What is Thermal Imaging?

     Thermal Imaging tells you the story of what’s happening behind the walls in your home. Thermal imaging is done with a thermal camera. It is a non-invasive way to detect differences in temperature behind walls. Thermal Imaging can pick up a difference of .6th of a degree.  This difference of temperature could be the result of:

Water leaks:

     Moisture from water leaks could lead to mold which ruins the home foundation or building. Any plumbing leaks, foundation leaks, roof leaks can be easily detected by a thermal camera because the time for temperature change in water is longer than the building itself. This temperature difference is easily picked up by thermal imaging.

Electrical faults:

     An overloaded or failing circuit will generate excess heat which could, in the worst-case scenario, cause a fire. Thermal imaging is able to pick up on an increased heat production near electrical wiring.

Insulation problems:

     If some parts of your walls or rooms are missing insulation, you can find out with thermal imaging. It is always better to find missing insulation during a home inspection than in the middle of winter.

Air leakage:

     Outlets, electrical panels, vents, chimney chases that are bringing in cold air can be found through thermal imaging.

 

Skipping Thermal Imaging?

     The problems caused by mold, faulty electrical wires or insulation can be financially detrimental. In addition, they can cause foundational and structural damage to your house. Dealing with these issues can be hugely disruptive to your everyday life. Getting your house checked for these potential issues during the home inspection will save you that nightmare.

Equipment and Samples

     Thermal Imaging is done using an infrared camera or imager. The most popular brands of infrared cameras for thermal imaging are FLIR, Fluke, and Keysight/Agilent. The higher the infrared resolution of the camera, the better the clarity of images it produces.

 

     One of the more popular cameras is the FLIR E5. With a resolution of 120 X 90, this camera can detect .10th of a degree difference.  Some examples of images produced by these cameras are:

     Seemingly normal to the naked eye, the infrared camera brings out the problems in this room. The area marked 1 shows a stark temperature difference, the area is warmer than its surroundings. Area 2 is colder than the surrounding areas indicating moisture due to a plumbing leak.  

     The darker coloured area indicates is colder and this can be due to moisture coming from roof leaks, plumbing leaks, or poor ventilation.

     The yellow coloured area represents hot or cold spots which can be due to missing or inadequate insulation, air leaks, or leaks in ducts.

 

Places that offer Thermal Imaging in Edmonton

     Now that we’ve established the benefits of thermal imaging, where can you get one? Below is the list of some of the places in Edmonton that offer it as part of their home inspection package. This means there is no added cost to you!

List:

Access Home Inspection Services:

Contact: 780-868-3152

JBR Inspections: 

Contact Office: 780-757-4988

John Rennie

780-221-1179

Brent Rennie

780-267-4411

Welcome Home Inspections: 

Contact: 

780-628-7117

Admirable Inspection Services Ltd: 

Contact: 780-218-7697

Braun Home Inspections: 

Contact: 780-908-0606

East Side Home Inspection:

Contact: 780-477-2666

Executive Home Inspections: 

Contact: 780-651-3608

Authorized Home Inspection Services: 

Contact: 780- 409-8099

 

Do you know of any other Home Inspection Companies in Edmonton that offer Thermal Imaging with their standard package? If so let us know and we will gladly add it to our list.

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Choosing your Edmonton Home Inspector

You found the perfect house. You can visualize your life in this house. But, how do you make sure that the life in this house doesn’t come with hidden problems and repairs that you will have to pay for? You might not be able to test drive the house, but you can have the next best thing: a home inspection. A home inspector can figure out any issues with the house and save you from getting an awful surprise later. Don’t think you need a home inspection? Check out our article “Do I need a home inspection?” to learn more.

 

Finding Home Inspectors:

We’ve established the importance of getting a home inspector but where do you find one? There are a few places to look.

Friends and Family: Your own network is a good place to start the search. If you know someone that has recently purchased or sold a house, reach out to them. Your friends are also likely to give you an honest and full review of the home inspector they had. Also, since they were recently in your shoes, their experiences could provide some good lessons for you.

Online Resources: Online websites like the Alberta Professional Home Inspectors Society and Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors are great places to look for home inspectors in Edmonton.

 

Choosing Home Inspectors:

While choosing your home inspector, some important things to look out for are:

License: Home Inspectors are required to have a license in Alberta. You can check if a home inspection business is licensed on the Service Alberta website.  

