Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Engineer in Hell

An engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, “Ah, you’re an engineer — you’re in the wrong place.”

So, the engineer reports to the gates of hell and is let in. Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in hell, and starts designing and building improvements. After awhile, they’ve got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and the engineer is a pretty popular guy.

One day, God calls Satan up on the telephone and says with a sneer, “So, how’s it going down there in hell?”

Satan replies, “Hey, things are going great. We’ve got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there’s no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next.”

God replies, “What??? You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake — he should never have gotten down there; send him up here.”

Satan says, “No way. I like having an engineer on the staff, and I’m keeping him.”

God says, “Send him back up here or I’ll sue.”

Satan laughs uproariously and answers, “Yeah, right. And just where are YOU going to get a lawyer?”

Ten Things You Don’t Know About the Texas Inspector

Aug 29, 13 • News

  1. The Texas Inspector (dba Aaron Miller) is a former residential remodeling contractor and custom home builder. For 20 years he constructed and renovated homes and light commercial buildings in the North Central Texas area. 
  2. The Texas Inspector, Aaron D. Miller, ACI, CEI, CMI, CPI, CRI, MTI, RCI  is the most certified residential inspector in North Central Texas.
    1. International Code Council (ICC) Residential Combination Inspector 5082671-R5
    2. International Code Council (ICC) Residential Building Inspector 5082671-B1
    3. International Code Council (ICC) Residential Electrical Inspector 5082671-E1
    4. International Code Council (ICC) Residential Mechanical Inspector 5082671-M1
    5. International Code Council (ICC) Residential Plumbing Inspector 5082671-P1
    6. American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Certified Inspector No. 203652
    7. National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI) Certified Real Estate Inspector, CRI 200353
    8. International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (INACHI), Certified Professional Inspector No. NACHI05060294
    9. Master Inspector Certification Board, Certified Master Inspector
    10. Texas Association of Real Estate Inspectors, Advanced Inspector, Emeritus
    11. Texas Professional Real Estate Inspectors Association (TPREIA) Master TPREIA Inspector (MTI)
    12. Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) Professional Inspector 4336
    13. Texas Department of Agriculture, Structural Pest Control Service Registered Business No. 11379
    14. Texas Department of Agriculture, Structural Pest Control Service Certified Applicator No. 40247
    15. HUD 203K Consultant D0981
    16. Exterior Design Institute (EDI/EIMA) EIFS Third Party Inspector and Moisture Analyst (CEI) MA TX-29
    17. Post-Tensioning Institute Level One Certificate for Unbonded Prestreesed Post-Tensioned Concrete Installer No. 320054833
    18. CertainTeed® Master Shingle Applicator
    19. Building Officials Association of Texas (BOAT)
    20. Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC), Registered Builder No. 16229
    21. Texas Residential Construction Commission (TRCC), Registered State Third-Party Dispute Resolution Inspector No. 1350
    22. City of Garland, Texas Building and Fire Codes Board Member
    23. Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) Inspector Core Instructor, Texas Standards of Practice/Legal/Ethics Update, ICE Electives
    24. International Distance Education Certification Center, Certified Distance Education Instructor (CDEI) 67923
    25. McKissock Education, LP, Instructor of Record for the State of Texas
  3. The Texas Inspector has been a full-time Texas home inspector for more than 16 years. Working 60-hour weeks brings that near a total of 45,000 hours on the job, allowing for the occasional vacation. No matter which of the prevailing theories regarding what it takes to achieve expertise, i.e. 10,000 hours vs. 10 years, Aaron has achieved expertise in spades.
  4. The Texas Inspector is a cabinet maker by trade. Attention to detail is the hallmark of any cabinet maker. That same concentrated focus is applied to each inspection performed.
  5. The Texas Inspector is a true consumer advocate. In his signature exceedingly plainspoken style, he tells it exactly like it is regardless of the consequences. When spending multiple hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars on a home, who needs BS? This has often gotten him into hot water with his licensing and certification agencies who find that too much truth being spoken about their industries is not good for business. The Texas Inspector is your advocate and the only one watching your back in the home buying process.
  6. The Texas Inspector has won the prestigious Angie’s List Super Service Award every year since 2007 and is slated to win it again this year. The people have spoken, and that says it all.
  7. The Texas Inspector has more than 10,000 satisfied clients (with a couple, OK maybe a few more, exceptions).
  8. The Texas Inspector does not cater to builders or their agents, or real estate agents.
  9. The Texas Inspector uses the most up-to-date technology during home inspections to include special investigative cameras, precision altimeters, moisture meters, et al.
  10. He presently lives in Garland, TX, with his wife over 30 years, cats, a koi pond in the midst of a small forest garden, and a couple of thousand books.

What Does Code Certification Entail?

Aug 21, 13 • Building Codes, News

When you are buying or selling a house you will hear a lot of discussion about the building codes. Many homeowners are unclear as to what the significance of these codes is. That uncertainty extends to home builders and real estate professionals as well. So, let’s take a minute to discuss these.

Builders and real estate agents often mistakenly think (and sometimes deceitfully espouse) that the codes are in place to insure quality construction. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Simply put, building codes are the worst that you can build a building by law. You read that right. Building a building strictly to the codes, and not more, will not guarantee a durable, high quality building. The codes only seek to insure that a building is reasonably safe.

Most home buyers expect homes that have greater durability, performance, and quality than the building codes alone dictate in their minimum requirements. Contrast that with the fact that home builders are only required to build to the minimal requirements of the codes and the municipal inspectors inspect for compliance only with these minimal codes. This is the point at which the proverbial stuff hits the fan.

Let’s go a bit further down the rabbit hole, shall we? The Texas Real Estate Commission licenses home inspectors. They not only do not require that these licensed inspectors know anything about the building codes, they specifically exclude any requirement for such knowledge in their published standards of practice for professional inspectors.

Now let’s put this in perspective, if we can. Homeowners expect and demand quality, durable homes. The municipalities and their inspectors only require that the builders build to the bare minimum standards, insuring neither quality nor durability. The independent inspectors the state of Texas foists upon the homeowners are not even required to be familiar with the minimal requirements. What’s wrong with this picture?

Your only hope in assuring a safe, well-constructed home is to hire a professional inspector who is certified in the building codes and has extensive home construction experience. Code certification consists of becoming intimately familiar with the massive amount of information contained in the building codes, sitting for a battery of examinations, and then maintaining proficiency in this knowledge by continuing education.

The International Residential Code is a 904-page volume which contains an extensive list of referenced standards.

The International Building Code is a 690-page volume which also contains an extensive list of referenced standards.

The National Electrical Code, NFPA 70, is an 870-page volume which also contains an extensive list of referenced standards (see Annex A, Product Safety Standards).

These are the core references any inspector of new or existing homes must be intimately familiar with in order to achieve and maintain competence as an inspector.

And, did I mention that each of these codes is significantly rewritten every three years? Hence the requirement to constantly study the codes in order to maintain certification. 

In short, if your inspector is not code certified he is unable to perform a competent inspection.