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Is Your Home Ready for Winter?

Is your home ready for winter? Sustained low temperatures, combined with cold winds and winter precipitation, can cause problems for the interior and exterior of your home. Here are five common winter household problems to anticipate and avoid:

 

• Heating system breakdowns can be an uncomfortable and even hazardous issue when cold weather hits. Make sure your system is inspected and well maintained BEFORE it gets cold and you find out the hard way that your home heating system wasn’t up to snuff.

 

• Air leaks, particularly around doors and windows, can cause drafts and heating system inefficiency, that can cause winter heating bills to skyrocket!

 

• If you have fireplaces in your home they can be cozy and charming.  But chimney fires are a big winter safety hazard. Make sure your chimney has been cleaned and inspected before you light the first fire.

 

• Roof leaks often occur during the winter due to missing or loose shingles, or because of poor design and maintenance. If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or precipitation, check your roof for potential problems BEFORE winter begins and keep an eye on it for potential problems.

 

• Ice dams, especially here in Northeast Ohio can be a seasonal issue many may not consider.They are usually caused when melted water backs up, causing leaks. Keep an eye out for potential trouble spots along your roof and roofline.

 

If you get ahead of the game and prepare early in the season with some simple preparations you can be ready for the cold winter months.

Did you know?

Did you know that at Inspection Tech we have over 20, trained and certified inspectors on staff? In

addition to the many inspectors that we have in Lakewood, Cleveland & Rocky River, we also have inspectors in Sandusky, Akron and even Youngstown! Our inspectors go through an extensive training program and are professional and experienced. When you book with Inspection Tech you are getting the best home inspection on the market today.

 

      Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions, and investments that you will make in your life. The task of getting your home inspected can seem a bit daunting if you have never been through the process before. Here at Inspection Tech we try and make the process as easy for you, the client, as possible.

     Our office administrators are here from 8am until 8pm Monday through Friday and from 10am until 6pm on Saturday’s and Sunday’s to walk you through the process and to answer any questions you might have. Always friendly, knowledgeable and courteous they will make the scheduling process a breeze!

     Our scheduling and inspection systems are cutting edge and take the home inspection process to the next level. Once you schedule your inspection you receive a confirmation email that confirms the day and time of your inspection and includes a copy of our inspection agreement and your invoice. You are able to sign your agreement and make payment online which is so convenient in today’s hectic world and especially if you are moving to Cleveland from out of state. Our inspectors carry iPad’s  that ensure they never miss a detail and can produce a comprehensive report complete with photographs at the touch of a finger.

 

      In addition to our general home inspections, we also offer structural engineering inspections, mold inspections, radon inspections and pest inspections We have a structural engineer and a mold and radon  specialist on staff to take care of your needs.

 

      Our team of inspectors perform inspections 7 days a week from 8am until 6pm so we will always be able to accommodate your needs!

Our goal at Inspection Tech is to offer our clients the best service for a competitive price and to take the worry out of the equation! So call our office today to schedule your appointment 440 465 0448

 

Christmas

      I was talking with a friend last night. She was distraught because her 6 year old came home from school that day and told her that the kids at school said Santa Claus wasn’t real. Those kids, my friend lamented, RUINED Christmas FOREVER. Admittedly, I wanted to march up to the school and smack the kids that let the cat out of the bag. I mean, there is a code, a secret code that mandates that older children DO NOT ruin it for the younger ones. The magic should still be alive and thriving in the mind of a child so young. And like my friend, I ADORED Christmas once I became a mother. Being able to create that unique magic in your child’s life is one of the highlights of parenthood. Even if being it required being a slave to the “Elf on the Shelf” for close to a decade.

  Our conversation of course, opened up the inevitable question, which is also the hardest: Is Santa Claus real? Deciding how to tell kids about Santa — not to mention what to tell them — can be a surprisingly tough decision. On the one hand, you never want your kid to feel like they can’t trust you. But on the other hand, you don’t want to be responsible for ruining the most wonderful day of the year.

 

Psychologist and parenting expert Dr. Justin Coulson thinks that parents are overcomplicating the whole thing: “Tell your kid the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” says Coulson. I read this and was like, “Really?” I was certainly NOT that parent. My sister-in-law started out of the gate, making sure her kids knew that Santa only got them ONE present and that they got my niece and nephew everything else. That seemed somewhat glory-seeking to me. I was the polar opposite. I had elves, I made footprints in flour leading from the chimney to the tree. I pretended to “see” elves scurrying about out of windows, my son searching in vane to try and catch a glimpse of the mysterious makers of gifts. I went hog wild, ace freely, 150% INTO Christmas.

