Servicing: NAPA, SONOMA, MENDOCINO & 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 in providing courteous, friendly and competent service.

I 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" on a home page or professional photographs of beautiful houses, or dozens of logos of affiliations and accreditations plastered all over the website, it's a marketing strategy.  I prefer facts.  Facts that can help you make an informed decision.  So, 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.

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.

                                             

 

"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 and Omissions insurance. 

The home inspection industry is unregulated in California.  Don't let anyone mislead you by claiming to be a State Certified or Licensed and Bonded home inspector because there is no such thing.  Only in California can a guy be a dog catcher on Tuesday and be 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 state.

As a former contractor, I can tell you that home inspecting demands far more detailed education in every discipline than a general contractor.  A professional home inspector possesses 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. The Standards of Practice are minimum requirements for inspecting.   Often, that isn't good enough.  I maintain a higher standard for myself.   Look for the best home inspector that you can possibly find; not someone who does the absolute minimum. 

I use the most sophisticated software and 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 HOME 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.

It costs relatively little compared to real estate commissions and down payments, but the home inspection is the most important part of the real estate transaction according to Consumer Reports magazine.  Why not get the best you can find?  I provide a 60+ page, room-by-room, system-by-system report written in plain English with pictures every step of the way in a PDF format, plus I will mail you a hard copy with a plastic cover for convenient reference.

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 should be comprehensive, full of pictures and cover every essential aspect of the home.  If you don't get that, then you've wasted your money.  The amount of information and accuracy from one inspector's report to another varies even 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 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 who is 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

Don't compromise on this, the most important part of your real estate transaction.  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 and yet your future health and safety depends on a professional quality home inspection.  Your home inspection costs very little but it will tell you a whole lot.  It's worth much more than you could pay.

It's the difference between your peace of mind and nagging doubts.

ALWAYS ASK TO SEE A SAMPLE REPORT BEFORE YOU DECIDE

My inspection 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, should leave nothing out, and should not require your real estate agent or anyone else to interpret it.  A home inspector should be able to communicate effectively.  The report is a direct reflection of the inspector's knowledge and expertise.  Look at a 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.

MY PROMISE TO YOU

My first priority is to provide you, the client, with an honest and complete evaluation of the property you are about to purchase.  Every inch of the property is inspected -- all structural, electrical, air conditioning, heating and plumbing are examined.  I crawl under the house.  I climb into the attic and examine the roof.  I will notify you of any item that has a current or potential issue.

I abide  by a strict Code of Ethics, exceed the Standards of Practice, and utilize the latest inspection tools, technology and reporting software.  Accept nothing less.

 

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 today's decks are unsafe.  Many capable contractors do not know how to build a deck properly.   I carefully inspect the construction of each and every deck.  These collapses occurred 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.

  

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, 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.

I check for gas leaks on every appliance.

 

          

        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

By having your house inspected before you list, you will be way ahead of the game.

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.

 

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 & Realtor)


I want to thank you for the thorough, detailed inspection report, which included photographs,  that you prepared for the sale of my home.  I am especially pleased of the fact that you took time to answer any questions asked by my daughter who represented me.  We were very grateful that you could accommodate us on a Sunday since Linda had to get back to work in Santa Cruz by Monday morning.  

You certainly took the stress from our lives by understanding the pressure we are facing to get the house sold because of my health. - Sincerely, Sharon Leah Thorne (Clearlake Home Inspection)

PRIVACY POLICY

Just call me or email me.  Nowhere on this website do we ask you to fill in your contact information.  That ploy is used by some to sell your contact information to advertisers and vendors.  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 Realtors Association