home inspection montreal: Was it snowing on 10th Street today? - 02/20/13 06:16 AM
Was it snowing on 10th Street today?

Tool kit - check, Car brush - check, Ladder - check, Snowshoes - check
    
           This was todays job, at a lull in the wind,       and this is how I dealt with it.
So, yes it was snowing. It was what a New Englander would call a sou'wester: gusting, drifting blowing snow, in your face, weather.
I'm prepared for it. It's not like it was going to be a suprise. It's winter. It's just going to be there.
I even have a second pair for my clients who … (24 comments)

home inspection montreal: Out With My iPhone... - 01/22/13 11:29 PM
Out With My iPhone...
Out with my iPhone,
Snap went the shot,
Whosh that's the email,
Here's what I got.

I needed an illustration for my report, but wasn't finding anything suitable. Not with my reports systems 1700 illustrations nor with my associations 80 albums full.
You gotta love your iPhone capability.
(1 comments)

home inspection montreal: Common Sense? "Common wisdom" REALLY? ...Choosing The Inspector. - 07/14/12 04:07 AM
Common Sense? "Common wisdom" REALLY?  ...Choosing The Inspector.
"Accepting a referral for an inspector through your realtor is not something I recommend." *
*(Quoted from the linked Montreal Gazette article below, A Guide to Choosing Inspectors.)
Many consider this to be good advice or just common sense.  But is it really?.... Realtors are commonly asked for such referrals.
The agent is someone who you are trusting to guide you though the whole process of making the major financial and investment decisions (often the major investment decisions) of your life.
You do need your own real estate agent who will be working … (5 comments)

home inspection montreal: "That's The Way We Always Do It." = Building Damage = Hidden Defect - 07/06/11 03:24 PM
"That's The Way We Always Do It." = Building Damage = Hidden Defect
The following is excerpts from a letter written for my client as court evidence because the decking contractor damaged the building structure by cutting (off) 6 posts that he was warned not to cut as they were structural. As a result he's created building fault condition that unless declared by future vendors, will create a 'hidden defect'. The cut line is hidden by the decking.
 
June 22,2011
To whom it may concern;
 On April 22nd, 2009 I was engaged to consult on the condition of the structure … (6 comments)

home inspection montreal: PLEASE DO NOT MOVE DRYER CLOSER TO REAR WALL.(Part 3) Dryer Vent Safety - 06/28/11 01:14 PM
 
PLEASE DO NOT MOVE DRYER CLOSER TO REAR WALL. (Part 3) Dryer Vent Safety
In this series I have included this article (which is reproduced with permission) from my professional association; InterNACHI.  I'm reprinting it with a view to providing some of the reference data for the earlier articles that home owners and renovators can use to understand and plan laundry room and exhaust vent installations.
It will also give people a perspective on why inspectors will be talking about this problem whereas it was not only a few years ago.

 
Dryer Vent Safety    by Nick Gromicko, Rob London and … (2 comments)

home inspection montreal: PLEASE DO NOT MOVE DRYER CLOSER TO REAR WALL. (Part 1) - 06/27/11 03:35 PM
PLEASE DO NOT MOVE DRYER CLOSER TO REAR WALL. (Part 1)

I believe that says it all.  But you must ask, why. Well. a quick glimpse behind the dryer reveals all (photo below).
There you can see the plastic flexible duct that will crush if the dryer is pushed any further.
It looks like the home owner has used pipe strapping to hold the flex duct up off the floors so it wont be folded over itself or squished side ways like a 'slinky' toy could be.
This ducting is little more than a 'slinky' type coil that has been … (31 comments)

home inspection montreal: Up Up And Away! ...Scuttle Hatches........Part 3: Insulation as Air Filter - 06/25/11 09:41 AM

Up Up And Away! ...Scuttle Hatches........Part 3: Insulation as Air Filter
This is something that I see quite regularly. Most people forget that the modern attic is not a storage area of the home. It is a structural service area and is a cold zone. It is outside the thermal envelope of the home. For all intents and purposes it IS outside the home (It's just rain sheltered.)
So what does this mean to home owners. Unfortunately, from the evidence I've seen, to a great many, it doesn't mean a thing.
Why do I say that?  What evidence an I … (9 comments)

home inspection montreal: He Got Away. I Didn't Catch Him ...But I Know Where He Lives ! - 06/22/11 04:19 PM
He Got Away. I Didn't Catch Him ...But I Know Where He Lives !

