home inspections in connecticut ct: Patch, Not Permanent - 02/12/14 11:53 PM
Inspectors have a few running jokes that have to do with common repair materials. For instances, everyone knows that duct tape fixes everything. Some even say if its not fixed, you haven't used enough duct tape.
Alrighty then.
The funny thing about duct tape is that its not really for ducts. At least the gray clothe type everyone is familiar with. If its put on ducts, it dries out and peels. And yet I find it on ducts all the time. Perhaps it's time for a name change.
Silicone caulk is close behind to good old reliable duct tape as the … (13 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Let's Play, Can You See What I See? - 01/18/14 09:26 PM
My two girls enjoyed reading the I Spy and Can You See What I See series of books by Walter Wick when they were younger. I admit I kind of enjoyed them too. The cool thing about Walter Wick, at least for us, is that he is a Connecticut native.
In the books there are cleverly staged photos. Next to the pictures are text clues. The text begins with the question Can you see what I see?
 So let's play.
Can you see the chimney flue opening?

Haven't found it?

Sometimes you have … (13 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Total Immersion - 12/13/13 09:04 PM
Watching a good movie, reading a good book or engaged in a passion, one can become immersed. All peripheral distractions fade as your attention becomes focused with laser like precision.
When inspecting a house I can become deeply engrossed in my task. This not a detriment. Being focused is how the not so readily apparent issues can be discovered. For it is the not so obvious that my clients pay me to find, the subtle.
Water heaters are present in every house. They are not unlike the heating system or electric panel. They reside in some out of the way … (28 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Slow Blow - 08/12/13 09:46 PM
Some fuses are quick, some are slow. When I say fuses, I am referring to the electrical type, not the wick on dynamite, all though the same can apply. Whether slow or quick, either type of fuse would be considered comparatively fast to our human point of time reference. From a geological time perspective, a human lifetime is an imperceptible blip, a nano of a nanosecond. Or even much less.
As with nearly all things subjective, slow or fast all depends on ones perspective.
I came to ponder the perception of time after discovering this brick chimney in what looks to … (9 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Up Hill All The Way - 06/21/13 09:39 PM
I remember riding my bike every where as kid. Not only was it fun, but it expanded my range of adventure. I could explore a new fishing hole I heard about. Get to a friends house sooner, so we had more time to look for snakes and frogs down at the creek. No matter where I pedaled, there was at least one killer hill between me and my destination.
At the end of my street was one steep and long hill that I remember fondly. I would challenge myself every time I went up to see how far I could get … (26 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Fish in The Attic - 05/25/13 09:54 PM
Some years ago, there was a story going around the home inspection industry about a very stinky house. During the home inspection the odor was overwhelmingly powerful. The story goes that as the inspector went higher in the house the odor grew in strength. Opening the attic hatch, the stench became almost too much to bear. The brave and very rugged home inspector soldiered on, popping his head through the scuttle in to the attic to find...
dead fish.
The story goes the fish were left there by a disgruntled homeowner who had lost the house to the bank.
This urban … (13 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Noxious Gas Alert! - 05/10/13 10:32 PM
There are all sorts of potential hazards present in our homes. Subsequently industrious companies have invented warning devices. The most recognizable is probably the smoke detector. Fire warning devices are not extremely new, they have simply become inexpensive and above all else easy to install. I would attribute this in part to the improvement of micro electronic circuitry.
The new kid on the home hazard alert front is the carbon monoxide detector, first entering the market around 1993. The hazards of CO have been known for sometime, since the 1800s. Early detectors were quite cumbersome and refined to special applications. These … (8 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Right In Your Face! - 05/09/13 10:03 PM
Funny how the obvious isn't always so obvious. You know what I mean. You're plowing through the refrigerator, salivating for that last left over slice of pepperoni and anchovy pizza, and you can't find it any where! Arrrrrgh!
Your wife comes by, reaches around you, grabs the slice and says in that way that makes you feel even dumber,
"This what you're looking for?"
Sheepishly you reply,
"Um yea and this," grabbing the first thing in front of you in a desperate attempt to save face. You quickly close the refrigerator door with your pizza and ancient jar of capers in … (15 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Sometimes the Job Sucks, Other Times it Blows - 04/13/13 10:13 PM
We've all had them, done them, bad jobs. You might even find a song or three about crumby jobs. It's said they build character, one must "pay their dues" to get ahead. That may be true. Yet no matter how you phrase it, no matter how play it, it just sucks!
Take for example this furnace install. Bad work, work that is done without care or in this instance without regard for the safety of the occupants of the house is not just bad, it's criminal.
Now you might be looking at this furnace and asking, What exactly is wrong? I … (27 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Not Paying Attention in Science Class Can Lead to This - 04/12/13 10:47 PM
I know, I know, not everyone loves science class. Or math class. Or social studies. Or school. I for one did look forward to science class. Ironically my least favorite class was English. Hated all that writing and sentence structure stuff.
I always found electricity fascinating and have found I have a knack for understanding wiring concepts. Don't get me wrong, I am not by any stretch an electrical engineer or even close to being an electrician. I just have an easy time with many of the concepts.
For example, the rudimentary lesson in science class on how a circuit works. … (11 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Making Lemonade - 03/08/13 08:15 PM
