls that leads to cracks and/or bowing of foundation walls.

MOLD TESTING

Mold not only leads to respiratory problems, it also means water is entering and collecting in a house. While the mold should be cleaned, the source of the mold must be addressed.

     

If mold is on a tile or a hard surface, it can almost always be cleaned up with bleach and water.  Mold on drywall can’t be scrubbed clean.  What you see on the surface could be much worse behind the surface. You have to find the source of the water.        . . . read more

BAD WIRING AND ELECTRICAL DANGERS

OSHA reports that one person is killed every day just from opening an old defective electrical panel It's not just a strong electrical shock, they are actually cremated.
 
Knob-and-tube wiring, the exposed wire anchored by porcelain posts common in homes built well into the 1930s.

   

The main issue with this early wiring system is the likelihood that it was improperly modified, often decades after it was installed. Also, building insulation was commonly laid down on top of the knob and tube wiring, interfering with its ability to cool down thus presenting a fire hazard.

Although the system can work well, replacing it may be recommended for several safety reasons, including the fact that the circuit isn't grounded, and the wires are sometimes covered in cloth that frays with age.   Do-it-yourself electrical projects can especially be red flags on any house wiring. 
    . . . read more

ROOF LEAKS SPELL DISASTER

For each 1" of rainfall on a roof, there are 600 gallons of roof run-off water for every 1000 square feet of the roof surface.  Most homes have well over 2000 square feet or more roof surface area. 
      . . . read more

 
On Honey Do List Too Long             Mushrooms in the Ceiling

SMOKE DETECTORS CAN BE DEADLY

Claiming hundreds of lives each year, Carbon Monoxide is the #1 cause of accidental poisoning in the United States.  So CO detectors are mandatory in all bedrooms with the recent upgrades to the California building codes.  Most residential smoke alarms are either ionization or photoelectric type alarms.  Around 95% of the smoke alarms installed in US homes are ionization type alarms.  There are very significant differences in how these 2 types of alarms respond in real-world fires.  Ionization alarms are notorious for nuisance tripping, such as from cooking, steam from a shower, etc.  But ionization alarms are very slow to respond in the smoldering fires that account for most residential fire deaths.    . . . read more

YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO IGNORE GROUND WATER ISSUES

County officials reportedly became aware of unstable ground conditions and five homes have been deemed uninhabitable, the public sewer system has been damaged, and the water system, other homes and roads remain at risk.  I inspected a large house in Lakeport with many amenities but the grounds were wet and there was some standing water.  There had been no seasonal rain yet, so it was very suspicious.  Nevertheless, I had to call it out as an issue that needed to be addressed.   My client backed off the purchase which disappointed the realtor.  A lot of sellers view the moisture intrusion issues as only an inconvenience and do not declare the issue when they put their house up for sale.  But, this is serious, invites termites, mold, compromises the foundation and worse.  A few months later, the front page of the newspaper shows a home right above the property I inspected.           . . .  read more


Home Collapsed Due to Underground Water

PROPANE DANGERS

In most areas propane gas is used as natural gas is not available.  The majority of propane gas users are not aware that propane has different properties than natural gas.  The following may scare you and it should.

Leaking natural gas vapors rapidly dissipate in the atmosphere and float away from their source.  Though this is dangerous, natural gas is much safer than propane. Propane gas is heavier than air and as a result it drops to the lowest level around the appliance or source of the leak and remains there permanently unless moving air blows it away. Water heaters, furnaces, and propane gas tanks when located in an enclosed area such as an under-house crawl space or basement pose a definite danger because a propane leak will collect or pocket and will explode when the appliance ignites or in some instances even when a light switch is flipped.

Checking for gas leaks on every appliance is an important part of my inspections.   . . . read more

          

       Jammed Release Valve on Water Heater

CRAWL SPACE REVEALS

Crawling under the house and up into the attic are not optional.  A basic home inspection must include attics and crawl spaces.  Most serious issues are found under the house or in the attic.

     
  Under 2 Story House                 Hole Burned in Floor Under Fireplace              Break in Sewer Line
    

PRE-LISTING INSPECTIONS

If you are about to put your home on the market, a pre-listing inspection will put you ahead of the competition.  It will alert you to any immediate issues discovered before potential buyers tour your home.  Then, any issues or repairs can be resolved ahead of time without rushing, which will help the home show better and give you time for repair choices.  This alone can save you a considerable amount of money.  Without a pre-listing inspection, defects can cause unreasonable price adjustment demands from the buyer or even kill the sale and escrow may drag on instead of closing quickly and smoothly.                                                                                   READ MORE

 

PRIVACY POLICY

We collect no personal information or data, other than what is required for our insurance and the inspection report.
 

Click here to view the Standards of Practice
      

Affiliate Member of North Bay Area Association of Realtors
 

  
 

Proud Sponsor of Lake County Open Houses
 
     
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God Bless America!

Housecheck Inspection Services, 21177 Calistoga Road, #1833, Middletown, CA 95461 Google+