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The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Home Inspections Paperback – June 1, 2004

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Kuhn is director of technical services at HouseMaster, a home inspection firm with 380 offices across the U.S. and Canada.


Bobbi Dempsey is an author and freelance writer for major publications, including Family Circle, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal, and more. Her article on how home inspections can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning appears in Family Circle’s December 2003 issue.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Pocket Idiot's Guide
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha (May 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592572162
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592572168
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.4 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #874,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kcorn TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is NOT designed to make you, the homeowner or potential buyer, a home inspection expert. It takes years on the job to become a true pro.

However, this book WILL put you way ahead of the curve, prepared to make the most of the time you have with the home inspector who is generally required to do a thorough job before the home sale.

Some inspectors are better than others and if you know what to ask about basements, foundations, bathrooms, kitchen and other key areas of your home, your inspector may be more inclined to do a better job.

Also, the book contains several key bits of info including:

1. Quick little tips and info like the fact that water flow wil usually be lower from wells than municipal systems...or that gurgling pipes and drains may indicate improper venting of the drainage system.

2. Definitions of important terms which make you sound "in the know". Do you know what a "service drop" is? Reading this book, I discovered it was the line running from an electrical pole to my house. Other key terms are also noted.

3. Warnings about potentially dangerous situations. For instance, if your home inspector walks on a tile or slate roof, GET ANOTHER INSPECTOR. This is a no-no, a way to damage a roof even if it was fine before.

4. Interesting facts you might not know about such as the fact that about 1 in 10 roofs are covered in wood.

I was fascinated by the home schematic at the front of the book which described nearly every major part of a home, from the ridge boards to the collar ties.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tanisha D. Thibodaux on February 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book because I'm in the process of purchasing a home. Yes, I'll get a certified inspector. Yes, my realtor will accompany me on the inspection. I wanted some additional knowledge prior to the inspection, so I knew what to expect (and not expect). The book is very clear in its language and makes for a quick read. My only complaint is that it lacks color pictures. With black/white photos, sometimes its hard to see the damage to which the author is referring. I'd recommend this book to someone either purchasing or selling a home.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By v_roze on April 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do NOT recommend this book to anyone, regardless of your skill level. What I was hoping for was a legit pocket guide to aide in my inspections. I am just an everyday homeowner, and have basic understanding of mechanical and electrical systems. This book may serve somebody as an introduction to home inspections if you have absolutely no idea what goes into a house. If you are in this category, it may help you understand what a home inspector is doing. It does not help at all in completing your own preliminary inspection. To be clear, I was NOT expecting this book to teach me how to inspect a home; I was expecting it to provide a convenient reference during an inspection. I would recommend The Home Inspection Book: A Guide for Professionals by Marcia Darvin Spada, but it may be too detailed. At least it has a checklist. However, don't buy the Pocket Idiot's Guide - the first crappy Idiot's Guide I've ever bought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By maverick33 on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have never bought a home before and never considered the aspects of a home inspection this book would be OK. I am going on home number 10 so this book was too basic. Frankly, I bought it because it was cheap and I got what I paid for. That aside, for first timers this is not a bad introduction. It does cover all the bases. My one suggestion is don't be passive in the inspection process. Take part from start to finish in the actual inspection. Ask questions. The roof is always a key area and some inspector won't go there; they should. Water and power issues are big money if problems arise so make sure they are thoroughly inspected.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was recommended by a real estate agent. If you are looking at buying a home, this book helps you to weed out trouble. Although it doesn't take the place of a home inspector, when you finally decide on a home, it helps you make informed decisions based on a homes condition.
I am reminded of friends buying a home, then replacing the carpet and finding out that they needed to replace the subfloor. They didn't have this book or use a building inspector before buying that home.
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