Category Archives: redmond

July 4th Celebrations in the Greater Seattle Area

By: Rebecca Darley, AMS Inspection:  Home Inspections in Seattle and surrounding areas.

Seattle:  Family Fourth at Lake Union

July 4: Gas Works Park.  Games 12-8 p.m. Food vendors, beer garden, personal picnics OK, no BBQ or alcohol allowed. Fireworks at dusk. (www.family4th.org).

Bellevue Family 4th

July 4: Celebration with live music, kids activities and food 4-10:30 p.m. Fireworks at 10:05 p.m. Bellevue Downtown Park (www.bellevuedowntown.org/events/familyfourth).

Kirkland:  Celebrate Kirkland

July 4:  Kid parade, hat making and face painting at 10 a.m.  Main parade at 12 p.m.  Food vendors 1-5 p.m..  Bouncy Toys 2 p.m.  Heritage Park live music in the evening.  Fireworks at 10:15 p.m. Marina Park (www.celebratekirkland.org).

Sammamish:  4th on the Plateau

July 4: Live music, food, playground.  Fireworks at 10:15 p.m.  Sammamish Commons Park (www.ci.sammamish.wa.us/events/4thJuly.aspx).

Carnation: Fourth of July

July 4: Craft vendors, Hot Rods and Harleys, 5K Run/Walk, music, food, pony rides and bouncy toys.  Kid Parade at 10:30 a.m.  Grand parade 11 a.m.  Fireworks at dusk..  Tolt Commons Park (www.carnation4th.org).

Renton: Fabulous 4th of July

July 4:  Free kids activities, food vendors, face painting, 12-8 p.m. Stage entertainment 1:30-9:30 p.m. Fireworks at 10 p.m. Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park (rentonwa.gov).

An Edmonds Kind of Fourth

July 4:  Fun run at 10 a.m.  Children’s parade at 11:30 a.m. and main parade at 12 p.m.  Firefighter waterball competition at 3 p.m.  Entertainment at 7:30 p.m.  Fireworks at 10 p.m. Civic Stadium (www.edmondswa.com/events/fourth-of-july.html).

Bothell Freedom Festival

July 4:  Free pancake breakfast at 8:30-10:30 a.m.  Kids parade at 11:15 a.m. Main parade at 12 p.m. (www.ci.bothell.wa.us).

Everett’s Colors of Freedom

July 4: Parade at 11 a.m.  Kids activities, food fair, live music and fireworks over Port Gardner Bay, 1-11 p.m.. Legion Memorial Park (www.enjoyeverett.org).

For a more complete list Puget Sound July 4th Celebrations read the Seattle Times article that was sourced.

Closing Costs Calculator for the Washington Home Buyer

We perform home inspections in about 10 counties throughout Washington from Seattle to Wenatchee.  Occasionally our clients call to book an inspection and are still a little confused about the inspection cost– who pays it, how much it is, etc.  We did a little internet search and found a few closing cost calculators that may help the potential home buyer.  The calculator we are sharing seems to have the most descriptions of the costs, but will only give you a rough idea since the costs are only estimations.  For example, they estimate the cost of an inspection at $175, but our inspections start at $275…this is standard for a single family home.  Condos may be less.  Also, the appraisal fee usually starts around $300.  A loan application fee will be added to the credit report for a combined fee of $75-$300.  With all this in mind you can use the calculator to get an idea of the added costs associated with buying a home.  If you have a good agent to walk you through the buying process then you won’t be blindsided with these costs.  They can also help you negotiate fees that may be shared with the seller.

Closing Costs Calculator from Mortgage-Investments.com

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.

The Ferry: My Weekend Office

Weekends are always very busy for home inspectors.  Buyers like to be present for their inspections (and we like that too!), so usually that means we work Saturday and Sunday.  I had a really busy weekend and was driving all over the Puget Sound area from Port Orchard to Seattle, Redmond, Bellevue and Kirkland.  I decided to take the ferry from one appointment to the next and was so happy with my decision.  I was able to setup my computer at a table and have an ocean view office while commuting to the next inspection site.  I probably would have spent the same $12 on gas driving around too.  Multi-tasking made simple via WA State Ferry.