unprofessional work: Crawl Space Water, Trapped More Ways Than One - 06/16/13 04:46 AM
"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, ... - 06/09/13 03:42 AM
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.
unprofessional work: Is The Garage Original To The House? - 05/16/13 03:39 AM
Once inside and talking about the hideous and sagging framing, my client asked me, "Is the garage original to the house?"
Built in 1955, it was obvious that the roof was original as it tied into the main house roof framing and was exactly the same.
But the garage had a different "ceiling" if you can call it that and side walls.
I suspected that given what I saw the house originally had a carport, which at some point they closed in, creating the "garage." But then they closed that in too, and the garage door looked like it had not
unprofessional work: The "I Don't Care" Attitude In New Construction - 'Nuff Said - 04/25/13 05:29 AM
This beautiful, oak staircase fully demonstrates the "I don't care" attitude in new construction - "nuff said.
You will notice that there are brads shot into the wood.
They are NOT at the pre-drilled points, already provided by the staircase producer who is obviously trying to be careful to protect his work.
The photo below accurately describes what the subcontractor has done, and what he has done all over the staircase.
THAT is a pre-drilled hole!
Notice, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the brad BESIDE the pre-drilled hole!
What the manufacturer is intending is that a finish nail be inserted
unprofessional work: Bathroom Vent Hanging By A Thread ... Um, I Mean Glue And Tape - 04/24/13 01:50 AM
What do you say when you see a bathroom vent hanging by a thread ... um, I mean glue and tape?
As I am doing a pre-drywall inspection I am walking around talking. It is virtually a running commentary, and I love to point out the good things I am seeing.
In this house there were two upstairs bathrooms and one of my comments regarded how well the bath vent housing was installed.
Coming around to the other bathroom the vent housing was hanging at a severe angle.
The bottom was sticking way out.
It was one of two vents servicing
unprofessional work: Floating Porch Corners - 04/22/13 02:44 AM
Yes, despite everything I saw I was particularly struck by the floating porch corners.
Sure, the new porch lacked lots of things, like a permit for instance.
The sides are 34" off the ground, so guardrails would be needed.
The stairs are 65" wide, so a handrail would be needed on both sides.
The stair heights are erratic, ranging from 5 1/2" to 8 1/2". Stair heights should not vary very much, no more than a quarter inch or so (technically 3/8"). Consistently the same height is most desired.
The stairs are not level.
We can see all this.
unprofessional work: Do You Consider This To Be "Custom" Wood Work? - 04/15/13 02:47 AM
When custom builders advertise their specialties, like custom wood work, I wonder - do you consider this to be "custom" wood work?
One of the stated specialties is the staircase.
Staircase carpentry has to be very specific and defined. The wood should all line up and match up.
Lines and mitered joints should be straight and true.
The left photo shows a gap present in five or six stairs, between the tread and riser.
This gap is nearly 1/2"! Sure it could be covered with a piece of quarter round, but that covering would be present randomly and quite ugly.
unprofessional work: Glue It And Screw It! - 04/07/13 04:43 AM
When it comes to some finish carpentry sometimes you glue it and screw it.
When it comes to assembling furniture sometimes you glue it and screw it.
When it comes to making a wooden toy sometimes you glue it and screw it.
However, when it comes to vinyl siding, if you need to repair it, NEVER DO YOU GLUE IT AND SCREW IT!
Siding is literally "hung" on the wall of the house with special nails, which leave the head exposed about 1/4". That allows the siding the ability to expand and contract. A strip of vinyl siding can expand
unprofessional work: One Year Warranty Inspection - The Office Is Really Hot And Cold - 04/06/13 02:39 AM
This is what my client said to me when I asked how the house was doing just before my one year warranty inspection: the office is really hot and cold.
They had told me that over the phone too, so, in anticipation, I brought Mighty Mo!
The office was very hot last summer, but they thought it was because it is on the south side of the house. That is a logical conclusion.
But then this winter it was exceptionally cold!
This is one of a couple of thermal images of the exterior wall in that room.
unprofessional work: One Out Of Two Can't Be That Bad, Can It? - 04/01/13 04:30 AM
When you're talking about venting two furnaces through the same chimney, one out of two can't be that bad, can it?
After all, the best baseball lifetime batting average for all time was Ty Cobb's .366. That's barely better than 1/3! His average is the best ever, and he failed 2 out of 3 times!
So, how can .500 be so bad?
These two oil-burning furnaces in this remodeled house were jammed to tightly into a small closet that in order to even see the vents I had to lean forward and hold my camera out at an angle.
unprofessional work: Upstairs Ceilings Can Bulge For A Reason, Or Many, Many Reasons! - 03/30/13 04:37 AM
When on a home inspection the group goes to the upper level, and when looking around notice a serious bulge in the ceiling drywall, well, upstairs ceilings can bulge for a reason, or many, many reasons!
Some things surprise even a seasoned home inspector, to whom, people will say, "Gee, you have probably seen everything!"
I can tell you with a straight face that home inspectors will NEVER see everything! And when we think we have we can be shocked to our cores!
The bulge did not photograph well.
Some things don't.
