unattractive installations: Get Real! You Can Do Better Than This! - 10/25/12 09:31 PM
Again, on new construction, you just want to grab the guy and say, "Get real!  You can do better than this!"
This is what we saw coming around the back side of the house.
This is a guy who knows purple primer should be used on PVC tubing.
This is a guy who does not understand aesthetics.
I notice that the sump pump guy understands both of those things to the point where he did not make his installation so ugly.  He didn't take the UPC stickers off, however.  Why not?
When my clients asked me what could be done now … (29 comments)

unattractive installations: This Would Bug Me Every Day When I Got Home - 09/23/12 07:16 PM
If I bought a house in just the right neighborhood with just the right lot, and razed the house to built a new custom home on the spot, this would bug me every day when I got home.
Returning home every day you could not avoid seeing both of these things.
The photo on the left is the house number.  The grouping is not centered on the front facade of the front porch roof.  Only one number is level.  The numbers are not spaced attractively.
The light fixture on the right is beside the garage door.  I noticed it as soon … (26 comments)

unattractive installations: Small Dips Sink Ships, Um, Decks... - 10/06/11 11:17 PM
Paraphrasing the famous World War II saying, "Loose lips sink ships," well, small dips sink ships, um, decks...
Coming around the backside of a flipped house I was asked to inspect, I saw this new deck.
When I see this I always look around it from a distance to see things like uniformity, level, composition, design, and the like.
Then it's time to swoop in for a closer look.
From the back I noticed a dip, from left to right, and when I walked on the deck it rolled gently under my weight.
One person making a deck sink is not … (22 comments)

unattractive installations: Lean To The Left, Lean To The Right, A Leaning Gazebo, Is Best Upright! - 09/24/11 09:25 PM
It's the old college try, putting up a gazebo, with its many elements.  But sometimes a college cheer applies when one of these gets put up:  Lean to the left, Lean to the right, A leaning gazebo, Is best upright!
A gazebo is a structure that requires a fair degree of professional carpentry experience.  There are a lot of angles!  Things need to be fitted properly, connected properly, supported properly and safe.  If those elements are not all done well, a gazebo can be a dangerous attraction!  I say attraction because I love them, and think they are attractive.  If I … (30 comments)

unattractive installations: One Butt Ugly Deck! - 08/04/11 12:59 AM
Around our house, we are not supposed to use the word "butt."  We favor hiney, rear end, backside, well you know, other words.
But here, another word is entirely appropriate, because this is one butt ugly deck!
This is new construction!  This is a brand-new deck.  It was finished the day before this picture, and still had trash and broken glass on the top from other "repairs."  (By the way, any builder that leaves broken glass on a deck knowing that clients will be out there for a final inspection is not thinking.  Such actions leave one, like this inspector, to … (72 comments)

unattractive installations: "Stunning Professional Patio And Stairs" - 08/02/11 11:55 PM
Thus read the Flipper's Fantastic Features list.  Impressive list too.  You already met the fridge.  Now would you like to see the stunning professional patio and stairs? 
It is all very stunning.
Level, square, and sturdy.
OK, the new aluminum wrap is getting a little stepped on under the door.
But that is only a slight oversight.
But all is not as it appears.
The patio does have some sinking areas in spots and some loose pavers.
But that is not what I focused on.
Looking at the stairs from the outside, before everyone arrived, it didn't look right.
I noticed, … (39 comments)

unattractive installations: Mommy, I'm Hot. Then Go Stand Behind The Fridge... - 08/02/11 08:35 AM
Flips always provide so much fun.  I run into things on every inspection of a flipped house that I have never seen before.  And never before imagined!
Take this fridge for instance.
It's not the best, but not the lowest quality either.
It was moved from the other side of the kitchen to this side.  It looks great!
You can see that the wall was changed to accommodate this new location. 
And you can see that this opening was created specifically for THIS PARTICULAR FRIDGE!
That's never good thinking.  When the time comes to buy a new fridge, the owner better … (68 comments)

unattractive installations: When Flashing Isn't Good Enough - 07/12/11 01:19 AM
When you see something for the first time, you can wonder about it and understand it in the same moment.  When I showed this to my client the other day, and his Realtor Justin Dibbs, it was looked at for the oddity it is, but the big question remains.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT!?
This is just one aspect of a fireplace chimney where it bisects the roof.
Lifting things up and looking around I simply couldn't find any evidence of flashing.
Best practice, instead of this mortar parging, would have two types of flashing.  A step flashing, against the … (13 comments)

unattractive installations: On New Construction The Finish Work Is Crucial - Remember The Golden Rule? - 07/02/11 12:23 AM
When good money is spent for a new home everything should be pleasing to the eye.  Materials selection, fixtures, finish carpentry, the final product - all should demonstrate pride in workmanship which leads to pride in ownership.  The final walk through with the client should be a REVEAL - look what we have done for you!
Unfortunately with so much modern, new construction, this is not the case.
A large, covered porch outside the master bedroom is a feature most of us would drool over.  A nice retreat, private, comfortable furniture and it can be enjoyed in any weather.  What could … (46 comments)

unattractive installations: I Am Inclined Toward A Different Bathroom - 05/28/11 11:30 PM
Sometimes people desperately want something in a spot that just might not be the best place for it.  and basement bathrooms are something that people sometimes desperately want!  At times the basement is arranged such that there is only one place you can even consider for a bathroom.
Take this space for instance.
This bathroom divides the basement into two areas.
But where oh where can the toilet be put?
How about this cute little area right under the stairs! 
The rest of the bathroom is just as fun.  It is so narrow that when standing at the sink and closing … (26 comments)

