unprofessional work: A Tale Of Two Deck Stairs
- 12/03/13 04:57 PM
It was the best of two deck stairs, it was the worst of two deck stairs, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity ... in short, the period was so far like the present period, that most of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Wow, when Dicken fits, Dickens fits!
Well, about it being the best of two deck stairs. There was nothing best, or Best Practice, about either!
unprofessional work: I Find That One Electrical Problem Leads To Others - It Did Here
- 11/19/13 07:24 PM
Whenever I read or hear that there has been substantial remodeling done on a home, I find that one electrical problem leads to others - it did here.
Often it has been done by a homeowner.
Often it has been done without a permit.
Often it has been done by a contractor who is not an electrician.
Often it has been done incorrectly.
Often it is obviously incorrect.
Often it is dangerous, and the people living in the house don't even know.
WHILE IGNORANCE MAY BE BLISS, IT CAN BE DANGEROUS!
I found the sub panel first.
Predicting the most common problem, where the white (neutral)
unprofessional work: "Your Inspector Pushed Down The Insulation Just To Take A Photo Of It"
- 10/27/13 08:42 PM
The Realtor called me many times after the final new-construction inspection that began with this roof, this time saying that the supervisor told them, "Your inspector pushed down the insulation just to take a photo of it."
Do you see how erratic and fluffy that is?
Does it look smashed down?
It is not, and I do not set up photographs.
That is a most disingenuous comment by a very unprofessional person.
I took a dozen measurement-tape readings around the scuttle hole.
They were all 7" - 8".
Looking around the attic there were high and low spots, footprint divots
unprofessional work: Where Did You Say The AC Condensate Water Would Go?
- 10/26/13 09:02 PM
HVAC systems in the attic can control the AC condensate many ways.
Best Practice is to have the system sit on a drip pan. There would be a primary condensate line. But if it clogs there is a drip pan underneath to capture water.
That pan can control any excess water two ways. One is a float to turn off the system if the water in the pan gets too deep. The other is to have a secondary discharge tube attached to the pan which drains outdoors, typically under a gutter so it is visible.
On a pre-drywall inspection I
unprofessional work: Every Mistake Possible On One Brand-New Roof
- 10/16/13 09:53 PM
Doing a new construction inspection, with a flat, front-porch EPDM roof, it's hard to do, but I found every mistake possible on one brand-new roof.
For the client, to say it was disappointing would not begin to approach their true feelings. This house provided me 8.5 pages of notes, and I write my notes in shorthand.
EPDM is a synthetic rubber roof, made by Firestone. Properly installed it is a great product. Poorly installed the roof can have rotting within a couple of years.
This is what every post on the guardrail over the porch looked like.
Obviously uninformed as
unprofessional work: It's The Finish Work That Makes A New Home Sparkle
- 09/20/13 08:26 PM
When finally the builder reveals your new home, he should be proud to show that it's the finish work that makes a new home sparkle.
These photos all come from the same condo. This is not a cheap condo! In my opinion it is very expensive - think somewhere between $500K and $1M.
It is my opinion that when you pay that kind of money for something the something should reflect your money's worth.
Let me share a few photos from a recent final walk through. These aren't all of them! But I will share nonetheless.
Amazingly I would said that
unprofessional work: Up On The Roof - And Sing With Me Now!
- 09/19/13 10:09 PM
You know what's coming, so, come with me up on the roof - and sing with me now!
When this old world starts a getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face --
I'll climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space.
Written by Carole King, "Up On the Roof" was originally performed by The Drifters in 1962. I happen to like the James Taylor version of 1979, but that is just me.
While inspecting this brand-new condo, before the owner has even moved in, I went up on
unprofessional work: Gutters Are There To Capture The Water
- 09/15/13 09:35 PM
Rain gutters on the side of the roof are reservoirs and the gutters are there to capture the water.
When water is spilling over the outside, or running down behind there is a problem! Water not getting to the downspout means the gutter is clogged, or it has pulled away from the house, or the roofing does not extend far enough out to introduce the water into the canal.
When a front porch roof fascia has staining all along its way, stains from water getting behind the gutter, it means that water is not getting to the gutter. And that
unprofessional work: Are You Sure They're Done Replacing The Roof Shingles?
- 09/07/13 10:31 PM
When I read notes left for me by sellers or realtors, sometimes I snicker a bit because just driving up to the house I often notice things that preclude what any note might have to say.
When I read this one: "Roof shingles all recently replaced by a licensed roofing company," I did in fact snicker.
Whatever they think, it seems to me that the job is not quite completed.
I noticed from the ground that the shingles did not extend 1" over the edge of all the sections above the bay window.
But a view of the roof there could
unprofessional work: Beware The Repair Receipt From A "Licensed Professional "
- 09/05/13 11:00 PM
The longer I am in business the more I realize that we should all beware the repair receipt from a "licensed professional."
A couple of weeks ago I was to do a re-inspection of some work done to correct some serious problems I had identified during the initial inspection. There were a few posts about that house.
The realtor canceled the re-inspection, saying that they had receipts from professional companies that had repaired everything.
But I got a call from an underwriter to please go back to the house to check a number of things he wanted investigated that were on
unprofessional work: Magical Load-Bearing Glass Doors
- 09/01/13 09:20 PM
Every now and then I see what some "contractor" thinks are magical load-bearing glass doors.
How can that be, you ask?
