Why is It Important to Have Our Homes Inspected?

Home inspections come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Now, what we mean by that is that there are several different types of inspections you can have done on your home that will be of great value to you. Owning a home is very rewarding, but it does come with many difficult tasks to tackle. One of the most important things you can do for your home is have everything checked out by a professional home inspector.

Home inspection service

Sometimes We Can’t See the Problem with Our Own Eyes

Sometimes as homeowners, we can miss things around our house that might be a problem. A house can have underlying issues before we even move into them. It’s important that a home inspector inspects it before you buy the home.

Problems can arise without us knowing. Foundation issues, roofing problems, mold, etc. can all be issues that we may not see with our own eyes right away. Home inspections can help discover these issues and solve them by giving clear resolutions that could save you money and save your home.

What is a Home Inspection?

Well, home inspections can be conducted in a general sense, but usually, home inspections cover a variety of things. If you need to cover your entire home, home inspections can consist of:

  • Roof Inspections
  • Structural Inspections
  • Mechanical Inspections
  • Foundation Inspections
  • Asbestos Inspections
  • Mold & Mildew Inspections
  • Radon and Lead Inspections
  • And More!

Energy Audits Help to Save Money

One of the most important things you can have done besides home inspection services is an energy audit. This can help you determine how you’re using your energy.

At First Choice Inspectors, we have the ability to perform a variety of home inspection services for your home. If you’re buying a new home or are in need of an updated home inspection, contact us at 773-429-9711 today or visit us online for more information!

Protecting Your Investment: The Long-Term Benefits of Home Inspections

Buying a home is a significant investment, and it’s crucial to ensure that you’re making a sound financial decision. One essential step in the home buying process is a comprehensive home inspection. While inspections may seem like an additional expense, they offer long-term benefits that far outweigh the upfront cost.

Home inspector working at a home

Uncovering Potential Issues

A thorough home inspection conducted by a qualified professional can reveal hidden problems that may not be apparent during a simple walkthrough. From structural issues to electrical and plumbing concerns, an inspector can identify potential problems that could lead to expensive repairs down the line. Identifying these issues before finalizing the purchase allows you to negotiate repairs or reconsider your investment.

Negotiation Power

A detailed inspection report provides you with valuable information to negotiate with the seller. If significant issues are discovered, you can request repairs or a price reduction to cover the cost of future repairs. The inspection report becomes a powerful tool in ensuring that you are getting a fair deal and protecting your investment.

Planning for Future Expenses

Even if the inspection doesn’t reveal any major issues, it still provides you with a comprehensive overview of the property’s condition. This knowledge allows you to plan for future expenses and budget accordingly. Understanding the lifespan of major components such as the roof, HVAC system, or appliances helps you anticipate replacements or repairs, ensuring you are financially prepared.

Avoiding Costly Surprises

Imagine moving into your new home only to discover a leaking roof or a faulty electrical system. Such surprises can be financially devastating. A home inspection acts as a preventive measure, helping you avoid these unexpected expenses. By addressing any issues before closing the deal, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re making a well-informed investment.

Safety and Health Considerations

A home inspection not only focuses on the structural aspects of the property but also evaluates potential safety hazards. Inspectors can identify issues such as mold, asbestos, radon, or carbon monoxide, which can have severe health implications. By addressing these concerns upfront, you ensure the safety and well-being of your family.

Compliance and Legal Requirements: Certain renovations or additions made to a property may not comply with local building codes or regulations. A home inspection can identify any such non-compliance issues, helping you avoid potential fines or legal complications. Additionally, it provides you with an opportunity to rectify any non-compliant areas and bring the property up to code.

Peace of Mind

Perhaps the most significant benefit of a home inspection is the peace of mind it offers. By having a professional assess the property, you gain confidence in your investment. You can move into your new home with the assurance that you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your financial interests and the well-being of your family.

Contact First Choice Inspectors at 773-429-9711 today or visit us online for more information about our home inspection services.


What to Know About Radon Testing: Protecting Your Family’s Health

Introduction: When it comes to the safety and well-being of your family, there are many factors to consider, including the invisible threats that may exist within your home. One such threat is radon, a colorless, odorless gas that can seep into homes and pose serious health risks. In this blog post, we will explore what you need to know about radon testing and how it can help protect your family’s health.

Radon testing for home inspections

Understanding Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is released from the decay of uranium present in rocks and soil. It can enter your home through cracks in the foundation, gaps around pipes, and other openings. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can increase the risk of lung cancer, making it a significant concern for homeowners.

