5 methods to Protect Yourself When purchasing a Fixer-Upper CertaPro Painters of Seattle 1. Look out for lead paint. If you're buying a home that was built before 1978, it may contain some paint that is lead. “You will frequently find lead in exterior siding; lumber window structures and sills; old solid-core door structures, jambs and the doorways by themselves; and painted walls and ceilings in kitchen areas and bathrooms,” says Dan Ventura of Hawk ecological Services.

Whilst it's mandatory for sellers to disclose whether they have knowledge of any lead paint present in their house, they are required to do so only when they've specifically tested for it, and the law does not require that a test be performed.




“Lead paint isn't a risk until it is chipping, flaking or chalky,” Ventura says. Which can be what will happen if you disturb those surfaces during a remodel.

Fortunately, it is simple to look for clues that lead paint may have been used in the home. If the house was recently remodeled, lead paint dust may be present, so request a lead-dust-wipe analysis as a contingency of sale. During this noninvasive test, an inspector will swipe a section of floor with a special wipe and test the dust it gathers for lead.

Another option is to request an XRF test, in which the inspector utilizes a special tool to look for lead. “This allows us to test all the surfaces in the house and produce a spreadsheet report of exact lead content and locations,” says Ventura.

This option is more high priced compared to the very first, though, costing anywhere between $650 and $1,000 for an average residence, rather than just $100 for a swipe test.

Ventura additionally suggests walking the perimeter of the true house to look for paint chips. If you notice some, request that the soil be tested for lead, aswell.




It's also wise to request soil tests for areas where you might be considering a vegetable garden or a child's play area. “Those areas have different thresholds for what's accepted,” says Ventura.Fresh Finishes Painting 2. Check for asbestos. “Asbestos may be present in any building material that is not wood, metal or glass,” says Ventura. It can often lurk in unexpected places, like specialty textures, appliance components and insulation while we often look for asbestos in materials like popcorn ceilings or vinyl tiles.

Ventura says one easy way to check for asbestos is to pull the metal caps from the heating registers and look inside. “Sometimes they'll scrape the popcorn ceiling, and they won't do it properly for asbestos,” says Ventura. “Guys that are doing a halfway job like that usually don't cover up the registers, and you'll find popcorn dust in the registers.”

Be aware that asbestos continues to be appropriate to be used in a few building materials, like some roof patches, but it is more likely to be there in domiciles remodeled or built before 1981.

When you're dealing with a home that predates that year, you should start thinking about asbestos evaluating as a contingency, however you will have to get permission first, because evaluating is a process that is destructive requires removing certain materials.Hawk Environmental Services 3. Hunt for mold. Notice a musty smell? Start looking for flood damage and mold. Telltale signs of water damage and mold include wall surface spots and baseboards that are swollen. You should also look for signs of a cover-up.

“i enjoy look for sections of baseboard and trim that do not match all of those other space, pull toe-kick registers in home cabinetry and appear under them, and pull drawers out of kitchen cabinetry and look at the Sheetrock in back of the drawer,” says Ventura. “I also look at baseboards and sheet vinyl flooring around bathtubs and showers to make sure there's no staining, discoloration or inflammation, as well as any unusual patches in walls.”

He additionally recommends checking flooring that is trim and around any door resulting in a backyard area, and insisting that your home inspector get into every loft and crawl room to look for water damage and mold here.




You might not have to worry if you still can't find the source of the smell, Ventura says. Older carpets and furnishings — especially in basements — tend to hold humidity in benign ways, thus creating that musty smell.Rad Design Inc 4. look for broken bones. Look closely at the roof. Is it sagging? This is certainly a sign of weakened or roof that is faulty, or that the dwelling is simply too poor to guide the extra weight of the roof, both of which are high priced issues to fix.

Verify the floors are degree. The home is built on uneven floors can also be evidence of a structural problem or an issue with the soil.

You should also just take a peek in the electrical box. If it's a mess, that's a indication that is good you're going to need to do some rewiring.

If the true home has ever been remodeled, make sure it's properly ventilated. Ventura says he's worked on many houses that had recently been flipped, and the flipper had tightened the building envelope without adding new heating or air flow. The off-gassing from the new paint and carpeting made the new residents sick as a result.

“Invariably, a lot of it leads back again to ventilation,” he claims.Bill Fry Construction - Wm. H. Fry Const. Co. 5. Have a chat with all the preparation division. Bill Fry of Bill Fry Construction warns that skipping this step that is simple cost many homeowners their dreams. For example, the water department may maybe not allow you to include your bathrooms. After which there's the nagging problem of additional square footage. “In many municipalities, adding on 500 square feet or more is a magic number where more needs start working, such as for example fire sprinklers, which need to be anticipated in your budget,” Fry says.

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