seattle home inspectors: Blood in the shower! - 06/16/11 11:48 AM
A blood curdling scream of pain could be heard over the running water in the Master Bathroom Shower."Honey---are you all right," Sweetie yelled back at him?She could not imagine what could have caused such an outburst.Now a series of profanities could be heard "streaming" over the running water in the Master Bathroom Shower."Honey----what is the mater," Sweetie asked as she entered the steam filled room and pulled back the shower curtain?There was Honey curled up on the floor holding his foot----blood streaming toward the drain---the shower water masking any possible tears."I wrenched my foot," said Honey."How did you manage that---in the … (31 comments)

seattle home inspectors: To XFINITY and beyond……. - 06/15/11 02:13 AM
To XFINITY and beyond…….
I REALLY hope that Corporate Comcast has their Google Alerts turned on and that they find this post.  If they do, and make satisfactory changes, I will be more than happy to laud their efforts as I now chastise them.
Comcast is more like "Comicast."
For over two years I have chatted with numerous “analysts” on their “help” line in an attempt to deal with an ongoing problem that has never been resolved satisfactorily.  The issue is that emails from one particular very important email address gets sent to spam in “smartzone”----or as I like to call … (26 comments)

seattle home inspectors: Staging Gone Wild! - 06/14/11 05:07 AM
Everyone knows the importance of good staging when it comes to selling your home quickly and for the highest price.  At the homes I inspect I am impressed both in terms of how well some are staged and also how poorly others are "staged."  In my experience (and hopefully real stagers will chime in and smack some sense into me if necessary) there are four basic approaches to staging a home.  
1. One can do it oneself. 
2. One can have the agent do it. 
3. One can hire a professional stager.
4. One can just do nothing. … (33 comments)

seattle home inspectors: Learning curves---we all have them - 12/30/10 03:29 AM
No matter what your chosen career---there is a learning curve.
In the trades when the boss tells the helper to go do something, the boss may assume that the helper knows more about the details of what he has been asked to do than he actually does.  In some respects this accounts for how so many defects happen in new construction and in newly remodeled homes.  It is not that the contractor doesn’t know the right way to do it---the right way just hasn’t been adequately communicated.
Take this brand new home’s master bathroom shower. 

Any electrical contractor is … (22 comments)

seattle home inspectors: I know it when I see it!” - 12/19/10 02:39 AM
What is so special about Seattle?
This is a question I get asked a surprising number of times every year. 
And it is not just directed at Seattle, but at the entire NW---GIVEN ALL THAT DAMN RAIN! 
It is asked, almost without exception, by people who have never been here.
Everyone knows the old statement about Art and pornography:  “I can’t define it but I know it when I see it!”
Well Seattle and the NW is kind of like that.
The other day I was on a roof in downtown Seattle using my new Fuji S2700 … (22 comments)

seattle home inspectors: The jury may still be out---but the judge is still looking for answers! - 12/18/10 01:15 AM
The following picture is of a water heater that is doubling as the heater for domestic hot water (sinks, tubs etc) as well as the hot water for the heating system.  These systems are VERY common in my area and Seattle Home Inspectors find them on a huge percentage of Townhouse type structures that have hydronic heating systems.
The jury is still out on the long term practicality of these systems as it makes the water heater work harder than a regular water heater.  The jury is also still out on whether this dual function will result in shorter life spans … (27 comments)

seattle home inspectors: The tiniest initial toe-hold can accomplish great things----without dynamite! - 12/02/10 02:53 AM
Most people explode through life.
This is the approach of the volcano, mud slide and tsunami.
While that is one way to do it, there is also the approach where the “slow way goes.”  This is the approach where the wind and the rain gradually wear the rock down into sand to where it can easily be washed away.
I am not sure that there is a right way or a wrong way except in relation to what is necessary for what one is attempting to accomplish. 
If one is attempting to blow up a bridge because the enemy is … (29 comments)

seattle home inspectors: Wordless Wednesday in the Connecticut Woods - 12/01/10 01:15 AM


seattle home inspectors: If you are squeamish about seeing Barbie naked----skip right on by to the next post! - 11/30/10 02:53 AM
I have found all sorts of things in crawl spaces. 
Dead rats are very common. 

As are the skeletons of cats, dogs, birds and mice----and even snakes.

I have seen live raccoons, snakes, rats, and mice.

There is always the spiders and wood destroying insects----termites, carpenter ants, moisture ants and anobiid beetles.

There can be structural concerns from rotten floor systems and support posts----as well as failing foundations and supports.

