Category Archives: builders

Washington building industry to recover by end of 2012.

Our Wenatchee home inspection company is a member of the North Central Home Builders Association.  In the May/June issue of the Building Industry Association of Washington’s Building Insight Newsletter they included the chart below.  The green states show the best recovery predicted from 18 months from now.  These are promising numbers.  It is careful to note that the building demand may return but the cost of building may also increase.  With many out-of-work skilled laborers finding different jobs and mills shutting down during this construction lull the labor and materials may be in short supply and thus increasing the cost of new homes.  Those that are able to make investments right now are in a fine position to get the best deals.

Wenatchee Home Inspections

Source: BIAW Building Insight May/June 2011

Homeowner Tax Guide: Get All Your Deductions!

In a time where buyers are cautious and are really weighing out all the benefits of home ownership here are some considerations for tax season. Several tax deductions and credits are providing relief to homeowners and making them very proud of their investment decision. Deducting mortgage interest, home equity debt, capital gains on home sales and taking advantage of energy conservation credits are just a few of the tax season benefits that homeowners can cash in on. Do you have a home office? There’s another one. Most of our monthly home loan payment is interest and you can deduct every bit of it. Only those folks with a loan of $1,000,000+ receive a cap on this deduction.

Stephanie Singer, a Realtors.org contributor wrote about this topic in Tax Time Less Taxing for Home Owners. She said that, “ninety-one percent of homeowners who claim the mortgage interest deduction earn less than $200,000 a year, and the ability to deduct the interest paid on a mortgage can mean significant savings at tax time. For example, a family who bought a home in 2010 with a $200,000, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, assuming an interest rate of 4.5 percent, could save nearly $3,500 in federal taxes when they file this year.”

We found a great resource from Kiplinger.com. They have listed all the deductions for homeowners at “What’s Deductible? – A to Z.” Check it out to make sure that you’re getting the most deductions as a homeowner. We use a skilled accountant in Wenatchee to guide us through our own tax deductions. We suggest that you hire a recommended accounting professional to point out these important opportunities for you.

Wenatchee Fire Chief Applies For Smoke Detector Grants

This week I attended a North Central Home Builders Association dinner in Wenatchee, Washington.  One of the speakers was Mark Yaple, the Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Wenatchee.  He talked about the number one problem that causes a total loss in a house fire– a faulty or absent smoke detector.  Since 1995 building code has required homes to have hardwired smoke detector alarms with battery backup.  Yaple is concerned about the homes built before 1995.  He has taken it upon himself to provide smoke detectors to any home in the city of Wenatchee that needs one.

State Farm Insurance gave him a $5,000 grant to purchase battery operated smoke detectors.  With the help of a Red Cross volunteer and driving his fire truck he went door to door inspecting smoke detectors and installing  new ones where needed.  He advertised his free service to the public and received many calls from elderly people that were not able to deal with the problem themselves.  His goal is to receive more money and continue his good work.  He has applied for more grants from State Farm and the Federal Government and hopes to receive up to $27,000  to purchase detectors.  Obviously, new construction homes are not entitled to his program because they would not meet the code adopted in 1995.  If you would like to volunteer with Yaple to install smoke detectors contact him at the City of Wenatchee.  He could use our help!

Home Show in Wenatchee: Feb. 11-13th

Home Show Wenatchee Town Toyota CenterEvery year the NCHBA or North Central Home Builders Association produces a spectacular home show in Wenatchee, Washington.  There’s a little something for everyone whether you are interested in remodeling, decorating, building, buying or selling a home…they’ve got all the experts there for your questions!  Here’s some info from their website.  Download this COUPON for $1 off admission:

This year, we have a lot of new things going on and are very excited to “get the Show on the road”! The Kid’s Zone by Lowe’s is going to be fantastic this year. Not only will the kids be able to build their own project with a professional from Lowe’s, they can go on a scavenger hunt with their parents or enjoy FREE ice skating on Friday and Saturday. So, if you have kids that are 12 and under, make sure to take them to the Kids Zone by Lowe’s, located in the Crunch-Pak Hospitality Room on the the main floor of the Town Toyota Center!  Workshops and How-to’s that you WON’T want to miss! Come and see what the Master Gardeners have to demonstrate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the show!   Be one of the first 250 attendees on Saturday and Sunday and receive a special Home Show Entrance Bag! These bags will be filled with small gifts, specials and discount coupons from participating sponsors and vendors! These bags will also come in very handy when you need a place to stow away other information and items you gather!  There will be additional event parking available for attendees across the street at Walla Walla Point Park, both parking lots, as well as at Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. Many thanks to Lowe’s for generously allowing our Home Show attendees to use half of their parking lot for our event!

Hot Water Heaters Expansion Tanks, what do they really do?

Thermal expansion of water in a closed plumbing system can create a number of annoying and potentially dangerous problems. These include: unusually high pressure in a system, pressure surges, and the chronic or continuous dripping of a temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve. In addition, dripping faucets and leaking toilet tank ball cock fill valves are also symptomatic of thermal expansion.   More serious problems can also occur due to thermal expansion. When dangerous pressures are built up in a water heater, internal parts may fail such as the internal flues, fittings or water connections. If a flue way collapses it can lead to the potential release of toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide into living spaces.

Virtually, every modern plumbing code requires the installation of an expansion tank on hot water heater installations. The reason is simple. Water expands when heated. This extra volume of water needs to go somewhere. Before the widespread usage of backflow preventers, check valves and pressure reducing valves, this expanded water simply pushed the cold water back into the city water main. Now with these devices required in new construction and most permitted remodels we have successfully closed this system.

Where does the pressure to go?

Expansion tanks are really simple devices. They contain compressed air and a special rubber bladder. When your hot water heater turns on, the water within your piping system begins to expand. This expanding water slowly enters the expansion tank as the water is brought to temperature. Eventually, hot water is drawn from the system thru a faucet and the expansion tank releases the extra water into the piping system.

The installation of an expansion tank is a simple upgrade for any hot water systems.  There are some things you need to know before running out and purchasing your unit such as existing water pressures, capacity of the hot water tank, and ensuring the unit you purchase is for potable water systems.   I always recommend working with a licensed plumbing contractor.

Seattle Home Show Oct. 8-10. Are you going?

seattle home showThe 12th annual “Seattle Home Show 2” is coming up Oct. 8-10th.  Are you going?  It seems like a great deal for interested parties.  It’s just $10 with exposure to hundreds of home and garden product displays.  They’ll also have cooking demos, wine tasting and speakers like nationally-known Joey Green, guru of weird uses for brand-name products and Brian Santos “The Wall Wizard” sharing his painting expertise.  With an online ticket purchase you receive free parking.  All tickets come with a 1 year subscription to Better Homes and Gardens magazine and a second day pass in case you can’t fit it all in the first day.  I thought about advertising at this event, but wasn’t sure how it sized up to Annual Seattle Home Show in the winter– running now for 67 years.  Your thoughts?

Wenatchee – Leavenworth Tour of Homes Sept. 16-19

wenatchee home inspectionTomorrow will start the North Central Home Builder Association’s annual Tour of Homes with 8 homes throughout Leavenworth, Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. You’ll get a little bit of everything in Central Washington from a grand home in the heart of the Bavarian-themed ski retreat town to an energy-efficient Energy Star home in the Apple Capital. AMS Inspection Services is a member of the NCHBA and will be helping on the tour so stop by and see us!

Details and Tickets HERE