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Dale McNutt

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About Dale McNutt

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  • Location
    USA
  • Occupation
    inspector
  1. I have seen this type of wear consistently here in Southern California on southern exposures. We have a temperate climate with no snow or ice. In more modest neighborhoods it is quite common to see the south side of a gable newly roofed while the north side is left alone.
  2. Mike Holmes had an episode where a woman and her friend were on a small deck and it came down, a long way. They were badly injured. I don't remember if he took a shot at any inspector for "missing" the lack of proper flashing, but that usually is the culprit. Ledgers without flashing are a major issue that is just not consistently reported among inspectors. I can't find the photo, but years ago I took a photo of a carpenter working on a next-door house. He was installing a wood patio cover ledger over stucco. He snapped a top and bottom line to mark the ledger location and then proceeded to go
  3. This thread reminds me of a recurring defect down here in Southern California. I'll call it 50/50 dilemma. Let's say you are inspecting a 3700 sq. ft. "McMansion from say like 2000 to 2007. Most of these have two separate HVAC systems. Most of the time, the smaller system, (let's say 3 tons) is for the upstairs. The larger system, (usually 4 tons) is downstairs. When it comes time to install the condenser-compressor units, they drop off a 3 ton and 4 ton and proceed to install. There are two pads, two pair of copper lines and two shut off boxes ready to be hooked up. eeny, meeny, miney, m
  4. When I saw the roof from my truck, I muttered, "Cemwood"! Not so. Fortunately, I found a pile of the shingles on the side of the house. The only branding is on the back of the shingle. "FF with a combination of plus and minus. "Made in Canada" is clear. These shingles are clearly hardboard. A number of shingles on the roof were cracked. (like cemwood) Color variation from north to south exposures is not consistent. Any guesses? Click to Enlarge 113.44 KB Click to Enlarge 112.19 KB Click to Enlarge 124.87 KB
  5. Your call is of course correct. However, the only type of person likely to call you on it, if you by chance missed it, would be an expert witness doing everything he could to try to frame you as "negligent and incompetent".
  6. Since you say condo, I am leaning toward airborne spray either from landscape or pest control. (HOA contractors)
  7. After building many homes in the Sierra Nevada foothills, (all with crawlspaces) some 25-odd years ago, I would simply offer up, "don't sweat it". We encountered numerous pine and oak roots. The concern was never raised by anyone.
  8. "By the way, I can sympathize with you guys across the rest of the country. The high temperature in Portland today was 68 degrees and I almost perspired a few times." The last time I was in Oregon was August of 2004. It was 105 in Eugene.
  9. Just curious. When I do my next vacant house in the desert and the interior of the building is well over 100, what trick would be the best for checking the operation of the gas furnace? I don't think a thermostat will set above 90. Possibly the the "canned air" sold to clean keyboards and computers? Maybe a good long blast of canned air would lower the thermostat to get furnace ignition for verification? Some of these vacant homes are so hot that the walls, floors and ceilings will radiate heat for many hours.
  10. Concrete tile is very popular in the southwest. Here in Southern California, just about every home built from 1990 to present has a concrete tile roof. During the latest building boom, every cut-up, fancy, cupola, dog house, etc. (like the ones in the pictures) roof was done with tile. In short, some of these cut-and-fit nightmares would leak in the in the first few years, most would not. And therein lies the problem. It is not craftsmanship, it is playing the percentages. Here in CA, the roof can be a visual nightmare, but if it does not leak, there are no damages. "No harm, no foul". That do
  11. I forget which BB the story came from, but my most memorable story of squirrels goes something like this......... The leather sofa and lazy boy were chewed up. There was general destruction and mayhem in a house that was unoccupied for a long period of time. The investigation concluded that it was squirrels. How did they get in? They looked and looked and found no definitive clues. Eventually, they concluded that it had to be the chimney. In what sounds like desperation, they laid the blame at the feet of the home inspector. The reasoning? If the inspector would have recommended a proper s
  12. An A/C system vs higher humidity translates into lots of wasted money. The A/C system is constantly trying to displace humidity in order to cool the living area. Some folks here in the southwest don't understand this when they run swamp coolers along with A/C devices.
  13. The Pacific Northwest is beautiful to be sure, but there is a reason it is so green. Because of that reason, I have performed many inspections in the Palm Springs area for folks living in Seattle and Vancouver. (Alaska Airlines still has non-stops from Palm Springs to Seattle) The most recent buyer from North Vancouver told me he had not seen direct sunlight in 2 months. On the other hand, the last time I visited the Northwest, the temperature was in the mid-90's.
  14. By any measure, the damage in the two photos is EASILY greater than 2 grand. If there was no permit, that eliminates much of the documentation of the original damage. If there was a permit, there would need to be a responsible party (owner builder) or licensed contractor. It is the licensed contractor's responsibility (by law) to construct properly. (not the jurisdiction's job to tell him how to do it) I think this is important to note because it is very possible that the client could decide to sell in a few years. If the next buyer's inspection does not see things the way you see it, it may c
  15. It doesn't really matter if it's fire damage or water damage. If someone doesn't make it "like it never even happened", the next buyer down the line is going to ask, "what happened? Since most folks don't want to get that meticulous in the attic, documentation better be at the ready. Snohomish County says you need a building permit if the repair damage is in excess of $2000. I think it's important to remind the client to do the paper chase to see if there was some kind of documentation to provide closure on the condition. (either the building official or the contractor verifying whats left is
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