I hear from real estate agents quite a bit that myself and the people that work for my company are “too picky”.  Really?  I thought that is what a professional home inspector was supposed to be.  A professional home inspector should be very detailed oriented able to document everything that he or she sees.   To me “picky” means documenting everything allowing the home buying client to go through the home inspection report and determine what is important and what is not important.  While performing a Highland Park home inspection the buying agent whom I had never met before made sure she let me know how great her home inspector was.  I really can appreciate her love for her home inspector but really did not understand why he was not there performing the Highland Park home inspection.

As you probably can guess I looked up the new realtors home inspector to find that his reviews on Yelp, Angie’s List, Google, Better Business Bureau, Redfin reviews and so on were let’s say to be the less desirable.  My clients from the Highland Park home inspection were also savvy enough to also look up the realtor revered home inspector and obviously were not impressed.  I did ask my clients why they chose my company over the referred realtor home inspection company.  This is the list of reasons that separated the 2 companies.

  1. FULL TIME COMPANY ~ The clients from the Highland Park home inspection were looking for a home inspector that worked only as a home inspector to assure that his or her skills were honed by performing home inspection every day.  Most home inspectors perform home inspections as a side job for extra cash while performing a full time job.
  2. LICENSED TRADE INSPECTORS ~ The clients from the home inspection were looking for licensed tradesmen to perform their home inspection because that meant that would know how to install, repair or replace any issue at hand and should know what issues to look for.  Pinnacle Property Inspection Services Inc. has licensed plumbers and heating contractors on staff to be able to determine major issues at a glance.
  3. REVIEWS ~ The reviews that were seen on the internet and friends that have used our services made our clients from the Highland Park home inspection comfortable to hire us to perform their home inspection.
  4. ERRORS AND OMISSION INSURANCE  ~   The fact that Pinnacle Property Inspection Services has error and omission insurance even though it is not required by the State of Illinois made our new clients comfortable that if any issues that came up would be dealt with.
  5. PROFESSIONAL EQUIPMENT ~ Thermal imagers, moisture meters, 40′ ladders, inside shoes are all little things to others but made the difference why the clients from the Highland Park home inspection hired us over the referred realtor home inspector.
  6. SAME DAY LARGE INSPECTION REPORTS ~ The 131 page home inspection report was delivered via email 2 hours after the inspection was performed so that the clients could start to go over the report and determine what issues needed to be addressed.
  7. RADON, ASBESTOS AND MOLD TESTING ~ The clients from the Highland Park home inspection wanted a radon test to be performed.  We own a small company called Pinnacle Radon Testing that was able to accommodate the home inspection time.  The home that was inspected was an older home that had vermiculite insulation that was also able to be tested for asbestos all in one visit.
  8. ROOF INSPECTIONS ~ Willing to walk the roof versus the use of binoculars.  All roofs are walked to assure that hidden issues are all documented to assure our clients do not move into a home with hidden issues.

The clients explained that they did know that are services were more expensive than the competitors but understood because this is our only business.  The clients from the Highland Park home inspection obviously understood the difference with value and price.  If you are a home buyer that is looking for a home inspector do not hesitate asking any questions that may influence your home inspection process

If you have any questions about this article please contact us at pinnaclepropertyinspection.com or 312-961-4228.

Jim Kolke

The Thermal Home Inspector


 If you are following the news you would have seen that Chicago and the metropolitan area have received record amounts of snowfall within the last two days.  There will be many roofs that will be leaking in the next couple weeks.  Why? I’ll explain the components I found to be an issue on a roof at a Highland Park home inspection.

There are many parts of a roof that make it work.  All of these parts of a roof make it shed water away from the home’s interior.