 

The whole “truth-telling” bunch seems to think I’m going to somehow set my kid up for disappointment and failure by engaging him in the traditions and mystery surrounding Christmas. I think that’s malarkey. I think Santa is a transition from the full on fantasy of childhood into the reality of life. It’s how you make the transition and when that matters. Psychologically, children don’t even begin to truly reason and develop analytical skills until the ages of 5-7. So while at first, when talking to my friend I felt like six seemed so young, in fact, it is spot on for when children begin to reason and question themselves and their surroundings. So this age is honestly a good time for the transition to take place.

 

   I would suggest letting your child believe in Santa when they’re young and when they first start asking questions, encourage them to think about it critically. Is there really a man who is riding around on a sleigh with magic reindeer who goes to every house in the world in one night? Can he really know everyone’s behavior? Can one man eat that many cookies in one night? Let them decide for themselves. No child is going to hate Christmas if you let them figure out the truth on their own. Everything they loved about Christmas isn’t gone, the presents are just coming from a different person. And now at thirteen my son is beginning to truly appreciate where his gifts come from and also the joy that comes from giving. I have kept a book of all the different scenarios the “Elf” got into and made a book that I will give to him, when he becomes a parent and is able to relive the magic all over again through his children.

When it comes to the festive season, we all love traditional Christmas decorations, right?

? After all, you can't beat a traditional look for conjuring up that nostalgic magic. The smell of a real pine Christmas tree, handmade decorations strewn up everywhere, chestnuts roasting on an open fire and all that... From color palettes and cushion updates to crafty ideas, we've rounded up a selection of easy ways to recreate the perfect traditional Christmas scheme.

 

1. CHOOSE VINTAGE-STYLE DECORATIONS

 

For nostalgic souls, opening up a box of treasured decorations passed down through the generations sparks delight year after year. I have dated each box or special decoration and who they came from for added sentiment and my son has grown up knowing the when and who of each timeless decoration.

 

2. HANG UP PLENTY OF STOCKINGS

 

Obviously. The more homemade looking the better. And, lucky me, I am a knitter and have knit and felted stockings and have two very special “granny square” stockings that were crocheted by my mother that are part of our timeless collection

 

3. OPT FOR TRADITIONAL RED AND GREEN

 

This classic color combination is guaranteed to create that warm feeling of Christmases past. I also like to add different hues of these traditional colors as accents in a room with plenty of white. Too much of a good thing can be overwhelming so I like to use all colors in moderation!

 

4. DECORATE THE BANISTERS

Christmas hallway

 

Welcome in Christmas visitors with a show-stopping hallway display by layering up fairy-lights, garlands, ribbons & other decorations. This is probably my favorite point in the house to decorate! Yes, even more than the tree! A warm inviting stairway greets visitors as soon as they arrive and can also be a stunning backdrop for holiday photographs of family and friends.

 

Stay tuned for more ideas for Christmas decorating and looking for a fun family event this Christmas? Why not stop by the Christmas Story house? It is a well-spring of vintage decorating ideas and a theme all in itself!

 

From our family at Inspection Tech to yours, we wish you a warm, safe and blessed Christmas season!

Do I really need a home inspection

One of the most common questions we hear at Inspection Tech is “Why do I need a home inspection?” or “Do I really need a home inspection?”

 

Traditionally the buyer pays the cost of a home inspection but can always wave the right to an inspection. That’s not a good idea. You should make a home inspection a mandatory part of the home-buying process. And there are more than a few reasons why.

 

Buying a home is the single most important purchase of a persons lifetime. The manageable cost of paying for an inspection can save a homebuyer a world of regret and problems down the road. Below are some reasons why it is always a good idea to schedule a home inspection on any prospective home purchase a buyer is considering.

 

Unseen and Unpredicted Problems

 

You can fall in love with a home for various reasons. You might love the size of the home, the open floor plan, the home’s exterior or the layout of the kitchen. While the home may look to be in excellent shape, the home’s aesthetics can hide real problems.

 

You need an inspector to climb into the attic and inch around in the crawl space. The inspector can discover real and expensive problems that are not always apparent when you view the home with a real estate agent. A new coat of paint and some cute staging can hide a world of problems lurking in the unseen spaces of a home

 

More Options

 

When you and the seller reach an agreement on the home, you are under some legal obligation to finalize the sale. A home inspection gives you ways to get out of the deal. Once the home inspector completes a report, you can renegotiate with the seller. You might want to have certain items repaired, or you could seek to have the cost of the home reduced. If an agreement is not reached on the items in the report, you can back out of the deal.

