Inspecting a Cathedral Ceiling

The main concern when building or inspecting a cathedral ceiling is avoiding problems with condensation, leaks, mould and damage to structural members due to poorly installed insulation.

There are typically two ways to insulate a cathedral ceiling; vented and unvented insulation.  Unvented is known as Cathedral Ceiling Insulation“hot roof” due to lack of heat dissipation through venting.  The main concern with “hot roof” method is that a hotter roof results in shorter shingle life and any leaks can cause mould and moisture issues in cavity.

Vented cathedral ceilings will either have an air space or have soffit baffles installed, which will allow for movement of air and allow heat to dissipate.

Cathedral ceilings were once very popular due to their impressive height and appearance, but ensuring proper insulation and venting has become a known issue. Inspecting your insulation is usually very limited and will typically be confined to small inspection area that may have been left open.

  1. Moisture Control

Installing your cathedral ceiling insulation, most people don’t realize that you have to install some form of moisture control system. The normal installation method involves putting insulation into your cavity, leaving a small area at the top allowing air to circulate. This air carries moisture with it, so that you now have a working moisture control method of removing damp from behind the insulation.

  1. Batt Insulation

Many insulation experts say that fiberglass batts are the worst insulation to install in a cathedral ceiling. Fiberglass allows movement of air, but doesn’t stop the moisture from penetrating behind the insulation. If you want to insulation your cathedral ceiling properly, then you need to develop another method of keeping in heat while avoiding becoming a target for mold and damp. If you do decide to use a batting insulation then you have to develop an method of preventing moisture from entering cavity.

  1. Dense Packing

Spray foam can prevent moisture entry while providing the insulation rating that you require. The expense of spray foam application can prevent many home owners from using this method.  Fiberglass batts on the other hand are loose filled batts which allow air to infiltrate and provide insulation by providing a resistance to heat loss.  Unfortunately the fiberglass also allows moist air to enter and when in contact with cooler air, (dew point) creates moisture.  This is where mould and wood rotting may occur.

Visit Barrie Home Inspections for more home maintenance information.

Replacement and Repair Costs



Use the following information to get a good idea of the costs associated with this comprehensive list of small to large renovation and construction projects. If you have any other prices you think should be added or changed, please email us with any updates and or changes. All rights are reserved and this list is copyrighted but it can be used for personal use and any other use will only be allowed upon written permission from Ontario

Roofing & Flashing
Removal of existing material, disposal & clean-up. $0.50 – 2.00 sq.ft.
Garbage Bin – small $250
Garbage Bin – large $475
* additional $50 per pick-up and dumping fee from your local dump (tonnage) will be added to the above charges.


Roofing (material & labour)
1. Asphalt Shingles – felt base $1.50 – 1.75 sq.ft.
2. Roofing Labour only
another rule of thumb is using the pitch number and multiplying it by the number of bundles to come up with the cost of labour plus 10 % – no removal of existing material. i.e. pitch * bundles = labour (+ 10 %)
3. Asphalt Shingles – fibreglass base $2.00 – 3.00 sq.ft.
4. Cedar Shakes – hand split $2.60 – 2.80 sq.ft.
5. Cedar Shingles – saw cut $2.40 – 3.00 sq.ft.
6. Steel shingles – painted $4.00 – 5.00 sq.ft.
7. Steel shingles – vinyl coated $4.00 – 5.00 sq.ft.
8. Steel roof – sheeting 3 times cost of ashphalt shingles
9. Aluminum shingles – paint finish $5.50 – 5.25 sq.ft.
10. Plastic Shakes – colour through $3.50 – 5.25 sq.ft.
11. Tiles – Concrete or Clay $4.00 – 5.00 sq.ft.
12. New slate roof $10.00 – 30.00 sq.ft.
13. Slate roof – with replacement $30.00 – 50.00 sq.ft.
14. New roof sheeting – plywood or waferboard $1.50 – 2.00 sq.ft.
15. Roll roofing $1.10 – 2.20 sq.ft.
16. Built up Tar & Gravel roof $4.00 – 6.00 sq.ft.
17. Membrane roof n/a
18. Sprayed Polyurethane foam $1.60 – 2.50 sq.ft.
19. Painted Membrane $0.55 – 1.50 sq.ft.
* Contractor call out for repair – $300 minimum


