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Home inspector brings technology to job

  • Karam Tascoe, owner of Pillar to Post, flies a drone over a Pooler home on Tuesday during a home inspection. Tascoe uses the drone to check for water damage and loose shingles. (Katie Nussbaum/Savannah Morning News)
  • Karam Tascoe of Pillar to Post points out wood damage on a home in Pooler during a home inspection last week. Wood rot and termite damage are the two most common problems Tascoe sees on homes in the Savannah area. (Katie Nussbaum/Savannah Morning News)
  • Katie Nussbaum/Savannah Morning News - Karam Tascoe with Pillar to Post checks an electrical outlet in a laundry room during a home inspection last week. Tascoe operates the only Pillar to Post franchise in the area and serves Chatham, Bryan and Effingham counties.

One of the oldest conundrums for a homebuyer is knowing how well a house is built. Newer technology is helping to better answer those questions. One local inspector is using more tools than ever to do to give buyers and sellers more confidence.

“We’ve been … making sure Realtors, buyers and sellers see the value in having not only a post-sale inspection done, but a pre-sell inspection done as well,” said Karam Tascoe, who recently opened a Pillar to Post home inspection franchise with this wife, Danielle.

Tascoe, who serves Chatham, Bryan and Effingham counties, is the only Pillar to Post franchise in the area.

“This was just a perfect opportunity for me. I love being outside and I’m pretty handy and it’s something my wife and I could do together,” he said.

Tascoe, who is a veteran and Savannah native, said he decided to open the franchise with Pillar to Post partly because of the support they provide veterans. About half of their more than 500 franchises around the country are veteran owned.

Last Tuesday Tascoe spent about two hours inspecting a 15-year-old home in Pooler that will soon be put on the market and is currently undergoing some small scale renovations and improvements.

“This will help identify any potential concerns for potential buyers,” he said making his way around the outside of the home. To streamline the inspection process Tascoe uses an iPad to make notes and take photos for the report, which can then be printed on site or emailed directly to the homeowner.

“I want to be a non-alarmist. I don’t want to identify purely cosmetic defects. It needs to be something that could be a hazard to a potential home owner.”

Water and termite damage are the two most common problems for homes in our area, he said. Except for a large, active wasps nest outside, the Pooler inspection was pretty standard, according to Tascoe; a few areas of exposed wood with water damage, sloping grading against the home’s foundation and a few non-working electrical outlets.

“There doesn’t appear to be any foundation damage, but it’s something that I’ll notate and they clearly need to be aware of some of the potential risks of water pooling at the foundation,” he said.

“Over time it can get deeper and deeper, but it can be fixed with simple grading improvements.”

Tascoe also checks the age of heating and cooling units and recommends that anything over 15 years old be replaced and uses a drone to survey the roof for any damage. If anything is detected he’ll venture onto the roof, but most of the time he can capture what he needs from the drone’s images.

“It comes in super handy,” he said of the drone.

“I can take excellent pictures; look for any water damage or loose shingles while maintaining a high level of safety.”

Inside points of the inspection include checking for water leaks, testing smoke alarms, insuring toilets are properly anchored and checking for water damage inside the attic.

“Everything checks out… It’s not in bad shape. It just needs to be loved,” he said of the home.

“Most buyers will get an inspection after putting a home under contract, but I think it’s really important for sellers to get ahead of any potential issues and increase their potential selling price by getting that inspection done beforehand and addressing any concerns and making sure they put forth the best product they can for any potential buyers.

For Tascoe, who spent 12 years in the medical device industry, most recently working in sales, Pillar to Post allows him to fulfill his dream of having his own business, something he took lessons on from his mother, who owned a bakery.

“She moved to Atlanta and continued the bakery there, so I had that work ethic, that desire that passion instilled in me from my mom,” he said.

“She really taught me how to service customers and provide excellent service to ensure that you’re taking care of your customers. As long as you’re taking care of your customers you’ll get that repeat business.”

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