blaine home inspector: Garden Timbers -- Conducive Condition - 07/16/11 03:53 AM
When it comes to the exterior inspection at a home, at least in the northwest, probably one of the most commonly cited problems is labeled as the "conducive condition." A conducive condition is a circumstance that makes it more probable that structural lumber will rot or become infested by wood destroying insects.
Some conducive conditions are pretty apparent -- wood to soil contact, brush and trees growing against the house, green fungus on siding and trim. Three conducive conditions that even the careful homeowner might miss include: Planters hung against the side of the house, the fence that touches the ground … (3 comments)

blaine home inspector: Inadequate Heat - 07/15/11 05:25 PM
I have done a number of inspections at houses where there was inadequate heat. A house should have heat in every livable room. That does not include hallways, closets or bathrooms, although most of us like heated bathrooms in the dead of winter. At many old houses I might find a single space heater, or maybe a baseboard heater in one bedroom but no heat in other rooms.
What buyers often do not realize, in taking on such a house, is that the problem caused by lack of heat might go beyond simply being uncomfortable in cold weather. Lack of heat, … (10 comments)

blaine home inspector: Bellingham Home Inspection (King of the House) Deck Flashings - 07/15/11 04:16 AM
 Recently I came across another good example of the problem that comes with neglecting to install a proper flashing at the junction of a deck and an exterior wall.
There are a couple factors involved in installing a flashing. First, you want the metal flashing in place to direct water away from the wall and to prevent seepage. Second, by installing the flashing, you are able to trim the cladding so it is not in direct contact with the flat surface deck below. Even when people get the first step right, they often miss the second step and that can allow … (1 comments)

blaine home inspector: #1 in America, July 1966 -- 45 Years Ago This Month - 07/12/11 04:26 AM
 The artist who had the #1 hit in the country in July 1966, 45 years ago, had an incredible chart life. His hits spanned -- first hit charted to last hit charted -- over 40 years.
The artist had the distinction of being the vocalist on the first ever #1 hit single which was listed on Billboard magazines first ever singles chart, back in July 1940.  His last hit came out in July 1980 and, if you watch baseball, you hear it fairly often when the Yankees win.
This guy had a hot daughter who looked good in go-go attire and she … (7 comments)

blaine home inspector: Well, It Was 44 Years Ago Today -- #1 Album In America, July 1967 - 07/10/11 03:58 PM
One of the most anticipated and famous albums in recording lore went to the top of the album charts in the USA on July 1, 1967. This is considered to be, historically and creatively, one the most significant albums ever recorded. The album,  by the most popular super-group in all of recording history, was a smash during the summer of love.

Here was an unusual fact: Not one cut on the album had been released as a single in the USA or Great Britain. Usually, to pump-up album sales, the record companies and promoters put a hit single or two into the … (9 comments)

blaine home inspector: Paint Them Up -- Oaxacan Art - 07/10/11 11:20 AM
Below is a shot of the "unfinished" works from one of the most respected of the woodcarvers in Mexico. This work is all handmade. We watched one of the champion woodcarvers working away on his projects. It was amazing to watch these animals take shape. It started with some fellows doing the "rough" carving. Then they hand the rough carving to the master who finishes all of the projects.
Then, once they are finished, they go inside to be handpainted by the crew. Oaxaca is home to some of the most famous and successful artists in all of Mexico.


blaine home inspector: Do It Yourself Home Electric Repairs -- Done By Nutsy - 07/10/11 03:51 AM
Many of the home inspectors write about home owner repairs or the inspectors explain how things oughts to be done. As a certifried home inspector assistant, I have decided that I should writes a similar piece. As you know, I am well-known, working for the King of the House firm in Bellingham and, also, working as a troubleshooter with Mr Charles Buell in Seattle. I thinks that my credentials are outstanding in the field and speaks for themselves.

I reiterate that not every home owner should do his or her repairs. Especially in the case of electricity, sometimes the repair requires … (9 comments)

blaine home inspector: Finally, I Am a Real Home Inspector - 07/09/11 06:44 PM
I have found, over the years, that the average seller seems to believe that the home inspector is a guy who trots around on premises with a clipboard and takes notes. What does the inspector take notes on or write about? Well, in the view of many of the sellers, they think that we are writing down things like pictures that hang crooked on the wall, smoke detectors that are out of level, cupboard doors and drawers that are out of level or need to be dusted.  You get it, mainly cosmetic stuff and things that are not on the level.
They … (15 comments)

blaine home inspector: Bellingham Home Inspector (King of the House) Vinyl Siding - 07/09/11 07:34 AM
Vinyl siding is a popular siding and, as a home inspector, I see lots of it. In my book it is certainly not one of my favorite sidings in appearance or in performance.
It is established that vinyl siding will allow some water behind it. In theory, the water should be able to weep out at the bottom but, regardless,  it is very important that the surface behind the vinyl is capable of withstanding some degree of dampness. I have seen vinyl removed, as part of a remodel, and the sheathing behind it was a fungal mess.
The more obvious problems … (4 comments)

blaine home inspector: A Grasshopper A Day Keeps the Appetite Away - 07/08/11 04:55 PM
My wife and I really like Oaxaca, Mexico. It has become our January destination spot. Historically, the people of this region have had a hard time finding protein. So, clear back to ancient times, they came upon eating insects.
The best known of those insects is the grasshopper. If you go out on the streets of Oaxaca, they are selling grasshoppers by the thousands. Here is a nice display.