  • Shingles are the materiel that is layered all over the sheeting to protect and allow water and snow to shed away and down from the property.  The shingles can be made of the clay, cement, tile, cedar wood shake, cedar wood shingle, slate, hybrid polymer, tin, raised metal and the most popular asphalt or fiberglass.  All of these types of shingles have their own positives and negatives.  They are basically determined by their cost to length of lifespan.  This is generally how much a roof may cost to replace per square foot.
  • Flashings are a major component to a home’s roof.  The Highland Park home inspection was missing the apron flashing.  The apron flashing is the flashing that funnels the water from the edge of the roof into the gutter.  There are other flashing’s that are just as important.  These flashing’s are head wall flashing’s, step flashing, vent penetration flashing’s, counter flashing, pan flashing, channel flashing, kick-out flashing and drip edge flashing or apron flashing.
  • Ice barrier or Ice shield was an issue also on the Highland Park home inspection.  The owner of the Highland Park home inspection said it was not code.  He is not only wrong but crazy that he allowed his roofer or shall I say unprofessional roofer install this roof without apron flashings and ice shield.  The ice shield is 36″ long and runs the edge of the whole roof to protect the home from ice damning penetration if it were to happen.  The ice shield can be longer depending on how wide your soffits are.

My client from the Highland Park home inspection brought in a licensed roofing contractor that estimated the repair costs of installing apron flashings and ice shield around the roof of the home to be $1600.00.  As you see roofing repairs can be costly and that’s why our Thermal Home Inspections are so detailed.

If you have roofing issues like the Highland Park home inspection and have questions that we can assist you with please contact us at The Thermal Home Inspector or 312-961-4228.

Thanks for stopping by and stay safe.

Jim Kolke

Clogged tub drain. Learn how to clear it. Do you have a tub that takes forever to drain?  Do you take showers standing in inches of water?  I’ll show you how to remedy slow draining or totally blocked drains of a tub.  The Highland Park, Illinois home inspection had a tub that was totally blocked and was in dire need of repair.

The 2 plunger trick I used at the Highland Park home inspection worked because I was diligent on holding a vacuum seal over the overflow piping.   The home was an older home that had a drum trap.  There are other articles that I have written that will show you how to work on a drum trap.  The direct site for this article is http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/blog/archives/748?preview=true&preview_id=748&preview_nonce=b06a411cd7.  Unfortunately drum traps are cumbersome to work on but can be done if patient.

The “P” trap is now used and is less prone to have issues like blockages.  Generally these blockages are due to cast iron or galvanize piping.  Most of the new waste piping systems that are installed in homes are made of pvc piping.  If the home owners of the Highland Park home inspection had to hire a plumber they would have to pay them at least $125.00 – $250.00 depending where you live.  You can see other prices of other home issues at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/repair-replacement-costs.html.

Hopefully this video we shot at the Highland Park home inspection will save you money by empowering you to do your own home repairs.  If you need further help with this issue or other issues then please contact me at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/about-jim-kolke.html

Thanks for stopping by.  Jim Kolke


We are now in Spring here in the Chicago land area where we can get tons of snow, rain or wind that could knock you off your feet.  We received a scheduled inspection from our website.   Another home inspection in Highland Park, Illinois was scheduled for the weekend.  We had alot of rain for 2 days and then 80′s.  Welcome to Chicago!!

I arrived to the home inspection in Highland Park and began at the exterior of the property.  There were small issues like grading of the sidewalk, railings and landscaping  issues.  The issue that drew concern was that the drip loop for the electrical tower was missing-electric needs to  enter the home one of two ways.  Either underground utilities  (which I think is better all around) or at a surface mast (overhead).  That is what the electric poles have on them along with cable and phone services.   When you have overhead electric you need a tower, mast and drip loop.  All three of these things are very important to the integrity of the electric service.

I noted these issues and continued on with the home inspection in Highland Park.  I inspected the home with minimal issues that all were reported to my client.  I inspected the basement with no alarming concerns until I opened the electrical box.

The electrical box cover was rusted  in many areas and looked as though there was arcing inside the breaker box.  This is definitely a dangerous situation that needs to be tended to immediately.  I informed my client that there was a possible safety threat and I needed to inform the realtor to prevent injury to the occupants of the home.   My clients agreed wholeheartedly.

The problem is the drip loop lets the rain water repel against the mast.  By there not being a drip loop in the home inspection in Highland Park , the water was following the electrical cable into the home, down the piping and into the electrical breaker box.   A drip loop will need to be installed by a licensed electrical contractor which is always our recommendation.  This is not a very expensive repair but a necessary one.

If you think you have problems with your electrical service mast and need help identifying your potential issues contact us at-  www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com  Jim Kolke