It is advisable to replace all roof flashing at the time a new roof is installed. The cost of installations at that time is minimal, compared to possible problems old flashing may cause if they remained. Counter flashing may be installed at any time over existing step or chimney flashing and can be colour coordinated to a homes exterior.
Step Flashing usually included w/roof price
Counter Flashing – galvanized sheet metal $1.50 – 2.50 lin.ft.
Counter Flashing – sheet aluminum $3.00 – 6.00 lin.ft.
Drip Edge – usually included $1.00 – 2.00 lin.ft.
Chimney Flashing – galvanized usually included
Chimney Cricket – aluminum or galvanized $200.00 – 500.00
Skylight Flashing – aluminum or galvanized $200.00 – up
Vinyl Flashing – patch repair only $175.00 – 275.00
Replace Parapet wall flashing $10.00 – 40.00 lin.ft.
Plumbing Vent flashing $95.00 – $155 each

Continue reading “Replacement and Repair Costs”

Why You Need a Home Inspection

Why You Need A Home Inspection
by Roger Frost

A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections.


The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase. The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.

We know the home-buying process can be very stressful, and nothing could be worse than suddenly finding out that there are major defects with the property you just purchased. Having your property inspected prior to purchase can give you Peace of Mind knowing exactly what condition your home is in and what problems or repairs are required.


If you are buying a rural property it is always a wise decision to have your septic system and well inspected. Most professional home inspectors will suggest you hire a professional for both these inspections. Septic tank systems are located underground and a professional installer will typically pump out your tank and evaluate the bed from conditions he finds during this process. is located in Barrie ON, and offers a 100% Money Back Guarantee on every residential and commercial building inspection. They also offer Free Thermal Imaging scans with every inspection. As a Certified Building Code Official and a former Registered Builder with Hudac his experience far exceeds that of the competition. With over 4,000 building inspections the Barrie Home inspector should be your first choice when wanting to protect your investment.


The savvy home buyer will accompany the Home Inspector and learn about their new home. Asking questions is recommended and every item is discussed in detail to ensure a complete understanding of any issues covered by the home inspector. The client receives an overview of entire inspection at the conclusion, a computerized report and a PDF copy of his home inspection report for his records.

Want to find out more about <a href=”>Home Inspections in Barrie ON</a>, then visit site. fChoose the <a href=””>Barrie Home Inspector</a> for your Peace of Mind.

Your Local Orillia Real Estate Agents

Your Local Orillia Real Estate Agents – Cashing in on the continuing increase of property values is one of the main benefits of owning your own home.  Home owners who only have a small equity investment in their homes can increase their equity as property values rise.   Just imagine if you owned a $150,000 house with 5% down ($7500) and house values increased by just 3%. In one year you would have had an increase in equity of over $5,000

For many, the rent-to-own home may be the best option. Also called a lease-to-own house, the process works similarly to a car lease : Renters pay a certain amount each month to live in the house, and at the end of a set period — generally within three years — they have the option to buy the house. Each month of rent they pay is income for the seller, while a portion of it goes toward a down payment to eventually buy the home.

In most agreements the renters have to pay an option fee and then a rent premium. The option fee is a set amount that the renter pays the seller. If, at the end of the lease period, the renter buys the house, the option fee becomes part of the down payment. If the renter doesn’t buy the house, the option fee becomes income for the seller. Rent premiums are an amount slightly above the typical rent, with a portion of that money going toward a down payment.
The Rent to Own program is typcially set up as the model here explains; The average house is worth $300,000, and typical rent would be $1,500 a month. Someone who’s renting to own might pay $1,700 a month in rent and then receive a $200 rent credit each month. Add the option fee, in this case $5,000. On a three-year lease, the renter would earn $7,200 in rent credits. Adding the earned rental credits to the option fee, the renter has accumulated $12,200 for a down payment.

As a Rent to Own buyer you will still be required to have a deposit for the property, which is usually a percentage of the purchase price or a lump sum. The monthly payment for a rent-to-own agreement will depend on your budget.  The larger your payments, and the longer you make them for, the larger the accumulated downpayment will be when you exercise your purchase option and get a mortgage in your own name.

After your Rent to Own agreement expires you will have improved your credit rating enough to obtain your own mortgage.  The sum of your initial deposit and your monthly payments will count as a downpayment for your own mortgage.  To know exactly how much of a downpayment you will need to consult with a mortgage broker to discuss getting the best possible rate.

