149 episodes

Home inspections, home maintenance, repairs, upgrades, safety, real estate, energy, performance, and durability.

Structure Talk Reuben Saltzman

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 33 Ratings

Home inspections, home maintenance, repairs, upgrades, safety, real estate, energy, performance, and durability.

    Real Estate Market Updates (with Joe Schwartzbauer)

    Real Estate Market Updates (with Joe Schwartzbauer)

    Realtor Joe Schwartzbauer from the Grey Duck Properties team joins the show to talk about real estate market updates.

    Joe mentions that the market is starting to get back to normal from the limitations of the pandemic. He talks about the rising interest rates and possible rate-lock, the seller's behavior and mentality, and home inspection strategies. He mentions that 42% of the latest accepted offers waived the right to have a home inspection which hinders coming up with an informed decision.

    They talk about transaction coordinating companies that provide information to buyers, inspection guarantees, home warranties, and insurance claims. Joe also shares that client-facing and being with customers gives their business a boost. He highlights that getting a home inspection steers clear from expensive repairs and gives sellers and buyers peace of mind.

    Get in touch with Joe via joe@greyduckproperties.com, their social media accounts, or visit greyduckhomes.com.

    • 45 min
    Structure Tech accepts the Challenger (panel)

    Structure Tech accepts the Challenger (panel)

    Today's podcast covers bad electric panels, as well as panels with bad reputations that really aren't bad.

    This includes a discussion of Challenger panels, Bulldog/pushmatic panels, FPE Stab-Lok Panels, and Zinsco/Sylvania panels.

    E-mail podcast@structuretech.com for your questions, comments or other correspondence.

    • 37 min
    Sewer Inspections (with Istvan Zsako)

    Sewer Inspections (with Istvan Zsako)

    Founder of Zsako Home Inspections Inc., Istvan Zsako joins today's show to talk about sewer inspections.

    Istvan is a fellow home inspector and entrepreneur from New Mexico, with over 22 years of experience in Home Building, Remodeling, and Home Maintenance. He shares how he got into sewer camera inspection and the training he underwent as well as the licensing requirements for home inspections. He highlights the necessary training required to effectively and efficiently inspect sewers.

    Reuben asks about the worst stuff found during the sewer inspection. Istvan discusses the Orangeburg pipe and the use of wood pulp and tar that absorbs moisture and becomes distorted under pressure. He talks about the type of sewer pipes used in old and new homes and the common problems they see in the sewer lines. He discusses the right tools used in inspecting sewers such as the kind of camera and the length of cables. They also discuss pulling out and installing toilets when needed, changing gaskets, and caulking and sealing the toilet.

    Tessa inquires about the credentials that consumers have to look for when choosing a sewer inspector. Istvan shares that certification and mentorship with people who have the knowledge and experience is an advantage.

    Istvan also talks about his book The Victory Mindset. He shares that he loves inspiring other people to develop their passion and drive to go after their dreams and live the lives they always wanted to live. To join Istvan's sewer training, visit sewertraining.com.

    Send your questions and podcast topic request to podcast@structuretech.com.

    • 36 min
    Look out for these red flags Part 2

    Look out for these red flags Part 2

    Today's show is part two of red flags that buyers should look out for to avoid big and expensive issues when checking out properties.

    Windows is one to look at first, especially the type of windows that potentially are going to rot. Tessa advises giving windows a gentle push or touch to see if they are solid or rotted. She highlights that replacing windows can be a huge expense for home buyers. Reuben shares about looking out for aluminum-clad wood windows that were installed in the 90s or early 2000s.

    Another on the list is the deck. Reuben discusses how to check the deck and ensure that everything is plumb and level. He also talks about the materials used in the deck and their life span and painted decks. Tessa highlights that it's very important to check the entire structure and ensure proper attachments. She adds checking for deterioration, loose guardrails, flashing at the ledger board, and visible signs of rot in wood, joists, beams, and deck boards.

    Next is the structure of the house and the foundation. Reuben discusses stacked stone foundations, foundation cracks, and the typical areas where foundation problems can be seen. While not common in Minnesota, he also talks about wood foundations. Tessa talks about finished basements but there's so much that can't be seen and can go wrong—including the foundation, plumbing, and electrical. They also discuss in-slab ductwork and the potential moisture that is building up in the slab.

