home inspectors 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 inspectors in connecticut ct: New Inside and Out? - 08/07/13 10:09 PM
There is nothing like the internet when it comes to research. You can find practically anything about everything. Problem is, one must be very careful of the source. In searching for real estate, there is plenty of good information from a large variety of reliable sources. When preparing for an inspection, I like to look up information on the house. Get some of particulars, age, square footage, number of bathrooms and look over any pictures. Photos can be very helpful and revealing.
Looking over photos of a recent to be inspected property, I saw in some pictures the house looked very … (24 comments)

home inspectors 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 inspectors in connecticut ct: Romeo Could Be Out of Luck - 06/02/13 09:25 PM
I confess to have never seen a play, whether in person or on TV, by the renown William Shakespeare. I am familiar, and who isn't, with his characters Romeo and Juliet. The balcony scene is iconic. But suppose the balcony was old and rickety. Would Juliet risk injury for a covert encounter with her lover Romeo on such a tremulous platform?
Looking at this balcony one would be inclined to believe Juliet, in a act of self preservation, would have let pass the eloquent words of her love smitten Romeo unheeded, to fade softly away into the starry night.
And who … (28 comments)

home inspectors 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 inspectors in connecticut ct: Hearth and Home - 03/03/13 08:19 PM
A room lit by nothing except the warm, dancing glow of a fire during a frigid winter's night. The shadows wave like frenzied dancer's on the walls. The occasional loud snap and crackle as the logs are ravenously consumed by the flames. Is it any wonder a fireplace is a feature many home buyer's seek. For my first house search, it was on my list, all though I didn't get one.
Fireplaces are quite common in the cold winter climate of Connecticut. A good many houses here even have more than one. The some what modern brick fireplace has replaced the … (20 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: A Day In The Sun - 01/13/13 07:55 PM
There is nothing like a beautiful sunny day to enjoy. The warm light raises ones spirits as high as the sun itself.  There are many days where I find myself atop a roof, a gentle breeze brushing my sun warmed face and I think how nice it would be stay up there a while longer.
As most everyone knows, while that sun light may feel great, too much can be detrimental to ones health. With houses, the sun can be a blessing and a curse. Warm light through a window is a delight on a cool morning. But on that same … (23 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: Think Twice, Cut Once - 12/31/12 08:59 PM
The saw is one of the oldest carpentry tools in the world. Records documenting their use date back to ancientEgypt. No records however have been found indicating when the adage of measure twice cut once found its way into the construction lexicon. My guess would not long after the first saw was invented.
The saw had remained basically unchanged until modern times when they were able to be manufactured. The greatest innovation taking place in the 20th century with the introduction of the electric powered saw. Electric power spawned the creation of new types of saws. Specialty tools that made cutting … (29 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: Start to Finish - 12/26/12 09:13 PM
There are literally dozens of variations on the way to say start to finish and just as many that have a slightly different connotation; beginning to end, first and last, peak to prairie, roof to basement. Yet all these terms imply roughly the same meaning, there is a start to a task that leads to an end. One thing is for certain, a bad beginning can mean things may not end well.
Take for example a roof. More specifically the covering. The vast majority of house roofs are covered with an asphalt shingle. Installing asphalt shingles might look easy to the … (19 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: The Sign Said... - 12/17/12 08:24 PM
Signs, they are everywhere you look. Street signs, real estate signs, and store signs, just to name a few. When we read a sign, we trust the information is accurate, true, guiding us in the right direction. Many businesses use signs to advertise their work. In particular contracting companies. For instance, while a paving company is putting in a new driveway, they will have their company sign on the front lawn. Same with a roofing and siding company or a lawn service.
Driving up to a house I was to inspect, I saw a contractors sign in the corner of the … (14 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: Piling it On - 11/23/12 07:52 PM