Your local Orillia Real Estate agent can help you find a property that will fit your budget.  Choosing a Professional agent with local knowledge and experience will greatly enhance your real estate shopping experience.  Choose from our Best Orillia Real Estate Agents to ensure your receive the best possible advice when making your next property investment.

Buying or Selling a Home in Orillia

Buying or Selling a Home in Orillia.  There are a lot of emotions involved when buying or selling a home, but negotiating the price shouldn’t be.  Having a plan prior to negotiating is key to preventing stress during the turbulence involved in high-stakes negotiations.  Your Orillia Real Estate Agent can guide you and advise you but eventually you must make the final decision.

First time home buyers get a lot of tips from friends, family and co-workers, much of which is probably good advice gleaned from their own home buying experiences.  Your Professional Orillia Realtor has bought and sold hundreds of homes and is more prepared to advise you on many obstacles that may arise and often do.  The more you know, the better equipped you are to negotiate.

Plan your attack.  Determine what features you want and what they are worth to you. Know in advance the most you’re willing to pay, and with your agent work back from that number to determine your initial offer, which can set the tone for the entire negotiation. A too-low bid may offend sellers emotionally invested in the sales price; a too-high bid may lead you to spend more than necessary to close the sale.

When selling your home you want to present the best possible view of  your home.  Most Professional Orillia Real Estate agents will help you in this area using their years of experience to guide you.  From making minor repairs to plumbing, electrical, caulking, sidewalks and painting, what your prospective buyer first sees when initially walking through your home is what is most likely the deciding factor in whether to entertain an offer.  Some Realtors will suggest you have your home Professionally staged to improve your homes presentation.

Most upscale homes now use professional staging companies to fully stage the property.  These professional companies supply furniture and accessories to enable prospective clients to see the home in the best light possible and so they can envision themselves living there.  Some Home Staging companies advertise that many of their homes will actually sell for more than the listing price.

People who earn a good salary but fail to qualify for a typical mortgage are frequently turning to the Rent to Own option, Rent to Own has become very popular in the Orillia Real Estate market. A rent to own transaction is when a landlord agrees to lease a home to a tenant and the tenant has an option to buy the home for a pre-negotiated price before the end of the lease. The primary components of a rent to own transaction are the rental term, the purchase price, the upfront deposit, and the monthly rent credit.

When deciding to start looking for a new home, the first step you should take is getting yourself pre-approved by your financial institution of choice. When seeking preapproval, talk to a few different mortgage lenders to find the best mortgage package that suits your needs. Two or three lenders is usually enough to give you a reasonable idea of the amount of money to can afford to spend on a new home.

Your local Orillia Real Estate Agent can share his knowledge and expertise to allow you to get more money from the sale or to save you money when buying your next property.  Utilize their tools and expertise and help ensure your next real estate transaction is a pleasurable experience with the knowledge that you got the best price possible whether buying or selling.

Buying Older Home – Typical Problems

Buying Older Home – Typical Problems.  When buying an older home you are usually buying a home with built in character which has withstood the test of time and is still in habitable condition.  There are some inherent problems that you might encounter when purchasing an older home.  I have listed a few basic ones just for consideration.

Your older homes foundation is probably constructed of cement and stone.  There would have been no waterproofing done to the exterior of the foundation and there will be no weeping tile draining into sump.  This inspection area is one of the most important and expensive to repair if faulty.

Knob and tube wiring was usually installed in all older homes and there is usually still porcelain insulators present even if it was all removed.  You have to have a home inspector or electrician check to ensure all the knob and tube wiring was replaced.  The knob and tube was usually replaced with older two wire which has no ground and unless a total rehab was done on building you will still find two wire at outlets on upper floors and other hard to access areas.

Asbestos and vermiculite can be found in many older homes.  Some older homes had hot water boilers with cast iron radiators.  This systems were typically insulated with asbestos insulation.  Vermiculite insulation may contain asbestos and was frequently added to attics in older homes.  Asbestos requires professional removal which is very expensive.

Lead plumbing pipes and galvanized plumbing lines can be very expensive to replace and were used on most older homes.  Most insurance companies in Ontario will not insure a home with galvanized plumbing pipes.  Galvanized pipes tend to corrode from the inside out so that there is no warning that a pipe is about to burst.

