Category Archives: Home Sales Requirements

MN Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Where do I put smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in my MN home?

When I see haphazard joist and rafters painted white - primed, it usually indicates a past house fire.

When I see haphazard joist and rafters painted white – primed, it usually indicates a past house fire.

All to often I see people updating their smoke alarm  and carbon monoxide detector requirements only when their are getting ready to sell their home.

MN Smoke Detector and CO Alarm Law-

1)  place a smoke detector  in every bedroom

2)  one in each hallway outside the bedrooms

3)  one on each floor level

* You should have one carbon monoxide detector on each level of the home. 

If you remodel, and if it is possible to hard wire at least one smoke detector into your main electrical system, you should. During remodeling, where the connection to the building wiring is difficult to achieve, battery operated alarms may be used. Check with your local building code department for specific requirements.

Youtube always has good DYI videos! Here is one on replacing an existing hard-wired smoke detector.


For more complete MN building code requirements for residential buildings visit the MN Department of Labor and Industry website.

Victoria Morris –MN BUILDING INSPECTIONS/Inspector

MN Home Inspector is Worth the Cost

St. Paul MN home inspector. MN Building InspectionsDid you know that the average home was sold for only 94% -96% of the listed price in 2015. Obtaining a detailed home inspection will most likely provide good reasons to renegotiate the asking price. With average home sales in the 7- County Twin Cities area being about $224, 000 you may be able to save $11,200 ( 5%) on average, off the list price with your home inspection investment. To see more Minnesota Real Estate Statistics review the MN Realtors Market Update.

A common, and expensive defect found during a home inspection is an aging roof. If the shingles are severely aged, there may be existing interior water damage from roof leaks. Snow on the roof  through-out the winter in Minnesota may make it impossible to walk the roof during a winter by a MN home inspector. However, there are usually visible areas where the snow stays melted off the shingles. These areas are often found where heat is escaping through the attic or second story wall sections. (Opposed to roof areas with no heat, which will turn the melted snow into ice dams.) Yes, there is a balance needed for all of your home systems.

These visible areas allow for a general diagnostic of the roof condition, but won’t reveal the roof  in great detail. This is why it is important to get into the attic, and assess the condition of the roof penetrations and deck board during the inspection if at all possible. Re-roofing a home can cost between $5,000 and $15,000.

There are usually some electrical defects. If the home owner has remodeled without obtaining the proper permits, this can devalue the selling price. Older homes (60 years+) may warrant the need for a total re-wire. The average cost to re-wire a home is between 5% – 15% of the homes value.

The heating and cooling system almost always needs servicing. It is a wise investment for any home owner to have your furnace and A/C cleaned and serviced annually. When you have this done, make sure the technician leaves a maintenance record affixed to the HVAC system. Replacement costs range from $2,500-$8,000 for one, or both heating/cooling systems.

Landscaping and drainage issues are known to cause a great amount of costly repairs. Usually causing foundation cracking, and basement water infiltration. This can result in greatly raising a buyer’s investment cost to correct. This is a very common area of need found by a home inspector.

So in the end, if a home inspection only saves you $1000 off the asking price, then you have approximately tripled this important pre-sale investment.