Category Archives: Uncategorized

The “Savvy” Homeowner – Chimney Repair

Chimney repair – certainly not a DIY job, in the majority of cases.  IMO, the only thing a homeowner should be doing is punching in a phone # on their cell phones for a chimney professional, especially if the chimney is masonry.  Of course, there’s always going to be “that guy.” You know, the one who insists on doing it all.  A MacGyver mentality. Saves the money. Defines macho.

Enter the Savvy Homeowner.

Problem: Masonry chimney has a hole that needs filled because there’s a new furnace that doesn’t need to vent into it anymore.  Additionally, the bricks and mortar are deteriorated from moisture due to your savvy rooftop repairs.

Savvy homeowner answer: Duct tape.  Lots of duct tape. Enough layers will seal off those dangerous water heater gases from entering the building envelope.  It also helps hold all the deteriorated masonry together.

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Everyone with half a brain knows magical flex tape should have been used instead 😉



Buying a house that you think may contain some “savvy” homeowner workmanship/repairs/contraptions? 

Call 419-782-8924 or visit 

24-104638-jpeg-t104638ASPEC Residential Services, LLC – Northwest Ohio Home Inspections


Josh Frederick, CPI®






The REAL Spiderman

Peter Parker? Don’t think so. The true Web-Crawler can be found traipsing underneath homes throughout Defiance and Northwest Ohio. Does whatever a spider can (except swinging between buildings).


The real Web-Head

-Compliments of Your Friendly Neighborhood Home Inspector cropped-24-104638-jpeg-t104638.jpg

The Savvy Homeowner

Each post in this blog series will feature tips or tricks from the “more-than-just-ordinary” homeowner, the Savvy homeowner.  The Savvy homeowner is one who’s creative…different….special.  Always thinking outside the box.  Always wanting to save money, by not hiring those crooked, expensive contractors. Savvy homeowners are frugal homeowners.  Their brilliant minds often corrupted with social media posts along with the ever-so-far-from-reality TV shows (they always make it looks so easy and fun, don’t they?) The Savvy Homeowner is full of faith – they believe in themselves, and the idea that anyone can do home repairs and improvements with a Home Depot ‘Let’s do this’ attitude, a “sleeves rolled up” look, and “anything can be done with a little elbow grease” mentality. And they always have friends or family to support their cause and help them to get those daunting, bigger home repairs and tasks completed. A high-five support network, if you will. There’s also always backup or the ultimate help: a super-handy Uncle who won’t take your money, but will happily accept payment in the form of Pabst (6, 12 , or 24 packs, depending on the job) to help shingle the roof or to wire up the hot tub.

Hire expensive professionals to do the job?  No way. Not for the Savvy Homeowner.  Not when there’s duct tape, spray foam, multiple types of caulking, and buckets of roofing tar for sale at the big box home improvement store.


They simply know how to save time and money.

They git er’ dun. Their way.  The only way.


Josh Frederick is a Home Inspector in Defiance, Ohio and frolics throughout Defiance,


The look, when in the presence of genuine savviness

Napoleon, Bryan and all of the surrounding areas in Northwest Ohio. He has extensive knowledge and training in identifying the works and practices of the Savvy Homeowner.  He sees and experiences these less-than-professional practices, amusing attempts, SMH travesties, WTH contraptions,  “Give me a break”  situations, Are you kidding me? ideas, Am I dreaming? endeavors, & failed aspirations on a daily, monthly, and yearly basis.  In fact, the Savvy Homeowner, often gets him thinking on how he maybe should have taken a different career path, like an accountant or pool cleaner. It is what it is though, and in the grand scheme of things, the Savvy Homeowner ensures that he has work and can put food on the family table.


Buying a house that you think may contain some savvy workmanship/repairs/contraptions? Contact 24-104638-jpeg-t104638ASPEC Residential Services, LLC – Northwest Ohio Home Inspections – the “savvy homeowner specialists.”



Why Get a Home Inspection If You’re Buying “As Is”?

Some sellers – often, those working without an agent – want to sell their home “as is” so they don’t have to invest money fixing it up or take on any potential liability for defects.  There is nothing wrong with buying a home “as is,” particularly if you can buy it at a favorable price, but if you are considering buying an “as is” home, you should still hire a competent and professional home inspector to perform an inspection.  There are several reasons for this.

First, you don’t know what “as is” is, unless, of course, it looks like this:


In all seriousness, sure you can probably walk through the home and get an idea of its general condition.  You may even spot some defects, conditions, or items in obvious need of repair or “TLC” (as these properties are often advertised.)  Please understand though, and let me unequivocally assure you – you won’t obtain the same detailed information you will receive if you hire ASPEC for your home inspection.  I am trained to look for things you are not likely to notice.


As if “as is” is written in stone for every possible condition and concern

Being an InterNACHI home inspector, I must follow InterNACHI’s Residential Standards of Practice and check the roof, exterior, interior, foundation, basement, fireplace, attic, insulation, ventilation, doors, windows, heating and cooling system, plumbing system, and electrical system for certain defects.  Armed with our detailed report, you will have a much better and clearer idea of what “as is” means regarding that home, which means you’ll be in a better position to know whether you want to buy it.  You may also be able to use information from the home inspection to negotiate a lower price, regardless if the “as is” catchall moniker keeps getting thrown at you.

