The Home Inspector | Star Tribune

The Home Inspector

Reuben Saltzman is a second-generation home inspector with a passion for his work. Naturally, this blog is all about home inspections and home-related topics in the Twin Cities metro area. In addition to working at Structure Tech, he is also a licensed Truth-In-Sale of Housing Evaluator in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and several other cities.


Air admittance valves

Air admittance valves are mechanical devices that take the place of plumbing vents. They're inexpensive, they work, and they're not legal in Minnesota.


Plumbing Vents, Why Houses Need Them (forget the water bottle analogy)

Plumbing vents protect plumbing traps. They don't make fixtures drain faster; in fact, they do the opposite.


Plumbing Traps

A plumbing trap prevents sewer gas from entering your home. At least, that's what it's supposed to do.


Sewer inspections: old homes or all homes?

Are sewer inspections a good idea for old houses, or all houses? If you had asked me this question a few years ago, I would have told you old houses.


Gas appliance connectors

Gas appliance connectors aren't the same as gas piping. Gas appliance connectors are devices that connect gas appliancestogas piping.


Gas appliance categories

Do gas appliance categories matter? To anyone installing or inspecting these units, yes. This is important stuff to be aware of. As a home inspector...


Are re-inspections necessary?

When a home buyer asks a seller to make repairs to a property after a home inspection, how do the repairs get verified? Dothey get verified?


Does the seller need to fix this?

Does the seller need to fix this? This is a common question we're asked when we find defects at houses that we inspect, and the answer is always no.


Hot circuit breakers and dimmer switches

I recently had a home inspector ask me how hot is too hot when it comes to circuit breakers and switches.


How to replace a shutoff valve the easy way: use a SharkBite®

Leaking shutoff valve at your sink or toilet? The repair can sometimes be a quick and easy process, thanks to SharkBite® fittings.


Fire separation between the garage and house; don't say firewall

The separation between a garage and a house is commonly referred to as a firewall, but it's not accurate. It should be called a fire separation wall.


The Structure Tech training process

I get a lot of training questions from aspiring home inspectors about how to get into this business and how to get trained. I have some advice to share.


A short interview with Reuben about becoming a home inspector

I recently typed out answers to several interview questions for a book that will be part of a series titledCareers in the Building Trades-A Growing Demand.


Egress requirements and the two-opening myth

There has to be a large group of home inspector trainers who tell home inspectors that every bedroom needs two methods of egress.


Water in sub-slab ductwork

In last week's blog post on transiteheat, I explained that most sub-slab ductwork isnot transite. If it really is transite, it contains asbestos.


Transite vs. sub-slab ducts

Most sub-slab ductwork installed in Minnesota is not transite ductwork, and shouldn't be labeled as such. Transite contains asbestos.


Consumers' Checkbook response

We've seen the exact same concerning article from Consumers' Checkbook pop up in seven different areas of the country.


Guards that make a ladder

Is it wrong to have a stairway or deck guardrail constructed with horizontal balusters or cables that could be climbed like a ladder?


Home inspection report summary: yes or no?

I'm blown away by the number of home inspectors who don't believe in a report summary... but maybe this is the right way to do it.


Flashlight review: Fenix TK72R

The Fenix TK72R is the most powerful flashlight I've ever tested, and it gives off way more light than any home inspector could ever need.