BLACK  BEAR  HOME  INSPECTIONS - Company Message
 
 
Black Bear Home Inspections  fees are commensurate with the professional inspection services we provide and offer, the sophisticated testing equipment we use, the ongoing education, training, and testing we undertake annually. We are professionals, certified by NACHI, an industry recognized national home inspection organization, to perform quality inspections. If you're looking for a "budget" or "quickie-type" home inspection company to evaluate your major investment - contract with another company. We do not offer quick, rubber-stamp inspection services. Remember, you're considering a large financial investment, so be "forward thinking" during your inspection company selection process.
 
If you are attending the inspection, you can pay us on inspection day by check or cash.
If you aren't attending the inspection you can make your advance payment by personal check, received and deposited 2 weeks prior to inspection date....and yes, you can pay in advance by credit card by sending your payment to us through PayPal. You don't need to have a PayPal account. Simply go to PayPal:   https://www.paypal.com/  and then click on "SEND" at the top of the PayPal  home page.  Follow the steps. The payment will be sent to: blackbearnevt@gmail.com.
We can send you an invoice via PayPal which includes the link to make payment via PayPal.
Let us know which payment method you would prefer.

Our fees are based on a simple premise - provide each client with a reasonably priced service. To do so, we structured our fee schedule to coincide with the various types of homes that are prevalent in today's market. A fee for a one or two bedroom condominium, should not be the same as an individual house. The fees for smaller homes with only a couple of bedrooms should not be the same as larger homes with many more.

Accordingly, we have based our fee structure to coincide with the specific residence we're going to inspect. Our inspection rates are as follows:

CONDOMINIUM/DUPLEX(per unit)
* under 50 years old:
Studio or 1 bedroom/loft..................$ 275.00   2 or 3 bedrooms/loft......................$ 325.00
4 bedrooms/loft or more................$ 375.00

INDIVIDUAL HOUSE/TOWNHOUSE - under * 50 years old and up to 4,000 sq. ft. Call our office for quotes on homes over 4,000 sq. ft.
Up to 2 bedrooms/loft......................$ 345.00 
3 to 5 bedrooms/loft........................$ 395.00      6 or more bedrooms/loft..............$ 495.00

Fees are based upon any of the homes above having no more than 3 bathrooms. An additional fee of $25 would apply for each additional full bathroom. Half-baths only $15 additional each. 

A surcharge may apply for inspections conducted more than 20 miles from our Wardsboro office due to increasing fuel costs.
21 - 50 miles...............................$ 25.00
51 - 80 miles...............................$ 50.00
Call our office for surcharge cost for  inspections more than 80 miles from our Wardsboro office.

A minimum re-inspection fee of $150.00 is applicable in the event we are asked to return to a previously inspected residence - payable in advance and in addition to any fees for supplemental testing we are asked to perform during the second visit.

ADDITIONAL FEES :

Multi house complex..........varies, please contact Black Bear for price quote.

Homes/Condos 50 years to 99 years older- additional .......................... $ 50.00

Homes 100 years or older-additional................................... $ 100.00

Garages/Large Outbuilding - (detached only) 175 sq. ft. to 500 sq. ft ................ $ 75.00

***Outbuildings (small storage shed, detached carport, etc.) less than 175 sq ft . ... $ 40.00
 
***Barns, oversized Garages or Outbuildings (fee varies based upon size)................. please contact Black Bear for price quote.

***Only as requested or required. Inspections for attached garages are included with our report.
 
  
Optional Inspection Services:

Water Penetration Testing - (see information below).........................................$ 45.00 Beyond a visual inspection, with the use of non-invasive testing equipment from within the house, we can scan exterior and interior walls to determine moisture levels (if any) that may exist within these walls. Even if there hasn't been any recent rain, latent moisture can still be hidden within walls and wood - which we can detect with this testing procedure. In many instances, this could possiblt unveil issues related to leaking roofs, leaking windows, or internal plumbing problems.

