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John Kogel

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John Kogel last won the day on October 31

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About John Kogel

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    Retired happy HI
  1. Creative stairs

    With 2 handrails, you could call it a ladder. But as is, it is a death trap.
  2. flashlight bulbs

    Right, the best lights have lithium ion batteries. Mine was an i Drill. I say was because I left it on a shelf in a closet. I loved that light (sniff). This light goes all day and recharges in 40 mins. or less. The mirrored head has about 20 LED's, no kidding. Jim, replacing bulbs goes against the grain, like trying to refill a Bic lighter. Forget it. The i Drill light has a flaw, in that it needs a belt hook or wrist strap.
  3. Artography - Park in fog

    Thought provoking., but ... Could you take the SUV out of the background? It bothers me some, an intruder or lurker, maybe?. Or could be because mine has pending maintenance issues.
  4. 1969 Home wiring

    Single residence, the wiring can be inspected regularly and upgraded to copper whenever practical. A late 60's condo building with Al in the walls is a concern for a buyer. You have no control over wiring in the other units, incorrect devices installed, etc. and the associations are slow to do anything about it. So my advice to clients is to steer clear, or become very vocal about electrical inspections and maintenance throughout the building, $$$
  5. site built truss

    Those purlin supports actually put downwards pressure on the ceiling beam, no? The beam seems to be hanging on nails. I would have expected plywood gussets. But who am I to criticize the carpenter at this point?
  6. 1969 Home

    Hello Joseph, does it have a septic system or is it on sewer? City water or on a well? Finished basement ceiling or unfinished?
  7. Buckling of roof

    Not occupied, no problem then. Tell your inspector and the trustee that somebody may need to move stuff, but you must see pictures taken in the attic.You need to know the insulation depth and type, and not just sampled beside the hatch. He needs to check the back corners of the attic, looking for signs of moisture damage, pests such as rodents, and leaking vent pipes. Sometimes in a 60's house, the kitchen hood fan is belching bacon fat into the attic. Rats chew on wiring and are hard to eradicate, since most of them were born there. By the way, a walkout basement is a good thing usually, lots of slope for good drainage. Concrete block wall cracks need an experienced eye, but if the gaps are less than 3/16ths inches wide, look to see if movement is recent or old cracks. With a pipe scope camera, look to see if perimeter drains are clear. Direct downspouts away several feet from the basement back corners.
  8. There is a whole list of things the inspector should be looking at. 1969 means there could be Aluminum wiring, which is bad, and also will make your annual insurance premiums higher. Best to rewire the house with copper. The breaker panel is at the end of its service life. The drainage around the basement will be all clogged up with composted leaves and debris. Poor drainage means moisture in your basement and sometimes bulging walls below ground. There is minimal insulation in the walls. There may be vermiculite insulation in the attic, known to often be contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos is in the floor coverings such as sheet vinyl or tiles and also in the black glue. Asbestos in the plaster and drywall. Asbestos around heat ducts. The windows are leaky and may be single pane metal frame sliders, which are the worst ever made. Then there is the chimney, possibly has no flue liner. Mortar falling out of it. Small rooms, old leaky faucets, stained old cast iron fixtures, rot around the leaky toilets. Rusty water supply pipes. Maybe they're copper pipes, but check for corrosion on them too. Those are the highlights. Might get lucky and find a nice home, recently reno'd. But sometimes it is just a facade, new kitchen and bathroom, major issues concealed from the buyer. Anyway good luck with it. Might be a nice property. Seriously, if you have a choice and are not handy, or not inclined to spend years fixing the place, look for something built in the 1990's or newer. JMO.
  9. Use issues vs code ones

    It sounds like trouble to me, but you can do the inspection and just avoid using those words in your report. Is the seller your client? The same guy that built without a proper permit? And he's set it up so tractors and trucks can drive in and out? I would certainly call for fire separation and exhaust ventilation. Sometimes here an old building will be sold as have a non-conforming use, that is, not zoned for that use or not built under a permit. But new build, no way, they would be putting a 'Stop Work" order on it until the AHJ is satisfied. BTW, nice grammar.
  10. whole house surge protectors

    Jim, as a rare household, you talk funny, and can read and write, too. My apologies.
  11. whole house surge protectors

    Bad grammar, Jim, tsk, tsk. Reminds of an enlightened moment I had back in the 90's. We were paying rent of $7/month for a cheap dial telephone. Did it for years, never looked at the charges. They kept the rent low to slip it past the gullible types, and sad to say, we fell for it too.
  12. whole house surge protectors

    They will rent to folks that would never think of opening a panel, not qualified to install their own.
  13. Appliances recommendation for renovated unit

    We just opened up a vacation rental suite this year and bought all the appliances locally second hand, $100 -125 each. The dishwasher is only a year old and has a stainless steel liner. The range is like new and is spotless under the burners. The reason they were sold for cheap is simple - they are all white. The range has the old style burners, no glass top. Easier to keep clean, no fear of scratches. Brand names are pretty irrelevant, as most are owned by Whirlpool. A 10 year old washer is junk, worn out. Some or the older units are a good buy now, but that's hit or miss. The high-end appliances are more trouble than they are worth, cheap circuit boards and fussy controls. Design a white kitchen with white cabinet doors, modern brushed steel handles, and search local classifieds. Good luck, and welcome to the Inspector's Journal.
  14. Anyone recognize this?

    Here's a tip for the hard of hearing, including myself. To check to see if the pump runs, with hot water running, just place a hand on the motor.
  15. New blog

    I notice you haven't said what kind of reports you write, we assume they are not benign, so are they 'Alarmist"? Maybe you've already described your reports elsewhere, but it would help to add that here. Neither benign nor alarmist, but .....