Who do you think has moved in here, Some furry, nut-gathering denizen of the surrounding boreal forest?  No doubt you can picture some cute little anthropomorphized creature that could be friends of Thumper and company.
You may, even realistically, see an enterprising squirrel moving to that sweet (suite) little condo, but no, that’s not the miscreant here.
No this architectural folly detail is being squatted by a much bigger brute. This guy saw me coming and lit out for the hills. He knows I don’t care for him … (15 comments)

home inspection montreal: E D , Erectile Dysfunction.................................An OMG File. - 06/02/11 05:07 PM
E D , Erectile Dysfunction.................................An OMG File.

Not what you were expecting?  Well neither was I.
I was inspecting the roof with the black shingles, sighting down the soffit for gutter slope when I did a double take on this chimney. O.M. G. indeed.
It took a few moments to realize how this got to be that way. It's obvious that maintenance repointing has been done.
And it's equally obvious that it was a DIY mason, likely the home owner. And this erectile dysfunction came about as the homeowner DIY mason has a well developed respect for heights (read fear … (18 comments)

home inspection montreal: Do You Ever Have That Sinking Feeling?............................An OMG FIle. - 05/27/11 05:15 PM
 
Do You Ever Have That Sinking Feeling?............................An OMG FIle.
Do you ever feel like you are just floating along, not connected to any thing. Not grounded. Well you might not be if you are on a deck like the one shown below.

You can see that the support beam that's been added to this deck at mid-joist span to support and stiffen it is doing neither. It's not even touching the joists or the footing post below itself.
It could be removed and it would have no effect on this deck. You'd never know it was gone.
Usually as … (12 comments)

home inspection montreal: "Ch Ch Ch Changes"....Don't Always Improve IT (Your Roof, Your House) . - 05/27/11 04:09 PM
"  Ch Ch Ch Changes"....Don't Always Improve IT (Your Roof, Your House) .
 
The Roof View
Here's a view of a 'flat' roof that has been shown on some of my other blogs.
Flat roofs are not actually flat. They either slope to a central drain or drain to one edge.
This angle is gradual so the drop from the high part of the roof to the drain is not much. Here it is about 6".
Thats fine when it's just raining and there is no blockage of the drain(s).
Blockage from debris is only a concern if you have … (3 comments)

home inspection montreal: "Faulty Towers".....Funny, Faulty Decks.........Dangerous ! - 05/23/11 04:53 PM
"Faulty Towers".....Funny,       Faulty Decks.........Dangerous !
Faulty Towers was a hilarious British comedy. it was a sit-com staring one of the founding members of 'Monty Pythons Flying Circus'.
Faulty decks though that's a different kind of story, and if you are unlucky it's appearing on a balcony or deck near you.
Take a look at the example below and remember just because it's been there for a while doesn't mean that it always will be (there).

At 'A" you can see the short remnant of the original cantilevered beam built into the original floor framing of this building. … (8 comments)

home inspection montreal: A Man's Home Is His Castle, Right? - 05/19/11 04:15 PM
A Man's Home Is His Castle, Right? 
Well that's the old school way of saying it. Saying "One's home is ones' castle" may be grammatically and politically correct (gender neutral, for all that.) But it doesn't 'ring' true. Doesn't sound right.
So, I say 'a man's home is his castle'.
While for a few days there have been these runes painted on the street and sidewalk outside my 'castle'.
Yesterday I came home to a 'moat'.
There were barricades and the whole sidewalk was gone, with a six foot wide trench where the sidewalk and curb used to be. That's definitely a … (9 comments)

home inspection montreal: Just A Handful Of Nails? On A Million Dollar House? Are You Kidding? - 05/18/11 05:14 AM
 
