|Your HomeTeamKC Report
March Issue: Common Home Issues in the Kansas City Area
Welcome to the March 2006 issue of The HomeTeamKC Report. This quarterly report provides REALTORS® and Homeowners with helpful information about residential homes from a home inspector's perspective.
We now have a one-minute introductory video on our website that potential clients can view to get a feel for how The HomeTeam is different. Although I certainly won’t be contacted by talent scouts, the video does provide a good feel to clients for our company. Click here to view the video.
This month’s newsletter highlights SOME OF THE MOST COMMON HOME ISSUES WE ENCOUNTER IN KANSAS CITY AREA. This is not a scientific survey; however, it can provide sellers, buyers, and agents with some ‘heads up’ regarding homes. I have divided the listing into two groups: ISSUES & SAFETY ISSUES (with some inevitable overlap).
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What you’ll find in this issue of
the HomeTeamKC Report:
COMMON ISSUES IN KANSAS CITY
·Quick Access to Our Current Pricing Sheet
- Probably 80% of the homes we inspect receive some grading recommendations. The illustration below continues to be a great ‘rule of thumb’. Improper grading is the primary cause of foundation problems and wet basements.
- Exterior wood decay – siding & windows. I’ll bet every single one of our readers has more than enough experience with wood decay issues. Remember: water is a home’s enemy! Protect siding, trim, & windows from water intrusion (e.g., recessed nails, panel joints, trim gaps, etc.).
- Aging furnace (can also be safety issue), condensing unit, & water heater. Check out and save the linked list of HOW LONG SHOULD IT LAST? at: http://www.hometeaminspection.com/resources/last.asp
- Plumbing leaks (both supply & drain lines) & old, galvanized plumbing supply lines: These issues are both aggravating to a homeowners and sometimes expensive to repair. See the following illustration depicting galvanized plumbing issues:
- Aging, worn roofs – modern composite roofs are now far superior to older 3-tab shingle and wood shake roofs…equating to beauty and extended longevity. Wood shake roofs in this climate have a typical longevity of 18 to 20 years, and that includes maintenance along the way. Typical modern composite roofs are 30, 40, and even 50 year life roofs!
- Inaccessible crawl spaces – If you can’t see and/or access portions of an underlying floor structure and plumbing, you are rolling the dice with potential problems.
- Excessive storage & furnishings in house concealing significant areas of floor and wall space – buyers can certainly ask sellers to ‘clear the clutter’ prior to an inspection!
- Light attic insulation.
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- Miscellaneous Electrical – Almost daily, we find numerous open/uncovered junction boxes, missing switch & receptacle covers, open splices, wiring that should be enclosed in conduit, to name a few. In addition, a nice and inexpensive safety improvement that we frequently recommend is replacing regular receptacles with GFCI receptacles, in a home’s ‘high-risk areas’ – baths, kitchen, exterior, garage, basement. 3 prong GFCI receptacles are acceptable and operational in open/non-grounded boxes. Other electrical safety issues encountered include obsolete electrical panels; overloaded panels; safety issues within panels, undersized service entrance cables.
- Missing handrails on stairs and steps, poorly constructed decks, excessive spacing on balusters (should be maximum 4” to 6” spacing).
- Chimneys can have a myriad of maintenance and safety issues, such as excessive creosote buildup, cracks in firebrick, missing rain hats & screens, deteriorated mortar chimney caps/crowns, damaged or missing liners. A consumer would be wise to have a chimney cleaned and inspected by an honest, professional chimney company prior to the close of negotiations; unless proper documentation can be provided of the same being performed within the prior year.
- Improper furnace & water heater venting – inadequate rise of vent pipes, rust-through of pipes, vent pipe joints not screwed together…also, flexible gas lines entering furnace cabinets (potential fire/explosive hazard).
While this list is far from all-encompassing, I hope that it provides you with some ‘food for thought’ when considering the sale or purchase of a property. Like most home issues, these can typically be addressed, and in most cases do not require substantial funds to address. Your awareness up front will nonetheless be beneficial to you during the process.
The Illustrated Home Return to Table of Contents
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