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When bathrooms are put into places they are not intended there might not be room to do certain things, like shower doors. This shower opening is so narrow that a sliding door might leave too small an opening (15") for some people to fit through. The alternative to a door is a curtain. When a curtain is employed, it must be situated so that it actually seals the opening all around. If not, it can leak. Hardwood floors do not handle constant wetness well. And it takes a while for what you see in this photo to happen. I noticed (10 comments)
Well, you just don't see this every day. I know I don't. So what do you do when your shower tiles are coming loose and water is leaking behind? How about some vinyl wallpaper? It's waterproof, stylish and easy to install. And, let the decorator in you come out! Pick something that compliments the personality of your home, or what's on sale at the local discount store. And add a splash of color! You can't go wrong with lavender. These shower tiles are literally held in place by that wallpaper! There are spots where they are loose and if you (16 comments)
"Nonsense" - 11/28/09 06:58 AM
On a home inspection last week the house had a newly finished basement. It was supposedly finished by a Class A contractor, who is also an investor. The common term would be flipper. The Realtor told me this particular investor has flipped many houses in the area. Let's call him "Flipper." Flipper is not using a Realtor - he's selling it himself! Among other things in the basement, there were many "clues" that the electrical alone was not professional, not to code and done without a permit. Alright, they weren't clues, they were obviously unprofessional installations! For example: ~~ The entire (18 comments)
Thermal Camera - The New Smell Detector? - 11/21/09 05:04 AM
On a recent thermal examination of a house I was called on to find the usual - diagnose why rooms are hot and cold, if recent roof repairs stopped further moisture intrusion as intended, and so forth. It went well. I had a very unusual diagnosis to make also. My client said, "When I am standing at my kitchen sink, I can smell what is going on outdoors. For example, when my neighbor fertilizes his yard, I can smell it almost immediately." There are many things a thermal image camera can detect, but I have never used it to diagnose fertilizer (12 comments)
A Furnace Working As Intended - 11/19/09 07:57 PM
During a thermal infrared inspection today, among other things I was there to investigate, I thought this would be an interesting picture. This is a thermal image of a high efficiency condensing gas furnace. It is the one you have seen with PVC tubing exiting the unit. They are terrific furnaces. The one pictured here is 6 years old, which makes it the fourth generation. This later generation has worked out all the kinks. They work great. Many gas furnaces, like my own, have flues which exit through the roof. My furnace loses a lot of its heat through that flue. (13 comments)
Booby Traps And Land Mines - 11/19/09 05:17 AM
I have learned not to enter a property without an agent present. I have learned not to be alone with a client during a home inspection without the agent present. During the home inspection, I prefer to have the agent walking around with us and not sitting in the kitchen catching up on text messages. Why? Because I have learned that some sellers are desperate enough to do anything to sell the house. In my experience they have gone so far as to try to booby trap my inspection, and lay land mines for me to step on. There is only (14 comments)
Old house, new boiler, new flue, new connection to the old chimney. All good. Except for a couple of things. First, the hole beneath where the flues connect to the chimney has been filled with mortar. That is not good. Second, the new connection to the chimney required that the old connection from the water heater inclines downward. That impedes exhaust drafting. That is not good, either. On top of the hip roof, the chimney is on the side of the house. It is very high, too high for most ladders. And dangerous to access from the roof side. (10 comments)
Jay's Fall/Winter Seasonal Chores List - 11/15/09 07:04 AM
It's that time of year again. It's time for: THE LIST Specifically, the Fall/Winter Seasonal Chores List. You have to do it anyway, so this gift is for you. Every year I will be driving home and hear on the news that it will get below freezing during the night. That's the time I usually realize I have not gotten ready for fall or winter. My hose bibs immediately spring to mind. Note: Obviously this is long past true for some of the country. My list is pretty complete, though likely not totally complete. No one ever knows everything. But, I (10 comments)
I LOVE doing inspections on old, historic homes in Alexandria, Virginia. The city is so full of history, virtually everywhere you go. Over the years I have done many inspections on many historic homes there. Yesterday was no exception. This is a carriage house to a mansion directly behind. It was built in 1860. While nobody could tell me who the owner(s) of the mansion were over the years, it was fun nonetheless to have a look at the place. While a bit hard to see in this photo, there have been many repairs to the brick work over the (42 comments)
Why don't I? Because either way I go I take it on the chin. But if I don't mention it, sooner or later I will be bitten in the hiney. Bring up what? The two small, decorative roofs over the front porch roof window are not level - look at the trim. The right side is much worse than the left, but you can see that neither is level. And the guardrail is not level either. The buyer did not even notice it. If the building supervisor did, he had not tried to correct it. But I am a purist (13 comments)
American-made drywall - 11/12/09 05:52 PM
At a home inspection yesterday on a brand-new house, my client was buying a home built by one of the companies that has installed Chinese drywall in the past. They are having obvious problems because of that installation. My client wanted assurance that there was no Chinese drywall in this house. I was able to find a spot where the stamps were visible to show that this drywall, in fact, was American made! While I cannot guarantee that there is no Chinese drywall in the house, it is a pretty good bet that there is none! This builder likely wouldn't open (6 comments)
The Most Dangerous Appliance In Your House - 11/10/09 08:06 PM
What do you think it is? The microwave? Toaster? Hot tub? Computer (for lots of reasons...)? Actually, it is none of the above. The most dangerous appliance in your house may be your dryer! Think about it. Dryer fires cost Americans as much as $100 million annually! They result in almost 50,000 fires that require the fire department, and average 400 injuries and 15 fatalities - annually. They cause more fires than electrical problems. And 81% of them happen in residential homes. (1) That is dangerous! Most dryer fires are reported in the laundry room. In the olden days, that meant (22 comments)
The house was warm, so I knew there was a furnace. The water was hot, so I knew there was a water heater. I just couldn't find them! The layout of the (lovely) basement made it hard to get my house geography. The six "bedrooms" were placed in a weird array. The former laundry room was no more, in favor I guess of rent from another "bedroom" and the local laundromat. But I was undaunted in my search. I knew where they should be, I just couldn't see how to get to them! Finally, behind a "bedroom" bureau, I saw (11 comments)
What's Wrong With This Picture... I Mean Panel Box? - 11/07/09 05:18 AM
"Must See the Newly Renovated Basement!" Dèjà veux! This might seem similar to my previous post. And it is. When the heat pump in that previous post did not come on, the first thing I checked was the panel box to see if the breaker for the heat pump was turned off. I was able to peek into the box, literally, and see that it was on. So I knew the heat pump had electrical power. Entering the basement I was able to see a fine new paint job. And this clever, nearly square, nearly level, neatly-cut hole around the panel (17 comments)
"Must See the Newly Renovated Basement!" So said the marketing info on the kitchen counter in the house I arrived to inspect. I could hardly wait! OK, when I see things like that, lately anyway, I kind of cringe. When I enter houses for inspections, I begin by turning things on. The dishwasher, washer, dryer, AC or furnace, and so forth. Obviously I test 'em! The house was kind of cold. Not unusual, sometimes the listing agents leave the heat low, especially after the house has a contract on it. So I found the thermostat and turned on the heat. (11 comments)
I was called to do a One Year Inspection prior to the expiration of the builder's warranty. I do a lot of them. Looking at this deck and door from the rear yard everything seemed normal enough. Until I got closer. You might not notice it from this photo. I'm talking about what you see in the photo below.
That's it, right there. Water. Now, it had not rained in the past month. There is a bedroom window above this door, but it could not have been opened during a (17 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.