Licensed Home Inspector & Architect designing your house: is about a leading custom house architectural firm that has, as its Senior Staff Architect, a professional who is BOTH a licensed Architect and a licensed Home Inspector, and why you might want this expertise creating your next residence.
If you’ve never talked to a licensed home inspector, you really owe it to yourself to do so.
Why? Because you will get an earful about all the bad things built-in to most houses that makes them rot, fall down, leak, grow mold and a host of other sins that forces the owners to pay big bucks to maintain and fix them. Most people who buy houses these days have the good sense to hire such an inspector and receive a thick report before buying any such residence.
read on to discover more…
And there is usually so much wrong that the buyers’ real estate broker typically uses such a report to clobber the sellers over the head and coerce them to reduce their asking price to cover the cost of all those built-in problems. And even that consideration often isn’t enough to pay for the built-in headaches existing in most houses.
Why is it important to get to know even a little bit of what a licensed inspector of houses knows? Because that will alert you to the fact that not many people who are designing houses or building them (or inspecting them during construction) are doing you any favors. PROBLEMS ARE BEING BUILT INTO HOUSES. There is a chronic lack of understanding of how to properly design and construct a house.
And once again, why might this be important to you?
Well, what would you think if you could hire someone who KNOWS about all the bad things that are often built into houses and furthermore, that they had knowledge (for instance that of an Architect) about how to avoid those problems and design, manage and visit a project under construction to help you prevent such maintenance and other problems from happening to you for your next residence? Hey! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to depend on someone to help you get the best possible quality house without inherent defects?
Sound interesting? Is there anyone, anywhere, that has BOTH the combined skills and experience of a licensed inspector and a licensed Architect?
Yes. There is: HOME ARCHITECTS ®.
Their Senior Staff Architect, Rand Soellner, ArCH, NCARB, LHI, has those skills and decades of experience. The “ArCH” and the “NCARB” tell you that he is a licensed Architect. The “LHI” tells you that he is also a Licensed Home Inspector. Finding these combined skills and experience in one firm, much less in one person, is like finding flowers on a desert. Hard to find. And so refreshing.
Why did this architectural firm have their senior staff member train, study and take and pass the State exam, then practice inspections of houses? So that critical, real-world knowledge about housing problems could be made known to the firm, so that their designs, details and specifications could be crafted in such a way as to avoid those issues and provide a BETTER house to their Clients.
It’s a QC/QA (Quality Control/ Quality Assurance) issue. From a company that takes their Client satisfaction to a whole new higher level.
And how about at least one example of the types of chronic problems built into houses that cause huge problems, costing the owners tens of thousands of dollars (and sometimes more) to fix, that COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED ENTIRELY if a combination Licensed House Inspector/ Licensed Residential Architect had designed the house in the first place?
Okay: how about the lack of gutters, downspouts and underground drainage piping? This is something this company sees all the time on houses for sale out there, across the USA (and world). Usually it is just plain ignorance on the part of the owner and their Builder. They know not what they do. But the real world is not very forgiving. Here are the wages of that sin:
1. EROSION OF FOOTINGS
Immediately, starting with the first rain and continuing thereafter, the heavy rain dumps onto the ground around the edges of your house. In case you don’t know: water = 8.3 pounds/gallon x thousands of gallons dumping on your roof during a storm. So: the liquid equivalent of you standing on your roof edge and throwing heavy iron dumbbells down to the ground around your house is happening. But it’s worse. Why? Becasue water PENETRATES. You have these very heavy sheets of water going INTO THE GROUND, washing away the sand and soil there, all the way down to your footings and below them, moving away particles of soil ON WHICH YOUR FOOTINGS BEAR, causing voids under the footings, and eventually, the footings can crack, settle, and down comes the walls, roofs, floors and people above attached to those footings by gravity. This is a very big deal and one of the first things a house inspector notices. This could eventually cause a house to collapse, or at the very least, to experience differential settlement all around the house, turning a nice new house into a dilapidated shack with uneven floors, cracked walls and windows, doors that don’t open and leaking through cracks in the roof, walls and just about everywhere else.
2. EROSION OF EARTH
This can cut ditches around your house, right through driveways, septic fields, landscaping, patios, lawns and other locations, making a mess of what should be a beautiful and useful area around your house.
3. MAKING YOUR HOUSE SICK
Ever heard of a “sick” building? Remember Legionnaire’s Disease? That came from this sort of thing. Moisture penetration into a building or house. Usually in the form of water, that ends up somewhere where it pools, collects and grown bacteria that then gets into ducts, piping and other areas of a house or building. Kind of gives you the creepy-crawlies, doesn’t it? As it should.
With those thousands of gallons of uncontrolled water dumping willy-nilly around your house, it’s a reasonable assumption that some of it’s going to find its way into some locations where you probably don’t want that. For instance:
a. inside walls, where it will grow mold and rot the structure. This will make you sick, cause COPD and eventually make your house fall down.
b. into your crawlspace: where it will grow mold, find its way into your HVAC system and make you sick, rot your structure and become a haven for insects and other pests that can damage your structure and compromise your health.
c. There’s more, but we have to stop; this is a single article, not a textbook.
4. DAMAGE FINISHES OF WALLS
The splashing water will create large patches of moldy streaks and water stains on your exterior walls, causing you to have to repaint them more often. Also, this direct water bouncing on your walls can breech those walls, enter those walls and ruin the insulation inside the wall and damage the interior wall finishes, too, turning them into a spongy mass of junk that has to be removed and replaced.
So what would a Licensed House Inspector/Licensed Architect who designs residences have done to avoid all these problems? Glad you asked: They would:
A. HAVE A CRiMP™ (Comprehensive Rainwater Management Plan) build into their design methodology.
B. SPECIFY GUTTERS
Of a durable type and finish and properly specified so that they don’t cause problems themselves (which they can if you don’t know what you’re doing). Also, gutter guards, so the gutters continue to properly function.
C. SPECIFY DOWNSPOUTS
And an ample number (most people install about half of what they really need).
D. INDICATE UNDERGROUND DRAINAGE PIPING
These pipes take the water from the downspout bottoms and then conduct it to at least 20′ down and away from the house, to daylight, where the water can’t do much damage.
E. INDICATE ROCKS TO DIFFUSE THE WATER COMING OUT ON SITE
At the end of the underground drainpipes, you need to indicate some stones to properly diffuse and dissipate the jet of water coming out of the pipe, so you don’t have what amounts to a hydo-laserjet of water cutting into the earth at the point of discharge.
So, as Paul Harvey might have said: you now know the rest of the story.
But… you really don’t. Why?
Because this has been ONE small example. There are thousands of things involved with designing and building a house. Hiring a qualified residential Architect that also knows inspections can save you considerable heartache and expense into the future. The complete answer is:
See: Why an Architect Should Design Your House for more related information.
tags: Licensed Home Inspector & Architect designing your house, Cashiers, Lake Toxaway, Glenville, Highlands, Atlanta, Sevierville, Roanoke, Telluride, Aspen, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, custom, timber frame