unprofessional work: Measure Twice, Cut Once - 05/27/16 08:35 PM
This is a contractor who might profit from the saying to Measure Twice, Cut Once.
He maintains the work he contracted for has been "substantially completed," and "to a professionally-acceptable manner," as stipulated in the contract.
This is the new master bedroom closet, and the new master bedroom closet doors.
The corners are not square. The opening is wider at the top than at the bottom. The right side is higher than the left side. The doors don't open all the way. The right door doesn't close all the way.  The doors don't fit level or plumb into the opening. The finish work … (19 comments)

unprofessional work: How To Change The Classic Linen Closet Into A Shower - 03/28/16 08:31 PM
How to change the classic linen closet into a shower.
Sure, we see that every day!  We have a storage room, with a powder room attached that services a finished family room.  A linen closet used to be the back wall of the powder room.
So, why not create a new "bedroom" from the storage room, and put a shower there, so we can sell the house with four bedrooms and three and a half full bathrooms!  The bedroom is 8'x8', so it's just right for a child.
Perfect!
First, we need to change the wall in the powder room so it's no longer a closet.  … (22 comments)

unprofessional work: Water Evidence Everywhere In The Basement. What To Do? - 04/02/15 07:00 PM
My client was not present at the inspection (in the Caribbean on business), and I have to call him to say there is water evidence everywhere in the basement.  What to do?
When we see that the condensation system(s) for air conditioning has been having problems, and it is cold now, we can't determine if it is still ongoing.  We have to make assumptions.
Air conditioning can't be tested when it is cold outside.  It was 36F when we arrived for this inspection.  Testing the AC can break the system.  But also, the AC system has the job of removing condensation from … (11 comments)

unprofessional work: New Construction Attic Insulation - Do You Wonder If Heat Escapes? - 02/19/15 07:31 PM
New construction attic insulation - do you wonder if heat escapes?
And, if heat escapes, do you wonder if heat enters?
Many clients call me for a home inspection on brand new construction and tell me that they want one even though they are told by the builder they don't need a private inspection.
After all, the supervisor is there every day, doing his inspections.
The county has been by many times, doing their inspections.
Manufacturer reps often come by, like window companies, doing their inspections.
So, why in the world would you need to pay money for another, private home … (22 comments)

unprofessional work: And Code Said, "Let There Be Light." And ... Nope. It Was Not Good. - 07/12/14 07:26 PM
And code said, "Let there be light."  And ... Nope.  It was not good.
They call him Flipper!
Faster than lightning,
No one in the sea,
Is faster than he!
The upstairs hallway had beautiful, and new, drywall.  But where's the light fixture?  Where's the smoke detector?
Sure was easy to see the new drywall in the attic space too!  Brand new!
It was easy to see because there was NO INSULATION ON IT!
Something else was easy to see too.  See it?
About the middle of the photo is the junction box for the (now former) light fixture!
Peeka, peeka, peeka BOOOO!
(17 comments)

unprofessional work: Staircase Not Of Brick And Mortar But Brick And Glue. Um, Glue Works? - 05/04/14 08:29 PM
Seeing it first, and investigating it second, I found a staircase not of brick and mortar but brick and glue.  Um glue works?

This Weekend Warrior did everything he could to make this the cheapest hunk of staircase he could!
Obviously done without a permit, which I know because there are so many problems and in this county they require a permit for any exterior staircase with three steps or more, I have to admit to never seeing this before!
What's wrong?
1.  The platform one steps onto from the door is 26" deep.  It needs to be 36" by … (36 comments)

unprofessional work: Discovery Of Footprints In The Hardwood Flooring Finish Coat - 04/22/14 06:50 PM
Not much more saddening in new construction could be the discovery of footprints in the hardwood flooring finish coat.
Silly and disconcerting.  Uncaring and disappointing.  Unbelievable and dishonorable.
DISPLAYING THIS AS THE "REVEAL" TO BUYERS SHOULD EMBARRASS ANY BUILDER.  BUT IT APPARENTLY DOES NOT.
In chapter 18 of Daniel Defoe's classic novel Robinson Crusoe, the cast away is walking on the beach one day and frightened when he runs across a single footprint in the sand.
He is astonished and runs to his "castle" to think it over.  At first thinking it is the devil, he at last decides that was … (53 comments)

