How to Look

at a House

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There’s cracks running along the home’s concrete tie beam. What’s wrong?

  1. Should I buy a fixer-upper?

  2. How can I tell if my floors are sloping?

  3. Can vinyl siding be painted?

  4. How do I recognize serious structural problems in a house?

  5. Is this old home a Sears Catalog kit house?

  6. How much of a roof truss can I cut out to make a storage platform in the attic?

  7. How do I remove cigarette odor in a house?

  8. How difficult is it to change a window to french doors or a sliding glass door?

  9. Are house numbers required by law in front of a house?

  10. How do you inspect a dryer vent?

Should I hire an engineer to inspect the house?

Does it make sense to buy an older mobile home and remodel it?

I’d swear that crack wasn’t there yesterday. What happened?

  1. What causes wood rot on a home?

  2. Should a home inspection scare you?

  3. What’s my chance of buying a Gainesville home over a sinkhole?

  4. We looked at the house carefully, and it seems alright. Do we really need a home inspection?

  5. How can a tree damage my house?

  6. Is it common for an insurance company to require an inspection?

  7. Why do the floors slope in this old house?

  8. Should I put gutters on the house?

Can I take that wall out? Is it load-bearing?

  1. Can I do my own home inspection?

  2. What safety checks will limit my tenant liability in a rental house?

  3. What causes cracks in a driveway?

  4. What are the warning signs of a dangerous attic pull-down ladder?

  5. Does wood rot spread? Is it contagious?

  6. What is the lighting requirement for stairs?

  7. What is the difference between plywood and OSB?

  8. Why is a double cylinder deadbolt lock on an exterior door a safety hazard?

  9. What is the steepest residential stair allowed?

  10. What is fiber reinforced concrete?

  11. What is the difference between a clip, single wrap, and double wrap for the wind mitigation form?

  12. What is engineered wood siding?

  13. What are the pros and cons of aluminum siding?

  14. What does freeze damaged brick look like?

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

developing around the joints. In the photo at the top of the page, it has been used between the bottom small piece of new plywood—installed because the end of the original panel had developed wood rot and delamination from the splash-back of rain at the ground from the roof overhang above—and the remaining part of the original sheet of plywood siding. When making a plywood siding repair like this, it is imperative to seal (preferably with primer and two coats of paint) the cut-off end of the original plywood sheet and both ends of the new one, unless you don’t mind doing the repair again soon.

    The walls of a home have to be able to repel water just like a roof and, once you think of the exterior walls as a vertical roof—with lots of openings in it—that has rain beating against it and water draining down it, you have the correct mind-set to  evaluate the installation of siding, and the trim that frames windows, doors and corners. The Z-flashing provides similar protection to a drip strip at the edge of a roof.

    To learn more about the maintenance of plywood exterior siding, go to our blog post “What is the average life expectancy of plywood siding?”

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

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