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Do You Need a Building Permit for That?

When are building permits needed? That is the $64,000 question. First it may be good to discuss the reason for building permits. Building codes list their intent as “ to insure public safety, health and welfare insofar as they are affected by building construction,…..” The major reason for permits is to therefore, provide safe and sanitary buildings. We have all seen where “Tommy Homeowner” thinks he can do anything and in turn creates problems for himself and any future home owner that may occupy the premises. The building permit process allows the local authority to review what work is planned, check the work is in progress before all the changes are completed to be sure that safe, sanitary and proper procedures are performed in the building/remodeling process. The second reason, albeit less important, is that it allows the governing authority to adjust you property values to be current with the value including any improvements. […]

Watering your lawn could prevent a leaky basement

At present it looks as though 2012 may again be a year to remember for foundation issues. To date, this has been a very dry year. At present we are somewhere around 5-6 inches behind in rainfall. You can see the cracks beginning to develop in the grounds. We have also been in the growth cycle for trees during this time and the growing season was advanced due to the unusually warm March throughout most of the country […]

Helpful Spring Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

Spring Maintenance It is that time of year again. Here are a few things to remember:

Clean debris from the gutters and downspouts. Re-establish good slope and secure anygutters that may have sagged from ice and snow. Caulk any joints that leak. The maincause of moisture in basements is poor drainage (e.g. gutter, downspout […]

Houses and the human body have a lot of similarities

Have you ever thought about the similarities between houses and the human body? For example as our bodies age, things are not quite as straight, square and firm as they once were in our younger years. At one time I had a 44 inch chest and now with age it seems that chest dimension is closer to my waist line. In most cases, this aging in homes translates into floors not being totally level and windows and doors being skewed slightly or not latching. While this may create slight operational issues these conditions are quite common in older homes, some more so than others depending on the age, floor plan, design etc. While one could, in theory go through and re-level the floors, in my opinion in most cases this would be an unnecessary expense and cause additional problems. Quite frankly many look at these conditions as part of the “character” and “charm” of an older home. […]

The St. Louis Drought of 2011 and the effect on homes

2011 will be remembered for having a wet spring and being the 4th hottest summer of record (calculated by having the highest average temperature). What is significant from a property and real estate viewpoint, however, will be that we have had little or no rain since the middle of June. We have been […]

What to do when moisture gets inside your home

Where do you begin?

Moisture can come from several sources. However, the most frequent sources of moisture inside the home are the plumbing, roofing, basement seepage and condensation. No matter where the source is it must be found and eliminated.

Moisture damage in some cases may take some time to become obvious. It is easy […]

Spring Showers-It is time to Improve the Odds to Limit Basement Seepage

Basement seepage, in most cases relates to poor management of surface and roof water. Water causing basement seepage can come from three basic sources. First surface water can be directed to, rather than away from the foundation. Second water collected in gutters and downspouts is not routed away from the foundation. Although rare, the third […]

House Bill No. 553 has been introduced to License Home Inspectors in Missouri

For those of you who do not know me, I have been in the home inspection profession for the past 35 years. I have served as National President of ASHI® and have also served on the Examination Board for Professional Home Inspectors. I offer the following comments and opinions on HB 553: