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tom2tone

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  1. 12 gauge wire with 20 amp breakers are fine. are the receptacles and switches rated for 20 amps?
  2. How is the roof drainage at that location? How much rainwater comes of the roof. Is there an effective gutter system? All the landscaping in the world will not work if the roof drains there. Otherwise, how well does the soil drain?
  3. Is that a wrought Iron hand rail. Over time, they tend to loosen up the mortar joints, causing cracks that allow water to penetrate and freeze during the cold months. Obviously expanding ice would cause a problem.
  4. Is the "crack'' an actual crack or a cold joint where a second pour was placed on top? Where is the cabin located and how deep is the footing. In very cold climates where the footing is not below the frost line, all kinds of things can happen. Are there gutters on the cabin leading the rainwater away from the foundation? I would also check the bottom wall plates to look for displacement, as well as checking the floors and walls for movement. It is rare that you would find any rebar in that wall, it would likely only be in the footing. It's hard to determine the cause without a visual inspection.
  5. I have never seen a 4 inch slab as an acceptable footing for a cement block wall. You can tell if the purpose of the wall was to bear weight by looking at the structural members resting on the wall. The age of the home can tell you what the codes were at the time of construction, but you would have to assume that they were followed. There were and still are some areas that do not require permits or inspections. The materials bearing on te top of the wall are your best clue. On way to check for a footing, would be to use a hammer drill with a bit that's at least 12" in length. Drill a few holes along the wall and check the depth. The same would go for interior partition walls. If you have access to the attic, check to see if there are joists that split on the wall. Are the joists ceiling joists or floor joists? You would have to determine the proper size and span for the current members. You can sometimes remove bearing walls if you install properly engineered girders headers etc.
  6. I believe that it is acceptable to solicit work from Agents or anyone else for that matter. It's not like you can avoid being recommended by Agents once you are established in the area. Unless of course you don't trust yourself. When it comes to collusion, there is plenty of literature out there defining the ethics of home inspections. I don't recommend service providers or contractors, for repairs, and I don't perform any. I make sure my customers and agents know this up front. I have seen inspectors recommend as well as bring contractors to the inspection. One inspection, in particular, the inspector with his cohorts insisted that the roof and gutters be replaced. They also "recommended" that the a/c system be replaced. I won't bore you with the list of recommendations. Conveniently the trades were there to provide estimates for the work. The house was 5 years old and it had a tile roof. The air conditioning unit was operating as it should have been. The inspector told the that the temp split was unacceptable and that the unit was undersized for the house. None of this was true. The home is 3200 sqft. They charged 975.00 for the inspection. This is not uncommon.
  7. Is this a home inspection, or an inspection by a licensed heating and air conditioning professional?
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