Home Inspections

Building Pathology Inspection

Studying and understanding building defects and their associated remediation is the basis of building pathology, much like pathology in medicine studies diseases and their potential treatments and cures. We consider building pathology the study of or holistic approach to building science and deficiencies. This is offered as part of our Home Inspections services.

As a construction expert, Först Consulting Group has detailed knowledge of how structures are put together from start to finish, and how they are used, maintained and occupied.

Buildings can suffer from many issues, including “patent defects” which can be discovered through inspection, and “latent defects” which often are not apparent to the eye.

A thorough Först Consulting Group building pathology inspection seeks out both patent and latent defects through a variety of testing methods. We look for materials affected by environmental situations and the various mechanics involved with the structure of systems found within the building. Risk of future building failure is also taken into consideration.

Our in-depth knowledge of building codes and construction practices, combined with our wide range of certifications and use of advanced inspection technology aid in properly diagnosing the problem areas.

Building pathologies leading to defects include:

– Design deficiencies
– Specification errors
– Material deficiencies
– Workmanship errors
– Environmental and external factors
– Maintenance and repair deficiencies
– Deterioration
– Improper use

Issues to inspect include, but are not limited to:

– Building cracks
– Dampness or water
– Corrosion or mold
– Thermal efficiency
– Suspected construction or code compliance errors
– Occupant well being
– Noise problems

Building pathology inspection is used for:

– Pre-sale inspection
– Liability and risk vs. stability
– Symptoms analysis
– Code compliance
– Workmanship issues
– Forensic evidence
– Expert witness testimony

Construction Defect Inspection

If you think you’ve spotted a construction error you need to address the problem quickly before it either becomes sealed up inside a wall or leads to more severe consequences. Early detection and remediation is the key to a sound and healthy building.

Only a construction expert like Först Consulting Group can identify and confirm construction defects both inside and outside your home or building. With our specialized training and high-technology equipment, we know how to both detect and verify defects that could stem from contractor error, design flaws or materials failure.

Unfortunately there are unscrupulous or untrained contractors and subcontractors, who either purposefully or inadvertently can cause a construction defect. They may attempt to cover a construction error up in order to save costs, hide a mistake or meet scheduled deadlines, while others may just not have the knowledge or experience to know that their work is not acceptable. In other cases, it may be equipment or materials that fail.

Once a defect is suspected or pointed out, it is up to you to prove that an error has occurred. A contractor may argue that the work was performed correctly, which can lead to a construction dispute, or potentially a legal claim if the dispute cannot be resolved.

Ordering a construction defect inspection will provide the evidence necessary to resolve a dispute with your contractor, or help you build a case with a construction law attorney to win in court.

At Först Consulting Group, we put huge emphasis on keeping up to date with new and alternative building practices and products. We attend dozens of seminars, take numerous online courses and review hundreds of manufacturer specifications. We know what we’re looking for.

Pre-Drywall Inspection

Many construction shortcuts or errors occur behind the walls, which is why it is in your best interest to obtain a pre-drywall inspection before the problems are sealed up and out of sight. This is the final time everything within the walls will be visible.

During the inspection, Först Consulting Group will inspect framing and electrical, plumbing and heating systems, looking for correct placement, code compliance, construction errors or deficiencies, and home energy efficiency. We also inspect with reference to manufacturer installation requirements, which with today’s modern technology, can be complicated. Improper installation could result in system failure or a voided manufacturer’s warranty.

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Items inspected include, but are not limited to:

·        Framing; trusses, studs and joints
·        Electrical systems; wiring
·        Heating and cooling systems; ductwork
·        Plumbing systems; piping; sprinkler systems
·        Insulation
·        Code compliance
·        Installation requirements
·        Foundation attachments

Private Pre-Sale Home Inspection

If you are considering putting your home on the market, a pre-sale home inspection will help you identify issues that, if not fixed, will provide negotiating power for the potential buyer of your home. Knowing in advance if your home has a problem will enable you to fix the issue on your schedule and budget, and reduce a buyer’s objections to purchasing your house.

When you sell your home, your potential buyer will hire a home inspector to review every detail of your home. Their goal: to try to find issues that can be used to renegotiate the asking price in their favor.

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Instead of waiting to see what the buyer’s home inspector finds, engage Först Consulting Group to perform a private in-depth pre-sale inspection of your home. This is especially important when you have performed your own improvements.

Först will:

·        Check for code compliance
·        Examine for construction issues
·        Inspect HVAC and electrical systems, kitchen areas and fireplaces
·        Search for items that could affect the sale of your home

Först Consulting Group is not your normal residential home inspection; rather, we’re experts in construction, having run our own construction company (novacustombuilder.com) for many years before becoming construction consultants. So we know what to look for.

We perform a site walk-through that can take from one hour to several hours for a single room, and from several hours to several days for a whole-house inspection (depending on the size of the home) to uncover any and every potential issue.

Complete Reports Provided

Following our inspection, you will be provided with a highly-detailed report of our findings that will list what we found, and methods and estimated costs and materials lists for remediating the issue. With this in hand, the negotiating power is in your corner.

Stucco Inspection

Water trapped invisibly behind stucco can create a myriad of problems for a homeowner and literally eat away at a home’s structure from the inside out. This can lead to expensive repairs or unhealthy mold issues both inside and outside the home.

A normal house inspection will visually inspect stucco for any signs of visual defects. A Först Consulting Group stucco inspection takes it a step further, to perform more invasive and thorough testing, specifically looking for moisture intrusion. This is especially important in climates where humidity levels are high.

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Reliability and durability depend a lot on how the stucco was installed. Each layer must be applied correctly. Unfortunately, incorrect installation may not present itself until years later when symptoms arise. Water can permeate bad stucco or become trapped between layers or behind it, offering no way to escape or “breathe.” The water has no place to go except into interior walls, framing or finishes.

Stucco can present with a number of problems stemming from installation errors or water intrusion. They can include:

·        Cracks
·        Buckles, blistering and peeling
·        Mold
·        Contaminant stains
·        Weeping stains beneath window exteriors

Först Consulting Group inspects stucco for correct installation, flashing, ventilation and drainage, along with seals around doors and windows using infrared detection with our thermal imaging cameras and digital probe moisture meters.

Following our inspection, Först provides a complete written report of your stucco’s performance, malfunctions, moisture intrusions, energy losses, and any structural damage, along with detailed pictures to document problem areas.