On a home inspection last week the house had a newly finished basement. It was supposedly finished by a Class A contractor, who is also an investor. The common term would be flipper.
The Realtor told me this particular investor has flipped many houses in the area.
Let's call him "Flipper." Flipper is not using a Realtor - he's selling it himself!
Among other things in the basement, there were many "clues" that the electrical alone was not professional, not to code and done without a permit. Alright, they weren't clues, they were obviously unprofessional installations!
~~ The entire basement was wired off of the original 15 amp breaker left by the builder to service the light in the furnace room. That includes ALL the new receptacles on the wall, and the one switch for ALL the lights in the basement.
~~ The GFI in the bathroom was made for a 20 amp circuit (How can you tell? Beside the vertical opening for the plug is a horizontal opening, FYI) and when it tripped the light and fan in the bathroom and the light in the furnace room turned off.
~~ The voltage drop in the basement, with nothing plugged in, was over 20% with impedance registering well over 2 Ohms. My meter only goes to 2 Ohms, and 20% voltage drop, so it all could have been 77 for all I know. Not to get technical, but that means something -- like the connections, or quality of product, or wiring job, or cables inside the wall, or something is causing the electricity which flows through the basement to resist its flow or meet something which impedes its flow. Remember, alternating current (AC) comes to the house, flows around the house, and exits again. It wants to flow freely, without resistance.
~~ The voltage throughout the basement registered less than 100 volts. My meter has a light which indicates LESS than 100, so I don't know how low it was. But, on a 120 volt receptacle you really would like it close to 120!
~~ All the wiring in the bathroom (fan, light and GFI) all met in a huge spaghetti mess behind the bathroom wall. It was not in a box and I could not find a ground line. All that could be the subject of another blog by itself!
~~ An old junction box in the ceiling was half covered with drywall, including one of the screws.
~~ Another old junction box was just hanging by its cables.
~~ The two new cable TV jacks were completely filled when they spray painted the walls.
~~ The dryer receptacle was stuck out 1/2" from the wall without a cover plate.
And that's all just the electrical for the basement! It does not include the new electrical in the rest of the house!
It also does not include the HVAC or plumbing for the basement...
And when presented with the contract addendum from the buyer's Realtor, what did Flipper do? He struck all the items from the list! He said, "Your inspector doesn't know what he is talking about and is only trying to scare your buyer. His report is
He said other things too which indicate he might not have a "Class A" contractor's license from Virginia, or the United States, but we'll let that go. He also could not find the permits he supposedly pulled to do the work. Surprise, surprise, surprise!!
My recommendation: When you have a flipped house with a newly finished basement, before you go any further, ask to see the county-issued occupancy permits for any new work, or look for the new sticker on the panel box door. If there aren't any, instead of a pro you might be dealing with, well, do I really need to say it?