A comedy of errors can describe events that from a small misunderstanding snowball into a near catastrophe. Thankfully no gets maimed or killed, but some damage is done. Being a home inspector I view quite a bit of what I would call comedic measures that stem from a misunderstanding and a lack of general knowledge. Often the intention is noble, while the result is far from what had been intended.
Climbing through a scuttle hole to inspect an attic not long ago, I was immediately confronted with a large yellow mound. This hill it turned out was a long ridge … (38 comments)

home inspectors 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 inspectors in connecticut ct: Confirming the Suspicious - 10/23/12 10:30 PM
Evidence is facts used to confirm a suspected condition or act. Most people would probably associate the word with solving crimes. Home inspectors use evidence to arrive at conclusions about suspected conditions found in a house during the home inspection. Unlike crime solvers, home inspector's do not have the luxury of time to pour over the evidence, nor can they make repeated trips to the "crime scene" to re-evaluate the evidence. Also conditions at the time can conspire for or against the inspector. Making the right call can be tough, sometimes impossible. Truth be told, not all conclusions are 100 % … (65 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: Watch Your Head - 09/30/12 10:12 PM
I have seen some funky attic accesses over the years. Most of the stranger ones I've seen are where the opening was put and or the size of access. Some of the most challenging being in a linen closet with the opening so small, I question who besides a child would fit through. I have made into nearly everyone, all though I had to remove my tool belt.
Not long ago I happened upon an attic ladder that was to say the least strangely stowed. The old fashioned wood ladder was latched onto the hall ceiling, the end hanging almost a … (11 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: For Want of... - 09/10/12 10:41 PM
An old poem tells of a progression of events leading to a lost battle that begins from the lack of a nail. The lesson is that from humble beginnings a huge disaster may be set.
There is much truth in that logic.

Walking the exterior of a single story ranch house recently, I noticed staining on a window frame. Probing the wood around the window confirmed what I initially suspected, the wood was decaying. Wood decay occurs from repeated and prolonged wetting of the wood. Also if the area has little ability to dry, it exacerbates the condition.
This particular … (6 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: Fiery Bunches - 09/07/12 10:38 PM
Grouping like things together would seem to make sense, at least in most instances. In a house the pipes and wires are more or less grouped together for convenience of installation and function.
When electric wires are installed in a house, not unlike pipe, certain rules apply. The rules or codes are often, especially where electricity is concerned, safety related.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) electrical fires claim the lives of 280 Americans each year and injure 1,000 more. During a typical year, home electrical problems account for 26,100 fires and $1 billion in property losses. About half of … (13 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: Steamy - 09/04/12 10:08 PM
Lately here in Connecticut the weather has been described as steamy. Not outrageously hot, it's the tropical humidity that the makes the air heavy, sticky and just plain uncomfortable. Steam is also still used for heat in many homes here in Connecticut. I often find new and old boilers set up to produce steam for the old, ornate radiators through out the house.
As everyone knows steam is hot, very hot. Consequently the radiators in the house are also very hot. Over time they cool which then causes the steam to condense back to water. The water returns to the boiler … (13 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: Who's Responsible? - 08/28/12 10:17 PM
Responsibility, it is a word I have begun to feel has lost the original meaning, its intent. Accountability I believe is the fiber of being responsible. In other words accepting the burden for ones actions, thoughts and or ideas. Instead it seems society has shifted the meaning of responsibility to another definition, blame. As in I do not want to take the blame or it's not my fault.
While I can understand to a degree why this shift has occurred. One only has to watch the T.V. or listen to the radio for a short while. Legal services touting how you … (20 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: Lessons of The Centuries - 08/23/12 10:37 PM
For centuries stone and brick were one of the main building materials for houses. Generally speaking brick and stone are water proof, the joints and mortar however are not.
Houses clad in brick or partially clad are quite common in Connecticut. I know of entire neighborhoods of brick clad houses. Many, many home buyers and home owners I speak with believe that brick is water proof. From the inspections I perform on brick clad houses, the water proof brick myth seems to be alive and well.
On a recent home inspection, walking up to the house I immediately noticed the soil … (39 comments)

home inspectors in connecticut ct: Efficiency in Complexity? - 08/07/12 10:00 PM
Having worked on my own car often when I was younger, I have noticed through the years, the automobile has gone from a simple machine to a vehicle rivaling the space shuttle in complexity. It used to be you would open the hood and there was the engine. Now when you open the hood you have to push aside a forest of wires and hose just to check the oil. As something becomes more complicated, it also tends to be more difficult to maintain. Even a simple maintenance task is made unnecessarily difficult.
Sometimes however the difficulty can be the result … (8 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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