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Why You Should Inspect Your Home: An Interview with David Grudzinski of Advantage Home Inspections

By David Grudzinski

There are many benefits that come to inspecting your home, even if the benefit is just peace of mind from knowing there's nothing disastrously wrong. However we, at Rhode Island Homes wanted to know more about why people should get home inspections regularly and the benefits of doing so. Therefore, we interviewed David Grudzinski of Advantage Home Inspections to learn more from a professional's perspective.

Tell Us About Advantage Home Inspections:

I started the company in 2000 after being injured on a commercial construction job. The injury prevented me from continuing in construction, so home inspections seemed to be the best use of my 25+ years of construction background. I sought out some of the best training, and still look for more training every day. This helps ensure clients receive the best inspections.

The company mission is to provide the clients with the best inspection possible, and train them to care for their home, so they are not helpless when an issue arises, and to know we have their backs if needed.

Advantage Home Inspection Services:

We provide a complete array of services, Full home inspections, Termite and wood destroying insects inspection, Radon gas testing, mold testing, air quality testing, septic inspections, well testing and water testing, toxic substance testing, structural evaluations, water leak evaluations, insulation evaluations, and each home inspection covers the interior and exterior from basement to roof.

We teach the clients how to handle emergencies with water, electric, gas, etc. I am an FHA, and HUD inspector, a FHA 203K consultant, an ASHI /ACI certified inspector, and licensed for Radon gas testing. I am registered as a RI septic inspector, and also a state registered contractor.

How Often Should You Inspect Your Homes?

Well, the initial inspection will provide them with a list of defects, and recommended repairs or upgrades depending on the condition of the home, and then the clients should consider re-inspection every 3 to 5 years, or anytime they suspect an issue may be present. We also recommend inspection after any renovation project, to ensure the work was done properly.

Why Should You Inspect Your Home?

Get a home inspection for piece of mind, and to ensure the work was done well. Qualified inspectors are trained on a large number of areas that the homeowner has little or no knowledge in, and the buyer only has one chance to get an inspection. A home is the most expensive purchase you will ever make, and its not something you want to gamble with. I cant count the number of times when issues are found in brand new homes, and to my recollection, there has only been one time in 14 years where I inspected a home, and there was nothing to comment on. Codes change all the time, construction methods change, and if an upgrade or code change means the contractor will have to spend more money, they may try and sneak one past you. Also, the handy man friend who thinks he knows what to do may just not know enough to create large problems.

Other reasons include:

  • To ensure the home is sound, structurally, mechanically, and environmentally
  • To check for systems operation, any remaining life of a component, to the best of our ability, and any major costly repairs that will be expected in the near future
  • To look for hazards, pest, mold, Asbestos, electrical hazards from handyman renovations, improper insulation, or below standard insulation and product recalls
  • There have been at least 4 boiler recalls this year, and a gas line replacement that is advised. The average home buyer is not going to know about these things. How would you feel as a home owner if you saved $400 on an inspection, only to find out you just purchased a home with a recalled boiler that's going to cost you money, and hassle?

What Value does a Home Receive from an Inspection?

Our clients receive peace of mind, a lengthy report detailing any concerns, lots of pictures, recommended upgrades to meet new standards for the ever changing efficiency ratings, and a recommended manner in how to tackle these issues. In addition, we offer our clients lifetime consultation on issues that may arise in the future, and a sounding board in the event of issues. We have had clients call about outrageous prices for repairs, only to find out some contractor was trying to take advantage of the unsuspecting homeowner. When we assist them with knowledge, they are empowered to resolve issues more affordably, and with some sense of accomplishment. A PC professor called me with a leaking tub drain, and a quote from a plumber for $600/ I sent that professor a diagram on how to repair the leak, and with less than $1.00 and 30 minutes, he repaired the leak, and was elated that he did this on his own.

What's the Length of a Home Inspection?

The home inspection time varies from house to house, some are under 2 hours, some have been as long as 5 hours. one building took 2 days. The condition and size of the home drives this schedule. A home with few issues tends to be shorter, but a home with a lot of issues takes longer because the inspector has to try and determine the cause, the extent of damage and the scope of what will likely be required to repair the issue. The buyer and realtor will most certainly have lots of questions. I take as long as it takes to answer the questions, and this is where construction experience is paramount. I feel it is extremely important for a home inspector to have worked in the construction field. Having construction experience helps the inspector explain the cause, and effect of the issues, and the type of repairs to be expected.

Negative Situations that Could Have Been Prevented if They Inspected Their Home?

Sadly, there are many stories I could share, but 2 of the worst are:

A client who called for an inspection was a bank manager at a local lending institution who purchased a home at auction, he did not enter the house, and only saw it from the street, sitting in his car. He won the bid, and the house, and wanted an inspection to give him a repair list. Well, this house has massive termite issue, the entire substructure was destroyed, the previous owner had been smashing out the cement foundation to enlarge the frame, and all of the foundation was destroyed, the house was being held up by 4x4's. The entire electrical system was a mass of extension cords strung up along the walls. The heating system had failed years before, and the house was heated with a wood stove rigged up with a fan to blow heat through the HVAC ducts. The roof was snow covered so he didn't see there was no roof, only tarps, and the siding was bad. Essentially he purchased a $350,000.00 pile of rubble on land worth $50,000.

The second client purchased a home filled with Vermiculite insulation. This Vermiculite is a known Asbestos hazard, and the entire attic, walls and basement were filled with it. The remediation costs were in excess of $20,000. That should have been found at inspection, but the client didn't get an inspection, they went to see the house with a "friend" who was a contractor. The "friend" was not trained the way inspectors are, and missed this. I happen to have written several articles on Vermiculite, and am a contributing author to 8 more articles.

Contact Information:

There are many ways to contact us, Clients can reach us by phone, in the phone book, on the web www.advantagehomeinspections.us, and email.

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