Servicing: MENDOCINO, SONOMA, NAPA & LAKE

ONE HOME INSPECTOR IS NOT THE SAME AS ANOTHER
AND I'LL TELL YOU WHY!
 

                           

Member 249171                                                  Member 6082094
 
707.245.7545 (cell/text) or 707.987.9970 (office)
BYRON DUERKSEN, ACI, CMI
 
MBA - CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT
ASHI CERTIFIED INSPECTOR * NACHI CERTIFIED MASTER INSPECTOR
HUD/FHA 203(k) INSPECTOR * CERTIFIED THERMOGRAPHER * CERTIFIED MOLD/RADON/AIR QUALITY TESTING
 

   

 HOUSECHECK IS LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED

   DEDICATED TO MEETING YOUR HIGHEST EXPECTATIONS FOR A HOME INSPECTION
 

Welcome to Housecheck Inspection Services.  I am a seasoned  professional, a Certified Master Inspector, performing inspections in Northern California's wine country for fifteen years.  The dictionary defines a "professional" as "skilled, proficient, knowledgeable, prepared, talented, competent and experienced,"  in other words a master of his craft.  I take pride on providing courteous, friendly and competent service.

I have earned three Master Inspector certifications from three different home inspection organizations (NACHI, AII, CREIA), achieved the ACI which is the American Society of Home Inspectors' highest accreditation, and twelve years ago I passed the National Home Inspector Examination used for licensing home inspectors in states that require licenses. 

Marketing has been equated to manipulation.  Whether it's a couple of paragraphs of "humble pie" or professional photographs of beautilful houses that are nowhere near here, or dozens of logos of affiliations and accreditations plastered all over the website.  I prefer facts.  Facts that can help you make an informed decision.  There is nothing generic on this website.  These are my words from fifteen years of experience inspecting.

WHEN YOU WANT THE BEST, THE CHOICE IS CLEAR


Board Certified Master Inspector (NACHI) - international certification
*  ASHI Certified Inspector (ASHI) - international certification
*   Examination Board of Professional Home Inspectors (EBPHI) - national certification

Commercial Building Inspector (Carson Dunlop Weldon) - international certification
  Certified FHA/HUD Inspector, S0770 - federal certification
*  Former City Building Inspector (City of Clearlake)
*  Past President, American Institute of Inspectors (A.I.I.) - 3 terms
*  Former Region 1 Director, California Real Estate Inspection Association (C.R.E.I.A.)
*  State Approved Trainer of Licensed Home Inspectors in Washington,
    Oregon and Nevada

In fact, I just returned from an 8-hour class on the Significant Changes in the 2016 California Building Codes.  Also, just completed 16 hours in a Radon class which was very illuminating.      . . . read more
 

COMPLIMENTARY VALUE ADDED SERVICES 

Along with performing high compliance inspections, I include additional services at no cost to you. 

1.  By utilizing my infrared camera, I can detect costly leaks and potentially dangerous electrical hot spots. 

2.  I submit model and serial numbers on appliances to RecallChek from whom you'll get a separate report. 

3.  Included with that you will have a 90 day warranty from Residential Warranty Services on structural and mechanical components. 

4.  I will mail you a plastic covered, bound Hard Copy for easy reference as well as email the PDF. 

5.  And, finally I will send you a valuable 225 page e-book titled The Safe Home which answers many questions for home owners.

                                       
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"THE HOME INSPECTION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION"
            Consumer Reports - March 2015 Issue

ONE HOME INSPECTOR IS NOT THE SAME AS ANOTHER

There are many home inspectors from which to choose.  What sets Housecheck apart is (1) highest level certifications, (2) advanced continuing education, (3) extensive home inspection experience, (4) a professional, high-quality, detailed report, (5) customer service skills, and of course, (6) Errors & Omissions insurance.   

The home inspection industry is unregulated in California.  Don't let anyone mislead you by claiming to be State Certified or a State Licensed and Bonded home inspector because there is no such thing.  Only in California can a guy be a dog catcher on Tuesday and a home inspector on Wednesday, and I promise you I'm not making this up.  More importantly, you should know that the State of California DOES NOT license or certify home inspectors. 

The State has no requirements for training, education, insurance or conduct of home inspectors.  In order to be a professional, an inspector must be trained, educated, tested and certified by a reputable national organization, like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), whose sole purpose is to provide that training, education and testing for certification.  Few California inspectors are able to meet ASHI's rigorous standards, yet ASHI's exam is the very same national exam used to license home inspectors in other states.

As a former contractor, I can tell you that home inspecting demands far more detailed education in every discipline than a general contractor.  I am fortunate to possess a unique combination of disciplines, skills and education involving many elements that are particularly complex in order to perform the very detailed job of investigating a home’s structure and components.

I exceed the American Society of Home Inspectors and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors Standards of Practice and abide by their Code of Ethics.  Home inspectors should follow their SOP, but these are minimum standards.   When hiring a home inspector, look for the best home inspector that you can possibly find; not someone who does the absolute minimum. 

