If I've learned one thing in this business, it is to do the job right the first time. I place every effort in using my experience and training to make the most accurate, efficient, and informative reports for our clients. Since LOX Home Inspections, LLC has expanded outside of Glynn County and South Georgia to the CSRA, we have been amazed at the amount of follow up inspections that had to be performed behind more established companies in the area. These companies' clients have contacted us with the competitors inspection report in hand in order for me to decipher and explain the details. In most cases, LOX Home Inspections, LLC has had to visit the customer's proposed new home to perform full home inspections. The new inspection report, in general, are very similar but the difference is in the details. One local inspection company with over 50 years of combined employee experience commented on a 2010 built home that "There is no evidence of the residence being secured to the foundation." Not only during the construction process is a foundation inspection provided by the county to verify the residence would be up to code, but the residence also had a letter from a structural engineer provided prior to the inspection confirming the foundation was structurally sound. Now I will be the first to tell you that I look at every home with the mentality of "Inspect the Unexpected", so when I visit a residence I do so with a questioning attitude. So you can possibly understand my confusion when I entered the crawlspace of this home to not only find the entire foundation perimeter secured properly but the tie bolts to the foundation were also individually marked for ease of confirmation. How could this happen, and how could this be an oversight? The answer is very simple. When I called up my competitor to provide feedback to the series of oversights that have been offered to LOX Home Inspections, LLC by their clients, the inspector informed me that they do not require their inspectors to crawl the crawlspaces nor walk the roof in accordance with their associations' Code of Ethics. And that is why, you as a client need to make the best choice the FIRST time. LOX Home Inspections, LLC has been set apart from other inspection companies since we started in 2011 and we contribute our success to satisfied clients and returning investors that know we look at every residence as if it were our own. LOX Home Inspections, LLC will provide you with a Residential Inspection that you can be confident was completed right the FIRST time.
Due to the overwhelming growth in the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) and specifically Columbia, Richmond, and Burke County I am proud to announce that LOX Home Inspections, LLC will be servicing these counties as well as the surrounding counties starting Spring 2016.
Whether you are new to the LOX Home Inspections, LLC family or an existing client I ask that you continue to spread the word as the company expands to these areas.
A special thank you to my previous clients who have made LOX Home Inspections, LLC a household name for both residential and commercial inspections throughout Southeast Georgia.
So I am ringing in a New Year at LOX Home Inspections, LLC.
With the demand for our services outside of Glynn County in the latter part of 2013 I expanded my coverage of LOX Home Inspections, LLC to perform inspections in McIntosh and Northern Camden county as well. I am excited about our great success this past year in acquiring both residential and commercial inspections for the 2013 real estate transactions on St. Simons Island and Sea Island. LOX Home Inspections, LLC has improved the scheduling format to provide a more responsive and convenient scheduling of your residential inspections. My scheduling has been enhanced by maintaining direct contact with both the Listing agents and Buyer's Realtor in order to gain timely access to the property. The use of a Closeout form assists the Realtors, Sellers, and Buyers in feeling that the residence will be left in the same, if not better, condition as it was at the beginning of the inspection. The addition of a "Post Inspection Consultation", has proven beneficial in fielding any questions or directives from either the client or Realtor after the report has been reviewed. The construction dynamics are forever evolving to become more efficient, economical, and to allow for increased longetivity of a home. LOX Home Inspections, LLC maintains current Certifications, attends regular continuing education classes and seminars, as well as maintains a great repoire with local contractors and business owners associated with the Real Estate Industry. LOX Home Inspections, LLC is becoming a household name and this is great for business. Thanks for a great 2013 and I am confident that 2014 will prove to be even more successful.
LOX Home Inspections, LLC is starting off 2013 with great strides and real estate support. We are affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce and on the preferred Home Inspector list of most real estate brokerages, insurance companies, and contractors both in Glynn County and surrounding areas. LOX Home Inspections, LLC takes great pride in the work that we do and the people that we meet. I personally feel that our business not only enlightens clients to the condition of their home, but allows us to trend common deficiencies that current home owners may be dealing with. Some deficiencies noted in our reports are common place to residential construction and life spans, others are directly related to the type of home constructed and who constructed it. The most common deficiencies are just due to lack of home maintenance. So I wanted to take the opportunity to share a few of these common items with you.
1) Clean your gutters. When a gutter is not cleaned, it may conceal rust, wood root, or wood destroying organisms.
2) Ensure that any exterior door that is susceptible to rain water is primed and painted. The lack of maintenance to the base brickmold of an exterior door may lead to wood rot and wood destroying organisms.
