St Petersburg is home to a diverse set of homes. Due to its proximity to the bay, the downtown core consists of a large amount of homes built during the very early 1900's. Neighborhoods like Old Northeast, Kenwood, Roser Park have been granted Historic Preservation Trust status. Inspecting these properties when purchasing is not something you want to leave to a cheap, novice inspector.
Our headquarters in downtown St Pete and just 2 blocks south of Kenwood, means that we have extensive experience inspecting these older homes and some of the issues that must be carefully evaluated are as follows:
1) Foundations. These older homes ranged in vast construction type of the foundations and largely depended upon how much money the original owner of the house had to construct it. Foundations that largely remain intact today had actual concrete footers and were built of either masonry CMU's, brick, or structural clay block. Some were merely precast trapezoid shaped piers placed directly on the sand. Whatever foundation type was used, any issues with it are expensive to repair, with estimated ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars. Just 1 damaged pier replacement will run $1000 or more to replace. Extensive knowledge of foundation systems and their problems is something we take great pride in.
2) Older wiring. Insulation and improper electrical work can leave older knob and tube or cloth covered wiring still in use with the property. These types of wiring are not able to be insured and are generally considered obsolete by today's standards.
3) Plumbing. Older galvanized metal plumbing and cast iron drain lines are still in use in a majority of these homes. Old galvanized plumbing is difficult to get insurance for and over time can restrict the flow of water due to buildup of mineral deposits inside the pipe. Cast iron drain lines have a tendency to corrode and leak sewage into the crawlspace itself.
If you think it is expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. Trust the local professionals for St Petersburg inspections. Trust DG Construction & Inspections to do the job right.