Older homes may have many layers of lead paint which has built up over the years.  Lead-based paint is a major source of lead poisoning for children and can also affect adults. In children, lead poisoning can cause irreversible brain damage and can impair mental functioning. It can retard mental and physical development and reduce attention span. It can also retard fetal development even at extremely low levels of lead.  Thus, young children, fetuses, infants, and adults with high blood pressure are the most vulnerable to the effects of lead.

Your house is old and gorgeous, as are those wonderfully ornate cast-iron radiators, but these days, energy prices are anything but old-fashioned. Older homes have radiators sized for a time when open-window ventilation was popular and insulation was uncommon. If you’ve insulated and updated your windows, your radiators are most likely larger than they need to be.  You should have your home assessed by a heating expert to evaluate the expense and available options if required to upgrade your heating system.

The Barrie Home Inspector has many years of experience in inspecting Century Homes and is also a Certified Building Code Official with the Ontario Building Officials Association.  Commercial Building inspections also entail the same problems as residential and buyers have to be aware of the risks and hazards involved in purchasing older properties.  Visit the Barrie Home Inspector’s site a to obtain more information and advice when dealing with older homes.

Building Basics–by Innisfil Real Estate Agents

When starting a buildings it is typical to start with a foundation which may be then followed with block or poured cement walls. Every block wall requires a footing that is built below the frost line to prevent heaving in the winter.  The footing should be twice as deep as the thickness of the wall and twice as wide.  Footings in wet soil are required to be twice the width of normal footings tp provide the necessary support.

Natural Stone Veneer is made from real stone that is either collected i.e. Fieldstone, or from quarried stone. The stone is sawn so that it is a consistent thickness and weight for use as a veneer. This stone is often called Thin Stone Veneer. Manufactured Stone Veneer is a decorative building material manufactured to replicate the look of natural stone. The names artificial stones, stacked stone veneer, manufactured stone, flexible stone veneer are also used for stone veneer. Stone veneer is fabricated by pouring a lightweight concrete mix to rubber forms of different style and then painted with a coloring process which makes it resemble real stone. The stone veneer produced is then attached to walls with special mortars. Flexible stone veneer is fabricated by pulling a thin layer of stone from a slab of slate, sandstone, or mica schist. It is backed by a composite material.

Insulation performance is measured by R-value – its ability to resist heat flow. Higher R-values mean more insulating power. Different R-values are recommended for walls, attics, basements and crawlspaces, depending on your area of the country. Insulation works best when air is not moving through or around it. So it is very important to seal air leaks before installing insulation to ensure that you get the best performance from the insulation.

Plumbing was extremely rare until the growth of modern cities in the 19th century. At about the same time public health authorities began pressing for better waste disposal systems to be installed. Earlier, the waste disposal system merely consisted of collecting waste and dumping it on ground or into a river. Standardized earthen plumbing pipes with broad flanges making use of asphalt for preventing leakages appeared in the urban settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization by 2700 B.C

Many injuries in a dwelling are related to accidents in the bathtub or shower.  The minimum opening requirements for access and egress allows an adult enough room to safely step into and exit the shower area without having to twist or turn through a narrow opening.  The shower opening (or access and egress opening) should be at least 22 inches (559 mm) of clear and unobstructed finish-width.  The 22-inch width is based on the approximate shoulder width of an average-sized adult.  This minimum opening dimension also provides comfortable access to service the valves, showerheads and drain.  It allows for emergency response and rescue access, and emergency egress.

In 2007, 20 percent (26.1 million) of total U.S. housing units were served by septic systems.  This is an increase of 1.54 million septic systems since 1985.  In 2007, 22 percent (1.6 million) of all housing units less than 4 years old used septic systems.  In 2007, 46 percent (10.1 million) of occupied housing units with septic systems were located in the southern region of the United States.  A septic inspection leads to an inspection report that provides the client with information about the type and condition of the onsite wastewater treatment system as observed at the time of the inspection.  Recommendations for further evaluation or corrective actions regarding the systems and components might be included in the report.

The Barrie Home Inspector’s company provides visial and Thermal Imaging inspections of all major components of your home.  A small investment considering the expense of buying property.  Visit <a href="Alliston Home Inspector>The Barrie Home Inspector’s Site</a> to arrange an inspection.

