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Home Inspections Blog

Monthly Archives: March 2018

Why Don’t Home Inspectors Offer to Repair the Things They Find?

Why Don’t Home Inspectors Offer to Repair the Things They Find?

(By: Comfort Home Inspections owner Keith Hoaglund)

I frequently get asked about repairing some of the items we find wrong. I also get asked how much it costs to repair them or who should be hired.

When you think about it, it is a very valid question. After all, my inspectors are all very experienced and could easily perform quality repairs on most of the issues we find.

Why We Don’t Make Repairs

Why don’t we? Simply put, we want to protect you from a possible conflict of interest situation. In fact in Nevada, where I am also a licensed home inspector, soliciting the client for repairs is specifically called out under prohibited acts as a licensed home inspector.

The idea behind this is to protect the client. For instance, if Bob was slightly dishonest, had some handyman skills and was a practicing home inspector, he could perhaps “find” some defects (whether they were there or not) that fell into his expertise as a repairman, and then offer to repair the problems he just found for a few extra bucks.

Conversely, if Bob was totally honest and legitimately found something to repair and offered his services, the client may still be left to wonder which “Bob” he was dealing with. Have you ever had your car in for a quick oil change and the technician brings out a dirty air filter and says we better replace this too? We really don’t know if this came from our car. I don’t mean to pick on repair shops either. I am just indicating that a small conflict of interest is present when we pay someone to tell us how much to pay them.

We simply remove this entire situation from our inspection process to help our client feel more comfortable.

Estimating Your Repair Costs

When it comes to estimating repair costs, we may comment on pricing if we have had firsthand experience with a particular repair, and often we can get you in the general ballpark on others, but in general we would prefer to have you get bids from professionals who will be doing the work.

We do it this way to maximize your comfort level and provide the best accuracy we can while remaining neutral. We do, from time to time, refer professionals in a particular field that we have had good experiences with and know we can trust, but again we will encourage the client to select their own professional and to get more than one bid.

With all of this being said, I have found myself taking out my screwdriver and tightening a loose cabinet hinge or doorknob, and more than once I shut off a breaker that was feeding and unsafe exposed circuit or wire.

You Make The Final Call

I know there are general contractors in Minnesota that also inspect homes, and there are home inspectors who are also handymen. I assume many of these are reputable, but if you chose to hire one, be aware that you introducing the possibility of the uncomfortable situation you have experienced at the oil change place that wants to add blinker fluid or tighten your muffler belt for a small additional fee.

How To Make Your Rooms Look (And Feel) Bigger

How To Make Your Rooms Look (And Feel) Bigger

We all want more space in our homes, and while room layouts may be restricting, there are a few ways to give off the impression of a larger space without knocking down walls or installing more windows.

Mirrors

Using mirrors helps create a larger space in two ways: Mirrors will spread light, creating a brighter, more open feel. Mirrors also trick the eye into thinking there’s more space behnd a wall than there actually is.

Place mirrors near or opposite windows, or use large mirrors on the wall above a bed or couch to create a point that both attracts the eye and centers the room.

Light Colors

Lighter colors like white, light gray, beige, and soft blues and greens give a room an open, airy feel. Use more light colors on your walls, floors, ceiling, trim and furniture to allow light to bounce and move throughout a room, opening it up as the light moves along.

Windows

Opening your shades and blinds and leaving windows unobstructed can give a room a natural depth. Opened windows also let in lots of light, which helps make a room feel expansive.

If you opt for curtains, find curtains that are the same or a similar shade of color as the wall. Longer floor-to-ceiling curtains also help a room look tall and spacious.

make a small space feel bigger

If you don’t have many windows or your windows are small, add a few lamps around the room to add that needed brightness.

Clean up

Put away things that don’t belong out in the open, like clothes, toys, storage bins, and papers. Hide CDs and DVDs in drawers or a shelf with a door, and limit the small trinkets that are easy to line a mantle with.

If you haven’t used something in a year or a piece of furniture like a side table is in the way and out of place, consider selling or donating to free up space.

Furniture

Furniture selection is restricted by the layout of the room, doorways and windows, but there are a few rules you can follow to help create the impression of wide spaces.

Buy couches, tables and ottomans with exposed legs instead of pieces that have leg curtains or sit directly on the floor. Exposed legs and feet give the impression of empty area.

little room seem larger furniture legs

Most of the time, you should swap out bulky furniture for smaller, thinner pieces. Some room layouts, however, would fare better with tall shelves or a large focal piece, like a couch, surrounded by smaller furniture.

Mounting TVs and trading big TV stands for smaller shelves can physically give more living space and area to walk through.

Décor

Small decorative pieces like vases and plants make a room look cluttered. Opt for décor pieces that are larger than 10 inches and match and contrast them evenly for an organized, clean look.

make a cramped space look more space clutter

If you have open shelves, leave a bit of space around the books or décor to remove that cramped feel. Exposed walls make a room look larger, so avoid putting up too many pictures or art on the walls.