unprofessional work: Is Pre-drilling Screw Holes On Doors Really That Important? - 04/20/14 08:40 PM
This is brand new construction - is pre-drilling screw holes on doors really that important?
Most of the doors in the house were like this.  They are cracked at the strike plate.
On the door of a double door, and on the side wall of the door framing, the wood was cracked at the strike plates.
Why?
Two reasons:
1.  No hole was pre-drilled to accommodate the screws.  Even a very small hole will prevent the wood from opening up and cracking.  Simple, but pre-drilling a hole is important.
2.  The screws have been over tightened.  Why?  Amateur work.
Some doors … (47 comments)

unprofessional work: Is This How Builders Will Be Attaching Front Porch Roofs Now? - 04/15/14 09:20 PM
On each of my last three pre-drywall inspections in Northern Virginia, I have wondered -- is this how builders will be attaching front porch roofs now?
I have been astounded. 
Contacting an architect friend of mine with photos, I asked if this is how they are teaching architects to draw stuff up in schools today!
These are three different houses, in three different areas, and three different builders.
Porch Number One
These are the two beams supporting the outside of the front porch roof.
There are no nails, bolts, or straps.
The beams are merely resting there -
securely glued in … (17 comments)

unprofessional work: As For Me And My House, This Window Install Would Bother Me Terribly! - 04/13/14 08:37 PM
As for me and my house, this window install would bother me terribly!
It is not close to plumb and level!
This is the small window in the master bathroom, in the toilet closet and beside the toilet.
Not large, from left to right it is off by over 1/4"!
Standing, the middle of the window is about eye level for me.  I am 6' tall.
Every time I went into the toilet I would look at this window and it would bother me!
So, of course, it went on my list of defects during this pre-drywall construction inspection.
This is … (22 comments)

unprofessional work: Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places - 04/11/14 09:18 PM
On new construction inspections, sometimes you're looking for love in all the wrong places.
You are building a new house because you are looking for something to love!  You want to love what you see!
By love what you see I mean seeing the right products used where they are supposed to be used.
For example, outdoors, you should only see things made to go outdoors - treated woods, well-placed flashing, or galvanized nails.
Never do you want to see interior nails used outside!
Why not?  Look at the nail heads in the photograph.
These have been here less than one … (8 comments)

unprofessional work: A Lack Of Step Flashing Will Invite Leaking - 04/10/14 08:15 PM
This is a set up for future problems - a lack of step flashing will invite leaking.
Roofing and siding is done in stages.
If any stage is skipped the result will eventually be leaking.
The roof is built from the bottom up - sheathing, siding underlayment, various kinds of flashing, shingles, house wrap, siding.
On important step is called "step flashing."
In this diagram it the step flashing consists of the small, angled flashing sections under each course of shingle.
The flashing comes first, covered by shingle, covered by flashing, covered by shingle - working up the roof, from the … (33 comments)

unprofessional work: What Do You Do When The Windows And Doors Are New, And You See Them? - 04/02/14 09:33 PM
Most everything recently installed in a 60 year old house is new by comparison, but ...
what do you do when the windows and doors are new, and you see them?
Walking around the house I simply could not believe my eyes.
People look at me funny when I tell them this stuff and they don't see the photo!
Now you see the photo! 
I ACTUALLY TOOK THIS PICTURE FROM THE SECOND FLOOR OF THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR SO YOU COULD SEE JUST HOW HIGH THAT DOOR IS!
Yes, that is the master bedroom door to, um, well, that's the master … (72 comments)