Health Risks of Radon

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. The radioactive particles released by radon gas can be inhaled and damage lung tissue over time. The risk is higher for smokers and individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. It is crucial to be aware of the potential health risks and take proactive measures to mitigate them.

The Importance of Radon Testing

Radon testing is the only way to determine if your home has elevated levels of radon. Testing is simple and cost-effective, and it provides essential information about the radon levels in your living space. By identifying and addressing high radon levels, you can reduce the risk to you and your family’s health.

Radon Mitigation

If high levels of radon are found in your home, mitigation is necessary to reduce exposure and ensure a healthy living environment. Radon mitigation techniques may include sealing cracks in the foundation, installing a radon mitigation system, or improving ventilation. Professional radon mitigation services can assess your specific situation and recommend the most suitable solution.

Radon is a hidden danger that can significantly impact your family’s health. By understanding the risks and taking proactive measures such as radon testing, you can protect your loved ones from potential harm. Don’t wait—take action to safeguard your family’s health and make radon testing a priority.

Contact First Choice Inspectors at 773-429-9711 today or visit us online for more information!


Home Inspections for First-Time Homebuyers: What You Need to Know

Buying your first home is an exciting and monumental milestone in life. It’s a significant investment that requires careful consideration and thorough evaluation. One crucial step in the homebuying process is a home inspection. As a first-time homebuyer, understanding the importance of a home inspection and knowing what to expect can help you make informed decisions and ensure your dream home doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

new home inspections from First Choice Inspectors

The Purpose of a Home Inspection

A home inspection is a comprehensive evaluation of a property’s condition. Its primary purpose is to identify potential issues, defects, or safety concerns that could affect the value, safety, or livability of the home. It provides buyers with a clearer understanding of the property’s current state and helps them make informed decisions.

What Home Inspections Cover

Home inspections typically cover various areas of the property, including the structure, foundation, roof, electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), insulation, and more. The inspector will assess the overall condition of these elements, identify any deficiencies, and provide recommendations for repairs or further assessments.

Hiring a Qualified Home Inspector

Choosing a qualified and experienced home inspector is crucial. Look for licensed professionals who have expertise in residential home inspections. Ask for referrals, read reviews, and ensure they are members of reputable industry associations. A thorough and impartial inspection can provide you with accurate insights and peace of mind.

Attending the Inspection

As a first-time homebuyer, it’s highly recommended to attend the home inspection. Being present during the process allows you to ask questions, learn about the property’s systems, and gain valuable knowledge about its maintenance and upkeep. It also offers an opportunity to address any concerns directly with the inspector.

Understanding the Inspection Report

After the inspection, you will receive a detailed report outlining the inspector’s findings. This report will highlight any issues discovered during the inspection and may include photographs and recommendations for repairs or further evaluations. Take the time to carefully review and understand the report, as it will aid you in negotiations and future maintenance planning.

Potential Outcomes and Negotiations

Based on the inspection report, you may encounter three common scenarios: no major issues, minor issues that can be addressed, or significant issues that warrant further consideration. In the case of major issues, you may negotiate with the seller to address the repairs or request a price reduction to account for the necessary fixes.

If you’re in need of home inspection services for your new home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. Contact First Choice Inspectors at 773-429-9711 today or visit us online for more information!

Benefits of a Home Inspection in the Summer

If you are a potential homeowner that is having a home inspected this summer, you can rest easy knowing you’re in  the best position. Having a home inspected during the summer allows for a home inspection expert to see if there are any issues that may have been hidden during the colder months. Whatever you are hoping to learn from a summer home inspection, you will surely be given the necessary information you need before deciding on purchasing the home.

Worker inspecting AC

The Home’s AC System Can Be Tested

One of the biggest perks of having a home inspected during the summer months is ensuring that the air conditioning system is working correctly. With temperatures being at their peak, you’ll get a good feel for how cool and comfortable the system will be for you. If you were to get the home inspected on a cold and snowy Chicago day, you will not have the luxury of seeing the AC running at peak capacity.

The Deck or Patio Can Be Easily Inspected

As a potential homeowner, you want to make sure all the perks of the home are up to a certain standard. When it comes to things like a finished deck, patio or even a driveway, it may be hard to give them a complete inspection during the winter months. Depending on the date of a winter inspection, the deck or patio can be covered with a layer of deep snow, hiding certain issues.