Well, it can't. Just because the NEW WAVE of contractors to flood the repair market think doors are magically load bearing, they are not.
Removing walls and structure to "open up" a room is very popular these days! But structural rules have to be met.
Mother Nature is the cruelest and most impudent enforcer of her own codes than any government or agency.
My post yesterday inspired this post today. We'll see what happens over there.
Well I can show
unprofessional work: That's Right, An AR Ambassador Owes Me Big
- 08/30/13 09:50 PM
I didn't even get to set the radon device because, well, that's right, an AR Ambassador owes me big.
THE REALTOR knew I would call following my first inspection to meet her at this house to drop off a radon. That way we would meet at the same time. Calling THE REALTOR she didn't answer but I left a message. I was at the house for a while when THE REALTOR called, saying she was just leaving her house. Apparently she had just pried herself out of bed. And she was in a terrific mood!
Sitting in front of the house
unprofessional work: Homeowner Electrical Wiring Gone Wild!
- 08/23/13 09:08 PM
This show doesn't come on as infomercials late at night, but let's call it Homeowner Electrical Wiring Gone Wild!
It starts with a completely remodeled home - new kitchen, new bathrooms, bedrooms redone and beautiful.
There was a new roof and siding as well!
The kids even had their own spot out back, a small deck comfortably tucked into the wooded area behind the house.
But wait! How could the chillens listen to music and play video games without power in the deep, dark woods?
No problem! Dad to the rescue!
Thinking carefully, what better way to extend power
unprofessional work: The Lowest Point Is The Most Important
- 08/16/13 09:15 PM
On this pre-drywall inspection, like with every pre-drywall inspection, the lowest point is the most important.
Hence the word "foundation."
If the foundation of anything is weak, or off center, or leaning, or compromised by cracking, or whatever, the rest of the building above is in jeopardy.
This house has a beautiful third level. Tall, cathedral ceilings and the walls of three rooms come to rest at the top of a single, load-bearing column.
It is located right on top of another single, load-bearing column.
That column in and of itself also supports the intersection of two walls and beams.
unprofessional work: A New Product Filling A Market Need Very Quickly And Very Well
- 08/10/13 09:32 PM
Anytime I see a new product filling a market need very quickly and very well, it just brings a tear to my eye.
My client couple and I had been going through a house, kind of from thing to thing, when it came time to go into the attic.
As I did, the realtor, one Miss Kennedy, who, by the way, is walking around like she never had knee replacement surgery (!), and looks great, waited comfortably for the attic information.
There were a number of areas leaking into the attic.
And looking under a couple of those spots what did
unprofessional work: Driving Miss Cindy
- 07/20/13 09:32 PM
Coming from a distance I arrived about 45 minutes early to my inspection.
The house is a ranch tucked into the wood, near a large body of water and off the path. I liked the house immediately.
Nobody was home and my client hadn't arrived, so I helped myself to the outside and the large crawl space. It was nearly 100 degrees outside, so the crawl space might be a bit more comfy!
I say crawl space, but much of it is belly space. But I digress.
From the opening I could see lots of duct work with its insulation coming
unprofessional work: "I'm Calling Because I'm Not Sure This Is OK..."
- 06/26/13 09:23 PM
These calls come in a lot - "I'm calling because I'm not sure this is OK..."
Then she followed by telling me how all three realtors in town she called told her to call me that she could trust me. She looked me up on a couple of consumer sites (which I never check) and said that my reputation is stellar. Then she said, "You're famous!"
She had turned on her outdoor hoses for the spring and they were both dripping. Her house is 29 years old. The washer assemblies are probably dried out and don't close the valve.
unprofessional work: Uh, Oh. New Roof. New Flashing. And sagging.
- 06/21/13 07:57 PM
I saw it from the street and then the driveway when I pulled in - and thought ... Uh, oh. New roof. New flashing. And sagging.
And the flashing isn't done right, it's really high, it covers the old flashing.
THIS IS A PATCH JOB!
The shingles had been jammed under the siding so hard it was bent. I could see no evidence of step flashing.
I said to my client that I hoped there was no moisture in the wall of the room inside that chimney.
But the sag is pretty pronounced, and measures 2'x5'.
No, I didn't step
unprofessional work: Crawl Space Water, Trapped More Ways Than One
- 06/15/13 09:46 PM
"Completely Remodeled - Must See Inside!!"
- and the first thing I find is crawl space water, trapped more ways than one.
This is a remodeled older house, and advertised all over with signs.
The clients had not arrived yet, so I was making a little whoopi around the house. Discovering a crawl space I grabbed my light and went in!
There was standing water and mud everywhere, and it was very low, 12"-30", so getting around was going to be on my belly.
Not doing that - who knows what is in that water! This is the beginning of
unprofessional work: Biff, "Should We Screw It Or Glue It?" Boff, "Aw, ...
- 06/08/13 08:42 PM
I love looking in a bathroom, seeing a creative toilet installation, and imagining the contractor's conversation - Biff, "Should we screw it or glue it?" Boff, "Aw, screw it. Just glue it!"
When you go into a bathroom adorned with new vinyl flooring, and see the toilet set up on shims, with the cap stuck up with a really long screw and the toilet wobbles dramatically, you know you are dealing with creativity!
There's simply no other word for it.
Imagine people using this toilet for a while!
In no time it will be cracked, or leaking, or whatever.