Problems will invariable arise along the road of life. How we resolve issues that crop up along our way is a testament to and formation of our character. There is an old saying that goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or you could squirt them on your fish at dinner. Seriously, the ability to solve complex problems is what separates humans from the beasts. The method of resolution can at times be remarkably creative.
In newer house construction engineered wood framing products are often more commonly used than traditional dimensional lumber. For instance, there are certainly many advantages to … (13 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Hidden, But Functional? - 02/04/13 09:13 PM
One of the more interesting things I find about inspecting homes is how something will jump out at me. When I say "something" I mean a problem or clue. To me it is obvious. Yet my experience has shown, what is glaringly apparent to me is like looking at the night sky and asking someone if they see a super nova among the millions of twinkling stars. The fact that such issues are not easily identifiable or clear to home buyers homeowners is why I have a job.
There are literally hundreds of common components in a house. And a few … (29 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Making a Federal Case - 12/20/12 08:35 PM
Evidence, it's what every police detective seeks at a crime. Clues that lead to facts, whether rock solid or hair thin. The assemblage of proof is the making of a case. Home inspection is in many ways similar. Inspectors in essence are hunting for clues through out a house.
Experience is said to be the best teacher, which I have found to be true not only in every job I've done, but in life. The great thing about experience is that we don't have to rely totally on or own. We can benefit from the shared experiences of others to help … (10 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Guess Work? - 12/06/12 08:36 PM
When taking on a project, in order to accomplish the desired result, a certain amount of planning is advisable. Flying or should I say sawing and hammering by the seat of your pants will unquestionably have the build run into snags. Yet even the best laid plans come up against problems. Solving unforeseen glitches is not only part of construction, it can be said to be a part of every day life.
In a fair amount of modern construction I see newer methods and materials being used. I think overall this is a good direction to head. Old school purist may … (8 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Collateral Testing - 12/03/12 08:42 PM
In military speak collateral damage is a euphemism for unintended damage and causalities. In the world of home inspection collateral damage does on occasion occur to the property during a home inspection. A conscientious home inspector is always careful while performing their duties, yet accidents do happen.
Testing components and systems is part of the routine of the home inspector. Most inspectors have several tools such as moisture meters, electrical testers and infrared thermometers for checking various conditions while inspecting a house. Some tools are specialized for checking specific equipment. One specialized, yet not terribly sophisticated tool that I use is … (38 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Interpretation - 11/27/12 08:08 PM
Permissible, now there is a word subject to wide interpretation. Look at history or around the world or even on your own street. There is no question what one person finds permissible, another sees as offensive. For literally thousands of years, the way to take a good deal of the subjective-ness out of things is to make rules.
In the world of residential construction these rules are known as building codes. Building codes themselves date back thousands of years. The Greeks and Romans created and used building codes. Archaeological records of a building being constructed by the Greek philosopher Socrates in … (21 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Sinking In - 11/20/12 08:57 PM
Water, it's as vital to life as oxygen. It is also one of the most destructive compounds on earth. As every homeowner knows, water is the adversary. Construction and maintenance are centered around managing waters effects on building materials. When maintenance is deferred, the effects can be unsettling.
During a recent home inspection of an older home with a covered wrap around porch, one of the first things that caught my attention was the outside corner of the porch. It didn't look quite plumb. Actually it didn't look plumb at all. The corner support post for the roof and a second … (30 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Another Trip Back in Time - 11/17/12 09:41 PM
Reminiscing is colored, splatter, obfuscated and twisted by emotion. Nostalgia in and of it self makes us long for times gone by. What we remember or perceive is probably not exactly how events unfurled or how things were always done.
Not long ago I had written a post where I had in part expounded on the building practices of yester year. As always when making a comparison of old to new, a few lovers of the old stuff had taken a differing point of view.
There seems to be this ingrained idea that people did better work back in the day. … (10 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Electrical Perceptions and Reality - 11/12/12 08:56 PM
What is the most common electrical problem found during a home inspection? Many in the real estate business would probably answer double taps. I have come to this conclusion after being asked more times than I can possible count by the agent while I am inspecting the electric panel, "any double taps?"
While double taps, two or more wires on a circuit breaker, are a common defect and do not only apply to just the breakers, I have also come to the conclusion they are not the only common defect.
Second or sub electric panels are quite common in many houses. … (27 comments)

home inspections in connecticut ct: Sign, Sign - 11/10/12 09:29 PM
We humans are visual creatures. We tend to understand and learn best when we can see and touch not just read or imagine. Case in point, everyone over the age of two is familiar with the universal "no" symbol. We see it constantly, probably almost daily. Sometimes these signs are so incredibly obvious, they become amusing.

The other morning while inspecting a moderately sized house, I opened one of the four electric panels on this property. As the cover came away from the box, I noticed a large sticker in the bottom of panel. Nothing greatly unusual about finding stickers … (12 comments)

James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) Rainmaker large

James Quarello

Connecticut Home Inspector

Wallingford, CT

More about me…

JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

Address: Wallingford, CT, 06492

Office: (203) 887-4782

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