bellingham business blog: Rastlingh With Words: Good Bloggin' vs Good Spellin' - 08/14/08 01:07 PM
Years ago, when I worked in broadcasting, those of us who were announcers really dreaded having to read any ad copy that was written by one man who worked at the station. He sounded good on the air, but lord help you if you had to read any of his copy. His writing itself was not so bad, but the spelling was atrocious.One day I was reading over his ad, that was to be done live, and it had the word wrestling in it. Catch is, the word was spelled RASTLINGH. That gives a good example of his spelling at its … (3 comments)

bellingham business blog: Tiny Clues - 08/12/08 09:40 AM
The photo below is another example of why an inspector has to look very carefully at things -- especially looking up. That is often a direction that gets less scrutiny than other directions. It is not that your neck binds up or anything, it is just that an inspector is often looking out and down so much that those things up high are often the things missed. Below is a gutter that is obviously leaking. It would be missed if an inspector did not look up as this one was pretty high.
In this photo, often the gutter is plugged with debris so water … (17 comments)

bellingham business blog: Firewall Breach - 08/11/08 10:04 AM
 There was a very good blog today by Charlie Buell that involved minimum standards of inspection. You can read it here.  My blog today is related to that. In his article, Charlie was specifically explaining how minimum standards sometimes ignore the requirements for a firewall, probably the most critical one is usually between the home and the garage. Below, I have posted photos of the two most common firewall problems that I see. They are in the garage and involve holes cut in the sheet rock for various reasons -- sometimes for something as simple as access to attach a bonding … (6 comments)

bellingham business blog: Veteran's Cup Soccer, Bellingham WA - 07/10/08 04:28 PM
We have a big sports event taking place in Whatcom County this year -- right now to be exact. The Veteran's Cup, a soccer tournament with 85 teams participating, has been going on since Wednesday and it will continue through Sunday. There are different brackets (age divisions) and teams from all over, and I mean all over, have arrived in Bellingham to play the game. Both men's and women's teams are participating and age is not a drawback. In fact, you cannot even play unless you are 30 or over and some of the teams are comprised of players who are 60 and over.

Talk … (11 comments)

bellingham business blog: Business Is a Merry Go Round - 07/10/08 05:01 AM
The photo above, from Lucca, Italy, is one of the better looking carousels or merry go rounds that I have seen. This picture helps get a point across. Lately, reading the newspaper and even blogs here at active rain, many people are worried about their businesses. When things are tight, that is a logical reaction. I spent many decades owning and operating a broadcasting corporation and, in that time, so many things changed in that industry -- good and bad -- that it makes current times look like merely a spring shower. Remember the late 1970's? Regardless, when I first got started owning a … (11 comments)

bellingham business blog: Reality Bites: The Real Scoop on Attic Treasures - 07/08/08 05:20 AM
Recently there was a post here at active rain that had to do with what an inquisitive party might find tucked away in an attic. The blog was written in an adventurous, or an overly optimistic, viewpoint. While fun to daydream in that manner, seldom does that one big find in the attic make all of your troubles go away and your dreams come true.
Reality chomps: I am going to throw water on your dreams and take you back to stark reality. This fact might only apply in the Pacific Northwest but, around here, the photo below is what you are most likely to … (12 comments)

bellingham business blog: Thinking Vacation - 07/07/08 02:34 AM
The weather is nicer, finally and all of a sudden. The wife and I have been thinking about a vacation this year. Every year or two we go to Italy, sometimes Mexico. We had such a good time last year in the Veneto region of Italy that we are leaning in that direction. Realistically, though, if we were going to do that again this year we should have been planning it earlier in the season. We try to go in October, when there are fewer tourists but still nice weather in Italy.
 Venice is the best known city in the Veneto, … (6 comments)

bellingham business blog: Bellingham Home Inspection (King of the House) -- The View From Below - 07/05/08 06:10 AM
It is not uncommon for a home inspector to notice a problem caused by a roof prior to actually going on the roof. This is often apparent at the soffit area, or structure below, and is visible as the inspector walks the perimeter of the property evaluating the overall condition of a home.
When the home has a low-sloped, or flat, roof in the wet Pacific Northwest, take everything I said and multiply by two. The top photo is such a roof that has a blockage inside the drain. The other problem is that, due to a slope problem, more runoff … (2 comments)

bellingham business blog: When Your Biggest Fan Is Your Biggest Problem - 07/03/08 02:11 AM
I know, this title makes it sound like I am going to write a blog about stalking. The whole scenario of an infatuated and possessed fan is well-established. Since stories like that are abundant in the tabloids, I will stick to something simple that also fits with the title of this blog.
Probably all of you know that modern building codes call for a firewall in an attached garage. This is usually done with fire-rated sheet rock covering the walls and the ceiling. Why? The firewall is designed to keep a fire that starts in the garage from "drawing" to the attic above. … (10 comments)

bellingham business blog: It's All About Form - 07/02/08 05:01 PM
Some photos do a better job of getting a point across than others. I think this one is pretty good. In Washington State, where most home inspectors are also licensed structural pest inspectors, there are a number of guidelines that we are required to follow and procedures we must adhere to. In the long run, while not always popular with sellers and their realtors, these procedures do make sense.
One conducive condition that we are mandated to cite, and some people do not understand or agree with, is shown in the photo below. This is form wood in a crawl space.

