The R&R Factor

If there is a common entrepreneurial sin, it is the failure to “get away”. Most business owners don’t want to completely close the door and walk away for any extended amount of time, but all of us need revitalization, rest, and time to think, brainstorm, and plan.

The A to Z group schedules business planning retreats every quarter, normally in a drivable location that is interesting, stimulating and relaxing. We will be in Galveston the last  week in March, Wimberley (Texas Hill Country) in september and Sante Fe in December. 

Besides ample free time, every day includes discussing goals, plans, innovations, and business problems and concepts. The diversity of business owners and partners is energizing. On the upcoming trip we have the executive director of a professional association, a newspaper broker, a minister, a plumbing company, a carpet cleaning company, a lawyer and a building/home inspection company owner. 

Entrepreneurs tend to work 24/7. We lose vision, passion and money if we do not pause, correct our course and listen to others. We are also rewarded when we take the time to listen to other folks’ concerns about their businesses and share our insights with them. What an exciting, fun, profitable difference these getaways have made in the lives and businesses of the A to Z Group. 

If you think you would like to organize a business getaway for your friends and business associates or might like to join us on a trip, call me. We’ll help you any way we can. 

Earl Nightingale observed, “Five years from today you will be like the people with whom you associate today!” All the more reason to spend time with intelligent, industrious people who are devoted to their success—and yours.

Jack L Werner, PH.D., is the owner of A TO Z INSPECTIONS. He was the first designated Master Inspector by ORCIA (Oklahoma Residential and Commercial Inspection Association). Werner hold a degree in construction from OSU and teaches Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and Universal Design & Builders. He was honored by the Oklahoma Professional Women in Buildings Association as 2011 member of the year for his contributions to the organization. He can be reached at 405-412-7861.

Other members of the A to Z Group are Dennis Seagroves, Citywide Heat & Air 405-737-2525; Todd Feehan, Dad’s Plumbing, 405-602-2615; Vic Vickers, Handymen R US, 405-670-1733; John McFarland, DJ Roofing, 405-819-0231; Matt Evans, Mortgage Broker, 405-210-5680; Robert Elder, Millionaire Possibilities, 405-286-2000 ; Charles Goodwin D.D.S, Easy Dental, 405-670-3800.


Why get an Inspection?

1. A professional inspector knows/recognizes indications of serious problems that you would not check for or perhaps not recognize. For example, a shower pan that may cost 1,500 to 2,000 to repair. Would you know how to check for a failed shower pan?

2. an experienced inspector can provide a detailed, prioritized punch list of items that need to be repaired.

3. the inspection can confirm what you suspected (or put your mind at ease) or can be a wake-up call on something you didn’t recognize or that was not disclosed.

4. The inspector, as an outside “arms length” professional, can provide dollar-cost estimates that will be a powerful help in your negotiations with the seller or that will protect you from buying a “money pit”.

What must you require from you home inspector?

1. A minimum of four inspector hours, longer for houses that are large or old.

2. That every inspector on your job has passed the Nation Home Inspectors Exam (over half of the inspectors in Oklahoma are “grandfathered” and have never passed any inspection competency test).

3. That you will receive the full, final, detailed report on site.

4. That you will get dollar-cost estimates as part of the inspection report.

5. That the inspector will stay and go over the report with you until ALL of your questions are answered.


A TO Z INSPECTIONS,  Jack Werner PH.D. Owner, Known as the “pickiest, most thorough” inspectors, can be reached at 405-412-7861


Do Commercial buildings really need an Inspection?

Large commercial properties are looked over closely by the buyer’s representatives. These people know a great deal about property values, rents, return on investment, good management, accounting, and maximizing return. In contrast, a good inspector’s specialty is assessing problems and the estimated costs of repair. Over the past year, we have inspected banks, hotels, office buildings, warehouses, strip shopping centers, and apartment complexes. In every case, we found significant items that needed repair. In one 308-unit apartment complex, we found over $1 million of unexpected repair expenses.

A thorough inspection company will probably put in over 20 times the number of hours inspecting a property than the buyer’s representative’s initial assessments. 

When you are spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, a professional set of eyes with objective cost estimates is extremely valuable. 

I inspect buildings for a living and have a degree in construction. Would you pay for an expense inspection if I were purchasing a commercial building? Every time.

A thorough inspection should be an integral part of the decision-making process.

Jack L Werner, PH.D., owns A to Z Inspections and teaches building inspections. He is 2013 State President of ORCIA(Oklahoma Residential and Commercial Inspection Association), an affiliate of ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) HUD Approved Inspector ID#38. He holds a construction degree with a specialty in inspections from OSU/OKC and is the first ORCIA-designated “Master Inspector” in Oklahoma. He can be reached at 405/412/7861 or 

Gas Fire Places

The gas starter in my fireplace is not working or is not working properly. What’s the fix? The fix is probably going to involve calling a plumber, but let’s check some things first.

We are going to assume that you have a gas pipe in your fire place with the slits in the pipe and you do not appear to be getting gas through it. Possibilities: air in the line that needs to be bled off; a gas valve is closed partially closed at the fireplace and/or some other location; the gas to the house is shut off; the gas line present but not connected or the gas line somehow got clogged with debris or improperly installed. Most of the time, it is one of first three things, so first, be sure that the gas to the house is on. Second, check for a closed or partially closed gas shut off in, under, and around the fireplace. Even look on the outside or backside of the fireplace for a gas shut off valve.

Also, check for “light switches” around the fireplace, some have a pilot that is on but only “lit” by flipping a switch.

If you do not identify the problem with these steps, it is time to call a licensed plumber. Cost depends on the problem and the access. A bad valve, problem line will probably be $100 to $200. If the gas was never connected, cost depends on the distance required and how much masonry repair, if any, is required. If gas is reasonably close and you don’t have to tear out the masonry, this can still probably be accomplished for $200 to $400. 

Gas can be dangerous. If it gets beyond identifying off and on valves or switches, call a licensed plumber. 

Jack Werner owns A to Z Inspections, has a degree in construction from OSU and is the President of the Oklahoma Residential and Commercial Inspection Association (ORCIA) for 2013. He was the first Master Inspector in the state of Oklahoma. He can be contacted at 405-412-7861

Todd Feehan has over 15 years in the plumbing business and is the owner of Dad’s Plumbing. He can be contacted at 405-602-2615