April 2004 Edition

New Home Inspections

We are planning to build a new home. Since the different phases are going to be inspected by the county, do we need a private inspector too?
 Clark Howard had an excellent program on WSB news called "Clark Howard's Warning To Homebuyers. Government Inspections May Not Provide Protection."


Homebuyers are becoming more educated and most would not even consider buying a used home without a home inspection. New construction is a different story. Many buyers assume since the construction was inspected by the county or municipal inspectors, the construction meets all of the building codes. Anyway, if anything goes wrong, it is covered by the builder's warranty. Right?
Gary Lewis, president of the Georgia Association of Home Inspectors, said private contractors can spend between three to six hours on a job whereas county inspectors, "Just don't have the luxury of having that amount of time."
Most of the county or municipal inspectors are over worked and can only spend around five minutes at each inspection. Private inspectors can spend between two to four hours doing the same inspection. Are the inspections the same? You decide. Many of the county or municipal inspectors are required to inspect between 30 to 40 homes a day. Most private inspectors can only inspect two.
How Do You Choose An Inspector?
Question to ask a potential inspector:
  • Are you a member of ASHI? The American Society of Home Inspectors is the nation's largest and oldest organization of professional inspectors. See www.ashi.org.
  • How long have you been in the home inspection business?
  • Does the company offer to do any repairs or improvements based on the inspection? This may cause a conflict of interest.
  • How long will the inspection take? The average is two to three hours for a typical single-family home. Anything less may not be enough time to do a thorough inspection.
  • What will the inspection include? Get the specifics.
  • Does the inspector prepare a written report? Is it available at the site? Does the report include digital photos?
  • Does the inspector encourage the client to attend the inspection? This is a valuable educational opportunity. If the inspector refuses, this should raise a red flag.
  • Does the inspector participate in continuing education programs to keep his or her expertise up to date? What other organizations is he/she a member of? An inspector’s commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his professionalism and service.
Georgia has it’s own organization which is called the Georgia Association of Home Inspectors. GAHI was founded in 1989 as a state-wide organization of professional inspectors dedicated to improving the service and reputation of the home inspection industry. Its primary goals are:


  • Enhance the public awareness of the benefits of home inspections.
  • Improve the inspection skills and the professional knowledge of each member.
  • Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information for its members.
Their commitment to high standards is reflected in their membership requirements which are among the highest and most challenging of all professional home inspection organizations. Members must successfully complete written exams, perform a minimum of 250 inspections and attain certification by the International Code Council as a One and Two Family Dwelling Inspector. This certification is unique to all other home inspection organizations and permits its members to adequately perform inspections for newly constructed residences by being "Code Certified." Most builders require the inspectors to be CABO certified.
Few professional home inspectors, like craftsmen in other trades and professions, reach a high level of competency in a short period of time. Because of the variety of materials, construction practices and construction skills, and the time period over which communities develop, much of the necessary knowledge can only be obtained through experience and education.
Both organizations adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and are guided by a Standards of Practice. For additional information, contact ASHI National at 1-800-743-2744 or http://www.ashi.org, ASHI-Georgia Chapter at 770-989-2588 or http://www.ashigeorgia.com, and GAHI at 770-989-2524 or http://www.gahi.com.

For additional information about the program, check out Clark Howard's article at http://www.wsbtv.com/money/2867856/detail.html

OSHA Issues Mold Guide

ASHI Capitol Hill lobbyist Randy Pence advises that the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration has issued a formal Safety and Health Bulletin (SHIB 03-10-10) titled, "A Brief Guide to Mold in the Workplace."
The introduction to the multi-page guide explains the intended audience and suggested use as follows:
"Concern about indoor exposure to mold has increased along with public awareness that exposure to mold can cause a variety of health effects and symptoms, including allergic reactions. This safety and health information bulletin provides recommendations for the prevention of mold growth and describes measures designed to protect the health of building occupants and workers involved in mold cleanup and prevention. By reading this safety and health information bulletin, individuals with little or no experience with mold remediation may be able to reasonably judge whether mold contamination can be managed in-house or whether outside assistance is required. The advice of a medical professional should always be sought if there are any emerging health issues. This document will help those responsible for building maintenance in the evaluation of remediation plans. Contractors and other professionals (e.g. industrial hygienists or other environmental health and safety professionals) who respond to mold and moisture situations in buildings, as well as members of the general public, also may find these guidelines helpful. The information in these guidelines is intended only as a summary of basic procedures and is not intended, nor should it be used, as a detailed guide to mold remediation." The Guide can be found at http://www.osha.gov/dts/shib/shib101003.html 

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote Of The Month

" When prosperity comes, do not use all of it."


A Tip Of The Hat To:

Steve Bing

Platinum Place Properties

5436 Sugarloaf Parkway

Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043

**** Thank You****