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The Home Inspector

Like boot camp for homeowners.

Home & Garden
March 5

Bath fan duct: metal or plastic?

Should bath fan ducts be made from metal or plastic? If you live in a cold climate like Minnesota, I recommend plastic.
Home & Garden
February 26
'How much snow is safe for my roof?' A question that needed to be asked

'How much snow is safe for my roof?' A question that needed to be asked

The record-setting snowfall that we've received here in Minnesota raises concerns about how much snow a roof can hold. Should snow be removed?
Home & Garden
February 12

Ice Dams: how to prevent and how to remove

Ice dams are literally dams of ice that form on roofs and cause water to back up. Today I'll explain why they happen, how to prevent them, and how to remove
Home & Garden
February 5

Visible changes to radon testing in Minnesota

Licensing for radon testing has arrived in Minnesota, and with that comes a lot of red tape and changes will be quite noticeable.
Home & Garden
January 31

How to control window condensation during deep freeze

There are only two variables to window condensation: indoor humidity and window temperature. To prevent condensation, these need to be controlled.
Home & Garden
January 29

Should home inspectors trample insulation? No.

Should home inspectors walk through insulated attics to fully inspect the attic spaces? I say no. There is a high potential to cause damage to the home.
Home & Garden
January 22

Walabot Wall Scanner demonstration

The WalabotDIY Wall Scanner is essentially a glorifiedstud finder for Android phones. I made a video to show how it works.
Home & Garden
January 11

Minneapolis Time of Sale Energy Disclosure

The City of Minneapolis is getting serious about implementing a Time of Sale Energy Disclosure program to the existing Truth-In-Sale of Housing program.
Home & Garden
January 8

Radon licensing requirements for Minnesota

It's official, radon licensing has arrived in Minnesota. As of January 1st, anyone who does a radon test will need to be licensed.
Home & Garden
January 1
They did what? The best of the worst home inspection photos of 2018

They did what? The best of the worst home inspection photos of 2018

From painted on grout and a cut-out door to a built-in (to the wall) toilet, here are the "best" home inspection photos of 2018.
Home & Garden
December 25, 2018

Bedroom ceiling height and floor area requirements for 1.5-story homes

Ceiling height and floor area requirements for bedrooms in 1.5-story homes seemto befuddle everyone.
Home & Garden
December 18, 2018

Are combustion air ducts needed for large basements?

Are combustion air ducts needed for large, open basements? Maybe. It depends on many different factors, which we'll discuss today.
Home & Garden
December 11, 2018

Carbon monoxide = CO (houses don't need CO2 detectors)

There are many common misconceptions and misunderstandings about furnaces, water heaters, and carbon monoxide that I hear repeated on a daily basis.
Home & Garden
December 4, 2018

Whole-House Humidifiers Harm Houses (still)

Whole-house humidifiers are at the root of many of the most serious moisture problems in Minnesota homes.
Home & Garden
November 27, 2018

Foundation cracks: get an engineer every time?

Does this sound like good advice to you? Hire an engineer to evaluateevery foundation crack?It doesn't sound like good advice to me.
Home & Garden
November 20, 2018

How to Inspect Your Own Home

You're a diligent homeowner, a firm believer in home maintenance, and you regularly inspect your own home. Right? Download our free guide to help with that.
Home & Garden
November 13, 2018

Are annual furnace inspections really necessary?

In a recent blog post aboutfall maintenance for Minnesota homeowners, I recommended annual furnace inspections (or boiler inspections)
Home & Garden
November 6, 2018

What's faster: vented or unvented drains?

What drains faster, a vented or unvented drain? For every side-by-side test that I have ever conducted, the unvented drain is faster.
Home & Garden
October 30, 2018

Animals, skeletons, and creepy home inspection stuff, part 3

Unlike most blog posts that you'll find here, this one has no educational value at all. Warning: Several of these photos are gross.
Home & Garden
October 23, 2018
Here to help: Your fall Minnesota homeowner maintenance checklist

Here to help: Your fall Minnesota homeowner maintenance checklist

Fall is officially here and we've already had snow. If you're not yet done with your fall maintenance list, get on it.
Home & Garden
October 16, 2018

Air admittance valves

Air admittance valves are mechanical devices that take the place of plumbing vents. They're inexpensive, they work, and they're not legal in Minnesota.
Home & Garden
October 9, 2018

Plumbing Vents, Why Houses Need Them (forget the water bottle analogy)

Plumbing vents protect plumbing traps. They don't make fixtures drain faster; in fact, they do the opposite.
Home & Garden
October 2, 2018

Plumbing Traps

A plumbing trap prevents sewer gas from entering your home. At least, that's what it's supposed to do.
Home & Garden
September 25, 2018

Sewer inspections: old homes or all homes?

Are sewer inspections a good idea for old houses, or all houses? If you had asked me this question a few years ago, I would have told you old houses.
Home & Garden
September 18, 2018

Gas appliance connectors

Gas appliance connectors aren't the same as gas piping. Gas appliance connectors are devices that connect gas appliancestogas piping.