How to Look

at a House


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


More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. Why is my stucco cracking?

  2. What is the difference between Acrocrete and EIFS?

  3. What should I bring to the home inspection?

  4. Do stucco walls mean a house is concrete block?

  5. Should I be suspicious about a concrete block house covered with siding?

  6. How do I remove cigarette odor in a house?

  7. Do you have any home inspection tips for buyers?

  8. There’s an old fuel oil tank underground in the yard. Is it a problem?

  9. What’s is my chance of buying a Gainesville home over a sinkhole?

  10. How can I prevent mold in my Florida winter home when I’m gone for the summer?

  11. Should I buy a fixer-upper?

  12. What happens at a home inspection?

  13. What’s my chance of buying a Gainesville home over a sinkhole?

  14. I’d swear that crack wasn’t there yesterday. What happened?

  15. Is my house near that Superfund cleanup site in Gainesville?

  16. What should I wear to a home inspection?

  17. What can you tell me about buying a house with structural problems? It’s priced cheap!

  18. What do I need to know about a condo inspection?

  19. What problems should I look for when buying a country house in a rural area?

  20. What problems do you look for when a house has been vacant or abandoned?

  21. What is the difference between a building inspector and a home inspector?

  22. How do sellers try to fool the home inspector?

  23. What are the requirements for a room to classified as a bedroom?

  24. How does a home inspector evaluate wood rot?

  25. What is the difference between an FHA inspection and a home inspection?

  26. What are the common problems of different types of house foundations?

  27. What is the average life expectancy of a house?

  28. What is the average lifespan of plywood siding?

  29. What is fiber reinforced concrete?

  30. Is a ridge board/beam required for a roof framed with rafters?

  31. What is engineered wood siding?

  32. What are the pros and cons of aluminum siding?

  33. What causes paint to peel prematurely on the exterior of a house?

  34. What does freeze damaged brick look like?

  35. How can I tell if the exterior walls of a house are concrete block (CBS) or wood or brick?

  36. What is a “backstab” receptacle outlet?

  37. What are the pros and cons of concrete block versus wood frame construction?

  38. What causes the surface of old bricks to erode away into sandy powder?

  39. Why is a horizontal board running along the bottom of the plywood siding of the house?

  40. Why would a house with Hardieplank siding have exterior wood rot problems?

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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.

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    So, how do you know when your stucco is at the end of its lifespan? “Look for areas of de-lamination, blistering, and also stain streaks down the surface—indicating a problem behind it,” according to Jeff. You have probably already seen a simulation of failing stucco at your favorite Italian restaurant as part of the decor: a ragged patch of missing wall surface with brick showing through and a few cracks around it. Call it Old World Charm when Chianti bottles are hanging in front of it, but on your own house that’s a problem. If you see defects developing in your wall surface, an experienced stucco contractor can evaluate them for you to determine whether repairs to the area or total replacement is necessary.

  To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post “How accurate are the average lifespan ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?”


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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