Author: John Shishilla

“Deregathon” and Florida Home inspectors

Albert Cook, John Shishilla, Jeff Clair
Home Inspection Licensing Discussion

Today I attended Governor Ron DeSantis’s first ever Deregathon. The Twenty-three licensing boards of Florida met to see what recommendations they would make to help Florida businesses have less regulation. The Governor spoke of saving the citizens of Florida money by having less regulation while still protecting Florida residents from harm.

Home inspectors in Florida do not have a licensing board and are directly licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. There is only about Eleven-thousand licensed home inspectors in Florida with only Seven-thousand active licenses and less than four-thousand actually doing home inspections.

Some professions have boards in Florida with some requirements that maybe unnecessary. While attending the meetings I heard the Construction industry licensing board discussing ways to make business and licensing more streamline. I heard the Realtor’s Board discuss their licensing requirements and even the Building Code administrators and Inspectors Board with ways for military personal to obtain their licenses.

The Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) had great ideas about simplifying processes to obtain other licenses. Making it easier for Division 1 contractors to do roofing. They discussed adding Handy-person licenses so people could legally get small projects done easier. Concerns over Owner-Builder permits and construction while discussing ways to shrink the board itself. They discussed ideas on how to allow for Division 2 contractors to hire subcontractors and even allowing those with a college degree in construction to skip testing for the license. There was even talk of finding ways to reduce the cost of the books for contractors ( currently about $2100.00) so more could easily become licensed.

I was happy to unofficially attend and represent some of the licenses I currently have. Knowing what it took to obtain some of the licenses I am concerned about how it might affect me, my crew, family, and friends. I believe that the Governor has all great intentions with this initiative and understand that many rules and regulations can get in the way of getting the job done and taking care of business. I will continue to watch how this develops in the future because we have a long way to go before there are any changes. I was nice to see government working and debating for the betterment of its citizens. and I am glad I went. Watch for future updates.

Home Inspector visit Deregathon
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Manufactured Home tie-down inspection and certification

Manufactured Home Inspections and HUD Engineering Certification Reports

Manufactured Home

Manufactured Homes are built from 1976 and on when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) standards became effective. The HUD standards improved the quality, safety, and energy efficiency of the homes.

A manufactured home is built to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards and displays a certification label on the exterior of each transportable section. Manufactured homes are built in the controlled environment of a manufacturing plant and are transported in one or more sections on a permanent chassis.

Manufactured homes have exterior certification labels and an interior data plate where Mobile and Modular homes do not.

Data plate  HUD Certification Label

HUD Data Sheet

The current HUD Permanent Foundation Guide for Manufactured housing is dated September of 1996. The guidelines specify many things in regards to the construction of Manufactured Homes. Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards mandate federal standards for design, construction, and installation of manufactured homes to assure the quality, durability, safety, and affordability of manufactured homes.

HUD issues and enforces appropriate standards for the construction, design, performance, and installation of manufactured homes to assure their quality, durability, affordability, and safety. The construction and safety standards preempt state and local laws that are not identical to the federal standards; they apply to all manufactured homes produced after June 15, 1976. HUD may enforce these standards directly or by various states that have established state administrative agencies in order to participate in the program. HUD may inspect factories and retailer lots and review records to enforce such standards. If a manufactured home does not conform to federal standards, the manufacturer must take certain actions, including possibly notifying the consumer and correcting the problem.

Homes built prior to June 15, 1976, even with modifications, do not meet the HUD standards and cannot be accepted as compliant with the HUD Code. FHA does not insure mortgages on manufactured homes built prior to June 15, 1976. Most other mortgage insurance firms follow FHA’s policy.

The statute generally prohibits selling, leasing, or offering for sale or lease, homes that do not meet the standards. Civil and criminal penalties may be sought for violations of the statute.

HUD also administers programs regulating the installation of the homes, reviewing the installation standard programs that 35 states have, and administering a federal installation program in the other 15 states. HUD also reviews the administration of state dispute resolution programs in 35 states and administers a HUD dispute resolution program in the other 15 states.

 

Tie-down                                      Foundation

 

To conduct a structural inspection for determining:

  • If the MFD home is permanently tied down, and
  • That the home would not float off the piers or foundation,
  • That the drainage of the house will not flood the crawlspace or basement.