 

Cost Efficient

 

As I mentioned in the beginning of this blog, the cost of a home inspection is small in comparison to the benefits having one gives a prospective buyer.  An inspection on a condominium can be as little as $300 while the cost of a single-family home inspection at Inspection Tech is only $375. Specialized radon testing is $165.  In the end, the money is worth the investment. A quality home inspection can keep you from having to pay tens of thousands of dollars in repairs costs.

 

Structural Problems

 

The home inspector will look at the foundation and other structural elements of the house. If there are structural issues found  the inspector will suggest having the home’s foundation issues checked by one of our structural engineers, who can identify the issues and suggest how to move forward. You don’t want to get stuck with a home that is not well built.

 

 

Leaks

 

A new roof can cost $10,000 or more to replace and is one of the more expensive maintenance costs of owning a home. The inspector will look at the roof and identify the roof’s age in order to decide whether it is in proper working order. The report will point out any problems with the roof.

 

Safety

 

An important part of the home inspection is to make sure the home is safe. The inspector will look at the electrical system and make sure it is in proper working order. You don’t want to live in a home with an unsafe electrical system. If you choose to get a radon test, you will understand if the radon levels in the house are at safe levels. Radon is an odorless gas that can cause lung disease.

 

Negotiation Leverage

 

You have a huge amount of leverage with an inspection report. You can ask the seller to fix the problems in the report, renegotiate the asking price or ask the seller to contribute more to the closing costs. You are in the driver’s seat if the inspection report shows major problems with the house.

 

Peace of Mind

 

An inspection report guarantees that you understand the condition of the home when the sale finalizes which can ultimately bring you peace of mind. All in all, you don’t want any major surprises shortly after moving into your new home. So call Inspection Tech today and let us give you the peace of mind in knowing that you are getting the best inspection in Northeast Ohio!

Goodbye to The Dog Days of Summer

As we say goodbye to the dog days of summer, the days are shorter and even though the temperatures may be deceiving, NOW is the perfect time to get your home prepped for the cold winter months! Why not schedule a home wellness check with Inspection Tech? We are not just in the home buying market, but also service home owners who might want a furnace checked and have an overall health report regarding their present home. Even if you are already secure in the overall health of your home, below are some things you can do NOW to get ready for the winter months. Schedule a furnace and duct cleaning. Once the cold hits and we shut the windows and close the door, air quality can affect your overall comfort during the winter months. Get your furnace serviced and ducts cleaned and stock up on filters! Filters should be changed frequently to ensure your furnace is performing in tip top shape. Check window and doors for drafts and leaks. Drafty window and doors can lead to excessive electric bills and running your heater more than need be. The best time to buy windows is in the spring, but if yours need to be replaced, check out deals in your area. Plastic is an inexpensive fix to the problem, but not a long term cure. New windows add definite value to a home and will keep you warm and electric bills down in the winter months. Clean those gutters! And inspect your roof for any possible missing shingles or leaks. Empty gutters ensure proper removal of snow/water from your roof. There are many more winter preparations that we will be covering in the next blog post. In the meantime, why not give us a call and get that well check scheduled?

LET’S FACE IT:

Buying a home requires a lot of work. Typically the process is long and laborious, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be intimidating. For the next week, let Inspection Tech take some of the intimidation factor out of the equation with some great step by step suggestions to get you into your new home feeling confident & prepared! GET YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER The first thing you want to do once you decide to buy a home is to organize your finances, check your credit score, and make sure you look like a good candidate for a mortgage. This should be done prior to starting your search, because it’s in your best interest to approach the process with a strong financial background–purchasing a house is a major expense that will affect your finances for many years to come. The more prepared you are for such an investment, the more smoothly it will go. SHOP AROUND FOR A MORTGAGE We know it sounds backwards, but you want to figure out your price range before you start shopping around for a home, and you can’t do that until you are able to accurately estimate your loan. One way to figure out what type of mortgage will work best for you is by getting pre-approved or prequalified for a loan. Pre-approval or pre-qualification will: Give you an estimate of what type of loan you qualify for Help you determine what your monthly mortgage payments will be Allow you to better calculate your home-buying budget FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD Once you’ve found a mortgage plan that fits–or at least have a better idea of what type of loan you can afford–you should calculate your budget. You should figure out your budget only after you have your finances organized and know that now is a good time for you to purchase. You also want to estimate your costs on the higher side to make sure you’re fully prepared to buy a home. The best way to figure out your budget is by adding up estimates of all the costs related to your new home. These costs typically include: Down payment for mortgage Closing costs Property taxes Insurance Maintenance costs Homeowners association fees Inspection and application fees Regular mortgage payments Stay tuned for some more great suggestions for making the home buying process a breeze!