Second, the state of Ohio requires the seller to provide you with a written disclosure about the condition of the property.  Sellers often provide little information, and a few even lie.  A home inspection can provide the missing information. If there is evidence that a seller concealed information or lied to you, that may be a sign that you don’t want to buy a home from that seller.

Finally, if you buy a home “as is” without hiring a home inspector and then later discover a defect, all is not lost.  A home inspector may be able to review the seller’s disclosure and testify as to what the seller knew or should have known about.  The inspector may find evidence that the seller made misrepresentations or concealed relevant information from you.  Even the seller of an “as is” home may be held liable for misrepresentation or concealment.

But the better choice, obviously, is to hire a home inspector first.  Remember:  The cost of a home inspection is a pittance compared to the price of the home.  Be an informed consumer, especially when buying an “as is” home, and hire your Defiance and Northwest Ohio InterNACHI Certified Professional Inspector®, Joshua L. Frederick.

Article by Mark Cohen, J.D., LL.M., InterNACHI General Counsel,
Nick Gromicko, InterNACHI Founder, and Joshua L. Frederick, CPI®


Your Defiance & NW Ohio Home Inspector

Soaring temperatures – Maintaining your AC system

It’s been a brutally warm summer so far throughout Northwest Ohio. During these times, nothing works harder than your AC. Make sure you’re checking/maintaining them to avoid any surprises. Here’s a few helpful suggestion to keep your system running at peak performance:
  • Ensure the duct taping and plastic visqueen is secure/intact to avoid any wasted            energy.
  • Make sure the extension cords are all well secured and not showing signs of overheating.
  • Look over the 2 x 4 supporting structure to make sure it’s solid and that there are no loose/broken drywall screws.
  • Make sure the kitty litter drip pan is not full of water and the condensate pump is working properly.
  • If you can find the filter, replace it every month.
These simple, proactive tips will ensure you and your family are kept cool and comfortable during these scorching summer days.Homemade AC

Galvanized Steel Piping

New Home Base Logo edited for web

Galvanized water and/or drain lines have a typical life expectancy of 40 – 60 years.  Galvanized piping was typically installed in Northwest Ohio homes up until 1960 or so. The interior surfaces of this pipe corrodes over time and the buildup reduces the water flow/drainage or the pipe will simply rust/corrode through and leak, especially at joints. Sometimes it is difficult to run multiple fixtures or the drainage will become noticeably slower. If there is any galvanized piping found during your home inspection, it would be prudent to budget for replacement. If there are signs of leaks, corrosion, or reduced pressure or drainage, it should be replaced with plastic or copper. Please note that if the main water line from the street is galvanized, this is the homeowner’s responsibility and will involve a significantly higher replacement cost.  Please also note that softening the water typically extends the life of galvanized piping and hard water deteriorates it much quicker.                                                                                                 galvinized steel pipe leak2


Example of a galvanized water line from the street to home

Youtube video of galvanized steel piping


















Anti-Tip Brackets for Freestanding Ranges

New Home Base Logo edited for web

Anti-tip brackets are metal devices designed to prevent freestanding ranges from tipping. They are normally attached to a rear leg of the range or screwed into the wall behind the range, and are included in all installation kits. A unit that is not equipped with these devices may tip over if enough weight is applied to its open door, such as that from a large Thanksgiving turkey, or even a small child. A falling range can crush, scald, or burn anyone caught beneath.

Bracket Inspection

You can confirm the presence of anti-tip brackets through the following methods:

  • It may be possible to see a wall-mounted bracket by looking over the rear of the range. Floor-mounted brackets are often hidden, although in some models with removable drawers, such as 30-inch electric ranges made by General Electric, the drawers can be removed and a flashlight can be used to search for the bracket. You should beware that a visual confirmation does not guarantee that the bracket has been properly installed.
  • You can firmly grip the upper-rear section of the range and tip the unit. If equipped
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    Anti-tip bracket example

    with an anti-tip bracket, the unit will not tip more than several inches before coming to a halt. The range should be turned off, and all items should be removed from the stovetop before this action can be performed. It is usually easier to detect a bracket by tipping the range than through a visual search. This test can be performed on all models and it can confirm the functionality of a bracket.

If you wish to install a bracket yourself, the part can be purchased at most hardware stores or ordered from a manufacturer. General Electric will send their customers an anti-tip bracket for free.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 143 incidents caused by range tip-overs from 1980 to 2006. Of the 33 incidents that resulted in death, most of those victims were children. A small child may stand on an open range door in order to see what is cooking on the stovetop and accidentally cause the entire unit to fall on top of him, along with whatever hot items may have been cooking on the stovetop. The elderly, too, may be injured while using the range for support while cleaning.

Anti tip

Warning label on oven doors

In response to this danger, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) created standards in 1991 that require all ranges manufactured after that year to be capable of remaining stable while supporting 250 pounds of weight on their open doors. Manufacturers’ instructions, too, require that anti-tip brackets provided be installed. Despite these warnings, retailer Sears estimated in 1999 that a mere 5% of the gas and electric units they sold were ever equipped with anti-tip brackets. As a result of Sears’ failure to comply with safety regulations, they were sued and subsequently required to secure ranges in nearly 4 million homes, a measure that has been speculated to have cost Sears as much as $500 million.

In summary, ranges are susceptible to tipping if they are not equipped with anti-tip brackets and should be installed for enhanced safety, especially if young children occupy or visit the property.

Article by Nick Gromicko, Joshua Frederick, and Kenton Shepard