Spa tubs in a home or condo can be a real treat to enjoy and relax.  These type of tubs are great to have when they work properly.  There are multiple things that can go wrong with these tubs that can cost the home owner quite a bit of money though.  This was definitely the issue on my recent Chicago home inspection.

My Chicago home inspection was a apartment building that was recently converted to condos in 2008. There are quite a few buildings like this in the Lincoln Square neighborhood in Chicago.  The Lincoln Square home inspection neighborhood is known for its first original settlers which were Germans.  You can still see some of the remnants of this nationality by there stores in the Lincoln Square on Western and Lincoln.

The condo that I was inspecting had never been lived in.  In fact out of the 6 units only 2 were occupied.  This condo building was definitely feeling the effects of the poor housing market conditions.  Concerns for further condo associations were definitely a issue with the lack of condo owners this left the costs to the 3 tenants.

Minimal issues did come up but are easily remedied at the home inspection in Chicago.  There was 1 issue that could have caused serious damage to the condo unit below if  my client would have opted out of the home inspection process.  While filling the spa tub I noticed that there wasn’t an access panel to service the motor, heater, piping or electric under the tub.  This is very dangerous which is proven by this inspection.   The tub was filled past the aerators or blowers so that water could be circulated.  I engaged the air switch which allows electric to the blower motors.  The spa tub seemed to be running normal until I heard running water and the level of water falling in the tub. Luckily the builder of the home inspection in Chicago was on premises while the inspection was being done.  We went into the unit below and found that water was coming out of the bathroom light fixture.  We got towels from my bag and started to clean the water up.

My advise to my client of the Chicago home inspection was to have the builder supply an access panel to inspect the spa tubs inner working.  The tub would definitely need to be pulled so that corrections could be made.  If an access panel would have been installed repairs could have been made immediately.  The builder was especially thankful that the inspection found these issues before the building was totally occupied.

If you have any questions about jacuzzi tubs or other home inspection issues please contact us at ~

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke

What nobody wants to talk about if they got them?  Mice!  One building can have them and others might not have them at all.  Depending on the size of the building and what kind of door system they have installed at the garbage area will help determine if rats and mice will set up shop in your condo building. Generally, if you live in a large condo building with parking below the building there is a good chance that the building has mice and or rats.  Roaches will be a totally different blog!  At the condo home inspection in Chicago, Illinois  I was in the basement of the building were I did see a field mouse follow the wall around the corner where it disappeared.  The condo building  is in the Edgewater neighborhood  which is part of the north side of Chicago.  There are some very old apartment building and hotels that were converted to condo buildings.

The home inspection in Chicago was definitely an old apartment building that was converted to condos.  The city of Chicago started an attack on the rat infestation in the late 80′s to try to eliminate the issues with the rats that seemed to have taken over the city.  I’m sure you have heard of rats the size of small dogs?  That would be true.

On further inspection of the public areas of the building showed minimal issues  for mice.  The tell tale (pardon the pun) for mice is a dark grease marking on cracks in baseboards or any opening that a mouse could possibly get through.  Mice are known to gain access to areas that have a crack  a 1/4″ wide!

On entering the home inspection in Chicago, I didn’t notice any of the tell tales of mice being active in this condo.  On further review of the kitchen, I noticed mice droppings in the cabinet drawers.  There were not alot of droppings but any is enough to suggest a pest terminator.  This is part of the condo associations duties.  You pay an association fee to live in the building monthly and these items sometimes are covered by the building.  That was definitely the case at the home inspection in Chicago.

If you have mice in your home or a home your getting ready to by and need more information about what to look for please contact us at~

Please leave a comment if you liked the blog or if you need help with issues you might have in your home.  Thanks~ Jim Kolke


Condos have been around forever.  They are a great way to attain home ownership with little maintenance of the  property.  You basically only own the unit you live in.  There are generally assessments that are paid monthly.  These fees cover items that you might or might not use like lawn care maintenance, pool, sun deck, cleaning services for hallways, elevator services, doormen, parking attendants, water, heat, electric and anything that could be  used in a multi-unit building.  We were hired for a home inspection in Mount Prospect, Illinois recently.

When we inspect a condo, we inspect all the public areas that we are allowed to have access to.  This was definitely the case at the home inspection in Mount Prospect.  We were granted access to the roof of the 8 story multi- unit building by the maintenance company.  This is great for are client because we want to make sure there aren’t any potential issues on the roof that could form into  a special assessment.  A special assessment is a fee that will need to be collected by every owner of each unit in the building to pay for the items in need of attention.

The issues with the home inspection in Mount Prospect was there was a chance that there was going to be a special assessment for the remodeling of the hall ways and front foyer.  There was going to be a 1 time payment of $1700.00 dollars that would be due after the voting of the condo association.  I got this information while talking to some of the neighbors at the home inspection in Mt. Prospect, Illinois.

That is one of the major issues I’m diligent on trying to establish.  I don’t know of any of my past clients that have $1700.00 burning a hole in their pocket to spend without notice.  So if you are planning to buy a condo, make sure to have your inspector ask these questions to protect your bottom line.

If you are buying a condo and need help with possible special assessment and what to look for contact us at~  Jim Kolke