The home construction process can be both exiting and at the same time, fraught with problems. You may not have as much experience as you'd like when it comes to dealing with lot purchasing and developers. The most important thing is to have as much information at your fingertips as possible, and be thoroughly prepared.
You will no doubt have many questions about the site you are considering building on. Before you even meet with the developer, try to find out as much as you can about how reliable they are, and what kind of reputation they have. You also need to know as much as you can about the area of development, as well as the particular lot you are looking to buy.
We have prepared a small sampling of the questions you will need to ask your developer. While some of them may seem like obvious questions to ask, the fact is that if you are in an environment where you are pressured into signing a contract, you may overlook some of them.
You will want to ask questions such as:
This is a brief list of important questions you will need the answers to before signing a contract. If you would like any assistance in matters like these, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Having uninterrupted electricity in the home is something we've all become so used to, if it shuts off for any length of time, it can totally disrupt our lives. For some people with health problems etc, it could be a serious matter if there is not power. Is it a wise decision then, to buy a portable generator?
There are a good many advantages to having a portable generator. When your power goes out, you can simply switch to the generator.
Some of the benefits to purchasing one are:
They are small enough transport, making them an ideal option for someone who enjoys camping or going to remote locations etc.
You do not usually need a special permit to own and operate one, an there is no type of difficult installation.
A typical generator will run on gasoline.
As with all types of equipment though, there are some things to consider if you decide to buy a portable generator.
If your power is out, it could be very tempting to overload it. This will be prevent it from functioning as it should, and even more important it could cause a fire.
Portable generators are not meant for appliances hard wired for your home. There design is for corded appliances.
Portable generators produce carbon monoxide, which we all know to be lethal, with this in mind, never have one running in the house.
There is a risk of electric shock if water gets onto it while it is running.
As we all know, gasoline is a very flammable liquid, to avoid possible fire, be very careful to not spill any on a hot generator.
In summary, a portable generator is a very beneficial thing to have as long as it is operated with much care.
Lightning can be a very dangerous natural element. It has the potential to affect anyone. While the main danger is when we are outside in a lightning storm, a big danger still exists even when we are in our homes.
What are some dangers to be aware of?
One of the more apparent and obvious dangers from a lightning strike at home is a house fire. As we are aware, the damage this can cause is sizable. Have you thought, though about the other problems that come when a house fire is extinguished? Water damage is also a concern, and if the house is not properly dried out, mold can become a big issue.
Electrocution can present another big danger so its best to avoid doing anything that brings you in contact with running water, such as washing dishes or showering.
A surge protector is good for protecting your electronics, but its not wise to think that this is totally lightning proof. Its wise to turn off or unplug devices like computers and phones that could be damaged with a lightning strike, so that there is no risk.
If you can, make sure to keep away from windows and open doors, even if the storm is fun to watch.
Lightning rods and other types of protection systems are available if you feel you need to do something more to keep safe. Make sure to do your research though before investing in one, and remember to put safety first in a lightning storm.
In recent years Bed Bugs, have become an epidemic, and our area is no exception. Their hard to see, love to travel and not so easy to eliminate, so what do we know about these pesky invaders, and what can we do about them?
Although bed bugs are found in mattresses, they are by no means limited to beds, in fact they can hide in an alarming number of places. Anywhere from furniture, curtains and clothing to picture frames and books
What do they look like?
Bed bugs are rather small, especially when first hatched. An adult bed bug is flat, oval and has a orangey, rust colored body.
See the signs
Bed bugs are rather shy in nature, so it is usually easier to look out for the signs of their presence. These include blood spots, and stains from fecal matter, also some crushed bug remnants, they are also known to emit a musty smell (it should be noted though that this is not always present)
These little parasites enjoy biting us as well which can leave itchy bumps on our skin.
How to treat the problem
It is not advised for homeowners to try to treat the problem themselves, as if not careful they can make the problem worse. PMPs or Pest Management Professionals are best for treating the problem as they can look for the bugs at the beginning stages of their development.
Trained dogs are also successfully being used in the detection of bed bugs as they can detect an odor that is emitted by the bugs.
Please contact us for more information on how to detect the presence of bed bugs in your home
No one enjoys the thought of these little creatures living in our attics, however since bats can be found in most inhabited places all over the world, we should expect to encounter them at some point.
What are some of the ways we can identify if we have bats in our homes?
What are some of the dangers of a bat infestation?
Bats pose a huge health risk to humans. They can carry rabies which can be fatal. Bat feces is also dangerous to humans as it can cause a respiratory disease called Histoplasma capsulatum.
Please contact us here at Tempest Inspections for more details and instructions on where to locate entry points for bats, as they can squeeze through very small holes.
We all need to protect our homes from burglars, especially this time of year when many go away on their vacations, so how about a few tips and pointers on how to do so.
Did you know?
A high percentage of burglars enter through the first floor of the home, so insuring exterior doors and windows are secure is important.
Exterior doors should be constructed of a heavy solid material that are not easily broken, and should have good quality deadbolt locks.
Beware of leaving spare keys in what you believe to be hidden areas. Don’t hide keys in obvious places or close to the door, instead leave them with a neighbor you can trust.
Install a peephole, so you can see who’s at your door before you open it
If you absolutely must have a pet door, make sure it’s not located close to a lock and try to have it as small as you can.
What about sliding glass doors? A cheap fix would be to place a wooden pole or handle of a broom, and place it in the door track so it cannot be opened. These doors should also have top and bottom locks.
Windows want to be constructed with strong glass and screening should be a heavy-duty wire.
Burglars don’t want to be seen, so make it as difficult as possible for them by attaching motion sensored lighting all around the house.
What if you’re going to be away?
Try to make it look like someone's home. Timer activated lights, TV or radio are a good idea. Make sure the yard is kept neat while you are away, also try keeping a car in the driveway.
Contact us for more advice on how to protect your home.
We all see the need to be conscious of any potential fire hazard in our home, but what about our garage, especially when its attached to our house?
Garage fires can occur very easily, this is because our garage is where we store most of our flammable liquids ( paint cans, varnish, gasoline cans to name but a few). Its also the place we are most likely to work on the car, motorbike, lawn mower etc. Here are a few tips on preventing your garage from being a potential fire hazard:
It is recommended that you have the garage checked by a Certified Home Inspector, as they can check to see if your walls and doors meet proper standards of fire safety, and also point out any areas that might attention.
Please contact us, your Calgary certified home inspector for more assistance
So many things in our home nowadays are electric, from kitchen appliances to iPads and phones, everything requires an electrical outlet.
In many older homes, there are simply not enough outlets, so a power strip seems the obvious choice to keep up with the demand, but how can we make sure that we are using them safely? Consider the following:
As you can see, power strips can be very useful, but only if used correctly.
Please give us a call with any questions you may have about electrical outlet safety in your home
If you are thinking of buying an older home here in Calgary, you might want to consider that it could possibly be wired with aluminum wiring. Is this something you should be concerned about? Here are a few factors to consider;
As you can see from this very brief overview, aluminum wiring can be quite dangerous especially as it poses a much greater fire risk than copper wiring
Please contact us for more information and also advice on what to do if you have aluminum wiring is in your home.
In our last article we looked at the potential causes of air pollutants in our home. In this article, we will look at ways to reduce and treat these pollutants. Here are a few suggestions:
As you can see, there are many things we can do to improve the air quality of our homes. We are always available to help you with any questions you may have.
Dave Graham, Tempest Home Inspection. Calgary Alberta