By having the home inspected during the summer months, your home inspection team will be able to see everything that is right or wrong with these parts of the home. You’ll also get a good feel for what it will be like to hang out on the deck or patio when the sun is shining!

Certain Exposure Issues Can Be Found

Another benefit of having a home inspected during the summer months is being able to see certain exposure issues. A summer home inspection allows an inspection expert to see if there are leaks in the home’s roof caused by ice and heavy snow the previous winter. A summer inspection also shows if there are condensation issues with cold water pipes in the basement due to humidity or the lack of insulation for the piping.

When you are in need of a trusted home inspection team in the Chicago, IL area this summer, we ask that you think of our team at First Choice Inspectors. Call today at 773-429-9711 for an inspection.

Easy Ways to Keep Your Energy Bills Low This Summer

Programmable ThermostatDo your energy bills tend to rise with the temperature? With spring here, your A/C might be working overtime soon once the summer hits to keep your house cool. The good news is, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce your energy bills even during the hottest months of the year.

Unplug Appliances You Aren’t Using

Did you know that many appliances use power when they’re plugged in, even when you aren’t actively using them? Unplug devices that revert to a “sleep” or “standby” mode with they’re not in use, as well as any plugged-in chargers that aren’t charging anything.

Check Your Home’s Insulation

Make sure that any gaps around windows and doors are caulked or weather-stripped, and inspect the insulation in your attic to make sure it isn’t deteriorating. If you live in an older home and you’re not sure when it was last insulated, consider hiring a professional to assess its thermal performance.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Air conditioning is probably the single greatest expense on your electric bill during the summer. A modern programmable thermostat can help to optimize your A/C usage so that it’s not running 24/7. Set the temperature no lower than 78 degrees during the summer—each degree you lower it will add another 4 to 8 percent to your energy bill.

Turn on Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can help minimize your dependence on the A/C by recirculating cool air throughout your home. On average, ceiling fans reduce the temperature in a room by about four degrees.

At First Choice Inspectors, we regularly conduct energy audits that are designed to identify sources of thermal inefficiency and offer suggestions for improvement that can significantly reduce your long-term energy consumption. To get a free quote for your energy audit, give us a call at (773) 429-9711 or contact us online today!

Avoiding a Wet Basement Can Save You Money in the Future

If your home’s foundation is causing you several headaches, it must mean there are major problems with the foundation that need to be fixed right away. It’s essential that your home has a solid foundation, especially when living in colder northern climates that have a stone or concrete foundation and a basement.

Staying on top of house problems will save you money on costly repairs to your basement and foundation.

Wet basement cartoonCauses of Wet Basements

There are plenty of causes to a wet basement, and we want you to be aware of them, so you can find solutions to the problem. If there are heavy rains, the groundwater can seep through floors and foundations.

Your gutters also can factor in if they’re not cleaned out properly. The backup of leaves and other debris will cause gutters to overflow, which means the second-floor gutters will drain into the first-floor gutters.

Landscaping can cause issues if grading is not done right. If water is flowing towards the house, rather than away from it, flooding will occur causing a wet basement and damages.

Mold and Mildew

A basement is a perfect host for mold and mildew if it is damp and contains a large amount of moisture. If you’re having problems with a wet basement, you’ll eventually have more problems when mold and mildew grows from this issue. Adding gutter extensions, repairing footing drains, reshaping the landscaping, cleaning out gutters, and utilizing a dehumidifier will prevent your basement from becoming wet, flooding, and growing mold.

A Home Inspection is Your Best Solution

The number one solution to this issue is obtaining a home inspection from First Choice Inspectors!  Part of the general home inspection includes structural components of the house, including the foundation and basement. We check for everything causing your basement to have problems such as cracks and defects, wet basements, and basement mold and mildew.

If you’re in need of professional experience when it comes to foundation inspections and general home inspections, contact First Choice Inspectors at 773-429-9711 today!

Look Out for Faulty Electrical Wiring in Your Home

Scorched OutletConcerned about DIY or outdated electrical work in your home or a home you’re thinking about buying? Faulty wiring can be expensive to replace and pose serious safety risks to homeowners. Today we’ll address a few telltale signs of bad electrical work to look out for.

Hot Outlets

Although electrical appliances may generate heat when operating, your outlets should never be hot to the touch. The one exception is dimmer switches, which do get warm in the course of normal operation. However, these should never feel uncomfortably hot.

Flickering Lights

No, it’s not a ghost. Flickering lights are a common sign of a loose electrical connection.

