Servicing: LAKE, MENDOCINO, NAPA & SONOMA COUNTIES
Offering you your highest expectations for any home inspection.
Welcome to Housecheck Inspection Services. I am a professional home inspector, a Certified Master Inspector performing inspections in Northern California's wine country for fifteen years. The dictionary defines a "professional" as "skilled, proficient, knowledgeable, prepared, talented, competent, and experienced," in other words, a master of his craft. There is nothing generic on this website. No generic content or generic pictures. These are my words from fifteen years of experience inspecting.
There are many home inspectors from which to choose and almost all have a background in construction so that does not differentiate one from another. What makes a difference is (1) high level certifications, (2) advanced continuing education, (3) home inspection experience, (4) a professional quality detailed report, (5) customer service skills, and of course, (6) Errors & Omissions insurance. More importantly, you should know that the State of Calfiornia DOES NOT license or certify home inspectors.
Beware of contractors masquerading as home inspectors in order to get repair and remodeling work. That is an unlawful practice and relies on your ignorance of the lawand relies on your ignorance of California Trade Practices Act (Chapter 338) enacted in 1996 which "prohibits unethical home inspection practices, including repairing properties that they have inspected in the previous 12 months."
As a former contractor myself, I can tell you that home inspecting demands far more detailed education in every discipline than a general contractor. I am fortunate to 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.
I have earned three Master Inspector certifications from three different home inspection organizations (NACHI, AII, CREIA), achieved the ACI which is ASHI's highest accreditation, and twelve years ago I passed the National Home Inspector Examination used for licensing home inspectors in states that require licenses. No other home inspector in this area has this credential. I am a long standing member of the two largest, most respected and well known home inspection organizations, ASHI and NACHI.
I use state of the art equipment: tablets, drones, infrared camera, laser devices, and the most sophisticated software utilizing the Cloud, in order to deliver the highest quality inspection report. Why settle for an inferior report of a dozen or so pages stapled together, lacking in details, with page after page of check boxes OR 2 letter acronyms for you to decipher? That will leave you with more questions than answers. My reports do not require a secret decoder ring. I will provide you with a 60-90 page room by room, system by system report in plain English, by PDF and hard copy with a plastic cover for convenient reference.
The home inspection industry is unregulated in California. Don't let anyone mislead you by claiming to be State Certified or a State Licensed and Bonded home inspector because there is no such thing.
In fact, the State has no requirements for training, education, insurance or conduct of home inspectors. A professional inspector must be trained, educated, tested and certified by a reputable national organization whose sole purpose is to provide that training and education.
ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) is the oldest, most prestigious association in United States and Canada, "the gold standard of home inspectors." ASHI has the most stringent standards for certification and has long been acknowledged as having the top echelon of certified inspectors.
InterNACHI (International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) is the largest, most prolific home inspection organization worldwide.
WHEN YOU WANT THE BEST, THE CHOICE IS CLEAR
COMPLIMENTARY VALUE ADDED SERVICES
Along with performing high compliance inspections, I include additional services at no cost to you.
1. By utilizing my infrared camera, I can detect costly leaks and potentially dangerous electrical hot spots.
2. I submit model and serial numbers on appliances to RecallChek from whom you'll get a separate report.
3. Included with that you will have a 90 day warranty from Residential Warranty Services on structural and mechanical components.
4. I will mail you a plastic covered, bound Hard Copy for easy reference as well as email the PDF.
"THE HOME INSPECTION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION"
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
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.
In Hidden Valley Lake I did two re-inspections based on another inspector's reports. One report showed roofing shingles that were a totally different color than those on the house that was being reported. In another re-inspection, the first inspector's report had a picture of the crawl space showing nothing unusual, yet when the buyers took possession they had plumbing problems. The crawl space pictures in her report did not match the reality which revealed raw sewage under the house that had accumulated for months with broken water lines and tree roots intruding into the pipes.
It's sad, it's shocking and most of all it's avoidable. If an inspector has no insurance 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. . . . read more
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.
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
Knob-and-tube wiring, the exposed wire anchored by porcelain posts common in homes built from the 1880s to 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.
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.
SMOKE DETECTORS CAN BE DEADLY
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. Deck collapses may be caused by decades old rotting wood and corroding fasteners. Many deck collapses, however, are newer decks, improperly constructed. Many capable contractors do not know how to build a deck properly. About 45,000 people a year are injured or killed in deck collapses. I carefully inspect the construction of each and every deck. These collapses all occurred in the Bay Area. . . . read more
A deck may look good, even beautiful, but if it isn't built correctly, it is a huge safety risk.
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
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
Relief Valve on Water Heater Had Been Jammed
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
- You will receive a PDF as well as a plastic covered hard copy for easy reference.
As a professional home inspector, I work on for the client with whom I have a contractual agreement. My testimonials are all from my clients. Although I receive accolades from Realtors which I appreciate, I do not publish them as testimonials. Websites containing testimonials predominately from real estate agents suggest that the inspector is reporting to please the real estate agent who is supplying him with leads, not the buyer who is paying for the inspection, which raises some serious questions about a conflict of interest.
Thank you again for the great service you provide, R. Morrill -- Clearlake Home Inspection
I almost skipped a home inspection on a recent home purchase because the home was newer and built by a respected builder- I felt it would be a waste of money but on the insistance of a friend I called Housecheck.
Byron from Housecheck inspected the home we were buying and indeed found some issues - water damage and wood rot under the hill side home. Byron's detailed pictures and summary helped us get the seller to pay for the repairs and take corrective action to avoid the same issues again. The small amount I paid for the inspection is nothing compared to what I would had to spend on repair bills or worse yet- if not found early could had resulted in more significant damages down the road. I could tell this home inspector is passionate about his job and inspected it as if he were buying it for his own.
Thank you Housecheck! Sincerely, Stephanie and Ash Pahwa - Hidden Valley Lake Home Inspection
I have professional relationships with the many Realtors who require the highest standard in customer service, high compliance inspections and integrity in inspection reporting, and we work together to fulfill the needs of the most discerning clients. I follow nationally recognized protocols in inspecting and reporting.
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 walk on the roof. I will notify you of any item that has a current or potential issue.
I abide by a strict Code of Ethics, exceed the Standards of Practice, and utilize the latest inspection tools, technology and reporting software to provide you with the clearest, most detailed report.
Click here to view the Standards of Practice
Proud Member in Good Standing
Housecheck Inspection Services, P. O. Box 1833, Middletown, CA 95461 Google+