I use state of the art equipment; tablets, drones, infrared camera, laser devices, and the most sophisticated software utilizing the Cloud, in order to deliver the highest quality inspection report.  Why settle for an inferior report of a dozen or so pages with check boxes or 2 letter acronyms for you to decipher?  That will leave you with more questions than answers.  Plus my reports do not require a secret decoder ring.

THE BEST INSPECTION AND REPORT DOESN'T COST, IT PAYS

In fact, it could very well prove to be life saving.  This is your last opportunity to gain information and understanding on a property which is a major long-term financial commitment.

My inspection reports stand out from all others.

CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE REPORT 

Judge the home inspector by the quality of the Inspection Report which should speak for itself.  The report must be well written and skillfully prepared.  The report should leave nothing to your imagination, cover every room, component and system and should not require your real estate agent or anyone else to interpret it.  A Home Inspector must be able to effectively communicate verbally and in writing.

Why not get the best you can find?  It costs relatively little compared to real estate commissions and down payments, but it is the most important part of the real estate transaction according to Consumer Reports magazine.  I provide a 60+ page, room-by-room, system-by-system report written in plain English with pictures every step of the way.
 

You can be assured that I value your business.  I encourage you to call me if you have any questions.

PRICE SHOPPING?

There is no comparison between an in-depth inspection that provides you with a detailed report and a perfunctory inspection with a minimal report. A report which should be comprehensive, full of pictures and cover every essential aspect of the home.  If you don't get that, you've wasted your money.  The amount of information and accuracy from one inspector's report to another varies more than the fees.  An inspection, like a diagnosis, is not the place for bargain hunting.  

If all you know about an inspector is his phone number and his fee, then you really know nothing.

My fees are competitive and affordable, yet you will receive so much more.  Most home inspectors' fees are in the same ballpark so look for what really matters.  You are the person paying and only you should chose the home inspector.  Remember the inspector works for you, not the real estate agent. 

For your own peace of mind, let Housecheck provide you with the most qualified inspector and the most comprehensive report you can find.

A CHEAP INSPECTION MAY BE THE MOST EXPENSIVE THING YOU'LL EVER BUY

The few dollars you think you could save may cost you thousands of dollars down the road because of missed or overlooked defects, some of which can injure or even kill you.

You couldn't put a price of your family's health and safety.  Your home inspection costs very little but it will tell you a whole lot.  It's worth much more than you could pay.

My fees are reasonable and affordable, and depend on the perceived amount of time it will take to inspect the property and to produce a fully documented report.

For your own peace of mind, let Housecheck provide you with the most qualified inspector and the most comprehensive report you can find.   It's the difference between your peace of mind and nagging doubts.

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INVESTORS

You have found a potential property investment in the Northern California Wine Country that will suit your needs and it shows promising growth in equity and profits.  With my experience in inspecting a diverse range of commercial properties, I can supply you with a commercial property condition assessment report that will further reduce the financial risk you are about to undertake.  This report can be used as a tool for negotiations.      . . . read more


ALWAYS ASK TO SEE A SAMPLE REPORT BEFORE YOU DECIDE

My reports are unmatched in this area.  View any inspector's sample report online and compare.  The absolute proof of a good inspector is the quality of the Inspection Report which should speak for itself.  The report should leave nothing to your imagination, cover every room, component system and should not require your real estate agent or anyone else to interpret it.  A Home Inspector must be able to effectively communicate verbally and in writing.  

The report is a direct reflection of the inspector's knowledge and expertise.  Look at any sample report.  Can you understand it?  It should not resemble a contractor's checklist. 

UNINSURED HOME INSPECTORS COST BUYERS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS

If an inspector has no insurance specifically for home inspecting, you are at risk for potential undisclosed issues.  You have a lot of home inspectors from which to choose and you also have a lot to lose.

BAY AREA DECK COLLAPSES CAUSE DEATH AND INJURIES

It can happen in a split second without any warning.  The deck suddenly collapses to the ground, injuring and sometimes killing the people who were on it.  About 45,000 people a year are injured or killed in deck collapses. You may think deck collapses are caused by decades old rotting decks, but you would be wrong.  Most deck collapses are newer decks, improperly constructed.  About 40% of the decks today are not safe. Many capable contractors do not know how to build a deck properly.  I carefully inspect the construction of each and every deck.  The were poorly built decks right here in the Bay Area.

    

A deck may look good, even beautiful, but if it isn't built correctly, it is a huge safety risk.

THERMAL IMAGING

There are times when a visual inspection is just not enough, like seeing the tip of an iceberg.  In those cases, I use my infrared thermal imaging camera.   Infrared allows us to see what our eyes cannot.

  

Infrared thermography cameras produce images of invisible infrared or "heat" radiation and provide precise non-contact temperature measurement capabilities. If objects emit infrared energy at different levels, and we can see the difference in a camera, then we can find and solve problems much quicker and at a lesser cost.

