Whether you are restoring a period home, have an affinity for the aesthetics of a certain decade, or are looking for unique materials to bring character to your living space, Chicago has some great options for finding vintage fixtures and materials. And re-using salvaged items is environmentally friendly to boot. While eBay has myriad salvage items, shipping larger pieces can be an issue, and sometimes you just need to see something with your own eyes to know if it’s right for your home. Here are some great places to start:
After performing fee based inspections full time for the past 6+ years I find myself asking a repeated question–am I giving clients what they need to make the best decision? My immediate answer is that I’m pretty damn close. Why not 100% you might say? I’ll tell you why….no inspector can deliver the perfect product to every client because every client’s needs are slightly different than the last. A first time homebuyer will want to know as much as they can because they’re a bit nervous, excited and typically don’t have the building knowledge to know what is minor and what is major in terms of defects. Veteran homeowners, on the other hand, may tell us to not worry about the little things and really focus on X, Y or Z. That’s understandable and often times expected. So what can we do as inspectors to fulfill these needs? Anything and everything we can to deliver as much information about the property we’re inspecting so that we can allow our clients to make the best decision possible with the best information.
We are very strongly urging our home inspection clients to have a radon test performed before making a final decision about whether to purchase a home. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be dangerous when it builds up inside of confined spaces. It is estimated that 20,000 people die each year due to exposure to radon, and it is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers (number two overall). 25% of homes within Chicago and 40% of those in the suburbs that have been tested have come back with results showing radon levels above EPA safety guidelines. Due to the relatively small number of homes that currently get tested, the percentage of homes with dangerous levels of radon could actually be much higher.
Tap Water Contaminants: What You Can Do
For the health and safety of you and your family, we strongly recommend installing a whole-house water filtration system. While not cheap (the most effective models can cost $800-1,200+, plus installation and maintenance), if you can afford it, you should consider doing it. While under-sink, faucet-mount and refrigerator models work for drinking water, they won’t protect you from the chemicals your body can absorb while bathing. For an in-depth article on the dangers posed by unfiltered tap water, visit http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/27/drinking-water-with-chloramine.aspx
Don’t Believe the Hype About MOLD, Get the FACTS!
For an expert’s views about the mold testing/remediation industry, see Marko Vovk of House Investigation’s YouTube video. It’s a scam, and he’ll show you why.
What to do if your basement floods? Continue Reading →
Most people don’t know how easy it is to make their homes run on less energy, Drastic reductions in heating, cooling and electricity costs can be accomplished through very simple changes, most of which homeowners can do themselves.
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