    Another is plumbing and sewer lines. While a lot of problems with plumbing are more present in older houses, the thing to really look out for is galvanized water distribution pipes and galvanized drains. Reuben shares how to do a simple little test to check the water flow.

    They also talked about appliances such as the water heater, the furnace, and the air conditioner and the importance of knowing their ages. Then they talked about electrical concerns such as bad panels and aluminum wiring. Reuben discusses the Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) or Stab-Lok, Zinsco or Sylannia, or fuse panels that need to be replaced. Tessa shares that the knob and tube wiring is not designed to handle the current household load. These are red flags for fire hazards and concerns insurance companies.

    Visit StructureTechCE.com  to join the full 1.25 hour  class with all photos and a polished video presentation about these red flags.

    E-mail your questions and podcast topics to podcast@structuretech.com.

    • 43 min
    Look out for these red flags

    Look out for these red flags

    Today's show is about red flags buyers should look out for when buying a property.

    Reuben and Tessa run through tips and recommendations when checking a house. Tessa shares where and how to look at the roof for any defects, damages, or irregularities. Reuben adds that there's a lot that can be seen from the ground to alert buyers of a bad roof. He highlights that it's important to know the age of the roof and shares about obvious roof defects in old and new constructions. They talk about shingles, sagging ridgelines and edges, discoloration, heat loss, ice dams, and insurance claims.

    They talk about issues and irregularities with chimneys such as cracks, gaps, patchings, and rebuilt chimneys. Tessa mentions that it's difficult to determine the true condition of the bricks by a visual analysis from the outside or with a level two chimney inspection. Then they discuss water management- where the water goes and where it's concentrated. Reuben shares his focus on the front door, rotted windows, rotted sidings, the basement as well as the areas outside the house. They discuss the use of stucco and vinyl as sidings and share building practice failures in the previous decades.

    Before looking at houses, Reuben shares that it's important to have the right tools such as a quality flashlight and good winter boots. He also highlights that they have a class about all things showing red flags for real estate agents. The 1.25-hour Continuous Education class is accessible at StructureTechCE.com .

    Send your questions and comments to podcast@structuretech.com.

    • 39 min
    Energy Efficiency Comes Last

    Energy Efficiency Comes Last

    Today, the three-legged stool breaks down and digests the recent podcast about insulation with Patrick Huelman.

    Tessa starts the discussion by talking about Patrick's applied research and development in residential houses with the Building America Program that is led by the Department of Energy. This program focuses on energy efficiency and building performance issues, (durability, quality, affordability, comfortability, and indoor air issues) by upgrading the insulation in exterior walls. She shares the nationwide data about homes that could benefit from this project and the type of homes this can be applied to. They also talk about insulation R-values.

    Reuben highlights that identifying the best method to retrofit an uninsulated wall depends on the type of the house, the design, materials, climate, and water management strategy, among others. He discusses the drill-and-fill method which he thinks is the best method. He also discusses other methods and the possible return on investment on energy costs. Bill asks why the concept of the perfect wall is not a priority among homeowners. He also asks about the best value-for-money method.

    As a takeaway from the session, Tessa shares that the order of changes and improvements in the house matters. She adds that before focusing on energy efficiency, interior issues should be addressed.

    For comments and questions, send an email at podcast@structuretech.com or visit structuretalk.com

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

Corey Lambrecht ,

Overall a solid podcast

I had given this podcast a 3 star review due to the amount of airtime they give their software vendor. Reuben emailed me and professionally defended their reasons therefore I have edited this review and am giving them 5 stars.

Corey Lambrecht
Blue Line Home Inspections
Norman, Ok

Tomsut ,

Great Stuff

As a Home Inspector in the same market, I enjoy the podcast. I learn a bunch of stuff all the time. It’s a great way to keep up with the information in the home inspection world! Keep up the great work!

Rachjenner ,

Love the format as is!

As a newer real estate agent, I love your podcast! I’ve learned so much about home inspections and other real estate topics are interesting too. I like finding connections for other industry vendors - like the restoration company you featured! I will be telling every agent I can to tune in. Thanks for the great show!

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