Get to know Stephen Gladstone
Frequently Asked Questions of the Home Inspector: by Stephen Gladstone, President of Stonehollow Fine Home Inspections. Our 27th year! What is involved in a typical inspection ? We carefully and systematically evaluate all mechanical (electrical, plumbing, heating, cooling, and ventilation) systems within the home. We will have discussions with you about the quality and function of the doors and windows, roofing, drainage, siding, insulation, appliances and many other areas of importance. We will discuss safety items, environmental concerns and discuss any plans you may have to renovate or alter the home. We will answer any questions you may have about anything related to the home. Do I get a written report ? Yes, (It is very important that you have written documentation of the inspection and any testing that is performed). At the conclusion of the inspection you will receive the written report and we will send you an electronic addendum with the photos taken at the inspection with notes about specific problems or deficiencies. This is sent in pdf form with digital pictures within 24 hours to your e-mail. Also Included is a termite inspection certification, (we are Licensed in CT, NY, and MA), and a walk through check list to be used the morning of your closing. Our report contains specific information about your home, up to date reference material and useful home maintenance and cost information. The report will give you important information in relation to the conditions found at the home that day. The report is a combination checklist, narrative, and reference material in an easy to read format. Comments are specific for the home needs, as are any recommendations made by the inspector. Do I really need to be there? We truly encourage you to attend the entire process. We also recommend you do it with as few distractions as possible. Allow yourself time to ask the inspector questions and show him your areas of concern. We recommend you follow the inspector around the home during the entire survey. You will learn the home conditions, maintenance requirements, and safety information. Try not to bring your entire extended family for home tours at the inspection, and if you make appointments for additional contractors, decorators and such... have them arrive about 3 hours from the inspection appt. Spend time with your inspector, this is the time to focus on the needs of the home and to get a good handle on projected costs and equipment maintenance. How long does the inspection take? If you really want us to take a careful look at your home, and answer your questions you should figure approximately three hours, (or longer), for a home (one to two hours for a condo). As with any detective work...it can go quicker if conditions are obvious, and slower if more complicated. Antique home and homes with more equipment take longer. If you cannot attend the entire inspection we recommend you discuss all areas of concern with the inspector when possible. Do you give prices for repairs of items that are broken or need upgrading? Ballpark prices are verbally discussed and you will be encouraged to get real prices from local contractors if an item is found to be deficient. Real prices are important for your negotiations and budgeting. Is there a warranty or guarantee offered with the inspection? Unfortunately we cannot act as an insurance company, nor offer to cover damages that may occur over time on your new home. What you are buying from us is our opinion about the home, based on a time specific and limited visual inspection of the home. What is hidden, non-accessible, and apt to happen over time is not within the scope of the inspection. We do recommend that you carefully re-inspect the home the morning of the closing...before you sign the dotted line. We offer you a helpful pre-settlement walk-through check list in the report package, to help you with this process. And free telephone consultation forever ! But if you are not happy with our inspection at the end of the inspection we will not charge you. Your satisfaction with our inspection is number one with us. Free Telephone Consultation... for as long as I own my home ! Really...If you get into a situation where you are advised to do something, or your home is ready for a piece of equipment or repair, feel free to call and ask our opinion or advice. We do not charge for telephone consultation. We only charge for visitations and should you require that, consulting costs will be discussed with you, if they are necessary. How do we pay for our inspection? A personal check or cash is fine. You will receive a receipt and an explanation of costs. We ask that you pay the inspector at the conclusion of the inspection. You will only need one check as we will pay the up-front testing and subcontractors in order to supervise, provide quality control, and collect documentation from each for your file. When do we get laboratory reports on water/radon etc.? Depending on the equipment used, some testing is done on site and results will be in the report or they will be mailed or faxed to you as soon as possible. All testing is documented with written certifications. We maintain a strict A Chain of Custody on all environmental tests. Where are we located? While our office is in Stamford, Ct. We do inspections from New Haven to Greenwich on the coast, and Newtown to many towns in Westchester County. Call us in Stamford at 356-9611, or toll free at 1-800-356-9611, our fax is 203-975-7799. We have affiliate Inspectors covering the rest of Connecticut, Western Massachusetts and Counties in New York. Call us with any questions. We can often be hired to do inspections out of our normal service area depending on our schedules. Do we have insurance? We carry insurance to cover errors and omissions and general liability insurance in case something becomes damaged at the inspection. All inspections are performed with written contracts that specifically explain the scope and limitations of the inspection. The contract can be faxed to you on request, before the inspection. All inspections are performed in accordance with the Code of Ethics and the Standard of Practice of the American Society of Home Inspectors and the Standards specified by the State the home is in. What additional services do you provide and what do they cost? For clients that require special testing services we are able to offer the following additional services: Termite Certifications- Stephen Gladstone has his Supervisory License from the State of Connecticut for termite inspections. Termite certifications are $95.00 for homes and $70.00, for condos. Radon testing following the EPA/AARST protocols are performed on most houses either during the inspection and collected in 48 hours, or can be pre-installed 2 days before the inspection if desired. Steve is Nationally Certified for Radon Testing. Pricing for radon testing, using a state of the art continuous monitor computer...not charcoal canisters, is $175.00 . Stonehollow will place one of these tamper resistant units in the home for the test period. Carbon Monoxide testing of the heating system can often diagnose leaks and maintenance needs that can lead to health and safety concerns. Using