Homes Plus

March, 2015

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By Dan Muckelbauer HOMES PLUS EDITOR WAUKESHA — Just about everyone's seen TV shows in which a contractor points out major problems after a remodeling project starts. It's usually right before a commercial. On TV, it's good drama. In your home, not so much. How do you avoid an unexpected hit? Tom Dempsey, owner of Sham- rock Building Inspection Consul- tants in Pewaukee, advises to hire a professional inspector. As a carpenter he's prejudiced toward carpenters as inspectors. "Carpenters know framing and construction," he said. The amount of inspecting can be limited by whether it's for a home you plan to live in or resell. An inspector can do invasive testing such as pulling wall panels to see the insulation or confirm suspected problems, Dempsey said. But if it's for resale, the checking is limited to noninvasive inspection and the inspector's lia- bility is also limited, he added. "The best way is to open up the walls to find out what's in there," said Kevin Anundson, owner of Owner Assisted Remodeling in Elm Grove and NARI National president. "When we're locked into a proj- ect we'll punch a couple of small holes in a soffit and you can get an idea. Or we open up the back of a cabinet. "We can joke about it but we don't have X-ray glasses like every- one wants us to have. Unless we open up things, we can't see any- more than the homeowner can," Anundson said. Unless you count seeing through the eyes of experience. Both the remodeler and the inspector do. "We get to see this stuff every day. This is our playground. This is where we get to be the experts," Anundson said. "We can recognize certain indicators." Like? "You can look for cracks and water spots and sagging. There are a lot of telltale signs for hidden issues," Anundson said. "You might see ants. You might smell mold. You might see ice dams," he said as if counting off on his fingers. "There are clues." Dempsey saw condensation on a job a few hours before being inter- viewed. "Today on my first inspection the people have the humidifier up JUDY KOOB 414-588-1220 262-754-6683 262-782-3110 400 W. MORELAND BLVD WAUKESHA • $460,000 Unique opportunity to own this brick office building, zoned Commercial, on prime lot in Waukesha. Could be used as an office, medical office, retail or anything else you might want. This building has a lot of character and charm. The first floor has a waiting area, 2 offices, recep- tion space, lunch room and a full bath. Second floor has 3 additional offices, full bath and stairs going up to the third floor. In the lower level there are 2 more offices and a half bath. Use your imagination for this great property. 242810001 COMMERCIAL C O N T E N T S Spying problems before remodeling Learn what makes savory such a good selection for 2015 Herb of the Year ■ How to make your yard wildlife friendly throughout the year ■ A number of home products can help you green up — financially and environmentally — through energy efficiency Submitted photo This kitchen by Owner Assisted Remodeling of Elm Grove is the kind of finished product homeowners envision at the start of a major remodeling project. Detecting problems before tearing down the old can keep renovations on track. Related photo on page 2. Inspection, experience among homeowners' best friends See HOME INSPECTION/Page 2 HOMES HOMES WAUKESHA + Your Guide to Homes, Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden and MORE! A publication of the Waukesha Freeman and Oconomowoc Enterprise • March 2015

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