References: Hiring a home inspector is employing someone to do work for you. Like any job interview, it is a good idea to ask your home inspector for references. You can ask the home inspector of their recent 2-3 customers and contact them for their review. Additionally, you can also look up reviews online on websites like Google and Yelp.

Knowledge and Training: In addition to a license, you should ask your home inspector about their training and if they keep up with continuing education courses. In Edmonton, you should also ask your inspector if they are knowledgeable about the Alberta Building Codes.

Errors and Omission Insurance: Your home inspector is required to have a type of professional liability insurance that protects companies and their workers or individuals against claims made by clients for inadequate work or negligent actions.

 

What to Expect:

Okay, you’ve chosen your home inspector and signed a contract with them. Now, what should you expect at the home inspection?

Your home inspector should check the following:

  •       Roofing
  •       Flashing and chimney
  •       Exterior including lot grading
  •       Walkways
  •       Driveways
  •       Retaining walls
  •       Patios and decks
  •       Structure
  •       Electrical
  •       Heating
  •       Heat pumps and cooling
  •       Insulation
  •       Plumbing
  •       Interior

You can also download our Free Home Inspection Checklist and review it or take it with you to your home inspection.

The home inspection will take around 2 hours. The inspector should make extensive notes and take pictures. Ideally, you should be present during the inspection, so you see that the inspection is up to standard and get any of your questions answered.

 

After the Home Inspection:

The home inspector should provide you with a detailed report on the house. The home inspection report must have notes on the items mentioned in the contract.

If there are major repairs to be done, you can ask your seller to do those or negotiate a lower price for the property. If your seller agrees to repair them, talk to your home inspector about a reinspection of the repaired parts.

 

Things to Remember:

  1. You should hire your own home inspector. A home inspector hired by the seller or your realtor will have their interests at the forefront. It is best to do the hiring yourself to avoid conflict of interest.
  2. The cost of a home inspection will vary with the square footage but should be around $500-$700. A small price to pay for your peace of mind.
  3. The home inspector cannot break down any parts of the house so remember that their inspection is of the physical condition of the house.

 

Thank you for reading and as always it’s a pleasure. If you have any questions or just want to say hi! Shoot us an email at youredmontonhomeinspections@gmail.com

 

Your Edmonton Home Inspections Team

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Branding, why does it matter?

Running a small business is tough. There is a lot of competition, the barrier to entry is low, and there is a lot of hustle. When the competition is this tough you should do everything you can do to give you an edge. One thing you can do is focus on your branding.  In this article, I will talk about what you can do to develop your brand, things you should consider, and things to watch out for.

Benefits of Branding

Branding is very powerful. Some brands are so strong that they even become household names. Think of Kleenex, Hoover, Coke, and Jello, all these products are referred to using the brand name of a particular company. Kleenex is a tissue paper, Hoover is a vacuum cleaner, Coke is a soda, Jello is a gelatin-dessert product. People have a tendency to pay a lot more for a branded product in comparison to its generic counterpart. We can see this when we look at Advil and compare it to Ibuprofen, there are many such cases you can think about. Why do people pay more for what is essentially the same product with the exception of the brand? Partially it’s because of Peace of Mind. A well-branded product is a product most people can trust. It has been verified and validated by your friends and family.

If a small business owner can develop their brand successfully they will see their business improve by a lot. When you are operating a business with a lot of competition and low barriers to entry differentiating your brand becomes crucial. You want to stand out in an environment where without good branding you risk becoming “just another business”. By following the tips in this article you will become a few steps closer to building a strong brand.

Develop your Brand

How can a small business develop its brand? Think about what your strengths are. Is it that you always show up on time? Do you have the lowest costs? Best quality? Great customer service? You want to develop your brand according to your strengths.

Think about your competition. When you are working on your brand you should think about your competition. Do you want your brand to portray trust? Is there a competitor in the market that has a strong brand portraying trust? In case there is, you might want to reconsider your branding strategy. It may take a lot of time to replace an entrenched competitor as the brand people trust. You might want to consider finding a different brand identity. If there is a gap somewhere in the market it would be easier to fill that gap than to spend a lot of time and money competing with a competitor.

 

In the next few articles, I will further develop on how a small business owner can develop their brand using specific strategies. Make sure you also check out “Grow Your Home Inspection Business” and “Target the Right Audience” for more strategies to grow your home inspection business!

