Why the Standard Home Inspection Isn’t Enough to Understand the House Structure

Somewhere, in the annals of home inspector training, a well-meaning home inspector instructor deemed that any foundation crack greater than 3/8” wide indicates sufficient concern that a structural engineer should be consulted. And from then on, it was home inspector gospel. Although the 3/8” rule is a home inspection guideline, home inspectors rarely follow it, […]

The Advanced Structural Assessment

Kemp Home Inspections has been involved in the home inspection industry since 2012, specializing in the house structure. During this time, we’ve learned that there are some basic flaws in the home inspection process that prevent a home buyer from really learning whether the house they are buying is structurally sound. The reason this happens […]

The Structural Repair Process

When people have a structural concern with a house, whether it stems from a home inspection during a real estate transaction, or a homeowner who notices a concerning condition like new wall cracks or floor slope, the first step is to get a structural opinion from a qualified engineer. This opinion is intended to determine […]

The Structural Inspection Explained

At Kemp Home Inspections, we conduct various types of structural engineering inspections (often referred to as structural assessments). Typical structural inspections include inspections of the foundation, foundation cracks, termite damage, sloping floors, interior wall cracks, the roof structure, and decks. Most of our structural inspections are for people buying houses (their home inspector identified a […]

What to Consider When Buying a Renovated House

Many home buyers are naturally drawn to a newly renovated house: the one with the updated kitchen, fresh paint, and new hardwoods. While it might look good on the surface, there is a lot to consider. Houses are renovated for a variety of reasons but the one you need to look out for is the […]

An Engineer’s Perspective on Deck Safety

Don’t be surprised if your home inspector says this: “So I’ve looked at your deck, checked the condition of the wood and fasteners, posts and beams, stairs and rails. I don’t see any damage and the deck looks safe. But you might want to repair it.” Listen to her, she’s right. After years of inspecting […]

Types of HVAC Systems in the DC Area

If you’re buying a house in Maryland or the DC area, it’s good to get familiar with the various types of HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems out there. Most HVAC systems in this area are “forced-air” systems, i.e. air has been heated or cooled and is delivered to the different rooms from a central […]

A Common Question: What is a Heat Pump?

One of the most common questions we get from homeowners involve the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system. The question: “What the heck is a heat pump?” A heat pump is an all-electric system (no gas or oil) and it can either cool or heat your house. When operating in cooling mode it’s just a […]

How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Inspection

Too many Buyers get short-changed on their home inspection because the house was not ready for inspection. Home inspection practices limit what a home inspector (who is a guest in the Seller’s house) can and cannot do. For example, a home inspector isn’t permitted to move personal items. Naturally, when people are living in the […]

Buying an Older House? What You Need to Know

Many first-time home buyers are under the pretense that getting a very good home inspection protects them from the risks of costly surprises after moving in. Newsflash: it is not. No matter how good a home inspection you get, you simply cannot protect yourself from the reality that houses are handmade, used items that constantly […]

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