All of these things, along with the plumbing leaks from both sewage and water supply pipes, and electrical issues make these places a treasure … (95 comments)

seattle home inspectors: Light in the Woods (A children’s story for adult children) - 11/28/10 02:52 AM
Light in the Woods (A children’s story for adult children)
Henry loved the woods.  It was springtime----and everything was waking up---even Henry.
His journeys to the woods were a constant source of amusement, discovery and refuge.
Henry had not always lived in the country and the unfortunate circumstances that resulted in his coming to live in the country likely had a lot to do with his interest in the woods---at least initially.  It was a place where, by its very nature, he could momentarily forget that he was not where he wanted to be.  There was no way for him … (26 comments)

seattle home inspectors: Junk yard dogs! Why inspectors carry big flashlights. - 11/26/10 01:26 AM
As soon as I got out of the car, the barking started.
Cujo was more or less behind the fence on the neighbor’s property, but years of attacking the fence had taken its toll.  I was not very confident the rickety hodgepodge of “fencing” would keep the beast at bay for the duration of the inspection. 
I know, I know, this is someone’s beloved “pet,” but…….some pet owners simply should not own pets.  Is this barking and frothing dog, hanging over the fence, merely a different incarnation of the owner----merely doing what the owner wished they had the balls to … (54 comments)

seattle home inspectors: Snow in the Bog on Wordless Wednesday - 11/24/10 01:14 AM


seattle home inspectors: Everyone knows what horseshoes are for right? - 11/24/10 01:09 AM
Yup, when all else fails you gotta hang a lucky horseshoe, or you could be in a whole lot of trouble.
One of the things that many homeowners like to mess with on their own is electrical components.  I think this comes from Lego’s, Erector Sets and Mr. Potato Head-----or other such play systems for assembling things.  Thinks about it.  Go to any big Orange Tool Box and pick up all sorts of metal/plastic boxes, connectors of all shapes/sizes, wire nuts of a gazillion colors, pipes, light bulbs, switches, circuit breakers and wire----of more types and sizes than anyone could … (17 comments)

seattle home inspectors: Why is my window a water fountain? Or----water wants to return to the ocean. - 11/22/10 02:56 AM
Improper flashings haunt most homes.
The basic principle of all exterior cladding of a home is fairly simple:
All materials, as they change type or function, shall have a means of overlapping the materials below them.
It is all about gravity, and making gravity work for us instead of against us.  It is the principle that makes rivers work, and our hair to lay flat---relatively (I know there are those of you that question this part).  If we do not lap materials properly, water can and will take the easiest path downward that it can find----even if it means that … (65 comments)

seattle home inspectors: Do you know where your hands are? - 11/20/10 01:45 AM
Those of you that saw the movie, “Summer of 42,” you may be thinking the title of this post is going to places----other than where it is going----and that is a nice thought too!
Dp,ryo,rd s ,odd od sd yppf sd s ,o;r/  zog upi fp mpy yjoml yjsy odd p upi str mpy [suomh syyrmyopm/
The other day I was typing along as usual, and not paying much attention to the monitor----because I was typing from notes away from the screen.  When I did look at the screen, I realized that my hands had been off to the right (or … (48 comments)

seattle home inspectors: Who helps you write the posts for YOUR blog? - 11/18/10 01:13 AM
I need help!  (Well this is not “actually” true----but for the sake of this post let’s pretend.)
Yes, I freely admit it.
I am doing my best to maintain my blog here on activerain, but find I can no longer keep up with both my blog here, and my new blog on my own WordPress website.  I am doing different content on my WordPress blog than on my blog here at activerain. (So please visit and sign up---to get more of what you are used to getting from me here in the rain.)

I have always found it interesting … (103 comments)

seattle home inspectors: Wordless Wednesday in the Bog - 11/17/10 01:13 AM


seattle home inspectors: Dressed to the nines! ----but inside……… - 11/16/10 01:14 AM
You know the type.
You have seen them all along the streets of America.
From California to Ketchikan----to Martha’s Vineyard and Key West.
Dressed to the nines----
-----and sure to stop traffic.
Ahhh, if only looks were everything!
They are an inspector’s nightmare. 
I mean I don’t go out of my way to be a deal killer, but when someone spends more time “dressing up” than they do of taking care of what is “inside and underneath,” what is a poor inspector to do.  The other day I did an inspection where everything was in place.  It had an awesome … (22 comments)

seattle home inspectors: QR codes gone awry (Mouse-over the codes) - 11/15/10 05:28 AM

 I think the worst thing is not being able to get my fifty words in to get my ActiveRain points?  Now that is going to be a real problem.  Looks like AR will have to do another upgrade to be able to include QR Codes too.
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector

seattle home inspectors: Thinking too much or not thinking at all? - 11/14/10 01:51 AM
Sometimes as a Seattle home inspector I come across things that are just too hard on my brain.  Sometimes I worry that the things I find are going to cause irreversible damage.  Laughter is supposed to be the best medicine, so perhaps that is the antidote to when I come across something where someone was clearly either thinking too much-----or not thinking at all.

The sum of the parts is not always equal to the sum of the parts.
Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector

Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) Ambassador large

Charles Buell

Seattle Home Inspector

Seattle, WA

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Charles Buell Inspections Inc.

Address: Shoreline, 17123 22nd Ave NE, Shoreline (Seattle), WA, 98155

Office: (206) 478-7371

Mobile: (206) 478-7371

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My blog is intended to provide information related to home inspections in Seattle, surrounding communities and anyone else interested. Sometimes I will provide information that has nothing to do with home inspections. Enjoy! Google+
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