In-house Water Testing -
Bacteria ( coliform bacteria),  Nitrates, Nitrites, Pesticde, Lead, Iron, Hardness, pH, Chlorine, Copper ........................ $ 65.00

Water Pressure/Well Flow (gallons per minute)........................................$ 25.00
 
Combined Water Tests (both listed above)..........................................$ 80.00

.FHA / HUD / VA complete Water Test or if Client wishes a laboratory Water Test - TotalColiform Bacteria, Lead, Nitrate, Nitrite, Total Nitrate/Nitrite, Chloride, Copper, Hardness, Iron, Manganese,pH, Alkalinity, Arsenic, Flouride .........................$ 280.00
If any of the above agencies (or if Client wishes it) also require testing to include NITROGEN AMMONIA, there is an additional fee of $30.00.

***Radon Testing - Air - within 15 miles of office (see NOTE 
below).............. $ 115.00

***Radon Testing - Air - more than 15 miles of office (see NOTE  below).............. $ 155.00

*** Includes lab fee for radon air and/or water testing.


NOTE: Rates listed above apply to radon testing in conjunction with a home inspection. If radon air testing is contracted for without a home inspection, the fee is $155 for radon air testing performed within 15 travel miles of the Wardsboro, VT office. Radon air testing beyond 15 travel miles, but still within our service area of Bennington & Windham counties is $195. The higher fee is due to increased fuel costs and that two visits are required for radon air testing - the second visit is to retrieve the radon test for lab processing.

***Radon Testing - Well Water........... $ 75.00

 For a radon water test performed without a home inspection, the cost is $105 within 15 miles and $145 if greater than 15 miles from our Wardsboro office.

Black Bear Home Inspections STRONGLY suggests that radon testing be performed on every home, whether you're the home buyer, the home seller, or the home owner.

When making your decision on an inspector, we know that you will be extremely satisfied, and have more "peace of mind," by choosing Black Bear Home Inspections. Just knowing that your investment is being inspected by professionals with comprehensive and ongoing training, who have passed the stringent National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) exam, who are Radon Measurements Specialist's - as recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Radon Safety Board (NRSB.org), and who adhere to nationally accepted inspection standards... should make your decision to choose Black Bear Home Inspections an easy one.

THERE IS A $100 CANCELLATION FEE FOR INSPECTIONS REQUESTED (NO SPECIFIC DATE/TIME SCHEDULED) AND PAID FOR - THEN CANCELED BY THE CLIENT PRIOR TO THE INSPECTION BEING FORMALLY SCHEDULED. THERE ARE NO REFUNDS FOR "SCHEDULED" INSPECTIONS (PAID IN ADVANCE TO ENSURE AN INSPECTION DATE) CANCELED WITHIN THE 5 DAY PERIOD PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED INSPECTION - WHETHER CANCELED BY THE CLIENT OR THE CLIENT'S REAL ESTATE REPRESENTATIVE (REALTOR), OR CANCELED BY THE SELLER OR THE SELLER'S REAL ESTATE REPRESENTATIVE - AND NOT IMMEDIATELY RE-SCHEDULED THE SAME DAY THE CANCELATION WAS INITIATED.
 
RADON & WATER:
 
Things you should be aware of:
 
RADON IS THE SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF LUNG CANCER IN THE UNITED STATES!
 
Radon in Nature:
Radon gas is produced during the radioactive decay of uranium and thorium, common throughout the Earth. They disintegrate into lighter radioactive elements like radium, polonium and lead. All are heavy metals except for one — radon.
 
Radon gas slowly oozes from the ground. Radon concentration is measured by the radioactivity it produces (1 Curie is the radioactivity of 1 gram of radium). The average radon level in ambient air is 0.4 pCi/L (picoCuries per liter). Where there are heavy concentrations of rock and ledge - radon may be readily present.
 
Radon in Homes:
Radon is the heaviest of all gases, eight times heavier than air. It accumulates in basements or on lower floors and then, diffuses throughout the building.
The average radon level in US homes is 1.25 pCi/L. About 1 out of every 15 homes exceeds the "action limit" of 4 pCi/L and nearly 1 out of 6 exceeds the 2 pCi/L "consider action limit".
 
Having even minimal elevated levels of radon in your home carries a mortality risk three times higher than the risk of dying in a car crash - or the equivalent to smoking 10 cigarettes a day. In fact, if you smoke AND live in a home with elevated levels of radon in the air, your risk of contracting lung cancer can be as high as 10 times greater than living in a home without elevated radon levels.
 