5 Steps for Decluttering

We just found out we are moving. A new job in a new city and now FREAK OUT. We have to declutter and stage a home we have lived in for fourteen years. When I first came home after we got the news I looked around and was suddenly overcome by the urge to set fire to the whole mess. Obviously this is not an option so I got to work doing what I do best. Research and planning. First an foremost on my list is to not look at the whole picture but to tackle one room/area at a time. I made the following list of tips to not just ease my mind, but to hopefully help all of you get a game plan together and tackle the clutter and get the most out of your home.

Here are five steps that can help make the process more manageable, efficient and, perhaps even fun. Plus, simplifying now will make moving that much easier.
 

  1. Start small & choose one area at a time. If you attempt to organize your entire home in a day, you’ll end up fatigued and frustrated. Instead, choose one area to focus on, like your linen closet. Decide whether you want to save, donate or toss your towels, sheets and blankets.
  2. Pre-pick donation sites. Call ahead to see what they will and won’t accept. Locally, I chose Needs Cleveland. A non profit that gives all their donated items away for free. Just this knowledge that our stuff will go to families in need is makes the process easier and there are many shelters in the city as well that could need children’s clothing and other items like blankets & books
  3. Rent a dumpster. Consider renting a dumpster to help you as you sort through clutter, room by room. They’re also handy for disposing of remodeling materials you may have accumulated over the years – old carpets, extra tile, broken items from around the house. Pitch anything that is broken or no longer usable.
  4. Deal with electronics and hazardous materials. Look for special collection days in your area for electronics, including old computers and video game systems. Make sure you wipe data off of old hard drives and phones before disposing of them. Hazardous material collections are a good place for old paint, thermometers and other chemicals.
  5. Edit each room from the buyer’s perspective. After the hard work of organizing and decluttering room by room, approach each area from the perspective of a buyer. Pack away knick knacks, photographs and other items that distract from the space itself. If you miss having them around, you can choose to bring them with you when you move. If not, you’ll know you’re ready to say goodbye.

These five steps will have you well on your way to a decluttered house that will be more attractive to prospective buyers. Now that you have gotten back to the basics, now would be the perfect time to schedule a pre-listing inspection from Inspection Tech! Get a head start on what prospective buyers might uncover when they book their inspections. We have 20 inspectors on staff here to serve you and assist in making sure your home is not just visually staged but also physically up to code and ready to sell.
We service all of Northeast Ohio so give us a call today 440-465-0448

 

Blog

Inspection Tech has always been focused first on you our customers and giving you the best home inspection at the most competitive price possible. But recently we have really been focusing on getting our name out there and making a presence via social media. This blog is one way that we get in touch with you our customers and let you know what we are up to. But did you know that we are also on Instagram? We are so pleased and proud to have Melanie from our office team now managing the Instagram page. If you have time please stop by Instagram and find us @inspectiontech440 and give us a follow! We just featured the inspectors on Instagram and told you a little about each of them and what they bring to Inspection Tech. With 20 inspectors on staff here and Inspection Tech and the fact that we perform inspections 7 days a week we will always be able to take care of you and provide you with the best inspections on the market. We service all of Northeast Ohio and our office staff is available 8am-8pm Monday thru Friday and 10am-6pm Saturday & Sunday to answer any questions and to assist you in scheduling your home inspection. If you are an agent and looking for a company to recommend consider us! We are proud of the fact that we have working relationships with some of the premier agents in the area and know that they rely on our professional and prompt business. Give us a call and see about getting some information for your agency, clients & friends. Thank you for choosing Inspection Tech

What a Summer It Has Been!

Can you even believe it's already August? Summer has flown by! We have had an amazing one here at Inspection Tech. Thanks to you our wonderful customers, we have been besting our goals from last year and are on target to have our best year ever!

We also have two new inspectors officially finished with training and out and about performing outstanding inspections every day! Scott McDonald and Steve Toth have been through not only extensive InterNACHI training but also completed our own in depth training here at Inspection Tech. Scott went out on over seventy inspections as a trainee before graduating to a Lead Inspector. We really appreciate the hard work and dedication that these guys put into what they do every day. You can't mention the new guys without giving props to those inspectors that have been with us all along. We have a team of almost 20 now and each member is such an important part of making the company a success and bringing you our customers the best home inspections on the market!

We have also been welcoming many new agents to the team here at Inspection Tech. We would like to thank all of our agents new and existing, for truly making Inspection Tech what it is today. Word of mouth is the main avenue of advertising here at Inspection Tech and we rely on agents' experiences with our inspectors and their feedback to continue to grow and improve each and every day.

GO IT!