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Padding the resume OR Who's fooling who? AND Who may get hurt? - 11/30/08 06:27 PM
I was in a Real Estate office last week, and noticed a new home inspector's brochure on the shelf. Since I didn't recognize the name, I picked it up out of curiosity. I was very surprised to see that he said he had been an inspector for 12 years. He also said he was an officer in a home inspection organization I had never heard of. I've been an inspector since 1989 and lived in Knoxville since 1994. I have a pretty good idea who was doing inspections here 12 years ago, since there were not all that many of us (11 comments)
On The Road Again - Thanksgiving Travel - 11/27/08 08:47 AM
Found these photos while looking for something else. Note to self - You really need to catalog your photos in a more systematic way. They brought to mind traveling on holidays to see family and friends. That brought up the memory of a Thanksgiving trip to see my Mother. We were living in Long Beach and my Mom lived in Palm Springs, a couple hour drive under good conditions. So, one Wednesday evening, after work, we got in the car and started on the drive for a Thanksgiving weekend with Mom. Five minutes to the 605, got on the freeway and (0 comments)
Cyber prospects - Are they REAL?? - 11/26/08 03:04 PM
I know we all get them. Those e-mails from someone we don't know, and they are going to trust us enough to give us millions of dollars (for a slight fee to ensure OUR honesty), just for being a nice person. OK, that isn't really what I wanted to talk about. I want to discuss those e-mails we get from a prospective client. They usually ask a bunch of questions, give little information, and never seem to turn into anything. I may get an e-mail from a link on the ASHI website where someone has narrowed a search to KNoxville, TN (4 comments)
Finally get to use those green chilis - 11/22/08 03:06 PM
Today I'm cooking chili verde. I usually only cook it once a year, since it takes so much time. This is the main reason I grow green chilis and roast and freeze them during the summer. It's also one of the few times we eat pork, since we try to keep a relative healthy diet most of the time. I start out with about 15 pounds of pork shoulder roast, de-bone it, trim the fat and cut it into cubes. I render the fat to use for browning the meat later, and use the bones to make stock. About 2 lbs (3 comments)
Odd stuff we see inspecting houses - 11/22/08 07:43 AM
When I started inspecting homes, I would sometimes spend time looking at cool built in bookcases, or interesting cabinets, or odd furniture. After a while, it took something out of the ordinary to catch my attention. I mean, just how many Frank Lloyd Wright style stained glass windows do you need to see before you lose interest. Now, it takes something really strange or out of place to even make a blip on my radar. The following photo is an example of something that did catch my attention. This was in a very nice lake house. Not a mega-mansion, just a (4 comments)
Dogs going crazy for no reason - 11/22/08 07:10 AM
Last night my dogs were going crazy in the dining room. They were barking and jumping around, and pretty much acting like a couple of 13 year old boys that have spent the day drinking Red Bull, eating candy, and well, being 13. They were out of control. They usually act that way (well, not THAT bizarre) when there is a squirrel in the bird feeder. I knew it couldn't be a squirrel since I took the bird feeder down for some repairs. So I grabbed my flashlight and went out back to see what was causing them to be so (7 comments)
Who's a sap?? - 11/21/08 09:13 PM
We see this stuff frequently during inspections of attics. Usually it isn't quite as extensive, or free flowing. I was at a home inspectors meeting a few years ago and a slide came up that showed this stuff on a rafter, and one of the inspectors started talking about toxic mold, and health risks, etc. The rest of the room quickly corrected him. I just thought this was a cool example, and YES, I know, the attic insulation is upside down.
Lack of ventilation and wet conditions in crawlspace - 11/21/08 09:06 PM
Two of the worst things you want to see in a crawlspace, poor ventilation, AND wet conditions. The house I inspected yesterday, had three things going against it. 1. Poor ventilation. The house was built about 1 block too low, so most of the vents were not about the ground. Not only did they not install enough vents around the house, but where there were vents, they managed to effectively block the air flow by building little boxes around the vents. Of course the vent wells were full of leaves, mulch, grass clippings and who knows what else to help block (8 comments)
Found a photo that jogged a memory - 11/08/08 04:22 PM
I was looking through my photo library to make a new screen saver. A good portion of my library just happens to be inspection photos (who would guess), but then there are also the yard photos, the dog photos, photos of my daughter, vacation shots, and the general, "Just happen to have the camera with me at the time photos". This photo was taken earlier this year at Pellissippi State at the hot air balloon festival. I thought I would share it here.