Strange Odors

Some new appliances have a noticeable scent when you first plug them in. However, if you notice an odd smell (particularly a burning smell or the smell of ozone) coming from an outlet, immediately unplug all appliances from that outlet and have an electrician check out the problem.

Fuses That Always Blow, or Breakers That Always Trip

Fuses and circuit breakers are designed to prevent overloading by failing when necessary. If you trip a breaker every time you blow dry your hair or turn on the vacuum cleaner, it’s likely the result of inadequate or poorly-installed wiring.

Crackling, Popping or Buzzing From and Outlet

You should never hear noises coming from your outlets. If you do, it could be the result of loose prongs, fraying wire or another electrical issue.


If a fuse box, outlet or breaker panel is sparking, call an electrician ASAP.

A thorough home inspection can help detect faulty electrical work, along with other issues including foundation problems, insulation gaps and more. If you’re in the Chicago area, call First Choice Inspectors at (773) 429-9711 to get your free quote today!

Keep an Eye out for These Common Issues in Old Homes

Old HomeAlthough there are no hard and fast rules for what constitutes an older home, those built before 1920 fall in the antique category. Since Chicago became a city in the mid-1800s, there is a substantial inventory of older homes in the city and surrounding suburbs. As such, it’s not uncommon for prospective buyers to find an older home on the market. It may have a rustic charm, but buyers should be aware of a few common and costly issues associated with these homes.

Lead and Asbestos

Until the 1970s, construction materials commonly included lead and asbestos. Any older home may have remnants of these hazardous materials leftover from previous decades. Mitigating lead plumbing can mean filtration, replacing a few fittings or replumbing a whole house. Many older homes come with a lead paint warning, and the only way to ensure a house is completely free of lead paint is by investing in professional lead paint abatement, which can be expensive. The same goes for asbestos removal.

Insufficient and Unsafe Electrical Systems

Most houses built in the early 20th century were not wired for the number of electronics, lights and appliances we have these days. While you will need an inspector to fully assess the wiring in a house and a professional electrician to help replace wiring, you can learn some useful things about a house’s electrical condition during an initial walkthrough. Look for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) and grounded, three-prong wall sockets. Count the number of outlets in each room; newer building standards typically include them every few feet. Open the breaker box as well. It should have breakers, not fuses, and the panel should be free of rust and other signs of damage.

Aging Mechanics

Although water heaters, furnaces, and central air can last for decades in some cases, an older home may have equipment that is well past its recommended replacement date. The current owner will probably be unlikely replace these items, but with a little research, you can schedule and prepare for their replacement costs. Don’t forget to account for appliances like refrigerators, ranges, and dishwashers too.

This short list of issues that you may find in an older home is just a start. Home buyers should also be on the lookout for mold and mildew, termite problems, leaky plumbing, poor insulation, outdated windows, roofs in disrepair, radon and foundation problems.

Of course, a professional home inspector will call attention to any of the issues, but it never hurts to have a list of questions ready when it comes time to walk through that classic old house of your dreams.

The Importance of Inspecting a Home’s Plumbing System Before Making an Offer

Plumbing SystemsBefore you buy a home you should have First Choice Inspectors check out the home’s plumbing system. After all, you’re spending the most money you’ve ever spent in your life to make the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. It’s important to check to make sure you’re getting a home in good working order, and the plumbing drains and pipes are intrinsic to that!

The Importance of Plumbing Systems

In general, a plumbing system is not something the average person thinks about, unless it’s not working, right? However, a plumbing inspector thinks about the plumbing system in great detail and then investigates it. For example, how does it connect to the main sewer? Can a camera be inserted along the lines to see if there are any clogs that need cleaning out? How old are the home’s pipes? Are they all connected properly?

Water Heater

Water heaters play an important role in daily life, providing hot showers and more. An inspector will examine your new home’s water heater to see if it’s in need of replacement or functioning just fine. Where is it located in the house? If it leaks, will it ruin your stuff? Is it the right size for your needs? Will you need a bigger one if you plan to install a giant tub, or a smaller one if you prefer taking quick showers?


Then, of course, there are the home’s toilets. Try going a day without a working toilet and you’ll know how bad that situation gets! A professional inspector checks toilets at their base to look for any leaks. You’re not likely to know if your new toilets have bad seals or aren’t properly secured to the flange, but your inspector will.

First Choice Inspectors can and will examine the physical components of your potential new home’s plumbing system. They’ll look for outdated materials that should be replaced as well as any leaks that need fixing before you take ownership of the place. Call 773-429-9711 to schedule an inspection.