HomeContact FHIAbout UsServicesThermal ImagingMust Read for home buyers!Request EstimateFAQRefer a Friend

321-302-1211

This site  The Web 

Serving all of Brevard, Volusia, and Orange counties.  

Chinesedrywall.JPG

This picture shows "KNAUF-TIAN" printed on the back of some drywall in an attic I was in.  This is one of the destructive products called "Chinese Drywall"

webassets/IMG_2876.JPG

Here you'll see aluminum wire branch circuits in the right side of a FPE Stab-Loc panel.  You can see the four aluminum circuits between several copper circuits.

Infrared/002.jpg

Click on me to go to the thermal imaging page!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Well hurricane season is here again,
Just a reminder to those of you with hurricane panels to make sure they are accessible as well as the fasteners if needed.  I always recommend to buyers to do a "dry run" and install them all just to make sure all of the panels are present as well as the fasteners.  Also if they have never done it before it will go much smoother than it would by learning with a hurricane bearing down on them.  A client in Melbourne called me recently after he installed all the shutters, saying that it took a lot longer than he thought as some were mis-labeled or not labeled at all, missing parts, stuck screws, the works!  So he was glad that he did it before actually needing to do it in a hurry.  Anyway, everyone have a happy and safe summer!
10:35 am edt          Comments

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Federal Pacific Electric Panels

There has been some ongoing uncertainty about issues with the FPE Stab-lok panels.  There are some real world issues with this panel and most electricians would agree that they should be replaced.  However, the more immediate problem is that they are becoming harder and harder to get insurance on.  If they panel is found on the 4-point inspection, many insurance companies will not insure the home until it is changed out.  Here is a quote from AAA.  

"November 12, 2012 memo:

 

Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida

Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Electrical Panel

 

 

Effective immediately, homes with an electrical panel manufactured by Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) Company will be ineligible for a AAA Package Policy.

 

It is known that homes with FPE electrical panels present a potentially dangerous situation.  FPE electrical panels sometimes fail to trip a breaker when an electrical surge occurs, which can lead to overheating and fires.  A class-action lawsuit brought this to light and FPE electrical panels are a common “hazard” that 4-Point inspectors look for.

 

Due to the fire hazard presented by these panels, homes where an FPE electrical panel is found during a 4-Point inspection must have the electrical panel replaced in order to be eligible.  If the FPE panel is not replaced, the home will be ineligible for a AAA Package Policy.  As a reminder, 4-Point inspections are required for 40+ year old homes at new business.

 

We appreciate your continued support of AAA Insurance. "

...and  they aren't the only ones.  Here is a list of other companies reportedly not accepting the panel:

Universal

Frontline

Prepared

Tower Hill

Security First 

Federated

 

So at this point it doesn't really make sense to go into any further discussion on whether or not there is a real problem with these panels (it's more about the breakers actually), if they aren't insurable then that's pretty much the nail in the coffin for FPE. 

9:27 am est          Comments

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quick Note
I have confirmed with Citizens Insurance this morning that Citizens is now writing policies on houses with aluminum with a few provisions.  They are only accepting houses that have been "pig-tailed" with Alumiconn or Copalum connectors.  They also have to have a state certified, licensed electrician sign off on the house that the approved connectors were used and the aluminum wiring in the breaker panel is corrosion free, tight, and properly connected.  They have finally made the distinction between the 240 V circuits and the 110 branch circuits.  All outlets, switches and fixtures will need to be made up with either of these two connectors.  These are NOT wire nuts, rather they are a proprietary system tested by UL and NEC approved.  Most "pig-tail" jobs that I've seen will not be accepted under the latest requirements.  The good news is that there is an alternative to the prospect of totally rewiring a house with copper.  These requirements can be met at about 1/10 of the cost of a total rewire. You can search for ALUMICONN or COPALUM and get all the info that you need.  if you are dealing with an aluminum wire house, buying or selling, this will need to be dealt with if the house is going to be insurable.  As it stands right now (as I've been told) Citizens is the only insurer of houses with aluminum wiring and they are only insuring with these requirements met.  I'm also told by Citizens that they are looking at other ways of making the connections but for now these two are the only approved ones.  
9:51 am edt          Comments

Saturday, March 5, 2011

DPBR

Now I'm sure most people don't hear this very often much less say it, but, I can't believe how quick the Department of Business and Professional Regulation of Florida moves these days!  I suppose I just wanted to publicly acknowledge the state for it's improvement in efficiency and speed.  They keep saying they are getting better, leaner/meaner and faster, and they really are.

