Trench digging without nasty lawn scars

- The downside to using a trenching machine on a lawn is that it’s like using a chainsaw to do surgery; you’re going to have a huge scar. Part of that was surely due to my lack of a green thumb, but that’s beside the point. It took me the rest of the summer to get new grass to fill in the scar left by that trenching machine, and probably another year or two before there wasn’t a big obvious line of different grass in my yard. ..More

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Q&A: Can electrical boxes be buried in insulation?

- So that begs the question: is insulation part of the building or structure? Common sense says that insulation is part of the building, so it seems that maybe boxes shouldn’t be buried there. It’s a book that every home inspector should have in their library. Electrical boxes being buried in insulation aren’t specifically discussed in the NEC, so I turned to my second book, Electrical Inspections of Existing Dwellings, courtesy of the same folks at Code Check. Not only does this book have a lot of commentary and history of the electrical codes, but it’s written for home inspectors. ..More

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A breakdown of energy ratings for Minnesota homes

- Ratings are calculated at the end of the construction process by a certified third-party specialist using diagnostic equipment and performance modeling software. The rating takes into account variables such as a home’s airtightness, level of insulation and type of heating and cooling system. ..More

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Updated home inspector training advice

- A: Home inspection schools often include some hands-on training, but that’s only the beginning of the amount of training needed for this profession. Some home inspectors charge a fee for this training, some don’t. This is a publicly available list, which can be viewed here. To get real-life home inspection experience, one must attend home inspections with experienced home inspectors. My name is on that list, but nearly every home inspection that I do is also done with a new inspector from my company, so I do very little training for home inspectors outside of my company. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) allows home inspectors who are willing to take other home inspectors along on inspections, for the purpose of training, to register as a Parallel Inspection Guide. ..More

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Asbestos in homes

- Those are the products that are commonly known to contain asbestos, but the list of product that might contain asbestos goes on forever. Here’s a small part of that list, used primarily in buildings before 1980:. ..More

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