Masonry Block–Building Tips

Every block wall-regardless of height or length-should be placed on a secure footing of poured concrete. A block barbecue grill or outdoor fireplace requires a large concrete pad as a footing. The footing must extend down beyond the frost line to prevent heaving in the winter.

For a footing poured in an area where drainage is a problem, lay a drain line along the outer edge of the form. Allow for a drop of about 1" for each 20′ of drain line. Backfill over the drain line with about 12" of crushed stone or gravel. In Ontario this is mandatory and must be installed for any building of 100 square feet in size.

Building exact corners is the most important construction of a masonry wall as corners will guide the building of the rest of the wall. A corner pole will make the job easier. A corner pole is any type of post which can be braced into a true vertical position and which will hold a taut mason’s line without bending. Two such poles are set up, one on each corner, with the mason’s line stretched between them. Corner poles for block walls should be marked every 4 to 8 inches, depending on how high the material is with which you are building the wall. Such marks must be absolutely level when the mason’s line is stretched between them.

Set the corner block first. Be sure you are using the correct block. Check the starting corner block, both horizontally and vertically, and take time to get it positioned correctly. All other blocks will align with this starter block, so it’s very important to set it exactly. Follow this same procedure as you reach the other corners, laying the first course out about two or three blocks in each direction. Tie a line between two bricks and stretch it between the two corner blocks on the first course.

Corners and lead blocks are generally built 4-6 rows high, with each course being stepped back one block from the course below, creating a pyramid effect. The wall alignment, plumb and level should be checked on these corners before completing the wall. If everything checks out fine, it is now time to fill in each course between the corners.

Because they can be adjusted in size slightly, mortar joints provide some layout flexibility. While the ideal mortar joint is 3⁄8 inch wide, masons routinely shrink joints to as small as 1⁄4 inch or stretch them to as large as1⁄2 inch. Joints that fall out- side this range are unsightly and, with a few small exceptions, prohibited by most building codes.

The Barrie Home Inspector uses his training to ensure every building inspected meets or exceeds the required building code practices. As a Certified Building Code Official he is one of the few Barrie Home Inspector’s with Ontario Building Code training in both Part 9 and Part 3 of the Building Code.

Baby Boomers–Investing In Real Estate

According to a CBC poll, " 53 percent of boomers polled said
they do not feel confident they’ll be able to afford a
comfortable retirement. That’s up from 44 percent who were
concerned about retirement finances in March."

Did you know, the longer you live, the more you’ll benefit
from delaying the start of your Social Security checks.
Although you can start receiving checks as early as age 62,
the amount of your checks increases the longer you wait, up
until age 70. An analysis by T. Rowe Price financial planner
Christine Fahlund found that if you expect to live until at
least 80, you’d be better off waiting until after age 65 to
start drawing benefits.

Financial planners used to routinely create retirement
plans that stopped at age 85, because the chances seemed
pretty good their clients would be dead by then. (The
average life expectancy at age 65 is 10.3 years for men,
12.4 years for women.) But averages don’t tell the tale. You
may be in better health than the average Joe or Jane, take
better care of yourself or have better genes. Even if you
don’t, your spouse might; Fidelity Investments has found
that the chances of one member of a couple living past 90
are about 50%.

Immediate annuities offer a similar pitfall. They’re great
in concept — a way to lock in a lifetime stream of income
in return for a lump-sum payment to an insurance company.
The problem is that the payments you get typically reflect
the prevailing interest rates at the time you purchase the
annuity. If you buy an immediate annuity now, you could be
locking in rates that are still near record lows.

What boomers think retirement will be like and what it
actually is like are two very different things. A case in
point: The forever young generation just can’t deal with the
idea of growing old. Only 13% of pre-retirees (people over
50 who have not yet retired) think their health will be
significantly worse in retirement than it is now, while 39%
of retirees report that it actually is worse, according to
2011 research by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the
Harvard School of Public Health.

Boomers are untying the knot at a record pace. The divorce
rate for people over 50 has doubled in the past 20 years,
says the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at
Bowling Green State University, compared to a slight
decrease in divorce overall. More than 300,000 couples over
50 divorced in 2008, and if the rate continues to grow at
current levels that number will jump to more than 400,000 in
2030. What’s fueling this trend? Empty nesters who find they
are a lot less compatible when the kids aren’t around is one
reason, says Toronto-based psychologist Tami Kulbatski.