I bet that you can't eat just one! I admit that I tried them once, on a kind of a taco, but it was not to my liking. They brought out the tortillas … (15 comments)

blaine home inspector: Signature Song -- Remembering The Summer of 1967 - 07/08/11 02:36 AM

There is one song, more so than any other one I can think of, that takes me back to the summer of 1967. Those of us who did not live in California were hearing about the summer of love and the hippies. Even on the outskirts of the real action -- we were not having love-ins up here -- we saw tie-dyed shirts and psychedelic hippie art.

The center of the universe, for pop culture, was Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco.

Many of the top acts of the psychedelic-rock era hailed from, or formed in, the bay area -- Jefferson … (10 comments)

blaine home inspector: #1 Album In America -- 55 Years Ago Today - 07/06/11 03:26 AM
A bit of history was made between May and July 1956. It was the first time that an album, defined as rock 'n' roll, topped the album charts in the United States.
The other oddity about the RCA album was that it did not include any of the artists big single hits, one of which had been released only two months prior to the album. I was only four years old when this album was released. So I do not remember it, other than the songs as oldies. But I still remember remnants of the era. For example, my dad had a green Hudson Hornet and … (13 comments)

blaine home inspector: Weird Americana-- Mid-1960's Style - 07/04/11 05:59 AM
At Active Rain today, being the 4th of July and all, I am seeing many photos of flags and tidbits of Americana in the various posts.  In looking at some of this material, it brought back to me a memory of this really strange 45 RPM record that became a hit back when I was a kid in 1966.
There is no question about it that, even back then, it was a novelty but it made it up into both the pop and the country charts in the USA. The words in it were very interesting and, no clue who came up … (9 comments)

blaine home inspector: Misdiagnosis -- Anobiid Beetles - 07/03/11 09:11 AM
In the northwest we have a wood destroying insect pest known as the anobiid beetle. It is often, incorrectly, referenced as the powderpost beetle which is, in fact, a different pest.
The professional structural pest inspector, who hears someone reference powderpost beetles in the crawl space, knows what that person is talking about. The misdiagnosis, in that case, is usually harmless enough.
But I have seen situations where misdiagnosis of the anobiid beetle is a much larger and an expensive problem. Below is a photo of the first thing you see with anobiid beetles. There are tiny shot-sized holes in the lumber. 

blaine home inspector: Nigeria North -- Blaine, WA - 07/03/11 02:55 AM

You see that map. That is the real Nigeria, just in case you recently got a letter, a FAX or an Email from that country.
This is a local news story, from the Bellingham Herald, that really amazed me on a couple of fronts.
 1. I had always imagined that those losers sending out Nigerian scam letters by the thousands were not only dishonest but probably eeking out a dime here and a dime there. Who would fall for that well known con?
2. I figured that, due to the name Nigeria and the lack of rule in the country, that the … (5 comments)

blaine home inspector: This Day In History -- Number One Album In America 45 Years Ago - 07/02/11 03:03 AM
In May through July 1966, the top album in America, for 9 non-consecutive weeks, was by one of the most successful musicians in the history of recording. And, as a side note, he is still performing today with his wife and tends to visit Jazz Alley, in Seattle, every year or two. I will show you a more recent photo, we will see if this provides you with a clue. His wife was the lead singer of another 60's group. Brazil 66. Here is another clue, a short time back he gave UCLA millions of dollars and they named the music school … (11 comments)

blaine home inspector: One Day At A Time - 07/01/11 11:26 AM
Well, and this is stretching it, we actually have a nice day here in Whatcom County. We get maybe one every week so far this year. Before it gets nice, summer might vanish on us.
One thing about it, it is not like being in Mexico. My wife and I are already planning trips this year. We are going to Italy for a couple weeks in September and down to Mexico again, Oaxaca, after the first of the year. The photo below is the Oaxaca botanical garden in January.
Disgusting but true fact -- it is nicer there in … (10 comments)

blaine home inspector: This Day In History -- #1 on the R&B Charts - 06/29/11 03:05 AM
The year was 1967. It was a year of outstanding achievements and great artistry. Andy Warhol created "Marilyn Monroe in hot pink" which is one of the most recognized images of the enduring sex pot.

Also, in 1967, a monster hit was born. It is today one of the most popular and the most played of the classic oldies. The tune had been written and recorded by Otis Redding two years before. He had a respectable showing on the R&B charts but the record never made it on the pop charts.
Enter a young woman who recorded this same tune with … (10 comments)

blaine home inspector: Mexican Art - 06/26/11 09:23 AM
When my wife and I visit Oaxaca, Mexico in January of each year, so far at least for three years, we spend several days touring the area in a taxi. Taxis are very affordable there and we have a couple drivers we really like who, also, act as tour guides.
One of the top wood carvers in all of Mexico is located near Oaxaca. Two years ago, we visited his studio and it was fun watching the figures come to life. The carver works on them outside in the shop. Then a group of young adults and kids -- they have to … (3 comments)

blaine home inspector: Lummi Ferry, Out But Not Down - 06/26/11 06:51 AM
Earlier this year, as I reported at my blog, there was tension between the county and the Lummi Nation about the fate of the Lummi Island ferry.  The Whatcom Chief transports visitors and island residents between Gooseberry Point on the mainland and Lummi Island.

Finally, about a month ago, the county and the Lummi Nation negotiated terms that should save the ferry run for many years to come.
However, due to routine maintenance, the Whatcom Chief will not be operating for part of the day on Wednesday, June 29. Glad I do not have an inspection on Lummi that day. That … (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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