But it sure did demand some further investigation!
unprofessional work: Let's Play "Where's Waldo!" Can You Find The Repair? - 03/28/13 03:03 AM
So, let's play "Where's Waldo!" Can you find the repair?
It's not often that you can have fun like this. The repair could be anywhere. Waldo is such fun to find. Those books kept my kids quiet in church for the entire time! He sure is good at hiding! So, look carefully for the repair, any repair. It's not obvious, so look carefully! I hope you have fun with this one.
So, where is it!?
In the roofing?
How about the flashing?
Maybe the siding?
Or the trim?
Maybe there was no repair at all!
Can you find it?
unprofessional work: When You Install New Windows, It's Important To Caulk Them Well - 03/27/13 03:42 AM
New window installation is a very common home improvement, and when you install new windows it's important to caulk them well.
At least I think so.
The feature list on the house proudly proclaimed that it had efficient, new windows recently installed. To me that is always a great feature.
So imagine how proud I was so see such fine caulking on this recent new window installation!
And all over the house!
The caulking was beautiful - smooth, small bead, very clean. They even used the right caulking - not the clear silicone so popular today!
It filled all the gaps
unprofessional work: A Wall Oven And A Range Can't Share The Same Circuit, Even On A Flip! - 03/24/13 05:33 AM
If I can, I like to look behind and under things, especially on a flipped house! And what I saw this time surprised even me - a wall oven and a range can't share the same circuit, even on a flip!
Yes, some Flippers try to get away with stuff. But when it's dangerous and so very wrong a client needs to know!
It started like this. I tried the anti-tip on a range. Then I looked behind. Which lead me to the wall ovens. I moved the doors on a high double wall oven. The top one was so
unprofessional work: Yep, Definitely A Trip Hazard! - 03/21/13 03:41 AM
A recent home inspection found two locations that wanted to reach out and trip someone - yep, definitely a trip hazard!
The first was a very fun location! Right at the top of 13 concrete stairs!
These pavers don't look like they were flush to the top of the landing ever.
But certainly, since they have settled, they are a bigger problem now!
Yep, definitely a trip hazard!
It's an easy fix, but why was that not done?
The second had its own issues, including a trip potential.
Now, this staircase has its own problems:
1. It settling dramatically and pulling
unprofessional work: Intentionally Trying To Hide Problems On A Flip - Chapter 3 - 03/17/13 04:45 AM
This will be the last in a series of unfortunate posts regarding a real estate "investor" who is intentionally trying to hide problems on a flip - chapter 3.
In the last post it had been revealed by neighbors that there was a substantial foundation crack, improperly repaired, and water was found inside the house after a very minor rain storm.
That, and roof problems had apparently been letting moisture into the house for approximately 9 months while the house sat vacant between owners.
The new owner put on a new roof, on top of the old. They tried to use
unprofessional work: Intentionally Trying To Hide Problems On A Flip - Chapter 2 - 03/16/13 04:02 AM
This is the second post of a couple regarding a circumstance uncovered during a home inspection - one of intentionally trying to hide problems on a flip - chapter 2.
While walking around a flipped house I noticed the ground quite disturbed and then smoothed out at the top end of the house.
The soil was a different color than the rest surrounding the house.
It was shaped unusually, very smooth where the rest of the yard was erratic, full of leaves and sticks from the trees.
It was perfectly level.
The downspouts had new drain lines attached, running away from
unprofessional work: Intentionally Trying To Hide Problems On A Flip - Chapter 1 - 03/15/13 05:37 AM
Intentionally Trying To Hide Problems On A Flip - Chapter 1
These next couple of posts are to show how investors/flippers sometimes try to palm off problems onto others. It's disgusting.
Walking around this little log cabin by a local lake I saw so many things that bothered me, but I did not know the entirety of what had happened. Two different neighbors saw me and asked me if I knew the history of recent work done on this house.
WHAT THEY EACH HAD TO SAY WAS CONSISTENT, SO THEY DIDN'T MAKE IT UP, AND THEY WERE EXTREMELY HELPFUL! BY THE
unprofessional work: I Could Almost Hear The Heat Whoosh From The House! - 03/14/13 03:24 AM
Finally getting into the attic space I could almost hear the heat whoosh from the house!
Let me back up. This older home featured a remodeled master suite and two remodeled upstairs bathrooms.
Each was new and had skylights. Each looked great.
Going into the attic space and looking at the first skylight, I was disappointed.
It was not insulated. At all.
And when they constructed it they removed the insulation from all around, but never replaced it!
Beyond that, the bath vent was blowing its air directly into the attic space.
Who doesn't know that is not acceptable?
unprofessional work: On New Construction, Details Matter - 03/11/13 01:41 AM
When you buy a new home everything is new, and on new construction, details matter.
Things should be finished, things should be clean, things should be properly installed and working as intended.
Most people like for their new kitchen to pop, especially if they have spent big bucks to "upgrade" it to the gourmet whoop di do.
This kitchen exhaust hood is beautiful.
It's a little disappointing to see that they didn't take all the plastic off.
And the finger prints all over the thing aren't quite attractive.
As I said, details matter.
My college biology professor said that looking at