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How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

  1. Sensible - If a homeowner of an older CBS house builds a large addition with wood frame walls, it makes sense to cover the original block walls with the same siding used for the addition, because It ties everything together and often modernizes the look of the house.

  2. Gullible - This summer we inspected a home whose seller was a older woman that had been sold an aluminum siding package 25 years ago by a glib salesman from a national home improvement company. The sales pitch was that it would be low maintenance and “you’ll never have to paint your house again!”
        Actually, the existing paint finish on the stucco was nearly as durable and much more impact resistant, plus the metal siding had already been painted once since it was installed. If you saw the 1987 movie Tin Men, starring Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito, about the rivalry between two high-pressure aluminum siding salesmen in 1960s Baltimore, you’ll understand how this could have happened. The structure was perfectly fine, as far as we could tell; but, again, it was necessary to disclaim the condition of the block wall in our report because we could not see it.

    So we suggest looking extra carefully at a block house that has been sided over and realizing that you are taking on the additional risk of a concealed problem by buying it, but do not automatically assume the worst. Also, because houses in the same neighborhood tend to have similar problems, especially ones in a development that were all built within a few years of each other and by the same contractor, it can be a good strategy to look at nearby houses that have not had siding added for additional insight.


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
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