Just A Handful Of Nails?   On A Million Dollar House?
Yup! A handful of nail is the answer to "what's holding the deck on?"
That's pretty shocking on a building valued at a million plus. The nails are Ramset type, a heavy duty concrete nail that is shot into place with a 22 cartridge. They are thick and hardened to do this but they are not for permanent use out doors. The will and are rusting.
They are not made to transfer weight, and certainly not live loads like people walking on decks. They are made to attach wood … (14 comments)

home inspection montreal: E-plaid? Is It The Trend Leader? Email Has Defined Snail-Mail. Is E-Plaid the Same? - 05/17/11 03:26 AM
E-plaid? Is It The Trend Leader? Email Has Defined Snail-Mail. Is E-Plaid the Same?
You know what plaid is, right? Those patterns championed by the Scotts. Defining clans and families. 
Well that may be so but most of us hear 'you not wearing that today!' when we put on that nice plaid shirt given(birthday, xmas) to us by ___ (older gen family relation) . Unless of course you live in a real life version of the set of "Men in Trees".
Nevertheless I believe I've been inspired by this electrical vision for the latest fashion e-plaid;

So here's my inspiration … (8 comments)

home inspection montreal: Don't Do As I Do, ...Do As I Say!...............(You Don't Want No Sparks, Baby!) - 05/16/11 11:52 AM
Don't Do As I Do, Do As I Say!............... Don't open the electrical panels. That's my job (or your electricians). We have the training, but there is always a degree of risk. So don't open your panels! Period.
Around here the electrical utilities normally lock-out the larger voltage switching and bus bar panels. They do this for a reason. Higher voltages are dangerous. There is no serge protection and arcing potential is high. (That means sparks baby!, You'se don't want no sparks.!)
The lock-out devises are simple one-use wire and plastic things with the utilities logo in them. If they've been opened … (16 comments)

home inspection montreal: The Fabled Tankless Water Heater - 05/15/11 07:18 AM
 
Wether it is hot water equipment like this article discusses or mulit-glazed window units or any other 'new/better' system or technology, it is definitely worth the exercise to look at the numbers.
1 - Calculate the savings verses the cost to buy and install and then
2 - compare the time it will take to recover that expense with the warranty that is offered.
Many times your question "Should I buy?" is answered right there, with the math of the facts and figures provided.
You can do the cost math with out knowing anything about the technology.
This article is … (1 comments)

home inspection montreal: The FLIP side of the RENO is RESTORE. A FLIP is a CON even when it stands on edge. - 05/15/11 06:52 AM
 
 The FLIP side of the RENO is RESTORE.  A FLIP is a CON even when it stands on edge.
As far as I'm concerned flipping is a four letter word. It's a cheat and cover up. Just cleaned and freshened up to show better and sell at an up tick. Buy low, clean up, and sell high.
The real clean up is the 'sell high' bit.
                          -----------
But even renovators (real ones) can miss things. I once inspected a fabulous place. It was a total remodel and rebuild … (11 comments)

home inspection montreal: You found eves trough guttering inside! Where? An OMG File. - 05/14/11 03:05 PM
You found eves trough guttering inside!  Where?                                                        An OMG File.

Oh yeah. There it is. And where is it?     NO.  Not in the attic.!
Yup. That's where I found it. The grey stuff you see is cellulose insulation.  The insulation you see in the gutter is stained and densely compacted.
And you know what that means, right?  Yup again, it means water!
Oh boy. This is news no one is going … (8 comments)

home inspection montreal: Daddy, Why does that house have bags under its' eyes? - 05/13/11 02:46 PM
Daddy,  Why does that house have bags under its' eyes?    ........Sill'yness

 
If windows are the eyes of a house then damaged or stained zones under the windows are 'bags' under the eyes.
So the 'bag' that you see here is simply wet masonry. It is wet from melting snow that has been sitting on the window  sill. The water from the snow (or rains at other times of the year) slowly soaks into and seeps through to wet the bricks and mortar joints below. Sometimes it just runs down the surface. But the mortar soaks in the water … (12 comments)

 
Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection)

Robert Butler

Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

Montreal West Island, QC

More about me…

Aspect Inspection

Address: Montreal West Island -, Serving the greater Montreal region, Pointe-Claire, QC, H9S 4L3

Mobile: (514) 914-1249

Email Me

Usually I'm presenting an aspect of home maintenance, value improvement or 'how too' instructions to feature best practice ways to do things around building and property issues. Some times it's building tech history or how thing came to be as they are, the back story on terms, expressions and phrases. I keep track of the strange, the unique, the special and interesting things I get to see, including the dangers. These are filed as OMGs. OMGs always have photos, so I share the file with you from time to time. The rest come out of thin air. More than once I start writing a comment on someone else's blog and end up inking a whole new blog. Am I inspired or am I ranting? You can decide.


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