Why Inspect

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Why A Home Inspection: When purchasing a new home (even brand new), you should get a home inspection. You will learn things about the condition & operation of the house that you won’t find out until it’s too late. A GOOD (thorough) home inspection will determine the condition of major systems of the house; top to bottom, interior & exterior. A well written report will detail all conditions (good & bad) clearly. Even if you don’t attend the inspection, your report should make you feel like you did.

The roof protects the entire house from the elements. It is important that the roof be properly viewed. The New Jersey State standards require that a home inspector carry a ladder no less than 11 feet long. Does anyone think an 11 foot ladder will reach the roof of a 2-story house? When you talk to the other companies, ask them how they inspect roofs? Yes, there are a couple of other inspectors who walk a roof or at least view it from roof level, I suggest if you don’t hire me to hire them. Below is some example pictures of defects that could not have been detected from the ground. I carry a 28 ft extension ladder; I will at least view it from the roofs edge.

Inspection Cost: The cost of a GOOD home inspection is really just a ‘drop in the bucket’ when compared to the cost of a home today. Spending $400-600 inspection fee on a $400-600K house is only about .1% of the house’s value. Saving $100-200 dollars on a home inspection may end up costing you thousands of dollars in the long run. In other words, purchasing a ‘cheap’ home inspection may actually be a lot more expensive than you think. I may be priced slightly higher than my “competition”, but I guarantee I am worth it. If, within 48 hrs after the inspection is completed, you feel my inspection & report are below expectations, I will return your fee, no questions asked.

Reports: When shopping for your home inspector, ask each company for a copy of a report. Many companies have a sales pitch to try and lure you to use their services. My sales pitch is my report; it is easy to read and very comprehensive.

You want a custom written, narrative style report that explains your house. We strongly recommend avoiding any company that uses a check-list report or one that writes a number or circle then makes you fumbles thru pages to find out what it means. More often than not, you get tired of trying to figure out the garble and never really ‘Read’ the report. Our reports are available within 24 hours of the completion of the inspection.

Who Does The Inspecting:
There are several multi-inspector firms who need to do many inspections a day to earn a profit. Some even advertise that since they have so many inspectors on staff, there is never a problem scheduling. Would you rather know exactly who is conducting the inspection (the owner of the business) of your most expensive purchase or would you rather have whoever drew ‘short straw’? You get personal service with the owner of the company. Remember, ‘About the House’ is the only information you need before purchasing your new house.

Federal Pacific Electric “Stab-Loc” Panels

Federal Pacific Electric was a Newark New Jersey based manufacture of electrical panels. Their panels (commonly known as FPE ‘Stab-Loc’) were installed in many area homes between early 1970 & mid 1980. Some entire developments, including apartments & townhouses were built with these panels.

There are numerous problems associated with the ‘Stab-Loc’ panel, the most prevalent being the breakers are not reliable (they do not trip) when overloaded. A breaker is designed to turn the power off in case an overload occurs; this is the main safety feature of the ‘breaker’. If a breaker fails to trip in an overloaded situation, the most likely result is a fire.

Other problems include the fact that breakers have on occasion fallen out when the front cover was removed (due to it’s design, it is difficult to remove the cover without tripping several breakers).
Several models have a spring mounted bus bar; this design has since been prohibited.

The breakers can be in the “down” position and still be on; this has been prohibited since 1984.

A class action lawsuit in New Jersey determined the following… “The Court has already determined that Federal Pacific violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The violation occurred because FPE cheated during its testing of circuit breakers in order to obtain Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approval.”

The bottom line is simple; if your home currently has A FPE “Stab-Loc”, replace it for the safety of you & your family!

CPSC Summary

Dr. Aronstein’s article on FPE breakers and panels

Dan Friedman’s web side

NJ Class Action

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