Decks, porches and room additions are regulated by the construction codes for each state and/or local housing authority. If the property has an addition attached after the home was sited, the attachment is not regulated by HUD Standards or Regulations. If an addition has been added to a manufactured home, it may take the home out of conformance with the Standards.

There are two different inspections. The main one is the Permanent Foundation Inspection and the other is for additions, decks, porches, alterations. Your lender will know which of the inspections you will need to be done.  Feel free to contact Honor Services if we can be of assistance we would be happy to help with your Manufactured Home tie-down inspection and certification.

 

 

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Deterioration of plumbing pipes

Plumbing pipes in a home are in separated into two different system, supply and drain.  The supply lines bring water into the home and distribute it throughout giving you fresh water where you need it.  The drain lines take the wastewater out of the home with other materials that may be present including dirt and feces.   The systems work together to make our modern healthy home plumbing.

The bathrooms, the kitchen, the laundry, hose bibs, and even the refrigerator all have water supply lines.   We use this clean water for everything, some of it is even sent through a filter,  water softener, and water heater.  The distribution system usually delivers it where it is needed, typically there is valves that control the water flow.  These distribution lines are made of a variety of materials from copper to Polyvinyl Chloride(PVC/CPVC).  Over the years many materials have been used including galvanized metal, Polybutylene and even lead.   All of these plumbing lines have life expectancies, meaning they wear out and begin to leak.  Water supply lines that leak usually will cause water damage rather quickly.   On many occasions, it is necessary to re-pipe the home.   Copper is probably the most widely used plumbing supply line material but even that has a life expectancy.  The length of time that pipe lasts can vary based on manufacturing, water supply, installation, and environment.   When the lines fail, the damage can quickly flood a home, destroying the contents.

Different pipes have widely different lifespans. While galvanized pipe will only last about 20-30 years, but is not currently widely used in our area at this time.  Polybutylene because of many known issues should be replaced as soon as possible.  PEX pipe (Cross-linked polyethylene) has been in use for some time and in most cases doesn’t have any great issues except for some of the connections.  Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride(CPVC) used in homes at this point doesn’t appear to have a limited lifespan but does appear to become brittle.   We typically see copper pipes last about 50 years.  The real problem is predicting when a pipe or set of pipes is going to fail in a home, because of the extensive damage it can cause.

The drain systems consist of the drains under fixtures, the vents that travel through the roof and the sewer(waste) laterals that travel under the home.  The materials vary but in our area PVC, copper and cast iron are widely used.  Copper like the supply lines does deteriorate, especially with the use of harsh cleaning chemicals, but is usually limited to vents that are vertical through the roof.  The vents in the home are rarely an issue because they last longer than the laterals that travel under the home.   Many homes are built or retrofitted with PVC products including under sinks which is usually visible.   These products last indefinitely.  The biggest issue we have with sewer lines and laterals is with cast iron.  The metal corrodes and degrades over time, usually 40 -60 years.  This then leaks the wastewater and anything in it.  In our area, we usually cannot see these pipes because they are under the home.  The damage they cause may take some time to present its self.  When it does become known it is usually because the waster water floods the house or the soil gets washed away causing other issues, including structural.

In the course of doing a home inspection, we look at the plumbing pipes in the home.   Unfortunately most of the time a majority of the plumbing pipes are not visible.   As home inspectors we can only report what we can see, but that is not always enough.  It is recommended that you know what types of pipes you have and how long they are expected to last.  When doing remodeling or repairing of a home it is a great time to discuss with the contractor/plumber if it would be a good idea to change pipes or repipe the home or section of the home.  When planning ahead it can prevent a huge problem in the future.    It would also be advantageous to consider re-piping a home as the piping approaches the end of its life expectancy.

If you are purchasing a home or are curious as to what the condition of your drain lines are you can consider getting a sewer scope done.  The sewer scope is a long thing camera that is sent into the drain lines to record and view the condition of the pipes.   The line is accessed through a readily accessible clean out. The inspector will determine the best access point, and the report will outline where the line was entered. The camera inspection does not scope every drain line in the home or all the drain lines running underneath the house. The intent is to inspect the line that runs from the house to the final service point and to inspect this buried line for defects. This information can be used to make decisions about when to re-pipe and consider costs for such work, which is great to know before purchasing a home.   We can help with this additional service if requested.

Here is a link to a video form an inspection of PVC plumbing line  https://drive.google.com/file/d/15imY3jL8iqIw4UabsFZ5LmN7qy2TpEdW/view

 

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