This Was VERY Disappointing To See

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

I was called and asked to do an inspection on a house being sold by an individual who is a practicing Licensed Architect and Class A Licensed Contractor.  His company advertises "Design and Build."  I was also told the house was quite remodeled and gorgeous.

This could not have been a more disappointing inspection, given the build up.

This is representative of the kinds of things I found during the inspection.  My report was three times longer than the normal report, for having to write about all the improper and/or dangerous things I discovered while there.

Inspectors will notice about seven things wrong in this picture.  What they cannot see is that the new disposal (builder grade, 1/3 HP) did not have putty under the support ring and no connector clamp where the cable enters the unit.

There is a previous AR post about connector clamps:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/1156492/are-you-connected-

Now, any Class A contractor should at least know how to install a disposal.  At least!

Things like this went on an on.  Little things and big things.  I actually said "Dammit" when I looked into the panel box.  I NEVER say dammit, or anything else like that, especially on home inspections and in front of clients.  Honestly, I don't remember the last time I even said dammit!  And at that point I was only about half way through inspecting the basement!  Already we were all fed up.  I was very disappointed because so much was frightfully wrong.

This seller probably passed all the Virginia Class A Contractor test questions about proper wiring and appliance installations.  That is not an easy test!  And here he is trying to sell things like this to other people.  Well, my first-time-buyer clients backed out.  They, too, were very disappointed.

My recommendation:   Even though a listing might be advertised as having this or that benefit, get a home inspection.  You just never know...

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Tags:
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Rainmaker
73,650
Glen Fisher
National Property Inspections of Southern New Jersey, LLC - Oaklyn, NJ

Interesting post showing how your personal feelings become involved with the inspection findings. 

I have trained myself to always appear to be detached from what I discover and remain objective.  Nevertheless, often I silently curse the flipper or contractor that is responsible for the mess and misrepresentation.  

 

 

Jan 31, 2010 04:06 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Me too Glen.  The panel box was about the 50th thing we ran across and it was hideous.  That popped out all the way from my feet!

Jan 31, 2010 04:09 AM #2
Rainmaker
455,517
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Jay - It does make you wonder the thinking behind such "workmanship."  Did the contractor, remembering his training, just say, "This is not really important?"  Or did he think he'd just be able to hide his short-cuts?

Jan 31, 2010 04:37 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

And this was HIS house John!  He finished the basement to have an Open House last weekend and my clients were most impressed. 

Another example - he finished one basement room and put a removable cover over the interior shut-off valve for the exterior hose.  However, the stud was so close to the valve, he had to remove the round handle.  It could not be put back on, so there was no winterizing the valve. 

Also, the water main had to be moved to accommodate a new bathroom he put into the basement (many problems there too).  He moved it up to just above the top plate and installed a lever valve.  Parallel is on and perpendicular is off.  But in the position it was in it could only be closed off about 1/3 before it hit the top plate.  In other words, no main valve shut off!  This kind of thing went on and on.

Again, this is HIS house and he is trying to sell it to someone else.

Jan 31, 2010 04:58 AM #4
Ambassador
1,333,700
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay as simple as it is to install a disposal I would have to say that there is something wrong with about 75% of the installations I see----this is mostly due to its being something the average homeowner thinks they can handle and the big orange tool box tells them no different.

Jan 31, 2010 05:21 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Charlie - I am not sure a practicing architect and designing and building Class A Contractor is your average homeowner!  You may be right about the 75% too!

Jan 31, 2010 05:50 AM #6
Ambassador
1,333,700
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay, this sounds like a great case of the right hand not having a clue what the left hand is doing.  Like you say in your title it s VERY disappointing and I would add that if this work was ACTUALLY done by someone that knew better, it borders on criminal.

Jan 31, 2010 10:37 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Well, Charlie, his truck reads:

_____________________________________

Uncle Bob's Construction

Design and Build

 

Virginia Class A Contractor, Lic. # xxxxxxxxxx

Virginia Practicing Architect, Lic. # xxxxxxxxxx

 

Give us a call!

______________________________________

 

If he hired someone else to do this and let it go, well, what else does that tell us!?  You have to understand, my summary had 179 items, all different!  His panel box had a variety of double taps and an 8 cable servicing a 20 amp breaker for the "Kit & Dinning Rm."  I don't often Dinn, but when I was a kid I did go to dinn-dinn a lot, so perhaps its being with the "kit" is okay.  Maybe I am too critical.

Overall the place was a big yikes.

Jan 31, 2010 11:27 AM #8
Rainmaker
1,244,530
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Jay,

It could have been worse. He could have said he was a licensed electrician. I had one once, where that was the case, and the guy has all the subpanels wired wrong.

Jan 31, 2010 11:37 AM #9
Ambassador
3,675,522
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jay, we all think of the design and build guys as pretty top of the line.  I guess not always!

Jan 31, 2010 11:40 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

So, Steve, in his case "hard wired" meant too hard to wire?

Patricia - we have to wonder, don't we, about how professionally things are done when requested on an addendum.  Does a receipt by a professional really mean what we imagine?

Jan 31, 2010 11:49 AM #11
Rainmaker
3,235,411
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Holy garbage disposal Jay...if you said "dammit" it MUST have been a real disaster !  Amazing that if people repeat their expertise long enough....they actually believe it...we know some realtors like that too...

Jan 31, 2010 09:28 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Well, Sally, it was about the 50th thing and we were still in the basement!  My summary had a total of 179 items, not my record, but up there.

What I saw was an original 100amp box trying to service all this new stuff.  Double taps everywhere (when two or more things are put on one circuit breaker, big nononono) and the "Kit & Dinning Rm" had a 20amp breaker serviced with a #8 gage cable.  That cable is big enough for some AC compressors.

Obviously my first-time, very young buyers were crestfallen, but HEY, better to find out now!!

As to your last statement, I didn't think Realtors, I thought politicians!!

Jan 31, 2010 09:36 PM #13
Rainmaker
176,535
Jim Allhiser
Perfection Inspection, Inc. - Salem, OR
Salem, Oregon Home Inspector

Jay, ugh....That is one of my orange flags.  The Agent says, "...oh it is just wonderful, total remodeled, nearly everything is new..."  I bring extra memory for my camera!

Feb 02, 2010 02:08 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It was not the listing agent who told me this Jim!  It was the selling agent, and my clients!  Good thing I am the inspector and see through a slightly, just slightly, different lense.

Feb 02, 2010 11:46 AM #15
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I'm with Jim, the more the agent builds up the place, the more worried I get. I am continually amazed that people buy into the newly remodeled home is going to be defect free. I mean after all it was inspected by the town. ;)

Feb 03, 2010 05:27 AM #16
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Hey James.  I never expect defect free.  But a practicing architect and supposedly Class A guy could do a hair better!!  I had 179 items on the summary...  yikes!

Feb 03, 2010 08:34 AM #17
Rainmaker
233,461
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

I've come to realize that whenever I'm told that I won't find anything wrong at an inspection, and "this is a very clean house", it's usually the opposite.  

Feb 03, 2010 01:17 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Oh, me too Reuben.  But I was still disappointed.  Man, 179 items on the summary...  wowsers.

Feb 03, 2010 07:52 PM #19
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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