This weeks blog is about wind mitigation inspections. For some in certain places of the country, you do not have this type of inspection. However in the south, Florida, we do. So I want to share with you about how to save money on your insurance and what is actually performed during the inspection process. We perform these type of inspections in Citrus, Hernando, Sumter, Hillsborough, Polk, Pinellas and Pasco Counties of Florida normally within a day notice. We use the Citizens Insurance Reporting Form. There are others that we use but this is the most popular reporting form.
So lets begin. A wind mitigation or wind-borne inspection is a process where the home inspector will inspect the roof for any shingles that may be loose, separated or torn. Additionally check the ridge vent and valleys for defects. Also the inspector has to determine the roof style for the report. And then the skylights. The sky lights will have a rating on there if its rated for hurricane winds.
Secondly, the inspection process is to check to see if there any shutters that maybe attached to any windows. These type of shutters are metal shutters that cover the window or patio door in case of hurricane winds. These type of shutters have a rating that can be used to determine what the shutter can sustain in case of an object being flown and impacts the shutter. This is not the shutter that attaches to the home next to the window or the wood style that close. While inspecting for any shutters, the inspector additionally inspects the glass. The glass if it has sticker that states, Brovard County or Miami-Dade rated then this is additional discount. This is also if you are going to update the windows get the rating for this, to save money on the home owners insurance. After this, then the inspector checks to see if there is any glass block. Some older style homes will have glass block maybe for crawl spaces, bathrooms or part of the wall that allows light thru in a sun room for example. There are different ratings for glass block but also a great idea to have shutters for these as well.
Thirdly, the inspection process continues if there to check the garage door. The garage door normally has a style of missile bracing on the inside of the door. This is to protect the interior. Not necessary the door. Missile bracing is referred to if a small limb or tree is being blown around. Normal garage doors are thin metal and an object flying around can be a missile and go thru the door.
Then the process continues to the attic. My favorite part on a hot summer afternoon. (no seriously) So in the attic, the inspector will measure the distance and determine what the lenght of the nails are for the sheathing. A good rating is usually 8D and about 2 1/2 inches in depth of the framing member. The inspector will also check to see what type of type downs there are. For example, the trusses or rafters may have wraps, or straps. There maybe clips holding framing members to a main roof structure. Then on a lot of newer homes there are bolts that go from the foundation to the top plate of the wall. And of course inspect the framing members to make sure no cracked or split joists. And to check for any moisture or leaks on the sheathing.
Once this process is complete, the inspector has to check with the local municipality to check for any permits when the roof was either installed or re-roofed. Without a permit or any roof information this could be a deterrent to getting any credits for the roof.
So in closing having a wind mitigation inspection could save approximately 10-40% off your home owners insurance premium. At Emerald Inspection Service we can schedule these within 24 hours if you live in or near the areas of Tampa, Clearwater, Brooksville, Polk City Florida. For more information check out our website link on wind mitigation at https://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com/wind-mitigation.html
Or feel free to call us anytime at 352-322-2700 Thank You.
This weeks blog is about the price of a General Home Inspection and how the price is constructed for the client. We get calls about how much a home inspection cost, but also we get calls for other types of inspection services and their costs. So lets begin of what the average national price may be, and why you should think when somebody drastically cuts everyone’s price.
Depending upon the area, the average price of a home inspection ranges from $320-350.00 for a home inspection that is approximately 2100 square feet or less. In a home of this size you normally have 2-3 bedrooms and usually 2 bathrooms. So a few of the rooms may not take as long during the inspection. However, you still have the major components of an inspection. For example; The Roof, The Exterior, The Grounds, The Porch and Deck, The Plumbing, The Electrical, The HVAC System, The Kitchen, one Bathroom, and possibly The Garage and Laundry Room. From that point you then have your interior rooms, extra bathrooms, pool, spa, possibly of an exterior building and other areas of the property. To complete an inspection for this size usually takes about 2-3 hours. However, once the walk thru is completed with the client, there is normally a bit of paperwork to complete before the client receives the report. All quality inspectors usually review the report, create a summary and overview of the property. For each report that is generally about another 30-45 minutes of time that is not seen. So as you can see now a home inspection report can take up to 4 hours of time.
When the property is larger then the 2100 square feet, a lot of inspection companies will usually add $50-75.00 extra per 800-1000 square feet to the base price. This is to allow for the extra time needed to complete the inspection. Additionally a lot of companies will add a small fee for properties over 15 years of age and older. Again, the property inspection may take longer and the company may need to allocate for that time.
Now, with Emerald Inspection Service we try to provide additional services while we are on site doing the inspection. For example maybe a wind mitigation during the inspection process or radon testing, or possibly roof certification if the roof is over 15 years of age. This process saves the client, the realtors, the home owners and the inspector time as well. Remember, the scheduling of an inspection is critical to all parties and the worst thing anybody wants is to have to return for an additional service and coordinate with the realtor, home owners, etc.