unprofessional work: Two Out Of Three Isn't Bad. Unless It's Bathroom Vents. - 03/28/14 08:50 PM
Really, when it comes to averages or percentages, two out of three isn't bad.  Unless it's bathroom vents.
They need to be 100%.  They need to not fail.  They need to find their way directly outdoors.
During home inspections I like to see where the bathroom vents are blowing.
If I can't see where I ask my client to turn on the fan(s) so I can hear the sound in the attic space.
But for sure actually seeing where they blow out is best.
In this case there are three bathrooms upstairs.
So I should see three vents tubes, and one, … (44 comments)

unprofessional work: "New Addition With Air Conditioning" Truth In Feature Lists. - 03/23/14 08:25 PM
The "feature" information says, "New Addition With Air Conditioning."  Truth in feature lists.
Yes, the house was built in 1963, and the addition, I guessed from the date in a toilet, was put on in 1975.  So it was new-ER.
And it has air conditioning.
Look at it - that's some fine air conditioning!
Peruse the photo and you can see just how professionally all the work in just this small area was done.
The roof flashing (which looked new to me); the AC size and support; sealing the siding around the AC unit; closing the wall gaps; priming the siding … (59 comments)

unprofessional work: The Tale Of Not Getting Screwed By Somebody - Or, "The Wobbly Toilet" - 03/14/14 06:35 PM
Let's just call this post the tale of not getting screwed by somebody - or "The Wobbly Toilet."
It's good not to get screwed by somebody.  Unless, that is, you're a toilet.
I like to try to move the toilets on a home inspection, to see if they wobble.
When they do, there is always a reason, and that reason is the installation.
Either they didn't screw the plastic flange (which holds the toilet to the floor), or didn't screw it properly, or years ago used drywall screws instead of stainless steel or brass screws which rusted over time, breaking the … (42 comments)

unprofessional work: Pre-Drywall Inspections Are Taking Longer Due To Infantile Work - 03/05/14 05:23 PM
If there is a recent trend in the construction industry, for home inspectors anyway, it is that pre-drywall inspections are taking longer due to infantile work.
Yes the builders are creating homes according to good specifications.
BUT THE WORK THAT IS TRANSLATING THOSE SPECIFICATIONS INTO 3-D STRUCTURES THAT PEOPLE WILL LIVE IN, THIS, IN MY OPINION, IS INFANTILE WORK, AND GETTING MORE SO.
Yes the supervisor in on site every day.
Yes the county or other jurisdictional authority is "looking out" for work to code.
Obviously that oversight is going only so far.
It is more and more obvious that objective eyes, … (25 comments)

unprofessional work: "It's NOT Exactly A Professional Radon Remediation System" - 01/10/14 08:17 PM
Walking into the basement my client asked me what the device on the far wall was and my answer was, "It's NOT exactly a professional radon remediation system."
There are a lot of things that make up a PROFESSIONAL radon remediation system.
> It would be a completely enclosed system, with sealant around the base where it enters the basement floor.  Sometimes the basement floor slab is sealed also, where it meets the foundation wall.
> A solid tube so no leaking can occur.
> A wall switch so it can be controlled, with its own wall receptacle, not a part … (27 comments)

unprofessional work: "New Professionally Installed Roof And Attic Fan" - 12/07/13 09:28 PM
New can mean a lot of things, so when I see a feature on the list that reads "New professionally installed roof and attic fan," I am going to wonder. 
And check it out!
The front roof was in the sun and looked newer, but not NEW.  The house is 30 years old.
But I could tell immediately upon seeing the rear roof that it was NOT NEW.
How can I tell that?
Do you see the drippy black stain?
That is a spore called gloeocapsa magma.
It is commonly referred to as black algae.
Around here it begins to develop … (15 comments)

unprofessional work: A Tale Of Two Showers - 12/05/13 07:02 PM
It was the best of showers, it was the worst of showers, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness ...
Wait, haven't we been here before?
These were indeed beautiful showers.
This is a remodeled condo, VERY expensive, in D.C. near Capitol Hill.  As a part of the remodeling both bathrooms had been completely redone.  It was more or less a dual master suite condo, with each bedroom having its own very-nice-looking bathroom.
In both bathrooms the shower heads sprayed water directly onto tiled walls opposite. 
There was engineered hardwood throughout the unit.  This made things … (40 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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