A Home Inspector’s Weblog by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck

exploring homes and the lives in them around Houston

Finding Info on Products and Services

I have a list of websites that are meant to find information for inspectors, but when going through the list, I found that the sites were either not up yet, or they were not there. When thinking of how to provide you with further locations for data, I thought about how one could search to get to the site you need quickly. Some search engines seem to place advertisements before the goal of your search, so here is what I came up with for a search method:

1) Most manufacturers of a product will belong to a trade association for that product. These associations want to improve consumer understanding and use of their products. To find these sites, type ” (name of product) + association”. For example, “roof association” or better “roofing association” will bring you to a site for roofs. However, you could be more specific. Interested in a metal roof, type in “metal roofing association”, and you will come to their site.

2) Service providers also form associations. These groups attempt to hold members to higher standards, and they give you a way to find a qualified repair company. Type in “(name of service) + association” to find their site. For example, by typing “foundation repair association” will bring you to their site.

3) Some of these groups have sites which are listed under the “.org” suffix for their site name. To find these sites, type “(name of service) + org” to find their site. For example, by typing “plumbing org” could bring you to their site.

4) The best site that I know of for providing a guide to projects around the home is FineHomeBuilding.com. There are many free articles, but you could purchase a membership for only one month (great for one project) or for a year (great for several projects).

5) Many people have come to this blog for home staging information. I realize this is important for sellers, but it has been a side interest of mine. I think my web site, which can be linked to the right, has a pretty good section on staging on the “Owning a Home” page, but I have not include pictures yet. To see staged homes, go to StagedHomes.com. One page will show you pictures from already staged homes to give you an idea of what works. I wish that they had before and after pictures though. The site also has a way to put you in touch with a home stager (“ASP” or “accredited staging professional”).

Of course sites like Wikipedia or Stumble Upon will produce results, but I think that the above search method can help. These groups will always have the latest information before anyone else. Home improvement centers will have some pdf files on choosing a particular appliance on their sites.

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