When You Make Repairs, Use The Right Materials!

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

Not to state the obvious, but when you make repairs, use the right materials!

This is something that I see so often on home inspections.  With the availability of so much information available out there regarding home repairs, why is it that so often I see work that is entirely incorrect?

Take this stair tread, for example.

It was exceptionally loose.

And why not.

Can you see what's up?

FIRST, the wood is not a board that has been pressure treated.  All outdoor deck materials should be pressure treated.  And this board is new.  It is Southern Yellow Pine, typically knot free.  This is an indoor material, not made for outdoors unless it is primed and painted, and soon it will begin to rot.

SECOND, the wrong nails were used to install it.  They are bright nails, made for dry, indoor applications.  They have been there long enough to begin rusting.  Soon, as they rust more, they will affect the wood and cause it to rot.  Even if these nails had been used just the day before and had not yet begun rusting, I would have been able to tell they were indoor nails.

THIRD, the nails are too close together.  These stairs, and their three stringers (the angled members everything is nailed to), are all old and splitting.  There is nothing for the nails to grab.  But putting nails so close together will cause the wood to split even more.  Hence the looseness.

All of these stair treads were loose.  But this new "repair" was especially so.  There is nothing right about it.  Is it a homeowner job?  I don't know.  Probably.

But what if it had been installed by a "professional?"  Would I be surprised?  No.  I see so much schmuck work from day to day it is amazing.  And this work is far from professional.

My recommendation:  do it right!  Or get it done right!  If you do it yourself find out how things should be properly done.  But as with anything, practice makes perfect.  If you hire someone, hire someone with a reputation and a history.  Someone who knows proper construction or repair techniques.  Anything else is useless.  Calling a home inspector here was the Best Practice.



Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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



This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Dedicated Bloggers
Professional Home Inspectors
Addicted to Active Rain
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
Best Practices
improper materials
unprofessional installation
unprofessional carpentry
interior nails
rusting nails

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent

Sadly, the majority of the people don't realize there is a difference between regular or pt.  Sort of like seeing exterior flood lights in ceiling cans. They're lightbulbs, right? And all light bulbs are the same.

Aug 23, 2014 09:05 PM #1
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Good morning Jay. You are getting picky again Jay. Hey! At least they used nails. They could have used glue.

Aug 23, 2014 09:08 PM #2
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Rogers, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Well Jay even for a novice like me I could see the difference. 

Aug 23, 2014 09:08 PM #3
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, this is sad and on so many counts.  I was able to recognize the wood, and that isn't even a good wood for indoors as it's rather soft.

Aug 23, 2014 09:17 PM #4
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

You hit that nail on the head Chris (pun intended)!  I see indoor lights outdoors all the time!

Or brads shot from a gun Michael.  Perfect!

There are hints everywhere James!   You should have walked on it!

It is good for window and door trim that you want to keep bare or even stain Debbie.  It does have a clean look because there are no knots.

But that's about it!

Aug 23, 2014 09:18 PM #5
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

We live in a DIY world.

Buyers have to protect themselves from DIY dangers.

Aug 23, 2014 09:52 PM #6
Angela Griffith
Downing Frye Realty, Inc. - Bonita Springs, FL

And that is why a home inspection will pay for itself ten times over,  DIY potential disasters.

Aug 23, 2014 09:54 PM #7
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning Jay,

It seems one should do a little "homework" before taking on such tasks.

Make yourself a great day.

Aug 23, 2014 09:55 PM #8
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Lenn - I partially blame HGTV for a lot of mistakes homeowners make.  I write them all the time saying they did this or that wrong on a TV show, and somehow they never get back to me.

Daniel - home inspections are very cheap in that regard!

That's all it takes Raymond.  You'd think people can find out things these days.

Aug 23, 2014 10:19 PM #9
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

The other thing I see, is over nailing, especially with nail guns. Its seems the thinking is, if a few nails are good a lot of nails is better. 

Aug 23, 2014 10:56 PM #10
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Oh boy! I bet you get to see this sort of thing a lot JayMan! The thing that gets me is that they had the time to do the repair, why not use the right materials?

Love your posts my friend!

Aug 24, 2014 12:42 AM #11
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Jay: I see disasters in the making all the time when do-it-yourselfers think they can fix things. Having a construction background, I do point out deficiencies to my buyers; which they appreciate. I blame HD and L for much of this. They have empowered may to think if they can swing a hammer, they are capable to repairing anything.

Aug 24, 2014 01:41 AM #12
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Agreed Jim.  I had a plastic shower pan a few months ago which had probably 50 roofing nails holding it in place.  Hmmm...

Tom - homeowners don't know what to use!  They just see it on TV.

Norman - disasters abound!  But I don't know who HD and L are!

Aug 24, 2014 03:19 AM #13
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

Hey, worked well enough to get it sold..... All nails aren't the same? Who knew? 

Aug 24, 2014 03:43 AM #14
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Than - until I read this post I didn't know about the nails!

Aug 24, 2014 03:44 AM #15
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Jay- just because you have a hammer, doesn't mean you should or can use it! 

Aug 24, 2014 09:41 AM #16
Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

I'm sure the wood piece just happened to be "handy"...

Aug 24, 2014 11:24 AM #17
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Still Kathy, I'd rather be a hammer than a nail.     ; >)

Michelle - it stuck out as "pretty" when he went to the hardware store for materials!

Aug 24, 2014 08:02 PM #18
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
You may contact me anytime...
Spam prevention

Additional Information