a Bacharach Monoxor II we can determine carbon monoxide leaks, and make necessary recommendations. The price for this service is $45.00 per heating system. A two day monitoring of the home can be done for $75.00 For those concerned about water quality, we offer several testing services including water potability and mineralization, lead in water, radon in water, volatile organic compounds and well flow and volume testing. Samples are rushed to a State approved laboratory. Results will be faxed as soon as they are received. Pricing for water testing are as follows: Potability and mineralization $125.00, lead water $80.00, radon in water $100.00, Voc testing is available for $225, and flow and volume $45.00. (If you have us do combinations of tests we offer discounts. Asbestos surveys are available for those concerned about air quality from asbestos fibers. Also available are oil tank testing, and pool and spa inspections. Please call us with specific needs for pricing. What is the Inspectors experience and credentials? Stephen Gladstone has a Masters & 6th year degree in Education, he owned and ran a successful contracting business for over 16 years before opening Stonehollow Inc. Now in our 27th year , we are proud of our reputation for providing a higher level of service for our clients. Mr. Gladstone is a State Licensed Supervisory Pest & Termite Inspector, He lectures Nationally & Internationally. He offers first time home buyer seminars, realtor & appraiser classes, and teaches home inspector courses. He is a Past President of both the Southern New England and Coastal Ct. Chapters of The American Society of Home Inspectors, and was ASHI's 2004 National President. Matthew Gladstone is a State of Ct. Licensed Inspector and has been working for Stonehollow as an Inspector for the last 15 years. He has completed his Masters Degree in Bilingual Special Education and is fluent in Spanish. He is an ASHI Certified Inspector and a Member of the Home Protection Network. Why an ASHI Inspection? In order to become an ASHI Certified Inspector, inspectors must successfully pass a written examination. They must perform at least 250 paid inspections following the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics of the Society and must maintain educational credits annually to remain in good standing. Stephen Gladstone has been a member since 1986, and has personally performed over 12,000 home inspections. ASHI inspectors must provide written reports, and must remain objective and independent of the sale. Our code of ethics forbids any commissions, or financial relationships that might be construed to influence a real estate transaction. Why STONEHOLLOW ? Simply put... there will always be others out there that can do a job quicker, cheaper, and find a way to cut corners. In home inspection our philosophy has always been to provide the highest level of service for our clients. We inspect carefully, systematically, and maintain close scrutiny on all testing and documentation. Our reputation is critical to our longevity in the industry and we try our hardest to protect our clients. Should you have any further questions or comments please call us at the numbers below: Local Office: 203-356-9611 Toll Free: 800-356-9611. Client Info #: 203-327-6824 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: www. stonehollow.com Telephone Consultation is free, and there is no obligation. Hear Stephen Gladstone's weekly radio show Around the House on WSTC (1400 am) and WNLK (1350 Am) Saturday mornings from 7 - 9 am or streaming on the web at www.wstc.com
Stephen Gladstone Expertise
What We DoWritten Reports All Inspections are documented with written reports, We use the Matrix Deluxe reporting system affording our clients the best available report and information that will be incredibly useful for understanding, maintaining and re-selling their home. The report is usually completed on site, and delivered to the client immediately at the end of the inspection. Lab reports, photos of the inspection with annotation notes and any testing results are mailed separately, as soon as they are completed. Fax's can be sent at your request. Structural Damage Assessments All of the important structural systems that are visible and accessible are examined during the inspection, to try to determine if there is an on-going problem, and if additional inspection, or remediation is required. Roof Inspection We carry a 22' ladder and a 18' telescopic ladder. In most cases, if a roof is safe to walk on and we can access it, we will walk it. We will often examine a roof from the eaves, from within the attic, and with field glasses from the ground as well. Furnace Inspection While we always recommend bringing in the service company currently providing service to find out their perception of conditions, recommendations and maintenance needs, we will look at the units for safety, equipment operation, and maintenance needs, and happily explain how it works, what to watch for, and how to troubleshoot should the unit shut down. Carbon Monoxide testing is available for the heating system and a 48 hour grab test as well. Well Water Testing Since safety of the water is so important, we offer a full battery of testing for water including Potability and Minerals, Lead in Water, Radon in Water, and Volatile Organic Compounds. If all the water tests are performed by us we offer a discount. We do re-testing services if a well fails, we will re-test it for you after the chlorination has been performed. We also offer flow and volume well testing Radon Gas Testing & Radon Water Testing Using state of the art anti-tamper computers, our continuous radon monitors take 10-20 readings each hour of the 48 hour test and download a radon level average for each hour of the test. The machines measure radon levels, moisture, barometric pressure, temperature and if the machine is moved or tampered with. This equipment takes most of the risk away associated with charcoal canisters and other testing modes being tampered with & skewing the results. Steve Gladstone is Nationally Certified to perform Radon Testing through the National Proficiency Program.Though naturally occurring, radon gas can become trapped in your well and exit your plumbing from sink aerators or your shower head. Testing for radon in the water can help you determine if reduction of radon levels are needed. Pool & Spa Assessments: Pools, spas, saunas and steamers, while outside the scope of a home inspection, can be evaluated at additional fees. Steve Gladstone has over 20 years of experience in the pool and spa service industry. He is a St.of CT licenced SP-1 Central A/C Testing Weather permitting, central and wall air conditioners will be run to establish that they operate, and to try to determine if they need service. In colder weather they cannot be tested as they are more prone to break. Get a representation from the seller as to conditions of appliances not readily accessible to test. Operation and maintenance tips will be discussed. Heat Pump Inspections Units are operated with normal controls to ascertain conditions and serviceability. Operation and maintenance tips will be discussed.
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