I’m writing this article for my first time home buyers who really do not know what to look for when buying a home.  In the last year we did a large amount of home inspections on Chicago’s bungalows.  The economy has made it possible that some of these hard to buy properties are now more attainable due to the adjusting real estate market.  This is a list of the major components that may have high repair or replacement costs.

  • Tuck Point repairs can be costly if they were not done or if they were done incorrectly.  You will be looking for areas that the bricks may be falling apart or mortar in between the bricks is literally falling out of the joint.  A professional tuck point job on a Chicago bungalow can cost up to $15,000.00.  The Chicago home inspection I performed this week had a great tuck point job.  A great savings for my clients.
  • Roofing is another major component of a Chicago bungalows.  Most of the Chicago bungalows that I inspect have multiple layers of roofing shingles.  The Chicago roofing code only allows for 2 layers of roofing material.  The Chicago home inspection I performed had 2 layers of roofing material.  The roof looked to only have 5-7 years of lifespan left.  My clients would be doing a tear off. (A tear off is when the roofing material is taken off to the sheeting and new roofing shingles are installed.) I always advise my clients to use a 30 or 40 year architectural shingle.  An architechitural shingle roof will cost about $8000.00 – $12000.00.  It may cost a little more now but you wont have to worry about the roof for at least 25 years.  Sounds good to me?
  • Structure of a Chicago bungalow has generally never been compromised and should still be looked at diligently.  If you don’t have an extensive background in either construction, general contracting or a structural engineer then I would let the pros tell you about this.  Chicago bungalows are made of over sized foundations, wood beams and columns, nominal lumber joists that are all meant to with stand a bombing!  This is why my clients from the Chicago home inspection were so interested in this Chicago bungalow.
  • Plumbing in the Chicago bungalows were state of the art a 100 years ago.  All homes need renovations.  If your plumbing system has not been renovated then that may be a repair or replacement cost you may have to deal with.  Galvanize water piping corrodes from the inside out and will eventually rot out completely.  Replacement costs for a plumbing piping system in a Chicago bungalow can cost $4000.00 – $10,000.00 depending on how extensive the replacement is and how many bathrooms and kitchens you have.
  • Electric will eventually need to be renovated if you still are using fuses.  I know fuses are used around the country, but can contribute to electrical outages with all the new appliances every one uses.  I advise my clients to upgrade their electric to a 100 amp breaker box at the least.  The replacement costs for a new service and breaker box is $1500.00 – $2500.00.  Luckily for my clients, from the Chicago home inspection all the electric was updated.

As you can see there are some major items you should look at when you are looking at possible home purchases.  Also my background in Chicago bungalows is extremely extensive and you are more than welcome to contact me at The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke

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