Thursday, May 7, 2015

Home Inspections Do Not Include Pools

 Home inspections do not include the inspection of pools, above or below ground.  Typically it is recommended that built –in-pools be inspected by a qualified professional pool inspection company.   But remember the state of New Jersey does not require pool inspection companies to be licensed or certified.   That means anyone can say they inspect pools.   Interview the company you choose and get references.
  In a pool inspection, the whole pool environment is looked at, not just the pool, pump and filter.
  The intention of a pool inspection is to evaluate the current condition of all accessible pool components and identify items that need repair to make the pool operational and reasonable to maintain.
  The average pool inspection is 2.0 to 3.0 hours.  It is not only involved in just the inspection but also to the remedy of the problems that are found.  When a problem is noted, its remedy is also commented on.  Measurements, verifications, gallonage computation, appropriate equipment, sizing of the equipment and its associated plumbing, are all inspected and verified as adequate.  This information is then used to recommend the proper sizing, turnover rates, and equipment choices.
  Keeping  safety in mind the condition of the fence, gates, walkway, pool perimeter, slide, diving board, rails, coping, lighting structure, and other items of safety and concern.
·         Through the years, the industry has learned what is safer and what is not.  Earlier designed swimming pools may not have had the latest information and technology applied to its construction.  Newly added items may have been inappropriate for the older pool design.   Inspecting the pool for proper function for your safety not just "inside" the pool, but the surrounding area: the walkway, the fence, the gate, the equipment and its wiring.
·         For instance: The diving board is measured. The depth at the tip of the board is measured and compared against the current requirements for that size board.  Are the receptacles GFIC's at the site?  Are they at the suggested distance from the pool?  Is the lighting safe?  Are there proper indications that the shallow end of the pool changes its slope to the deep end of the pool?  Is the underwater lighting at the proper depth?   Verified that the pool is designed with the most recent known safety precautions.


After Home Inspections check for Permits

Most property owners can wrap their heads around the idea of a building permit for some things: new construction, or maybe even a complicated addition.  But what about smaller remodeling projects?  Do you need a permit to swap your laminate countertops for granite?  What about if you want to build a privacy fence or a moderate-sized deck?  Or what if you'd like to do the work yourself?
The short answer is, almost always, yes.  The I-Codes, including the International Building Code and the International Residential Code, are the baselines from which most state, city and municipal building codes are developed.  Regarding permits, I-Code rules are pretty clear.  They state that a permit must be obtained whenever a structure is to be constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved or demolished.
That makes it sound like property owners need a permit to tighten a washer on a leaky faucet.  So when exactly do you really need a permit?
Building codes exist to protect us from unscrupulous contractors who cut corners by using sub-standard materials and unlicensed tradesmen.  They also try to shield us from well-intentioned do-it-yourselfers like Tom Hanks' character in "The Money Pit," who may think they're capable of doing certain jobs, only to find themselves in a hole -- literally.  Getting a permit means that someone knowledgeable will review your remodel plans and spot mistakes before work begins.  Once work is underway, inspectors ensure that any life-threatening errors are corrected before a job is completed.
So, permits are required by law and are intended to ensure your safety, but do you really need one?  
Yes. Every property owner should pull a permit and hire a licensed contractor whenever the law demands it.
These days, we always hire licensed professionals.  They know when it's necessary to obtain permits, and they also know how to help us cut through the red tape to get them quickly.  Experience has taught me that "better safe than sorry" is more than just a silly cliché, especially when it comes to the business of construction and remodeling and the safety of my family