Professional Consulting Services
Adobe homes are unique, with special needs and knowledge to maintain them at their peak efficiency. If you are in the process of purchasing an adobe home, are unsure of what you are buying and need professional advice, I can help.
I have done many inspections and analysis’ of adobe homes. For a reasonable fee, you can have my thirty years of working on and preserving adobe homes at your disposal. Even if you do not live in Tucson, I can still assist you. With the advent of smart phones and “FaceTime,” you can walk around your potential home in real time and show me the property, a remarkable aspect of modern technology.
Below is a video I recently made (May, 2020) from an almost 1.5 hour consultation I had with George, a retired home builder. George had a contractor whom he thought was an adobe expert trowel on a new mud plaster to his 1830’s home. Unfortunately, within two weeks or so after the job was completed, it had a catastrophic failure.
George called me, hoping I could help in this unfortunate situation. I knew this situation with George and the unusual circumstances surrounding it was unique and would make an excellent informational video for other mud adobe homeowners that might encounter similar challenges:
Most consultations are accomplished with the client emailing or texting me various photos of their problem areas. The normal fee is $125.00. After looking them over and receiving payment for the consultation, I schedule a mutually convenient time for both of us when we can speak on the phone and discuss the problems and solutions. My phone number is (520) 331-4004; my email address is: email@example.com
The standard $125 consultation is limited to approximately an hour on the phone. To date, no consultations have excessively exceeded this time frame and you can expect your project to fit within this parameter. If you require any of the consultation to be in writing, this will dramatically increase the standard $125 fee due to the vastly increased amount of work involved in creating a written document.
You may need expert witness testimony if you happen to find yourself in a lawsuit dealing with issues with adobe structures. Or, you may be an insurance adjuster with a policy holder who has submitted a claim for water damage to their adobe home and you need an expert in adobe materials, repair and restoration to determine if the claim is reasonable—I can help.
In August of 2019, I received a phone call from Chris McCabe, project and maintenance manager of the Desert Botanical Gardens (DBG) in Phoenix, AZ. They needed advice on how to maintain and repair their original, 1939 sun-dried, mud adobe building. Chris found me on the internet, read through my website, liked what he saw and read, and contacted me via email about wanting to hire me on a consulting basis.
Chris sent me some initial photos and we scheduled a time where I could consult with him and other staff members of the DBG over the phone. Below is a five minute version of the approximate hour long + conversation:
The rest of the consultation is only available to paid subscribers to our “Premium Content Page.” If you wish to listen to the entire consultation and view the photographs, click here: http://adobemaster.com/premium-content/
Also in August of 2019, I received another phone call from Richard, an engineer, calling me concerning his daughters and son-in-law’s recently purchased burnt adobe home—a fix-up special—in Surprise, AZ. The home is an unusual design, is on ranch property, and Richard and his family had many questions and issues with the adobe.
Richard sent me pictures of some of the problem areas and hired me for a consultation. Here is a sampling:
Both photos are interior shots of the burnt adobe . Notice the poor joint work that suggests this home was owner-built and/or the repairs were attempted by an amateur.
The owners of this home were dissatisfied with the evident sloppiness of the mortar joints, as shown in the right picture above. They wished to stucco or plaster over this wall to hide what they felt was non-appealing, sending me this photo of another interior wall that was plastered over that they wished to match:
I caution clients to avoid covering over any portion of either their interior or exterior adobe because adobe homes are rare compared to the vast number of other homes that are built, whether wood framed, block, stuccoed, etc. There are homebuyers looking to purchase adobe homes that will pay a premium price for the charm and look of authentic adobe.
When a homeowner covers over any portion of their adobe, it is my opinion that they are subtracting—in some fashion—from the resale value of that particular home. Stuccoed homes are common, especially in the southwestern United States, but adobe homes are not. Keeping as much of the unique look of your adobe home is important for resale.
I understand, like this client, that the poor workmanship reflected in this joint and repair work is not appealing and requires a solution. My suggestion was to attempt to remove, if possible without damaging the fragile face of these adobes, the offending mortar and correctly repair it.
Of course, if you own the home and these imperfections make you feel uncomfortable in your own living space, few would criticize your remodeling decisions to create an atmosphere where you are the most content.
The picture below, to the right, shows the new, outdoor San Luis adobe patio floor these clients recently put down. I did not have good news for them on this unfortunate installation decision: burnt adobes should never be used for flooring in exposed, outdoor areas such as this picture shows.