Inspecting for Builder's - 11/05/08 09:07 PM
There are a couple of builders in the Knoxville area that hire me to do a home inspection before they are finished. Sometimes they have me come in before the County Inspector, sometimes after. While the County or City inspectors are checking things out for "code", they are really not looking at everything a professional home inspector looks at. In fact, many times they don't look at a system twice, assuming that once it's checked, nothing is going to change. They also have a lot less time to spend going through a house. If they are lucky, or have a short (3 comments)
What is wrong with this photo??? - 11/05/08 08:30 PM
This is so wrong on so many fronts. Can you tell me why? Do not scroll down to the bottom photo until you can not figure out what is wrong. If you still don't know what's wrong after looking at both photos then we can discuss it. Things are just not always what they appear, and we need to keep looking if something just does not seem right at first glance.
don't go further unless you really need to
But I just can't get them lined up!! - 11/05/08 08:12 PM
Those pesky garage door opener sensors. They are standard equipment on all new garage door openers for safety. garage door starts to come down, something trips the beam, and the door reverses. Won't crush the kids or pets, or sack of groceries you left at the back of your car. OK, so they are supposed to be 5 to 6 inches from the floor, and face each other, in alignment for the door to operate properly. If they are not in alignment, the door openers will just not work properly. We usually see them installed too high. However, once in a (8 comments)
How high is really too high - 11/05/08 07:08 PM
When I do an inspection, I have a pretty good idea if the water pressure is too high just by running some faucets. I will put my gauge on a sink faucet and take a reading. Water pressure that is too high can create so many problems, from burst ice maker lines, washing machine hoses, toilet flush valves, dishwashers, and the TPR valves on water heaters. There are some areas around Knoxville where the pressure is well over 160 psi. I have lost several pressure gauges from pressure that was way too high. Even using a liquid filled gauge to dampen (10 comments)
How many birds did it take?? - 11/05/08 06:48 PM
Inspectors will frequently find bird nests in attics. Sometimes they are big. Once in a while they are REALLY big. Then there is the house that has a BIG nest at one end of the attic, and another BIG one down at the other end. Of course, we can not always be certain they are just birds making them, and not always just birds using them. Many times there will be rodent droppings all around them. Many times there will be snake skins around them. I guess the snakes will take care of the rodents and birds.
Really gross food combination - 11/04/08 04:11 PM
Can't really get my brain around this one. A friend of mine was visiting form AZ, and took a couple days off to visit relatives in Mid Tennessee. He brought me back this photo. This is his wife's Uncle or someone in the family eating pinto beans on chocolate cake. I guess he ate like three plates of this stuff. It was one of his favorite foods. I have never heard of anyone putting these two foods together. (10 comments)
But the chimney is brand new!!! - 11/04/08 04:05 PM
There were stains on the living room ceiling. There were stains on the dining room ceiling and wall. There was moisture damage in the attic. The seller was following me around the house like a puppy dog, asking every 5 minutes, "Anything wrong?". I told him there was a problem with his chimney enclosure and it needed repair. I also told him his roof was shot (can't see that well from the photos). His response was, "But the chimney is brand new, my buddy just did it for me". (3 comments)
How many errors can you find in this photo??? - 11/03/08 09:06 PM
There is a lot going on here. You have to marvel at the skill required to do some of this stuff, and wonder how they have managed to live as long as they have. Sometimes we just have to shake our heads and walk away. This is where I will sometimes hear someone say,"Well, I never had any problems with it." This is an example of someone watching This Old House to learn about home repairs, but passes out in the first 10 minutes after drinking a 6 pack. This might even be an example of Joe the Plumber's work, and (9 comments)
Cooked the last of the Japanese eggplant from the garden - 11/03/08 07:00 PM
I picked the plants clean just before the frost the other day. This is what I whipped up. About 4 cups of japanese eggpplant, peeled and cut into small cubes 1-1/2 onions chopped 4 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 can chopped tomatoes w/juice olive oil cumin - about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt/pepper 2 jalapenos seeded and chopped
Heat olive oil in deep pan and brown eggplant for a couple minutes Add jalapenos, garlic and onions continue to cook for another minute or two Add cumin and salt/pepper, and tomatoes simmer for about 45 minutes or until really cooked down (1 comments)
Did anyone else have trouble with squash this year - 11/03/08 08:15 AM
This year was a first for me. I managed to kill a zucchini plant, then a little later I managed to kill a yellow squash plant too. Usually they produce so much that you have to sneak it on your neighbor's porch in the middle of the night to get rid of it. So this year I decided to just plant one of each. I have raised beds that I have used for several years growing herbs and vegtables, so I know it's not the ground, or pesticides or any of that. Here's what happened...Both plants were doing very well and (1 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.