So, lets talk about companies that charge differently then we and many of our friends do. Some inspectors are new to the industry, so they think by drastically cutting the price will make you as a consumer want to hire them. However, if their report takes 2 hours to complete totally, and is done. Is the report going to show every part of the element being inspected. Is the report showing colored pictures as the inspector takes them. Is that report going to be readable and understandable if problems exist in the future. So for a company to charge approximately $35-40.00 less to entice you for their business is something to consider. Additionally, will that company and inspector be there if you have questions in the future about an entity of the inspection report.
In conclusion of this weeks blog, remember that sometimes the cheaper price is not always the best price. Buying a home is a major investment in anybody’s portfolio. This maybe a first time home owner, an investor, or the family that is downsizing into a smaller home. Consumers should trust their judgement, listen to what the inspection company offers for the cost of the inspection and see what the norm is for that area. If 2 people are charging about the same price or within $25.00 and one is charging $40.00 less, then the question should be why is one far less and what does everyone bring to the table with their inspection package.
These summaries of prices can be in any area, however for reporting purpose we have used the Tampa, Hernando, Orlando and Sarasota Florida as reference for our research on this blog.
For more information, please visit our website: www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or call us anytime @ 352-322-2700 or email us directly to; email@example.com
This weeks blog, I wanted to share is about the tools inspectors use and how they can make a report better and additionally assist the buyers and sellers in an inspection. Now while each state has its own standards of practice for inspections, normally most inspectors will be up to date on technology and tools.
Years ago, the typical inspector would have a camera, (Polaroid Instant), clip board, electrical tester, and flashlight. They may have forms that were printed or they just take notes and complete the report when they return to the office. Believe it or not some inspectors are still this way but upgraded to a digital camera.
So lets begin with the inspector of today. When I started Emerald Inspection Service, my initial investment was approximately $700.00. You may say ok, what did you buy. Well first of all, we use a tablet that has a camera and is internet ready. We don’t use our phone. Then over the course of the year we upgrade on tools and equipment.
We use a laptop for wind mitigation, 4 point inspections and Chinese drywall inspections with a camera because of the standard forms. Our digital camera is waterproof and is very high in pixels. We have CO2 detector, for any type of gas lines. We don’t use soap or the bubbles as they will corrode the pipe eventually. We have a million candlelight power hand held spot light. This is great if somebody, painted over an old stain. We use pin-less and pin moisture meters to determine if any wood or drywall or flooring is holding moisture. If we suspect something in the wall or can’t get to an area, we use a 16’o inspection camera scope or use our endoscope camera. Additionally, some inspectors can not perform energy audits because they are not certified nor have an infrared camera. We have that too.
So, as you can see this is just a sample of the tools in our toolbox. When you are looking to hire an inspector, ask him what type of tools they have. Also, ask them if there is extra charges for using some of these. Some we don’t charge because it makes the report a lot better. However for an Infrared Inspection, we charge in the range of $250-550, depending on the type of inspection.
If you like to know more about this or have questions, feel free to call us or email us anytime. Our office numbers are 352-322-2700 or toll free at 844-RADON-40. Email anytime at; firstname.lastname@example.org
Wind Mitigation Inspection
A wind mitigation inspection is a report that is generated for the insurance carrier. As a home owner with windstorm insurance, state law entitles you to certain premium reductions. However, without a wind mitigation inspection, you can not get the discounts. If you have not had a windstorm insurance inspection at your home you are PROBABLY PAYING TO MUCH FOR YOUR WINDSTORM INSURANCE!
During a wind mitigation inspection, a qualified inspector reports on the key features that may decrease the amount of damage your home suffers during a hurricane or strong windstorms. There features fall into several categories; such as exterior construction type, roof shape, construction methods, age of the roof covering, door and window opening protection, as well as the year the home was constructed. Another factor maybe the elevation of the home and how it relates to wind speed.
When performing a wind mitigation inspection we take precise care to record the following information and take pictures (as seen below) to report to the insurance carrier if you may receive any discounts. Part of the wind mitigation inspection is we go into the attic. In the attic we randomly pick three roof rafters or roof trusses. We usually try to select two on each end of the roof and two near the center. We determine the nail length penetrating into the roof framing member. We also, measure the length of the nail penetrating through the sheathing. Once the attic portion is complete, we inspect any windows and glass block for hurricane stamps or Broward/Miami Dade stickers. This tells us if the glass will be hurricane wind resistant. Once that is complete we from there inspect the garage door for bracing and if any shutters can be attached to any glazing elements. Upon completion of the wind mitigation inspection, we visually inspect the roof and record all dimensions and take a few pictures of the exterior. While we make no guarantee that you may receive discounts from the insurance carrier, we will do our best to inspect all elements required by insurance companies for wind mitigation.
Most insurance carriers have their own type of reporting and we are fully equipped for that specific type of report. Additionally this process is completed anywhere there is windstorm insurance. Whether its Tampa, Webster, Leesburg or Port Richey. For further information check out our website; http://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or call us anytime at 352-322-2700