best practices: Doing More Than The Client Expects. The Slight Edge Business Model. - 09/11/17 03:41 AM
Doing more than the client expects.  The slight edge business model.
What is your business model?  Do you create a slight edge?
I think exceeding expectation is an important business model.  Or should be.
Clients have expectations in every business.  Are we, as business providers, doing less than the "code" so to speak, do we meet the "code" (meaning the minimum standard or expectation), or to we exceed the "code," attempting to provide best practices.
And what is this slight edge  thing?
On a recent new construction inspection my client was in London and unable to attend.  He wanted extra photos of how the place … (29 comments)

best practices: Fiber Cement Siding Job On A Historic Home In Northern Virginia - 02/15/14 07:40 PM
The client in this inspection only wanted me to look at a fiber cement siding job on a historic home in Northern Virginia.
The house is listed in a national registry of antebellum historic homes, and near a Civil War battlefield.  This homeowner is in the process of trying to bring it back.  And it's a beauty - an old "I" house with an original, oak staircase, newel post and railing that is gorgeous beyond anything you would normally see done today.
An I house is basically a design where you walk in the front door to a room on the … (35 comments)

best practices: Wow, A House That's Solid And Smart, And My Inspection Found No Flaws - 12/26/13 08:17 PM
When I saw it I could only say, wow, a house that's solid and smart, and my inspection found no flaws.
The MLS could read, "Move in ready!  Turn key living!  Well insulated split level with two master bedroom suites.  Large enough for the whole family, and plenty left over when you become empty nesters!  The second bedroom can be used for storage!  Great foundation, new roof, and able to withstand whatever nature throws at it, from wind and rain, to ice and snow!  Special sun-shading canopy provided in summer!  All local codes are satisfied, and even exceeded to employ Best … (20 comments)

best practices: Pre-Drywall Inspection Things You Really Like To See - 2 of 2 - 02/10/13 07:41 PM
This is the second post of two about pre-drywall things you really like to see.  And, these things certainly represent a best practice by any builder.
These are a few more things that were not only impressive about this new construction, but could be looked for in any pre-drywall inspection.
First, from the moment I arrived in the garage, and viewing all three floors, including a basement, the place was spic and span.
There was no debris anywhere.  NO nails to step on.  NOTHING for clients to trip on.  Even the dust had been swept. 
The guardrail and handrail constructed for … (12 comments)

best practices: Shear Walls, Cumulative Overturning And Best Practice Continuous Path - 12/05/12 07:45 PM
That is a fancy title for something in new construction to provide structural protection against seismic/wind damage - shear walls, cumulative overturning and best practice continuous path.
A shear wall, simply put, is a tall, sectional wall.  It is vulnerable to seismic damage and wind deflection.  Defined, a shear wall is a tall wall composed of braced panels, designed to counter the effects of lateral loads which can act on structural components.  They transfer this load from the roof to the foundation.  It is a form of continuous path, which you can read about there.
IT MIGHT BE HARD TO DEFINE, … (13 comments)

best practices: Best Practices With Insulation Installation - 11/13/12 08:37 PM
It isn't often that I am able to write something about best practices with insulation installation.  So here it is!
This is a new house, abandoned mid construction, then purchased and construction begun anew.  The buyers are saavy enough to act as their own GCs.  That is not recommended for most people.  They seem to have a handle on it. 
As GC, selecting the proper subcontractors is crucial to the process.
It could be said that the best (new) form of insulation is sprayed foam.  It is, however, very, very expensive.  Even when it is used minimally to seal air flow … (61 comments)

best practices: Retaining Wall Installation - Best Practice - 12/28/11 10:40 PM
It's time for a post about retaining wall installation - best practice.  Retaining walls are something that home inspectors see frequently.  And just as frequently those walls have problems.
A recent post prompted many to think what is necessary to the proper installation of a retaining wall.  This is a very good question, and one deserving a response.
Retaining walls can be constructed of many things - metal, wood, brick and block, man-made blocks, and huge boulders and stone.  The idea is to retain the weight of the soil behind the wall, and divert water, and its pressure, away from a … (63 comments)

best practices: Foaming Other Places Where Energy Can Escape - Best Practices - 12/01/11 10:35 PM
Open cell energy foams can work in lot of places, not just walls.  Here are some other examples of foaming other places where energy can escape.
Any penetration through the ceiling can cause huge energy losses, summer and winter.  This is thermal image of the bath vent in my upstairs hall bathroom just this morning.
The ceiling surrounding that ven, obviously insulated, is 68.7F.  Outdoors at the time of that image it was 29F.  That vent is 46.1F.  Are we losing heat through it?
Well, yes!  Can it be foamed to prevent such loss?  Well, no!
But other things can.
On … (27 comments)

best practices: Foaming Gaps And Penetrations - Best Practices - 11/30/11 09:25 PM
More and more now I am seeing builders foaming gaps and penetrations - best practices on new construction.
In "the olden days" the gap where the sill plate (the bottom 2x4) rests on the sub floor would have been caulked.  And maybe there would be caulking around windows and doors.
But notice how all the gaps where air can get in are foamed?
That is a minimally-expansive foam, open cell, which will provide a permanent seal.  It restricts air flow nearly to zero.
Notice how even the vertical gaps on both sides of the corner are foamed as well.
Once insulation … (37 comments)

 
Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) Rainmaker large

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Bristow, VA

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Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Address: Bristow VA 20136

Office: (703) 330-6388

Mobile: (703) 585-7560

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An experienced home inspector's look at current home inspection events and conditions along with his useful recommendations.


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