It is a mistake to think that a newly built house is a perfect house. There are some houses that should never be built. They are too close to high ground water. They are on peat, clay, or other unstable soil. These houses have chronic problems with water or foundation cracks. The biggest problem with
If you are thinking of converting from oil to gas heating, one of the tasks ahead of you is to get a professional to remove the old oil tanks. This seems like a daunting task. It’s not. There are companies that do this. They do it all. They get the permits for removal and disposal;
Hot water heaters are a masterpiece of designed obsolescence. They have a fiberglass tube that corrodes from being in boiling water all the time. It has been tested to last a certain number of years. Every hot water heater comes with a warranty. If the warranty is for six years, the tube is designed to
These chimneys are typical of residential chimneys that are more than 50 years old. Both need re-pointing. The one in front is beginning to twist and bend; it could start dropping bricks soon. The other one also has gaps that are easily visible. Unfortunately, chimneys like this are sort of typical around here. What’s pointing?
That siding! You’ve seen it. The one that looks like brick-shaped wall paper that has the texture of roof shingle. Sometimes it looks like stone rectangles, sometimes like roof shingle, instead of like brick. It comes in all kinds of colors. Why would someone put roof shingle material all over their house? As with aluminum
The doghouse, in real estate lingo, is part of the house that people use, not dogs. Doghouses have advantages for people who use their basement as a workshop and for people who live in areas where there are heavy rains or snows. Do you know what it is? Here’s what it isn’t. It is not
Houses built for veterans returning from World War II went up in large numbers between the late 1940s and the end of the 1950s. What should you expect if you buy one? Houses age. Some age gracefully. Some get updated and renovated. Some updates and renovations fail. I looked at an inspection report of a
For poor people, especially poor elderly people, the cost of a new roof is beyond them. The whole house can fail if a hole in the roof is left unattended. All it takes is one 18-inch-by-18-inch hole in the roof of a house to allow in the elements and bring the structure down in about
When we show properties in the metro-Boston area, it is impossible to judge their value without considering the cost of repairing and maintaining them. That's why electronic valuation programs are so wildly wrong; they can't tell the difference between a not-renovated house, a badly maintained house, or a maintained-but-not-updated house and a fully renovated one.
What is under that vinyl? My neighbors decided to spruce up their exterior, they exchanged their faded mint-green vinyl for trendy dark blue vinyl. I took the opportunity to provide you with this tour of vinyl siding. Around here, the vast majority of vinyl sided houses have perfectly serviceable wood shingles underneath. People choose vinyl