 Last month I finally got around to submitting my granfathering application to the state for my state home inspector license.  The deadline to submit it was March 1st 2011 so I supposed I'd waited long enough and I'm really glad I did.  The reason I was putting it off was a very good one and it actually paid off.  The state originally wanted us to submit 120 inspection reports to prove the required 3 years of experience.  So several months back I pulled all 120 inspections from 2000-2001 because back then my inspections were much shorter.  However even with the "shorter" inspections, I was still gonna have to print out 3-4 reams of paper and ship them off to the state!  So I figured I'd take a small gamble and wait for the state to realize they can't possibly follow through with that requirement, as they would have rooms filled with useless inspections that they couldn't possibly ever go through, and I'm glad to say it worked.  Instead of 120 full reports, they changed it to a LIST of 120 home inspections, what a huge difference! Only took me an hour and 10 sheets of paper, I already had my list, just had to type it up.  

So I sent off my application double, triple, and quadruple checked...and I had my state license 3 days after I sent it!  I'm not sure how the heck they got it done that quick, but they did and I couldn't be happier with my latest interaction with Florida's DBPR.   Now I have another state license to maintain, how fun.  Well at least it seems maintaining that license has gotten much easier with the greatly improved DBPR.  

10:38 am est          Comments

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Printing Reports

I just wanted to take a minute to explain some recent changes in how I get the inspection report to my clients.  Not too long ago I would develop the report on site and print it out, put it in a binding clear cover and give it to the customer.  That has become rapidly obsolete and I'll explain why.

   It started with the wind inspection changes and a paradigm shift in the industry as a whole.  Insurance companies started to want more and more pictures of wind reports, roof reports, and four point reports.  There is no outside driving force telling inspectors how to present their general inspection reports to the client.  As I found myself taking more and more photographs, I notice the customers (especially ones that couldn't attend the inspections) responded positively the more pictures I took.  Now it's not uncommon to have 30-40 pictures on one report.  Don't get me wrong, I took pictures before, but it was usually just areas of concern or areas that I couldn't get the clients eyes on e.g. the attic.  

Another driving force behind the recent change is software.  I bought a very expensive program that allows me to do almost anything I can think of with any PDF document, including creating them.  All my reports were gradually converted from a Microsoft Office program, to an Adobe Acrobat.  The difference is that I create the inspection in Acrobat instead of converting an Office document later.  That has given me a LOT of flexibility on what I can do with my reports.  I can make PDF binders which is great for reporting.  A binder is a PDF document that has my inspection report, invoice, picture pages (usually tiled 6 pics/page) all bound into one contiguous report.  That means parts of the report don't get separated and when I send a report it's only one file per report.  It makes it very easy for everyone.  

I also have a nice little gadget called a Bamboo Pen.  It allows me to capture a customers signature (ex. wind mitigation report) digitally so i don't have to print out a report only to scan it back in to send it to the insurance companies.   Insurance companies get a pristine digital PDF of the wind mitigation survey with pictures attached.  I've found the easier I can make it for my clients the better the all around experience.  They don't have to run around town bringing inspection reports to insurance companies.  

I now have several options for my clients on how they receive the reports.  Most of my customers want me to email them the inspections so they can have it for their records and forward that very same email off to whoever they see fit (realtor, insurance, mortgage etc).   It makes the process very simple and all the digital images retain their original resolution.  I can also burn the inspection to a CD or just print it out.  It's really up to the customer.  Printing is really the last option because of the photos.  Printed out photos are OK, but you can't zoom in on them to see closer detail and you can't send them easily to other parties that may request to see it.  Keeping them digital is by far the preferred method.  

7:57 am edt          Comments

2015.05.31 | 2012.12.02 | 2011.03.13 | 2011.02.27 | 2010.10.10 | 2010.10.01 | 2010.02.01 | 2009.11.01 | 2007.10.01

Link to web log's RSS file

Florida Home Inspectors Inc. is located in Brevard county and is a full service inspection company.  Nick McClellan is the owner/operator and performs all the inspections.  Services include: Building Contractor (state certified commercial/residential), wind mitigation inspection,  inspections for buyers looking at a home (real estate inspection/home inspection), inspections for sellers trying to make their home more marketable (pre-sale inspection), and a 4 (four) point inspection for insurance purposes for those who already own their home but the insurance company needs a 4pt.(four point inspection) to bind a new policy.   

Think you might have bed bugs?

Got water/fire damage?