3) Have your HVAC unit routinely maintenanced by a service technician. The most common deficiency I find due to lack of maintenance is deteriorated pipe insulation and dirty filters.
4) Annually check your toilet to make sure it is secure to the floor. Loose toilets may lead to deteriorated wax rings or leakage into the subfloor.
This list is just a sample of home deficiency items that I commonly see. In future blogs I will add more.
So hug a realtor, call LOX Home Inspections, LLC, and take care of your home.
Sadly, chimneys are being phased out in the newer homes that I inspect. But if you are fortunate enough to own a solid fuel or gas-vented fireplace, this blog is for you.
Down here in the South, chimney maintenance often goes neglected from one year to the next. Mostly because homeowners only warm by the fire a total of a week or two out of the whole winter season. Regardless of how often you use your fireplace, the chimney and flue need to be maintenanced.
As for simple cleaning, start by removing ashes from the fireplace. During the winter, make sure that the ashes don't build up greater than 2". After winter, ensure that you remove all the ashes from the firebox. For some deep cleaning,remove soot and stains from the fireplace by spraying on a mixture of soapy water. Try to spray liberally and let the solution soak in for about half an hour. Once the soot has softened, then scrub the surface using a wire brush. Also use the wire brush to remove rust and debris from the damper. The damper may be difficult to access, so wear protective clothing, eye protection, and gloves. Lastly, the exterior and chimney flue should be left to the professionals, but some checks can be performed by you when done safely. If you can safely access the chimney cap, check that it is in good condition, and that it is not restricted with leaves or other debris. Sometimes a wire screen will keep debris and animals from getting down into the chimney. Even though their name may suggest they are free labor, "Chimney Swifts" or "Chimney Sweeps" of the bird variety often nest in the chimney and may become a serious fire hazard. And while you are up there, check the "pointing" or the mortar between the bricks to make sure that it is in good condition, and it is not cracked or flaking. So help Santa keep his suit clean this year and have a safe and Merry Christmas!!!!
The casual observer might think that being a home inspector is a pretty easy and lucrative occupation. What most people do not realize is that it not only takes a lot of experience and training to become comfortable inspecting homes, but there are also hazards that I have to be aware of.
Fall hazards are just one example that I need to be cognizant of. Moving quickly through a house that I am not familiar with can be a little risky. Stairs that are not standard or damaged will be reported in the inspection report, however sometimes the hazards are not known till I start to put my weight on the tread. In some homes the electricity may be off or light bulbs may be burned out and the added issue of visibility comes into play.
Another area that is a danger is in the area of electricity. Removing a distribution panel cover for inspection can be scary. I do not know who last worked on the panel and if that person knew what they were doing. In some instances I have removed a panel cover to discover that the screws holding the panel in place were penetrating into the insulation of a wire.
Attics and roofs are examples of other hazard areas I face. It is good practice to inspect the attic space before climbing on the roof. By doing the inspection of the attic before the roof, I am able to see areas which may not hold my weight if I were to walk that part of the roof. While in the attic I need to be careful not to fall through the ceiling or to come into contact with any wires that may be exposed or loose. I also need to watch out for exposed nails coming in through the roof so as to not to poke my head.
When on the roof of course the primary danger is that of falling off on to the ground. I also need to remember to watch out for soft spots on the roof in which I could fall through and end up right back into the attic.
Crawl spaces pose a danger all to themselves. These areas, if wet, can be a serious hazard if coupled with poor electrical wiring. That is why when the crawl space is wet I will notate that in the report and inspect the area from entry. There is just too much risk.
With these examples of hazards, I need to take extra care so as to not injure myself but still provide a thorough inspection report to my clients. So if you see me wearing my hard hat, orange vest, and gloves when inspecting portions of your home, please be reminded that I have both my safety and yours in mind.
One might think that the No. 1 question in my business would be "How much do you charge?" or "How long will the inspection take?" or "If this was your home, would you still buy it?". But it still amazes me that what interest people the most is "What does LOX mean?". After many table top discussions amongst the family to brainstorm for a company name, LOX won by a majority vote every time. How I became a Home Inspector has been a grooming process ever since I was a little kid. I would follow my father around from house to house, helping out the locals in my hometown, as we pulled wire, re-roofed homes, and fixed plumbing issues. Well as I got older I began to realize that all of my contracting, constructing, and inspecting has been based on Living Off Experience. But then one might notice that LOX is not three initials separated by periods. And so just when you think you have it figured out, the name LOX comes from a combination of my daughter Logan, whom we call Lolo, and my son Mattox, whom we call Ox. The true result of living off experience resides in the combination of my children's names....LOX.
And now you know the rest of the story.