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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/25/2017 in all areas

  1. T'was 6 days before Christmas, and all through the town, people wore masks, that covered their frown. The frown had begun way back in the spring when a global pandemic changed everything. They called it corona, but unlike the beer, It didn’t bring good times, it didn’t bring cheer. Airplanes were grounded, travel was banned. Borders were closed across air, sea, and land. As the world entered lockdown to flatten the curve, the economy halted, and folks lost their nerve. From March to July we rode the first wave, people stayed home, they tried to behave. When summer emerged the lockdown wa
    6 points
  2. I was a mechanic for a long time. Many of you have heard me say, "I'm still a better mechanic than I am anything else." Even though I fixed every single thing that came into my shop, I couldn't have fixed any of it without tools. Many inspectors simply do not have the proper tools in their box to enable them to produce quality reports. If you can't write, you can't write a great report.
    6 points
  3. Taking photos is like choosing words. Adding many more doesn't fix the few well chosen ones that you missed. You may have much experience in claims but you're at the tail end trying to fix something. We're at the beginning trying to create that something.
    5 points
  4. Is this your first time looking at milled lumber? Everything in your pictures is perfectly normal. These are characteristics of lumber, which is a natural product that comes from large plants called "trees." The characteristics in your pictures are all taken into account when lumber is graded. The ugly things in the 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 14th pictures are old injuries to the tree that have scabbed over, probably from wind damage where limbs broke off. Don't worry about them. The lumber grader looked at them and said that they were fine for that grade of lumber.
    4 points
  5. When Someone Asks What Time It Is, Don’t Tell Them How to Build a Watch Even useful information gets lost in a sea of words. Your task is to tell the reader everything they need to know -and no more- clearly and concisely. If you want to include your personal treatise on how to maintain perfectly even heat in a Queen Anne Victorian with no storm windows using an oil-fired steam boiler, then include that as a separate handout; people who are interested can read it. Don’t make the other 99 percent of your clients suffer through it unnecessarily. It makes sense to think of a home inspec
    4 points
  6. I heard of one inspector who saw the note on the front door not to let the cat out. When he was finishing up and went outside and then came back, the cat was on the front porch. He put the cat back in the house and left. Wasn't their cat; cat destroyed the drapes, furniture, etc.
    4 points
  7. a pleasant reminder of my good sense in divorcing my first wife.
    4 points
  8. TIJ is very pleased to announce the first in a series of articles by our own Jim Morrison. He's a reporter for the Banker and Tradesman in Boston and a former home inspector. Buckle up, put your ego in check and learn from the very best. On Improving Your Reports Consider this advice from a close friend, though we've likely never met. For about 25 years, I was a home inspector. Five years or so ago, I left the field to write for newspapers and magazines in a time when most outlets are laying people off. I know a bit about both inspecting and about writing. Most of what follows
    4 points
  9. A new one for me; 1950 era window latch. Allows for latching while sash is partially raised.
    3 points
  10. Actually, I suspect that none of this is worth your time. A 21 year old with no experience in the trades, no experience running a past business, and without a full-time mentor for several years cannot become a successful home inspector. It's just not going to happen. If your lack of technical knowledge doesn't get you sued into oblivion, your lack of business acumen will result in a failed business within a few years. My revised best advice: Cut your losses and forget about home inspections. At your age, you should find the thing in life that you enjoy doing more than anything else
    3 points
  11. Challenge accepted in 36 words: Serious concerns include non-viable floor framing, major heating and air conditioning problems, too many roof layers, no crawlspace access, and inadequate attic access. I can't perform a diligent review without access to these critical areas. Lesson learned: Prepositions can be a huge waste of words.
    3 points
  12. This scary face rose out of the garlic patch.
    3 points
  13. Trent's is WAY too big for me! I"m more of a small raised bed guy. Last year I donated over 1000 tomatoes and untold cucumbers to the homeless shelter from my little plot. Drip irrigation on a timer valve. Black plastic on the ground so I don't have to weed. Just plant, water and harvest. Did way to much weeding in my daddy's garden, which was even bigger than Trent's way back when I was a little one. God forbid he found weeds growing in your section of the garden.
    3 points
  14. I doubt you could pay enough to override my scepticism.
    3 points
  15. Yep, A growing problem with teenage squirrels - sewer gas huffing and huffing parties. A side effect is the urge to gnaw on the nearest object. The squirrel authorities are concerned and want to get the message out to all squirrel parents that sewer gases contain methane, hydrogen-sulfide and other toxic fumes and that huffing sewer gas can lead to death. The teens aren't listening. In fact, a week ago, three of them under the influence of sewer gas knocked over a walnut cache and overpowered and killed the elderly security squirrel guarding the nuts. ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!
    3 points
  16. Lack of brevity. Some people just go on and on. They keep talking about the same issue in multiple ways. They can't just state things simply and concisely. They feel the need to hammer the issue in from many angles. They just ramble forever about that which could be easily stated in one sentence. They just go on and on and on. . .
    3 points
  17. Of those inspectors who use this coverage as part of their marketing to real estate agents, I'll bet that most, if not all of them do not advertise the fact to their actual customers. In fact, I'll also bet that they intentionally keep quiet about it. Look at it this way: if you were a home buyer and you knew that the inspector that your agent recommended was paying to indemnify that agent, would that elevate the inspector in your eyes? Would it make you think twice about the agent's motivations and the inspector's loyalties? In my experience all but the most credulous home buyers would v
    3 points
  18. My 4 1/2 minutes of fame.
    3 points
  19. A 32' commercial grade extension ladder will probably get you to the roof of more than 90% of American homes. It is also considerably more durable and cheaper than a drone. They weigh about 65 pounds, making them about as heavy as a fourth-grader and much easier to handle. Also, on a residential home inspection, the use of ladders is not subject to federal oversight, another attribute weighing in their favor. So why mess around with drones?
