Sprinkler Systems to be Required in All New MN Homes, Existing Homes by 2016

- According to Minnesota’s Chief Building Official Ronald McSevergny, there will be a phase-in requirement for sprinkler systems to be added to existing homes.  Details of exactly when the system will need to be installed are unclear at this point, but I suspect it will be similar to existing requirements for Truth-in-Sale of Housing Evaluations.  Beginning in 2015, all existing homes that are sold as part of a real estate transaction will be required to have a sprinkler system installed. ..More

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Home Improvement Financing- Many Options, Even If You’re Underwater

- You need to get work done, but you don’t have a pile of cash sitting in the garage. Don’t worry. A home equity line of credit may get you the best interest rate, but that doesn’t seem possible with no equity. . There are more financing options than you think to get started on your much-needed improvements, even if the journey of your home’s equity reminds you of a certain movie about a doomed ship with Leo and Kate on board ..More

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Online Building Permit History and more for Twin Cities Homes

- The old fashioned way to check permit history was to call the building inspections department, but today there are at least eighteen cities in the Twin Cities metro area that give building permit history online. .  If I missed any, please let me know and I’ll add them.  I also have these cities listed under the “External Links” page on our web site ..More

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How to Inspect Your Own House, Part 8: The Furnace

- If everything is operating normally, the ductwork will be hot, but not uncomfortably hot. .  You should be able to leave your hand on the ductwork without feeling any pain.  If the plenum is uncomfortably warm or you’d like to conduct a more technical test, check out my blog post titled A DIY Test For Furnaces ..More

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Water Heater Backdrafting: What if you can’t reproduce the problem?

- If this is what the home inspector saw, he’d be right to say there were signs of previous backdrafting, but not that the water heater backdrafts. .  The photo will look like this:.  We don’t say a water heater backdrafts if we can’t see it backdraft.  A great way for a home inspector to get visual evidence of a water heater backdrafting is to hold their camera close enough to the draft hood to get their camera lens to fog over ..More

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