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Fri, Feb 17th - 5:39AM

Inspecting Waterfront Properties In Barrie ON

Cottage living is one of the most popular tourist draws in Ontario, Canada, parts of which have come to be known as cottage country. This term typically refers to the north and south shores of Georgian Bay, Ontario; Muskoka, Ontario; Haliburton, Ontario; and the Kawartha Lakes, Ontario; but has also been used to describe several other Canadian regions. The practice of renting cottages has become widespread in these regions, especially with rising property taxes for waterfront property.

Beware of Shore Line Allowances which are registered on title and can take away up to 66 feet of your waterfront. Removing or closing a Shore Line Allowance can be expensive depending on the charges your Municipality may levy. Ensure you find out prior to closing as this may affect price of property. Conservation authorities may opposing closing of certain allowances making it difficult and more expensive.

Dug and Bored wells are usually less than 50 feet in depth and can become contaminated from ground water. In dry summers they can also be susceptible to water shortages. Most cottages have jet pump fed from lake or river. Most cottagers using lake water bring their own bottled water for drinking and cooking.

Septic tanks and systems come in many types and sizes. Ensure you know about your system prior to purchasing and have tank pumped by licensed septic tank installer prior to closing. If your cottage has been expanded check and see if tank and bed have been expanded also.

The Ontario government says if a septic system is properly built, maintained and treated, it is a perfectly acceptable method of dealing with sewage. But many systems are old, have not been regularly and properly pumped out and maintained, are fitted with illegal connections or discharges, or have had substances injected into them that kill the bacteria needed to keep them functioning properly. Some townships are inspecting older systems and owners are required to correct any deficiencies.

If buying a Cottage in Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Rama, Brechin, Lagoon City, Severn Falls or in this general area contact the Barrie Home Inspector for a Professional Cottage Inspection. With over 4,000 inspections and as a Certified Building Code Official your investment is in good hands.

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Fri, Feb 17th - 5:37AM

Barrie ON - Basements Cracks and Leaking

A typical basement is constructed of a footing or footer that supports the basement walls and floor. The footing must rest on solid or undisturbed soil. The wall may be constructed of cement block, poured concrete, brick, stone or tile. In the past 80 years, most foundation walls have been constructed of cement block or poured concrete. The floor is poured concrete supported on the edges by the footing and in the center by compacted gravel.

While concrete cracks appear to be typical and are common in most basements , it is not recommended that they remain ignored. Most homeowners can easily identify concrete cracks in their basement, either on the foundation wall or on the floor. They may also find cracks on the garage floor, patio or in-ground pool.

Cracks can be signs of an overload or excessive stress on a wall. As homes get older, cracks have a better chance of appearing. Excessive displacement, continuing movement, differential settlement and certain combinations of cracks are real problems we will discuss. The exception - those little hairline cracks that appear in floors and walls - often are caused by shrinkage and are not a concern since they are just cosmetic in nature.

Cracks are almost always visible "fractures" that tend to go from floor to ceiling and from the inside, right through to the outside. Cracks often originate from a point of weakness such as the corner of a window, a beam pocket, a utility penetration, or from the cut-out of a door sill. Occasionally cracks will form horizontally...this is more serious and indicates a structural failure.

Most builders would agree that water leaking into the basement is a common warranty issue. Homeowners and builders are continually looking for ways to utilize every square inch of potential living space. As a result, basements are frequently being converted into useable space. Thus, designing to keep basements dry is more important than ever.

Another area where water problems are commonly found is at the point where pipes penetrate the wall. To do this, a hole is left in the foundation so that the pipe can be placed through the wall. After the pipe has been fed through the wall, the contractor will often use a brittle and rigid hydraulic cement to close the opening from inside the basement. Hydraulic cement begins to cure in minutes so it is usually only pushed two to three inches into the wall. Vibration in the pipe, among other factors, will often compromise the seal of the cement and cracking it (resulting in the area to leak again).

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Fri, Feb 17th - 5:35AM

Building Decks in Barrie ON

A deck is a large, raised wooden floor attached to the back of a house and contained by a perimeter railing for safety. Decks are rarely covered, and usually have a rough or informal look that is not integrated with the rest of the house's design. They are typically intended to be locations for large outdoor social gatherings, such as barbecues and birthday parties. Access to the deck may be from the ground through a stairway, or from the house through a back door.

Due to environmental concerns, composite decking (a mixture of two materials, typically wood pulp and recycled material such as plastic bottles or plastic bags) have appeared on the market. Proponents of composite decking have touted this as a much needed development as this helps to curb logging of trees for new decks. However composite decking has been found to contain harmful chemicals, cannot be refurbished, and despite claims from decking companies, the composite deck still attracts molding.

The main support for your deck will be your joists. These will be attached to your ledger board using joist hangers. Untreated joists should be at least 18 inches away from the ground. Girders should be 12 inches away from the ground. However, in many situations, exceptions are made where the elevation of the home does not provide for these minimum distances and the climate is very dry.

Deck boards should be laid with the bark side up, and with both ends centered over a joist. Stagger the joints of side-by-side deck boards so they don't line up. Notch the boards around posts or other obstructions, leaving 1/8" space for drainage. Fasten the deck boards at each joist. Use two fasteners per support point for decking up to 6" wide, or three fasteners for wider boards. Deck screws or clips are generally better than nails, but all fasteners must be hot-dipped galvanized, aluminum, or stainless steel

As wood ages, it is common for cracks to develop. Large cracks (longer than the depth of the member) or excessive cracking overall can weaken deck framing. Toe-nailed connections are always at risk for splitting. Splitting of lumber near connections should be noted by the homeowner and the affected area should either be repaired or wood replaced.

A main issues to consider with any decking is the sub-floor. Simply, if the foundation below the decking is not correct then the performance of the deck will suffer. Spacing's between stumps, bearers and joists all equally have a bearing on the deck feeling solid and strong. The wider the deck, plus the amount of static load (Tables, Chairs, BBQ and the decking load itself plus the potential amount of people on the deck) all provide reasons to ensure your sub-floor is adequate to handle the usage envisaged.

In Canada any openings through guards in a deck which is more than 23 5/8 inches above grade shall be of a size that will prevent the passage of a spherical object having a diameter of 100 mm, unless it can be shown that it will not represent a hazard.

The NEC requires an electrical outlet on any deck over 20 square feet in size. The receptacle's faceplate must rest securely on the supporting surface to prevent moisture from entering the enclosure. If the receptacle is installed on uneven surfaces, such as stucco, stone or brick, a caulking compound can be used to fill in gaps. All 15- and 20-amp, 120/240-volt receptacles installed outdoors must have a weatherproof enclosure. These receptacles must also have a while-in-use cover. GFCI protection is required for all exterior receptacles.

The Barrie Home Inspector is a Certified Building Code Official who has completed all the required Part 9 and Part 3 Ontario Building Code courses which includes residential decks. As a Certified Home Inspector this assures your home will be inspected by someone with the knowledge and experience to ensure that will have "Peace of Mind" when making your next Real Estate purchase.

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Barrie Real Estate Inspector

Barrie Home Inspections

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