    3 points
  20. I've always found it odd that we dig a round hole in the ground, call it a well, and expect it to produce water. Then we dig a square hole in the ground, call it a basement, and expect it to stay dry.
    3 points
  21. In California, toothpaste causes cancer. So does the box that it comes in. This concludes my rant.
    3 points
  22. I spend a lot of time in the Southeast, so I can translate. At an inspection last week, Jim discovered an outpouring of many problems, right from the start. Jim advised his client that he could abort the inspection and would only have to pay for Jim's time to that point. 10 minutes later, the client asked Jim to discontinue, payed a reduced fee and Jim later issued a letter the client could use to terminate the purchase agreement.
    3 points
  23. Hope y'all adjust to the time loss, and have a great Spring!
    3 points
  24. Actually Phrases From Actual Reports The following bolded comments were taken from reports submitted to me by intrepid TIJ inspectors. I was disappointed because overall, the reports were pretty good. I was really hoping to complete this series with some outstanding examples of horrific writing, but I suppose I should have known better. There were sharp handrail ends at the stairways, which should be serviced to help prevent injury. We know what the writer intended, but a buyer or a contractor might not. How, exactly, does one ‘service’ a sharp railing end?
    3 points
  25. Years ago, Helped Mike and Rose improve their report format. Then took one of my reports, where I liked the format, and I just saved it in MS Word. Then I overwrote it again, and again, and again, changing the descriptions where necessary, names and dates and places, and word-searching and then grabbing an old comment about whatever issue from an old report and editing it as needed to make it fit the current report. I guess I've been doing that for the past 12 or 13 years. I write all full narrative. Some of you will note that I've never posted reports here. Reason is simple, I know
    3 points
  26. The siding radiates only the heat that has already escaped the conditioned space of the structure.
    3 points
  27. Let me translate. "I'm a link dropper from Kakinada, India and I copy & past useless stuff on forums so saps will pay me for website SEO".
    2 points
  28. not that i'm aware of & recently verified by the ahj the day after my inspection on a new build here source: https://www.ecmweb.com/national-electrical-code/qa/article/20888229/code-qa The rules for securing and supporting Type MC cable can be found in Section 330.30 of the Code. The requirements can be summarized as follows: Type MC cable must be supported and secured by staples, cable ties, straps, hangers, or similar fittings, designed and installed so as not to damage the cable. Type MC cable, with four or less conductors sized no larger than 10 AWG, must be secur
    2 points
  29. Reminds me of when I was a kid. We went to visit my cousins in Pittsburgh and all went out for vanilla ice cream cones. My cousins showed me how if you just hold up your cone in the air for a while without licking it, a grey film formed on the ice cream and dripped down it in streaks - just like the streaks in those pictures. According to them it was coal dust, which was thick in the Pittsburgh air in the '60s. They insisted that it made the ice cream taste better. Did this roof taste better?
    2 points
  30. Kurt is alive under quarantine in China. He posted an interesting read about the situtation. https://medium.com/@kurtmitenbuler/love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-c161e79ff8ac
    2 points
  31. I write the report and give it to the client. I'll help a little, but I'm not their champion. I do my best to reference code, manufacturer's instructions major organizations and ASTM standards. Usually, the only time I see the builder is in court. I can't think of anything good coming from the situation you described.
    2 points
  32. I like it, but have a hard time hanging it straight. 😃
    2 points
  33. The best piece of report writing advice I've come across in a long time comes from this article from The Atlantic magazine from April of this year. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/what-makes-candidate-authentic/587857/ The article is mostly about politicians trying to sound authentic, but the ideas translate well to many different professions. Basically the idea is that the more authentic you sound the more you're believed. Quote: In a paper published last month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the academics Rachel Gershon and Rosanna K. S
    2 points
  34. Horrible state to live in, but Chicago is wonderful. . .
    2 points
  35. Ladder climbing does involve risk. So does showering, walking indoors, walking outdoors -especially in winter, removing electrical panel covers, standing near a water heater whose TPRV lacks a decent discharge pipe, operating furnaces, eating romaine lettuce, driving to and from inspections, and opening emails. In every case, a bit of knowledge and training greatly mitigates that risk. Come on.
    2 points
  36. I guess after the first few misses it didn't really matter.
    2 points
  37. That's a standard Humbolt crack gauge. I used to get them in bulk when I first started. They also had a different kind that wrapped around a corner. Haven't used them in years. I used a crayon to mark the date next to them. That way you could chart movement over time. If that one was installed correctly, it's showing 2mm of rotation. Without a date, that information isn't particularly helpful, though. Try to find out when it was installed, and how often it's been checked since then. Sometimes they show cyclical movement with changes in the seasons.
    2 points
  38. I found this in the basement of a home built in 1880. It was not live, but I had to check to be sure. Perhaps some see this all the time, but it was new to me. I guess the meter-person had to knock on the door and come in to get the reading.
    2 points
  39. I hope you charged an extra $20 for that. Are all the panels 3phase?
    2 points
  40. The installer wears Crocs. The holes let all dignity drain out.
    2 points
  41. it's a good thing when the Heads are aligned proper water table trim when produced from wood requires the bottom kerf or expect premature failure
    2 points
  42. Hmm. Someone is trying to send a message.
    2 points
  43. Better than "Lead Testing not Necessary"
    2 points
  44. Chad, Probably should stick with the standard abbreviation D.F.U., well, cuz FU.
    2 points
  45. Thanks for the comment, Chad. Dorey will be released -unharmed- at the agreed upon time and place.
    2 points
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