Servicing: LAKE, MENDOCINO, NAPA & SONOMA COUNTIES




ONE HOME INSPECTOR IS NOT THE SAME AS ANOTHER
AND I'LL TELL YOU WHY!

                        

707.245.7545 (cell/text) or 707.987.9970 (office)
BYRON DUERKSEN, ACI, CMI
MBA - CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT
ASHI CERTIFIED INSPECTOR * NACHI CERTIFIED MASTER INSPECTOR
HUD/FHA 203(k) CONSULTANT AND INSPECTOR * CERTIFIED THERMOGRAPHER * MOLD INSPECTOR

  
                                       
Housecheck is Locally Owned and Operated
Offering you your highest expectations for any home inspection.

 

Welcome to Housecheck Inspection Services.  My name is Byron and I am the Owner and a Professional Home Inspector, having performed thousands of inspections.  The dictionary defines a "professional" as "skilled, proficient, knowledgeable, prepared, talented, competent, and experienced,"  in other words, a master of his craft.

SECOND TO NONE

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.

There are many home inspectors from which to choose but they do not have the same level of experience, professionalism and education.  I have earned three Master Inspector certifications from three different home inspection organizations, plus the ACI which required passing the National Home Inspector Examination used for licensing home inspectors in states that require licensing.  The State of California DOES NOT certify or license home inspectors.

Evaluate a home inspector's business before hiring him to do the inspection.  Does he provide a warranty of any kind with his inspections?  Does he provide a printed report as well as the PDF?  Does he provide a recall check on all appliances?  Does he have a website where you can learn about his qualifications?  Is there sample report available for you to evaluate on his website?  Is the report well-written with lots of digital photographs?  The answers to these questions will indicate the way in which the inspector conducts his business.

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. 

ONE HOME INSPECTOR IS NOT THE SAME AS ANOTHER

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.  

If a state license number appears on an inspector's website, it has absolutely nothing to do with home inspecting. If a state license number appears on an inspector's website, it has absolutely nothing to do with home inspecting.  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 Practice Act (Chapter 338) enacted in 1996 which "prohibits unethical home inspection practices, including repairing properties that they have inspected in the previous 12 months." 

If all you know about an inspector is his fee, then you really know nothing.  There is no substitute for experience and a comprehensive quality report.  It's the difference between your peace of mind and nagging doubts.

WHEN YOU WANT THE BEST, THE CHOICE IS CLEAR


Certified Master Inspector (NACHI) - international certification
*  ASHI Certified Inspector (ASHI) - international certification
*   Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI) - national certification

Commercial Building Inspector (Carson Dunlop Weldon) - international certification
  Certified FHA/HUD Inspector, S0770 - federal certification
*  Former City Building Inspector (City of Clearlake)
*  Past President, American Institute of Inspectors (A.I.I.) - 3 terms
*  Former Region 1 Director, California Real Estate Inspection Association (C.R.E.I.A.)
*  State Approved Trainer of Home Inspection courses in Washington,
    Oregon and Nevada   
  . . . read more

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. 

5.  And, finally I will send you a valuable 225 page e-book titled The Safe Home which answers many questions for home owners.

                                       
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"THE HOME INSPECTION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION"
            Consumer Reports - March 2015 Issue

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


ALWAYS ASK TO SEE A SAMPLE REPORT BEFORE YOU DECIDE

My reports are unmatched in this area.  View any inspector's sample report online and compare.  The absolute proof of a good inspector is the quality of the Inspection Report which should speak for itself.  The report should leave nothing to your imagination, should leave nothing out and should not require your real estate agent or anyone else to interpret it.  A Home Inspector must be able to effectively communicate verbally and in writing.  

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. 


A CHEAP INSPECTION MAY BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE THING YOU'LL EVER BUY

Don't compromise on this, the most important part of your real estate transaction.  The few dollars you think you could save now may cost you thousands of dollars down the road because of missed or overlooked defects, some of which can injure or even kill you. 

You couldn't put a price of your family's health and safety and yet your future health and safety depends on a professional quality home inspection.  Your home inspection costs very little but it will tell you a whole lot.  It's worth much more than you could pay.              . . . read more


UNINSURED HOME INSPECTORS COST BUYERS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS

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


DO YOU THINK THAT WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW CAN'T HURT YOU? 
ISSUES LIKE THESE JUST MIGHT!

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


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 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. 
    . . . 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.  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


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.  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.


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

          

       Relief Valve on Water Heater Had Been Jammed


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.  Without information on these two areas, an inspection report is worthless. 

       
  Under 2 Story House                 Hole Burned in Floor Under Fireplace              Owner's Watch Dog
          

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


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



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

Why settle for an inferior report of a mere 12 - 20 pages, lacking in details and pictures, OR a report with page after page of check boxes or 2 letter acronyms for you to decipher?  That's a report you can't make sense of, resulting in more questions than answers.

My inspection reports stand out from all others.   I will provide you with a 65 to 90 page comprehensive, room by room, system by system inspection report with more information and more pictures in an indexed, easy to read format - in plain English.  No secret decoder ring required.  And plenty of pictures to show you exactly what I'm talking about.  You will receive a PDF as well as a plastic covered hard copy for easy reference.  


HERE ARE A FEW UNSOLICITED TESTIMONIALS

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 very much for your thorough inspection & explaining things in terms I could understand.  Your service is invaluable & provides peace of mind that all the money I have in this world is not being wasted on a money pit.  This book you have provided me should help me along my way of home ownership & is icing on the cake of your great service!  If you have a site or pamphlet which includes testimonials, feel free to publish my statements above.  You deserve much praise!  

Thank you again for the great service you provide, R. Morrill -- Clearlake Home Inspection

Hi Bryon, Thank you so much for such a thorough and detailed report, and also doing it so quickly.  Love the pictures and look forward to sitting down and reading it front to back.  If we have any questions I will e-mail you.  We are very impressed with your professionalism and will refer others to you in the future.  Barbara Armanino,  Lakeport 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
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A HOME INSPECTION IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE INSPECTOR

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.

While online education has its place, it is no match for hands on training one receives attending classes in person.  I have attended home inspection conferences taught by nationally renowned specialists all over the country -- Seattle, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Boulder Colorado, Reno, San Diego and Nashville.


MY PROMISE TO YOU

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 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.


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

 Proud Member in Good Standing
American Society of Home Inspectors - ID 249171 - 8 Years
    International Association of Certified Home Inspectors  - ID 06082094 - 10 Years

Email: housecheck@mchsi.com
    

                      

Affiliate Member of North Bay Area Association of Realtors
 

  
    
 
     
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Housecheck Inspection Services, P. O. Box 1833, Middletown, CA 95461 Google+