When speaking with prospective clients, if there is one word that makes me groan, not necessarily out loud, it's the word flip. As in the house is a flip. This four letter word can be cleverly disguised in other forms, such as rehabbed or remodeled, but it ain't fooling me. What a flip means to me is the house was in a state of serious disrepair, was purchased for well under market value, renovated and made to look pretty in all the right places, and finally put back on the market with a substantially larger asking price.
What it also means is there is likely to be poor and even dangerous workmanship. Some of which may be hidden behind the pretty new walls or in other inaccessible places.
Such was the story recently, this first time buyer had been swayed into offering over asking by the large and modern kitchen in a uniquely styled house. Viewing the house when arriving and after inspecting it, I will say it was one of the more uniquely designed homes I have seen. As for the flippers workmanship....
I usually begin the inspection with the roof. When I climbed on to the roof on this house I saw that it was new, which the buyer had stated previously. I also saw a large chimney in the dead center. The newer work to the crown caught my attention first. I started to walk over to have a look and then noticed the new chimney flashing.
I began to shake my head in disbelief and laugh.
I have viewed hundreds and hundreds of chimneys and their metal flashings over the years, but this method was a first for me.
To understand the utter idiocy of this flashing job, it may help to know how a chimney should be flashed. Basically a chimney is flashed using two types of flashing, the step and base flashings, which are weaved into the roofing shingles and the all important counter flashing. The counter flashing is installed over the opening of the base and counter flashings. Without counter flashing, the chimney opening will leak as sure as its going to rain.
The roofing "professional" installed the step flashing all around the chimney. The front surfaces should have a continuous piece of metal, not several small ones. The topper, or lack there of, was the complete absence of counter flashing. I believe the roofer thought the roofing under layment , the black material run up the sides of the chimney, would be an adequate substitute for the counter flashing.
It most definitely is not.
This type workmanship was found, as I would have thought, throughout the house. Needless to say the buyer walked away from the deal.
The house was, it turned out, a flop.