Reuben's Home Inspection Blog

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Home Inspector - Structure Tech Home Inspections
Home inspection topics in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul area.
  I might start red-tagging furnaces.  If Centerpoint Energy can do it, why can’t I?  People take these red tags very seriously. The gas company will red-tag a furnace if they deem it unsafe for use – this could be because of a high carbon monoxide reading in the flue gas, backdrafting, a cracked...
Myth: The owner occupant doesn’t need to pull permits – permits are only for contractors. Truth: If you’re the owner occupant, you have the...ahem,  privilege of pulling a permit without having to be a licensed contractor.  It doesn’t mean you can skip pulling a permit. Myth: Kitchen remodels do...
If you have an old clawfoot bath tub with a standard faucet that’s located inside the bath tub, such as the one pictured at right, you have a potential cross connection.  If the tub were to fill up with sewage or something even worse, the household water could come in contact with it, because th...
Check out the photo below.  Can you guess what's missing?  Here's a hint: this garage doesn't have a service door, but it does have a automatic garage door opener installed.   If you said "pizazz" you would be correct, and you might also make a good home stager, but that's not what I'm talking a...
Most ice makers and whole house humidifiers that I see have a saddle valve supplying the water. These are devices that allow for a very fast, cheap, do-it-yourself installation of a ¼” water supply line. Saddle valves are installed by tightening a metal clamp on to a water pipe, then tightening ...
I've seen it happen at countless houses, and now it's happened to me... my paint is peeling (again).  I have a Minneapolis home that was built in 1939 with redwood siding, and I can't get the paint to stay on.  I've tried almost everything and nothing has worked so far.  The photo below shows wh...
I've lived in a one-and-one-half story house in Minneapolis for the last six years, and I feel like I've earned the right to complain about them.  My main beef with them is insulation and ventilation; they're a pain in the butt and they're expensive to get right. There are two primary ways to in...
Gas water heaters are a lot like decks, in the sense that most handymen feel qualified to install one.  Thanks to these handymen, I find more installation defects on these two items than just about any other component in the home, and today I'm going to share my list of the most common gas water...
While boilers aren't commonly used for new homes in Minnesota, there are still plenty of houses in Minneapolis and Saint Paul that rely on boilers for heat.  I'm a big fan of boilers - so much so that I even wrote a blog about why I like them more than furnaces (boilers vs furnaces) For Minneapo...
Hand showers are usually installed improperly -  I estimate that at least 95% of the hand showers that I inspect have the same installation defect.  Looking at the photo below, can you guess what it is? If you said outdated tile, you would be wrong.  That has nothing to do with the hand shower! ...

Reuben Saltzman

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Home inspection topics in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul area.