 

As always, if you have any questions send us a mail at youredmontonhomeinspections@gmail.com

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Buying a House in Edmonton

So, it’s time to upgrade your rental apartment and buy your first house. But, where do you start? Where do you get yourself a good mortgage deal? How do you know the house you’re considering is in as perfect a condition as it appears to be?

If only buying a house was as easy as looking up a few and choosing one.  Like all things good in life, it takes a little more effort than that. But, don’t worry! We have a handy guide to break it all down for you.

The Finances

  1.     Determine your financial position: The first, seemingly obvious, question to ask yourself is can I afford a house? Unlike a rental, owning a house comes with some additional bills. In addition to your mortgage payments, expect yourself to be paying property taxes, property insurance, as well as utilities like heating that were previously paid by your landlord or condo. A good financial situation would be paying 32% or less of your gross household income for monthly housing costs. Now that you’re aware of your financial position, you can start to set up a budget for your purchase.
  2.     Prepare a budget: Paying more than you expected to for something never feels good. You don’t want that feeling to cloud your excitement of purchasing a new home. Buying a house will include additional fees that you need to budget for. Some common expenses incurred during the home buying process are:
    1.  Adjustment costs. ($300 – $500) – Reimbursing the previous owner for any utility payments or property taxes that have been paid beyond the closing date.
    2.  Legal fees. ($500 – $1000) – Paperwork done for the transfer of ownership.
    3.  Title insurance. ($300) – Although not required in Alberta, your mortgage provider might require this.
    4. Property insurance. ($700 – $1000 at closing, and then annually) Your mortgage provider usually requires you to have insurance to cover the replacement value of your home and its contents.
    5. Moving expenses.
    6. Utility service charges. ($35 – $50 per utility) Check with your utility providers to find out what your exact moving fees will be.
    7. Home inspection fee. ($350 – $600)
    8. Mortgage insurance. (Between 1.25 and 3.15 percent of your mortgage amount) If you have a down payment of less than 20 percent of your mortgage amount, you need to insure your mortgage. This cost can be paid up front or added to your mortgage.

The Mortgage

  1.     Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will put you in a relatively better position when making an offer on a home. So, how do you get this process started? Mortgage lenders include banks, mortgage companies, insurance companies, loan companies, trust companies, and credit unions. You should talk to several lenders to get what you’re looking for. You can also talk to a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers find a lender for you and may be able to give you different terms to choose from. You can find a broker on the Mortgage Professionals Canada website. Your mortgage lender will look at your finances to pre-approve you for a mortgage.

With a pre-approval, you can know the maximum amount you may get as well as interest rates you will be charged. A pre-approval does not guarantee that you’ll get a mortgage loan for that amount. The approved mortgage amount will depend on the value of your home and the amount of your down payment.

Psst…by now your wallet might be feeling drained but there is a sliver of relief. First time home buyers get a First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit which reduces your federal tax amount for the purchase year.

The House

  1.     Look up listings online: Now that you have your finances in order, it’s time for the good part. Research houses and neighborhoods within your budget to get a better idea of your likes and dislikes.
  2.     Get yourself a realtor: Getting a realtor will open doors for you. The doors of homes that might not be listed online. A realtor will also know the best places to look to suit your needs. Realtors are generally paid a commission on the sale price by the seller. It is a win-win as you get the expertise without paying for it. You can find one online at realtor.ca or ask family and friends.
  3.     Book a home inspection: You’ve found a house you like. But, is everything as perfect as it looks? The best way to find out is to get a home inspector. A home inspector will make sure everything is in order, so you don’t get any awful surprises after moving in. Your home inspector will check the physical condition of the house which includes roofing, walkways and driveways, retaining walls, patios and decks, structure, electrical, heating, insulation, and plumbing.
  4.     Putting in an offer: When you get the go-ahead from your home inspector, you can make an offer on the house. Your realtor will help with the communication during this step.
  5.     Get your house: You got your dream house. Congratulations! For the possession day, your lawyer will get your mortgage lender to release funds to the sellers for the keys of your new home.

 

Once you’ve bought your new house in our lovely Edmonton make sure you check out these top tips of things to do after you buy your house! As always it’s a pleasure.

 

Your Edmonton Home Inspection Team

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