In fact, this location is one of the worst choices for this adobe because of, at least, two reasons: first, notice the fountain: a source, if continually used, that will be introducing water into this area on a continual basis. Water from fountains are never contained within the fountain basins—they always splatter and drip onto the surrounding surfaces…in this case, onto the surrounding adobes, eventually soaking them and virtually guaranteeing their demise.
Second, notice the mature bougainvilleas planted around the perimeter of the patio. Though mature, well established bougainvilleas like these do not require nearly the kind of regular watering that rose bushes do, they still must be watered, which is the problem for any and all kinds of adobes: water is the number one enemy of adobes, and the less water an adobe has to face in its lifetime, the healthier they will be.
Below is an approximately two minute sample of an almost forty minute phone consultation I recently completed in March of 2018 (see more details on this particular consultation and how you can access the complete project by scrolling down near the end of this page). This will give interested listeners an idea of what you can expect to learn and see with the full, paid version:
In March of 2017, I received an email from Jay G. in Texas. Jay is interested in purchasing an old, circa 1900 or earlier mud adobe building in Marfa, TX. He hired me to do a phone consultation with him while he walked around the property in Marfa. Using his Android smart phone, my iPhone, and utilizing a real-time Facebook live-link feed via Messenger, I was able to inspect the property while Jay did the videoing…all done within the comfort of my own home.
Technology is remarkable and only getting better. Jay was informed by someone that this particular building was a tear-down; wisely, he sought out an alternate opinion and he searched on the Internet and found my website. Though the building was indeed in rough shape and some of it would have to be torn-down, much of it was salvageable. My expert opinion helped Jay to make the decision he needed to.
Even if you don’t have a smart phone, as long as you have a decent digital camera and know how to download pictures to my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), I can still help you.
People frequently call me from across the country because they cannot find a local expert to help them with their adobe home needs. With the internet, I can become your “virtual” inspector and help you with your adobe home purchase.
Most problems can be solved by my minimum consultation fee of $125.00. For this, I will look over the pictures you send me, ask a series of questions to find out as much information on the problem from your perspective as possible, and formulate a repair/restoration plan. Then, I will walk you through the actual steps of the repair/restoration process, as well as provide a needed material list for you to purchase. Call Roy Spears at (520) 331-4004 for more details. Or email me at email@example.com
For more complicated issues, the fee can be higher. After viewing the photos a client initially sends me, I can then determine the approximate cost of the analysis. I will inform you upfront if I anticipate the cost will exceed the typical $125.00 fee and you can decide whether or not you wish to proceed.
Actual consultation of a 1939 adobe home now available
Recently (March of 2018), Eleni R. contacted me to consult on her parents adobe home; her extensive Internet search to find a local adobe preservation/restoration professional proved fruitless. After Eleni discovered me on the web and initiated contact via email, I was hired for a $125 consultation.
I recorded the conversation with Eleni’s permission. After undergoing some helpful editing, I added the pictures she sent me to the audio track. The result is an approximate 40 minute video/audio uploaded to Youtube that is an excellent and valuable resource for anyone who may need my professional consulting services for their home or project.
For $39.95, you can watch and listen to the video of this paid consultation with Eleni. You will learn valuable and critical information that directly addresses the unique preservation needs of an adobe home and view the actual photographs of the project sent to me by a paid client—at a cost of approximately 70% less than the actual rate.
This steeply discounted rate of a regular priced consultation will help you in deciding whether or not my professional services could be of value to your project. At the very least, you will gain knowledge and information that will be invaluable to your own adobe home and in protecting and preserving one of life’s most valuable assets.
To take advantage of this unique offer, click on the PayPal link directly below this paragraph. After paying your $39.95 fee and I receive confirmation from PayPal that your funds have been deposited, I will send you the link to the video. No one will be able to view the video without being provided the required link:
Note: If you have problems with the above link, please call or text me at (520) 331-4004 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is an approximately two minute sample of the almost forty minute phone consultation (this is the same sample found in the beginning of this article):
An Added Bonus:
Included in your $39.95 payment, I will provide you another link that will take you to a password protected page here on my website concerning another consultation I did with another client, Eric.
He contacted me because of a myriad of mysterious holes he had in the adobes of his home, sending me several pictures of the problem.
Here is one of the pictures:
After viewing the pictures and confident I could help solve his problem and answer the mystery, Eric hired me. You will read how this consultation developed, the help it provided Eric, and the opportunity to view additional photos from the project.