One of the downsides, or upsides depending on how you look at it, of growing up as the son of a carpenter is that I see this see all this stuff when I look at a home. I pick apart new construction, notice severly outdated things in older homes, and start deducting dollars from the price the sellers want to list for or what my buyers should be willing to offer.
New Years always involves count downs or some type of numbering of things over the past year. Like the Top 10 News Stories of 2008. Well I thought I get into the numbering game and give my own top 10 list of 2008.
This one has to do with inspection defects, big surprise right. What I am focusing on is what I call creative construction techniques. Some of the other inspectors here in the Rain have other labels for it, but it all means the same thing. Stuff that makes you scratch your head and wonder what was that guy thinking.
So here are my Top 10 Creative Construction Techniques of 2008.
10. A good use of duct tape
This water heater flue pipe was completely encased in foil (real) duct tape. The other problem was the foam insulation used to seal the chimney gap around both pipes and the fact that this pipe was below the bigger one.
9. I forgot the vent
This drip pan drain line is missing a vent at the end of the tee. If water fills the pan it's going to drain right out the end of the tee and onto the ceiling below.
8. Does that pipe get hot?
One of the by products of burning fuel oil is hot exhaust gases. Since we don't like those gases in our home we vent them out with a pipe and or chimney. Funny thing about metal is it gets hot when heated. I guess no one told this "electrician" about that little fact or to that he should secure his wires out of harms way.
7. What about my sister?
When a house catches on fire the wood framing burns and becomes compromised structurally. Depending on how badly it was burned it may be salvageable or require complete replacement. In this house almost the entire roof had been significantly burned. Instead of replacing or "sistering" the burned rafters, the contractors just re-roofed right over the charred wood.
6. What's a structural wall and why do I need one?
For a while now the craze is to open up rooms. Great rooms as they are called are all the rage. They are nice way to add the feeling of space, but designing and building one is a little more complicated than some folks realize especially in an existing home. Here some "contractor" removed about 12 - 15 feet of a load bearing wall to get that open feeling. What he will end up with eventually is an unplanned cathedral ceiling.
5. Where's the notch?
Structural support is what I would call significantly important. A home needs to be built on a solid foundation and structural support. One of the main components is the main carrying beam on which sits the load bearing walls of the home. This beam sits in the foundation walls in a notch made just for this purpose. Well that is unless some forgets to put in the notches then a piece of framing lumber will have to do.
4. I thought you measured it
Speaking of notches and beams what happens when you order the main carrying beam too short? Well you improvise of course. This beam was about two feet short of reaching the foundation pocket. And who says new construction never needs inspection.
3. Plug it up
If you have a hole in a pipe just jam a piece of wood in there. That ought to hold it until we call the plumber... in 10 years.
This has to be one of the just plain dumb, sloppy, I don't give a **** installations I have ever seen. There are minimum clearances around A/C compressors for a reason. I wonder how efficiently this unit ran.
1. Plug in the plug
This is just plain goofy to me. This setup was used to provide power for the garage door opener and some plugs in the garage. The real funny thing was the main electrical panel was right there in the garage. I guess uncle Bob was cheaper than the electrician.
That's my Top 10 Creative Construction Techniques of 2008. Feel free to add you own in the comment section. I enjoy a good chuckle like anyone.
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC