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Complete Book of Home Inspection 4th (forth) edition Text Only Paperback – 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional (2010)
  • ASIN: B005FW1T3U
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,016,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Justus Pendleton on January 5, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite the flaws in this book I haven't seen a better book for home buyers and owners. (Although it might not be obvious that is who this book is targetted at, not professional inspectors.) So if you are in the market for a house I would recommend you at least browse through this book.
The good parts are that the author lays out a methodical approach to inspecting a house and usually includes good descriptions of how to investigate and evaluate the various components and systems of the house. The end of most chapters contains a checkpoint summary of that chapter.
The downsides are that the information in the book is almost a decade old now; this second version was published in 1993. Sometimes the author assumes knowledge that I didn't have. The book is targetted at a lay audience but doesn't really have enough illustrations and definitions and examples to really deliver on this promise. For instance, when inspecting a hot-water heating system he says, "A forced system will have a circulating pump in the return line near the boiler." It would be nice a picture was shown to illustrate the difference between having a circulating pump and not having one.
Also, the author gets something wrong in at least one place. When talking about tankless water heaters he says, "From an energy-conservation point of view, a tankless water heater is not desirable. It is inefficient and wasteful of energy." This is untrue today and I doubt whether it was true when the book was written. The US Department of Energy in their reference brief on tankless heaters acknowledges that tankless heaters are more efficient and less wasteful of energy; that is part of the reason they are used in Europe and Japan where energy prices are higher than here in America.
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I found this book to be very readable even to a home repair novice like me. It contains a lot of information about what to look for when buying a house, and additional information about how houses are constructed which should be useful when maintaining one. I read 3 such books and this is by far the best.
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Format: Paperback
This book covers all the major components of home inspection. It is not so obvious by its content that it is intended primarily for the home buyer. I definitely recommend it to home inspectors as it is as good a reference as any of the books written for home inspectors. There are a lot of first-hand cases experienced by the author in lower New York that will give helpful inspection clues to buyers/inspectors. Unfortunately I do not consider the book the "bible" of home inspection. I have not yet come across such a book.. when I do I'll be sure to let you know (in its own review).
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Format: Paperback
As a new comer to the home inspection business I was looking for a book to give me the basics. Based on a colleague's recommendation I bought Norman Becker's book and I want to commend him....it covers more than just the basics, it's a very indepth discussion of ALL, and I mean ALL, of the problems and issues one encounters as a home inspector or a new home buyer. It is written in a style that makes not only pleasant reading, but Norman explains the issues in simple, easily understood language, whether you're an inspector just entering the business, a long term experienced inspector or new home buyers, first out of school or an experienced, ready to retire buyer! It's not easy to satisfy such a wide spectrum, but Norman does it extremely well, making easy and enjoyable reading for all who have the interest or need.
As for technical content, I say again that the book covers everything one needs to know about the subject, so much so that I keep one copy on my office desk and another in the car so I have quick access to an excellent reference guide at all times.
It has never failed me when I needed a quick update on any issue, no matter how small or big. You know how you often check to make sure you have your wallet in your pocket when you leave the house....well I make that same check to be sure I have Norm Becker's book within my reach at all times.
I'm sure the book not only satisfy's an individual's need such as mine, but from the quality of its content, I believe it has made, and will continue to make, a positive impact on our home inspection industry.
Please thank Mr. Becker for making this home inspector's entry into the field not only more effective but easier and more pleasant.
Bill Mason,
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Format: Paperback
For a new home owner or home inspector, this book is a good, basic book that even a lay person can understand (one that has no knowledge of the field). It's obvious the author, has many years of experience and designed the book in the order that he would inspect a home. I highly recommend this for someone starting out in the business as a reference book.
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Format: Paperback
As a Commercial and Residential Inspector, I found this book to be a good reference book over many other's I have purchased to learn more about performing good inspections. The book is well written even for a lay person with no knowledge of the field. I would highly recommend it as a basic, starter book.
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This book thoroughly walks the reader through the home inspection procedure in a step-by-step fashion. It is definitely worth buying and reading. Some chapters, such as the one on wood-destroying insects, have much detail. Others have a bit less detail and would benefit from additional illustrations and text. The author focuses on safety and cost considerations in performing home inspections. Sometimes he is a little puritanical in championing safety considerations first, but it's hard to knock that. He gives many useful tips to the novice home inspector, for example on how to check septic systems for proper function. I've read this book once over and have reread some chapters. It deserves careful study of the individual chapters. I intend to carry the book with me when I look through prospective houses.
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