Radon is a Potent Carcinogen:
Radon gas decays into minute radioactive particles which float in the air we breathe. These particles get trapped in the lungs where they undergo radioactive decay with a half life of 22 years. The radiation damages the DNA of adjacent cells and causes lung cancer. Experts state:
"Radon is the most potent environmental carcinogen to which the general public is exposed." [2000 Report on Carcinogens]
"Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer." [The Surgeon General]
"Radon causes more deaths than home fires, drownings, and airplane crashes combined." [US EPA]
"Radon causes about 21,100 deaths in the U.S. each year." [US EPA & The National Academy of Sciences, 2003 estimate]
Radon is the #1 cause of Lung cancer among non-smokers:
The recent death of Dana Reeves (age 44), Christopher Reeves' wife, has raised public awareness about radon risks and lung cancer, especially among people who have never smoked, like Dana Reeves. Smoking, radon, and secondhand smoke are the three leading causes of lung cancer - IN THAT ORDER - so radon is a serious health hazard. Although lung cancer can be treated, the survival rate is one of the lowest among cancers. From the time of diagnosis, only 11 to 15 percent of those afflicted will live beyond five years. In many cases lung cancer can be prevented; this is especially true for radon.
Radon Mitigation Methods:
Sub-slab depressurization systems draw concentrated radon gas from beneath the slab and exhaust it above the roof. Their cost varies from $800 to $2,500. They also pull heated or air-conditioned air and EPA estimates that the average operating costs and energy losses are $150/year. Each radon stack emits about 1 Curie per year of the heavy radioactive gas - more than enough to eliminate dangerous levels within homes.
If the basement area of the home has a readily accessible concrete slab, there is now an advanced technology - RadonSeal penetrating concrete sealer which can seal pores deep inside concrete reducing radon penetration through the slab of up to 99%.
 
Testing for Radon:
In any event, radon is a serious issue and should be monitored by all home owners, especially those situated in zones established by the EPA as being moderate to severe.
The EPA recommends that if you are considering the purchase of a home, that you know what radon levels currently exist in the house. Considering the long-term effects of high levels radon exposure, not testing the house for radon levels in the air and well water is foolish and not forward thinking.
If you're a home buyer, a home seller, or a home owner - having the house tested for radon levels just makes sense.
Well Water Bacteria:
The EPA, as part of its Enviro Health full environmental inspection, tested water samples from well derived tap water at various locations throughout the United States to see if there was any bacterial growth. Often there was.
In many cases bad bacteria, such as Coliform was present. Total Coliform bacteria are a group of bacteria that are easily cultured and identified. Included in this group of Total Coliform bacteria are the Fecal Coliforms; these bacteria mostly come from warm-blooded animal wastes. One specific subgroup of the Fecal Coliform group is the E. coli group of bacteria. These E. coli are primarily from human wastes and can pose a threat to human health.
Sound scary? It can be. Keep in mind that wells are drilled deep into the ground. In almost every well there is a steel casing, which over time, may have deteriorated or cracked due to ground movement. This is an easy way for contaminates to enter the well water. Buying a home that derives its water from a well? Do some "forward thinking" and have the well water tested!
The follow-up question of course is: If bacteria in water are a concern to you, what do you do about them?
YOUR CHOICES
In most cases, well water that is contaminated with Coliform can easily be treated. For Drilled wells deeper than 200 feet, calcium hypochlorite tablets (Chlorine pool tablets) can be used. It is recommended, though, that if your well bacteria test comes back positive with unacceptable levels of Coliform, that you contract with a qualified professional and have them perform the necessary steps to sanitize your well water.
 
If the bacteria test comes back positive for other bacteria contaminants, in many cases installing and maintaining a water purification unit can solve the problem. Again, a test will determine any potential issues that can be addressed by qualified professionals who specialize in water treatment. The cost of such purification systems are relatively low - and can be easily maintained.
But the most important choice of all, is deciding whether or not to test your water for bacteria. Well water, in particular, is much more readily to have contamination than city water - which regularly treats the water supply prior to having it piped to your home. As previously referenced by the EPA that well water can contain radon and should be tested, bacteria can also be present in many private wells. Black Bear Home Inspections believes the cost of having your well water tested for bacteria is well (no pun intended) worth it when compared to the potential consequences of not testing - especially if you're moving into a new home. If you have any questions about your water - contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline, toll free at 1-800-426-4791.
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