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Power at only half of the house? - 10/31/07 10:41 AM
It was a rainy Sunday and my wife and I were arriving home after a 6 hour drive from Spokane, WA. All we wanted to do is come home and relax before the start of a new work week. Our first clue that things weren't right was the garage door would not open. ......hmmm? I get out of the car and let myself in through the back garage door. After fiddling with the operator switch, with no response, I notice the typical red light is not on. I think that it is strange that the door operator has no power when the garage lights are (3 comments)
"Anything Can Break at Anytime" at an Everett Home Inspectors house. - 10/28/07 11:50 AM
Well it was a rainy day in the Pacific Northwest when my wife called to inform me that our basement carpet was sopping wet. I had just wrapped up an inspection an hours drive away, and proceeded directly home. In the meantime I talked my wife through some things to check. First we had to establish was it ground water or plumbing related. I asked her to make sure all the plumbing fixtures were off and asked her to go look at the homes water meter.....bingo, she told me she could see the meter running....slowly but it was running. I had her shut the (4 comments)
House built to encourage pest infestations in Washington State. - 10/26/07 09:21 AM
Why would anyone build a house so poorly that termites, wood boring beetles, ants, and wood rot fungi would easily infest the structure? The answer is .......research and training. Washington State University and numerous sponsors have constructed what is called a "Structural Pest Research and Demonstration Facility" located in Puyallup, Washington. In April I got my first opportunity to attend a Structural Pest Inspector re-certification course at the facility. The house has been built with numerous design flaws to re-create conditions we find in the field. Improperly installed gutters, insufficient flashing, lack of caulking on exerior, earth to wood contacts, to name (1 comments)
Most people do not know that their decks are improperly attached, when I find the defect during a home inspection. They assume that since they bought the house new, the code compliance officer should have made sure the builder installed it right. Seems logical, but the reality is that many details like this escape code officials every day. What defects on deck installation do I find? Missing lag bolts. These secure the deck ledger board to the structure of the home. In their absence only nails are holding the deck up at the intersection with the house. Lag bolts provide both shear (3 comments)
Generator Manual Transfer Switch With Fall and Winter storms approaching, and already one large wind storm under our belt for the season, many people may be considering the purchase of a generator. There are some very important safety considerations when installing and using a portable generator. Never use the a generator indoors. Doing so can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. While this seems obvious, it is amazing how many people died from this just last winter. Never back feed power from the generator into the homes' wiring. This is very dangerous because workers repairing lines can become electrocuted from the power (1 comments)
Water in crawl spaces - 10/24/07 09:42 AM
Here in the Seattle area we are known to receive a fair share of precipitation. It is no surprise to me when I crawl under a home and find ponding, pooling water. Modern homes typically have a footing drain installed around the exterior foundation perimeter during construction. Inside the space they may also have a footing drain. Sometimes these systems are inadequate or have been crushed during back filling. I see so many interior footings drains clogged with mud, and some are roughed in but never cut to length. Water is a destructive force. It has been called the "universal solvent" (5 comments)
Several months ago I was driving through Marysville, WA and saw a huge column of smoke rising into the air. I decided to alter my course towards the fire. I came upon a controlled burn being performed by the Marysville Fire Department. It was the first controled burn I had ever seen. I was surprised by how close they allowed the public to the burning house. But they clearly had it under control. It was pretty awesome to watch the process. I was wondering if any one brought hot dogs and marsh mallows. :) While I hate to see an old house house (3 comments)
I like Free advertising on the web from an Everett Home Inspector - 10/21/07 12:25 PM
The other day a web developer saw the phone number on my truck, so he decided to call and ask if I needed a web site. I already have a website (which is free) and politely declined his offer. It got me started thinking about all the places I advertise for free on the internet. MICROSOFT OFFICE LIVE http://www.millerhomeinspect.com/ is my free website that is hosted by Microsoft Office Live I am no webmaster by any means, and yet I found it simple to set up. The site serves my needs perfectly. Anyone interested can find out more at; http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/officelive/fx102390721033.aspx MERCHANT CIRCLE http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/Miller.Home.Inspection.425-501-2382 Is another place to advertise (6 comments)
These examples are from a 1989 one owner home. There was some significant deferred maintenance, which led to very serious consequences. This is not composition (LP, Weyerhauser, or Masonite) siding. This is real wood. The owners just did not pay any attention to the caulking and paint, so water was able to enter at failed caulking where siding meets the corner boards. Once this water intrusion occurs, the process of fungal wood rot decay begins. In this case the home also suffered other wood destroying organism damage (pest). There were Carpenters Ants, Moisture Ants, Dampwood Termites, and even some wood boring beetles. It (3 comments)
An old adage says "He who represents himself, has a fool for a client" As much as this is true in the court room, it also carries into other aspects of our lives. Take the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) method of selling real estate as an example. In my ten years as an inspector, I have inspected numerous homes that were FSBOs. I can say from this experience that many times buyers who work without the professional assistance of a real estate agent have put themselves at risk. I have had many clients ask the questions that should be posed to a real estate agent. But in (6 comments)
Should new construction be inspected? - 10/21/07 08:22 AM
The answer is YES! It amazes me how many home buyers ask that question. Or when I have a buyer call to inquire, and they tell me that their agent said that they did not need an inspection, because the new home was already inspected by the local building department. .....What? Fortunately there are many experienced agents that are fully aware that waving the home inspection on new construction is risky. All of us who have spent years in this business have seen the resale homes that were never inspected when new, to find construction defects that are revealed during the home inspection (3 comments)
New Construction Defects - 10/21/07 07:13 AM
Many buyers and even some real estate agents ask me if a new construction inspection is really necessary. To many of us in the industry this is a no brainer. There are very few inspections, on new construction homes, that end with a report that is absent of deficiencies. Many times the defects are small things that can be easily corrected by the builder, and sometimes they are obvious enough that the buyer would have noticed these concerns in time to have the builder correct them under warranty. For some buyers it is unfortunate that they waive the inspection, making the assumption that the (4 comments)
Flyer Service, marketing - 10/16/07 11:26 AM
If you are looking for great way to make digital flyers using html, then you need to check out http://www.vflyer.com/main/Guest.jsp How To Pimp Your Craigslist Post If there's one thing we all love, it's free access to great resources like Craigslist. Although Craigslist initially started as an e-mail distribution for social events, it has quickly become a jack of all trades for everything from personal ads to cheap viral marketing for startups (hint hint). Yet aside from uploading four images and writing a witty post description, there's not much you can do to make your post stand out from the rest of (0 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.