Form … (5 comments)

bellingham business blog: Hold the Peanuts --- Please! - 06/29/08 10:20 AM
I told my wife, an avid gardner, that I would write this blog. She has a chip on her shoulder about people feeding squirrels. We have a conflict of sorts. She likes to garden and has a green thumb. I like to feed the squirrels. This fellow below I consider to be one of my dependents -- although in all honesty I am still arguing with the IRS about the legality of that deduction, his having four legs and a bushy tail and all.
The big problem the wife has is gardening competition from squirrels. It is not that they eat her … (10 comments)

bellingham business blog: "The Contractor Stakes His Reputation On This House" -- Start Running! - 01/25/08 06:58 AM

I have got to tell you, especially with remodels and contractors "flipping" houses, you really need to start running when the contractor or his agent says "This contractor stakes his reputation on this job." Over and over again, I have heard that. The first time I thought, wow that is neat should not be much wrong here. The photos below, every single one of them, are from such a home. The contractor had purchased this house, pretended to fix it up, but look at the mess. I included photos of those areas he was staking his reputation on. His reputation … (6 comments)

bellingham business blog: Whatcom County Home Inspection (King of the House): Over and Over Again - 01/23/08 01:37 PM
A home inspector, who is realistic, knows that he or she will see many of the same things time and time again. Let me name only a few: Gutters full of debris; downspouts that drain against the foundation; trees over the roof, moss on the roof; creosote in fireplaces, wood stoves and chimneys; B-vents touching flammables; uneven stairs; rot on decks and siding; crawl spaces that have been devoured by wood destroying organisms.
That is a short list but few inspections go by, except maybe on brand spanking new houses, where the inspector does not run into some of these things. … (6 comments)

bellingham business blog: Thin Air Up There - 01/14/08 02:31 PM
 This photo probably does not do the driveway justice, as far as how steep it really is, but this is a fairly common problem in Whatcom County -- especially in a community out by the lake. That problem is driveways that are really, really, really, really steep. I have done inspections at some of these houses in the icey winter weather. I pulled into the driveway, parked and my truck slid back out again. I am sure that would be the case here. At an inspection, I sometimes have trouble figuring out how to approach this topic. People get all excited about a home in … (3 comments)

bellingham business blog: Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House): High Deck Safety - 12/22/07 08:02 AM
When a home has a high deck, or a balcony, an inspector should look to see that lag bolts or screws were used to attach the ledger board to the home. Obviously, high decks coming down with party goers can result in some pretty serious injuries. In a related matter, at this deck you will see that soil has been packed around the bottom of the columns or posts that support the deck. Often a builder will leave a gap between the wood and the earth, but a homeowner will add top soil and end up with wood to earth contact. … (4 comments)

bellingham business blog: Beware: Hairy Homeowner Does Electricity - 12/02/07 10:34 AM

That is not a typo. In this case, when I say Hairy Homeowner, I spelled hairy the way I wanted. This is one of the more bizarre things I have seen in the last couple months. This was in an older home where the owner had done much of his own wiring. In this case, he took an old 2-prong outlet and wired it for 220 volts, now called 240V. I knew from my non-contact tester that the circuit was hot, so I got the old Fluke meter. Sure enough that baby had 240V to it. Someone who did not … (4 comments)

Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) Rainmaker large

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Bellingham, WA

More about me…

King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.

Address: 1609 East Maplewood Ave, Bellingham, WA, 98225

Office: (360) 319-0038

Mobile: (360) 319-0038

Email Me

Steven L. Smith, King of the House Home Inspection, provides information for real estate buyers, sellers and real estate industry professionals. Blog posts emphasize issues commonly found in Bellingham, WA and Whatcom County. Smith is Washington State Licensed Home Inspector #207, a state licensed structural pest inspector, ASHI certified inspector #252760 and one of the most experienced inspectors in the northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest. Steven L. Smith is lead instructor of home inspection at Bellingham Technical College and teaches classes for Washington State University and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Steve was a two-term member of the state licensing board.




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