Trapped at home? A little BS goes a long way

Building Science, when applied to homes, creates a path toward better health, comfort and efficiency. Good BS sustains the needs of present without compromising those of the future These DIY maintenance projects are often overlooked and worth the investment   Filters: Air and water filters mutate from good to evil when they’re dirty. Dirty filters reduce […]

Your House Will Make You Sick

Mold; like asbestos, lead, and radon, is a potential health risk. Fear of mold is a hot-button topic Let’s use Building Science (BS) to distinguish molds’ true effects from the fictions of marketing and conventional wisdom. All mold is fungi Fungi are any member of a kingdom of organisms that lack chlorophyll, leaves, true stems, […]

Here is my take on the year just past and hope for the one to come

The Market is Maturing Big homes in prime neighborhoods average 1-2 million. 300K starter homes in hot neighborhoods forced first time buyers to look farther out. Most young buyers don’t want fixer-uppers. The result: high renovation costs and long wait times     New Construction Rebounds New construction, fully recovered from the 2009 recession, includes small-lot starter and retirement homes, spec […]

Anatomy of a Renovation

Renovated homes are a big part of an inspector’s business. Some renovations are well done, some not. Read on for a brief dissection of my renovation The Theme  I admire the simplicity and elegance of Japanese architecture. “Dan’s Temple” was the result. The Beginning As I age it’s harder to devote time and energy to […]

Unintended Consequences: 7 Home Products to Reconsider

Every technology created to solve a problem comes with its own set of problems.  Garrett Hardin Sustainability is the ability to continue a defined behavior indefinitely.  Home products succeed or fail over time and change as negative effects are corrected. Inspectors, wedged between the immediacy of a home purchase and long-term sustainability, are leery of new […]

The Future of How Homes Work

It’s been a crazy-busy spring.  So much so that I’m only now getting around to writing about the Georgia Association of Home Inspectors March conference, plus a few personal observations Proposed Electric Code:  Plugged Into the Future One goal of the code is to anticipate future trends The future is here: for the first time […]

Looking ahead, Looking back

Comments, observations and opinions on my 30th inspection year Down the Road Drive-to-mortgage bigger, newer, cheaper suburban homes still dominate the market.  But Millennials have altered the equation by demanding neighborhood amenities and short commutes. Fundamental change toward efficient and sustainable construction methods and materials is gathering speed. Drivers like http://www.southface.org/ lead the way. The bigger […]

Three Insights from the Thinking Man’s Home Inspector

Field Generals and First Responders Not for sale inspectors are ethically bound. Our business model is built on impartial reporting. “Inspectors shall avoid conflicts of interest or activities that compromise, or appear to compromise, professional independence, objectivity, or inspection integrity.” We recommend contractors based on quality of work, not referral fees.   Something for everyone  […]

Ten Takes on Atlanta Real Estate

1. Spring buying season was hot hot hot And what a wild ride it was; unpredictable, intense, frustrating, exhilarating….that’s why I’m writing March’s newsletter in June.  2. Neighborhood truck parade To paraphrase J.B. Jackson:  New houses built for the professional middle class are divided into rooms for specialized functions-media rooms, exercise rooms, bedroom suites. A steady caravan of trucks and vans from outside these […]

My Takeaways on 2015

Trends Living Large Big sells no matter how small the household Bling to Bland: former luxury items like granite countertops, doublepane windows, efficient construction and fancy master bathrooms are now standard     Hot and so Pricey Midtown, Virginia Highlands, Decatur, Brookhaven, Dunwoody, and other close-in home values and rents are up Millennial Market 30-somethings […]