The cost of unseen and undisclosed moisture intrusion and electrical hot spots could cost you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars if not discovered. 

Here are some issues that I have uncovered even in freshly painted houses.

•   Faulty wiring, breakers and fuses 
•   Moisture sources for mold growth
•   Roof and ceiling leaks
•   Heat/energy loss
•   Missing insulation

ROOF LEAKS SPELL DISASTER

For each 1" of rainfall on a roof, there are 600 gallons of roof run-off water for every 1000 square feet of the roof surface.  Most homes have well over 2000 square feet or more roof surface area.  Lake County, Mendocino County and Sonoma County to name a few of the immediate surrounding areas have an average annual rainfall of 24 to over 75 inches of rain.  This is typically concentrated in a period of 5 to 6 months.


This provides a tremendous amount of moisture to seep through a hole in the shingles or around poor or old rusted flashings.  A leaking roof can and often does mean rotting sheathing and rafters.  Larger amounts soak the attic insulation, then the ceilings and even into the walls.  Interior moisture in ceilings and walls generally creates mold which for many is a serious health issue.  It is a huge amount of water seeping under your house if not properly controlled.  The end result is foundation cracking, shifting and rotting wood structure or mold.

SMOKE DETECTORS CAN BE DEADLY

Most residential smoke alarms are either ionization or photoelectric type alarms.  Around 95% of the smoke alarms installed in US homes are ionization type alarms.  There are very significant differences in how these 2 types of alarms respond in real-world fires.  Ionization alarms are notorious for nuisance tripping, such as from cooking, steam from a shower, etc.  But ionization alarms are very slow to respond in the smoldering fires that account for most residential fire deaths.

YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO IGNORE GROUND WATER ISSUES

I inspected a large house in Lakeport with many amenities but the grounds were wet and there was some standing water.  There had been no seasonal rain yet, so it was very suspicious.  Nevertheless, I had to call it out as an issue that needed to be addressed.   My client backed off the purchase which disappointed the realtor.  A lot of sellers view the moisture intrusion issues as only an inconvenience and do not declare the issue when they put their house up for sale.  But, this is serious, invites termites, mold, compromises the foundation and worse.  A few months later, the front page of the newspaper shows a home right above the property I inspected.


Home Collapsed Due to Underground Water

PROPANE DANGERS

In most areas propane gas is used as natural gas is not available.  The majority of propane gas users are not aware that propane has different properties than natural gas.  The following may scare you and it should.

Leaking natural gas vapors rapidly dissipate in the atmosphere and float away from their source.  Though this is dangerous, natural gas is much safer than propane. Propane gas is heavier than air and as a result it drops to the lowest level around the appliance or source of the leak and remains there permanently unless moving air blows it away. Water heaters, furnaces, and propane gas tanks when located in an enclosed area such as an under-house crawl space or basement pose a definite danger because a propane leak will collect or pocket and will explode when the appliance ignites or in some instances even when a light switch is flipped.

Checking for gas leaks is an important part of my inspections.

 

          
        Propane Leak Causes House Fire

CRAWL SPACES REVEAL A LOT

Crawling under the house and up into the attic are not optional.  A basic home inspection must include attics and crawl spaces.  Most serious issues are found under the house or in the attic.  

                  Under 2 Story House         Hole Burned in Floor Under Fireplace       Break  in Sewer Line

PRE-LISTING INSPECTIONS

If you are about to put your home on the market, a pre-listing inspection will put you ahead of the competition.  It will alert you to any immediate issues discovered before potential buyers tour your home.  Then, any issues or repairs can be resolved ahead of time without rushing, which will help the home show better and give you time for repair choices.  This alone can save you a considerable amount of money.  Without a pre-listing inspection, defects can cause unreasonable price adjustment demands from the buyer or even kill the sale and escrow may drag on instead of closing quickly and smoothly.

You will have a beautiful and informative Inspection Report to show the buyers.  I received the following email after a pre-listing inspection a few months ago.

Byron:   My house sold to the first persons that looked at it. They were impressed with your detailed report and I forwarded the Email on to the Agent and told them you would be willing to discuss anything on the report that concerned them. It is an All Cash 30 day escrow  - no contingencies or reports requested only the septic clearance. Should close on 5/18. I'm glad it went quickly but it still is a shock.

Martha Lukens (Kelseyville Homeowner and Realtor)

PRIVACY POLICY

We collect no personal information or data, other than what is required for our insurance and the inspection report.  We do not collect credit card information over the internet.



Click here to view the Standards of Practice

 Proud Member in Good Standing
American Society of Home Inspectors - ID 249171 - 9 Years
  International Association of Certified Home Inspectors - ID 06082094 - 11 Years

Email: housecheck@mchsi.com
 

                             

                        Affiliate Member of North Bay Area Association of Realtors