unattractive installations: "Added Insulation In The Attic" - 05/03/11 10:13 PM
I was impressed today to read feature information about a house that was totally correct.  The feature sheet was provided by the Flipper, and in part read, "Added Insulation In The Attic."
What impressed me was that it is totally true.  Insulation was indeed added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Yep, added indeed!
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Yep, added indeed!
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Yep, added indeed!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
Yep, added … (21 comments)

unattractive installations: Siding Guy, Meet Vent Guy - 02/17/11 07:47 PM
Arriving at a final inspection of a new construction, to a house no where near ready for us, practically before even saying hello to Coral Gundlach, the Realtor, I playfully had to show her this!  It kind of set the tone for the day...
Now, how fun is that!?
A siding guy simply wouldn't do this to his siding job.
And this vent guy simply doesn't know how to cut properly through a siding job to set a vent.
I think this is one of those post-facto things that happens when details are forgotten along the way.  It indicates improper configuration … (89 comments)

unattractive installations: On A Flip You Have To Stop And Smell The Drywall Screws - 01/19/11 12:11 AM
You have to check everything on a flip.  Even when things are "brand new!"  So said the ad.  After the unsecured dishwasher slid out from under the "brand new!" granite counter tops, and it's drain line wasn't connected, and the granite splash block wasn't glued to the wall or caulked to the counter top, and the range fell forward without an anti-tip, and the disposal cable had no connector clamp and the cable hung loosely in a loop composed, probably, of 2' of extra cable, and the compression fitting on the drain line wasn't compressed enough to prevent a leak, and … (48 comments)

unattractive installations: "New Roof" - 01/12/11 11:50 PM
And that's exactly what is on this house.  A new roof.  Well, new shingles anyway, so the intent of the ad is accurate.  But be careful what you advertise!  As I looked at this "new roof," I noticed that it was in no way done professionally.  Would that concern you as a buyer?  It should certainly concern a listing agent!
Even an untrained eye could see that the shingles were not aligned properly, were wavy, differently sized, cut improperly on the edges, some short and some 8 or 10" long and hanging down!  There were gaps in the corners large enough … (55 comments)

unattractive installations: Drip Pans Should Not Drip - 01/02/11 11:28 PM
When a water heater is located on an upper floor, it is important that it be protected from leaking.  A drip pan is installed underneath to, hopefully, catch any leaks, sending the collected water to a safer place.

 
 
It's good to see such a pan.
They sometimes need to be cleaned of debris, but a pan in place is a good thing.
You might also see them under washing machines.  Any way to capture water and send it elsewhere it important.
Usually the drainage from such pans works off of gravity.
Why gravity?  Because gravity works every time!
(30 comments)

unattractive installations: Carpentry - 12/16/10 09:47 PM
Have you ever heard the saying, "Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build it." ?
Carpenter - noun - a person who makes wooden objects and structures.  From the Latin 'carpentarius artifex', or 'carriage maker.'  Derivative word:  carpentry.
Well, I see fine carpentry every day.  And I see jackass carpentry every day.  One complaint I have about modern construction is that most builders couldn't put a house together without caulking.

Take this  piece of trim on the garage door opening to the left.
This is a typical garage door opening on a typical … (66 comments)

unattractive installations: Projects Around The House - Caulking - 12/03/10 10:36 PM
Homeowners can improve their homes in any of a million ways.  When doing so, they should always consider a few things.  Following this list of common sense steps can help make any project a proud project.
REMEMBER, WHEN DONE WITH ANY HOME-IMPROVEMENT PROJECT, THE HOUSE SHOULD LOOK LIKE IT WAS ALWAYS THAT WAY!  IT SHOULD BE THAT HARD TO TELL.
1.  Decide what project you want to do or what part of the house you want to improve.
2.  Do research!  Learn proper techniques, which materials will get the final result you want.  When caulking, you only want to put the … (86 comments)

unattractive installations: Agents, Don't Let This Happen To Your Sellers... - 12/01/10 10:46 PM
The seller is an elderly widow, and wants to move south to be nearer to children and grandchildren.  She has been living in her home for 47 years.  She has been single for 4 years, during which time maintenance slipped a bit on her house. 
To prepare it for sale she had recommendations from various "real estate consultants," and many new things were added to the house.  There were many "improvements."  And many associated problems therewith.  The words unscrupulous contractors come to mind.

One such improvement was to add air conditioning to a house that previously was heated only with … (52 comments)

unattractive installations: Framing The Problem - 11/28/10 11:39 PM
On new construction there are times when you can look at something and not be able to tell what the problem is!  At times you have to look at things a long time and still can't see exactly what is going on.
Things look out of whack, but sometimes, when many things ALL look out of whack, it is hard to determine what it is.  Such was the case on this now-famously-popular new construction!

 
 
This is one wing of the upper level of this house. 
You can see two types of siding materials used here - vinyl siding … (30 comments)

unattractive installations: Chip Off The Old Block - 11/24/10 11:45 PM
After coming inside from the very interesting outdoors of my favorite new construction, was was greeted at the doorway between laundry room off of the garage and the kitchen with this.
At first glance it looks like a stain.
But it is not.
Remember, when a builder calls to schedule the final inspection, the house is "finished" and he, supposedly, is presenting his proud, "finished" product to the buyers!
In my opinion, the house should really be FINISHED!
Also, in my opinion, the buyers deserve a completed house in the condition they want.  It is a NEW house!  During our final … (15 comments)

 
Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) Rainmaker large

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Bristow, VA

More about me…

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Address: Bristow VA 20136

Office: (703) 330-6388

Mobile: (703) 585-7560

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An experienced home inspector's look at current home inspection events and conditions along with his useful recommendations.


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