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Jim Baird

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Everything posted by Jim Baird

  1. Here's one for Mike lamb and the aesthetes among us. Next door to my job I spotted this roof vent array, that cleared up for me any question why this box vent is called a turtleback. Been down many a river where these guys line up on logs and slide off when you pass.
  2. Sorry there is no picture, but I found a mechanical fire alarm on a kitchen ceiling I have never seen the likes of. When I pushed what looked like a test button the "button" fell off and a loud alarm bell sounded. The buyer, the realtor and I assumed it was hardwired, but throwing even the main breaker would not make it shut up. After wrestling it from its mount on the ceiling we discovered that it was not battery powered but was a wind-up machine that only got quiet when the wound device ran down. I did not have the tiny hex key it took for winding. Our study of the labeling found it only responded to heat and was not a smoky at all. Anyone here encountered these? It was round, about ten inches in diameter, and loud as hell.
  3. ...ask Ray Magliozzi, the surviving CarTalk bro. On NPR.
  4. No height prob by far here, but hearth was sealed off on inspection day...thinking of a sweep maybe wanting to lean a ladder there to look. I didn't.
  5. You should ask Werner Herzog if he would like to bring over a film crew.
  6. Wonder why anybody would stack a flue liner like this on top of the one lining the brick column. There was no code need for height here. There appeared to be some mortar but I would not lean a ladder against this thing.
  7. Do you think we are being visited by replicants, Marc? As a Philip K Dick fan, I would not be surprised if we start seeing inspectorbots.
  8. I have been called off a number of times, once when I discovered violations of disclosure where seller tried to hide things. Once I arrived at a job, called the client and told him I would not even start the job, and did not charge him at all.
  9. I always offer the option to call me off, and let me bill by the hour. I don't push it but I do offer it. I too like to finish a job.
  10. Surface equipment, if listed, is fine. Maybe you are thinking of the fact that Romex is not listed except by exception by local AHJ, for commercial use. In my day as an AHJ banks (of which an awful lot were built around here during those crazy Y2K days), always wanted to put on a real homey feel in their design, (maybe instead of the cold steel industrial hidden face of their operation). They used wood frame walls and cushy comfortable conference rooms and offices, with judges' paneling and tray ceilings, and they always wanted a break from commercial wiring conduit rules. The other thing they always wanted a break from was the code requirement for a drinking fountain outside of the required restrooms. They always said they would provide contracted drinking water stations, which they usually did.
  11. During the remodel the headwall stayed the same but the drain got relocated probably due to structural issues from a long time leak etc. The guy doing the job was not going to be living with it.
  12. I see a greasy TV in the future.
  13. Thanks Erby. Have not done any math but I think they could have built a 1 in 16 ramp with that much material.
  14. ...far as I know the occupants were able bodied non-elderly. I think there was a lot of 2x6 lumber left over from the 16x35 foot deck, and the carpenter directed to use it up. These steps are 8' wide.
  15. ...never mind the lack of code required rails/guards. I just wonder why a carpenter would want to build a set of steps that looks like this...
  16. A recent occupied inspect came with the caution, under no circumstances let the cat out, as he has never been out, and will likely run away. Of course while hauling a ladder in and out the storm door closer delayed, and I only saw the gap and no cat...if you ever saw the Cohen Bros. film, Inside Llewyn Davis, you know how I felt. Luckily the cat did not get out, but was hiding inside.
  17. ...noteworthy but NBD. Must have been green at installation. You don't get them this big at big box or local lumber supply. I bet it made a hump in the finish surface.
  18. I like the little cheap ones because of they fit in my pockets so well. That scalloped rim on many models is supposed to be designed to break out a car windshield from the inside, in the event you are trapped in there.
  19. One of electricity's mysterious aspects is that you cannot see it at work. You can only test remotely, by measure, it performance. Sometimes when performance teeters off the stage it can only be traced by signs it left behind. This panel was installed ca. 2008 by licensed personnel. Why the shadows of arcs and the partially melted hot connection in the pic? Jim Baird
  20. Yet another topic where, despite my 20+ yrs experience, I find myself a beginner. We don't get many HUD FHA foreclosures around here. The subject property was the only one listed for my county. I took the bait as it is in my town of current (30 yrs) residence. Subject property was foreclosed under FHA rules, bank completely off the hook. No utilities allowed to be connected. Property offered "as is". Buyer big time beware. HUD sends a crew from two states away to "inspect", although they will not activate any utilities. The crew energized the electric system with a generator, and said they operated two HVAC systems and found them operational. I, working for a buyer not yet under contract, found this at disconnect of a condenser. I have never seen a disconnect jerried to not switch off. Maybe it kept tripping and they stuck this screw in there to keep it on. Owners who walked from the house took the water heater with them, but left behind a fairly late model car with good tires with a license plate expired in Oct '17. Do the brethren here do many of these half vast inspects?
  21. Yet another topic where, despite my 20+ yrs experience, I find myself a beginner. We don't get many HUD FHA foreclosures around here. The subject property was the only one listed for my county. I took the bait as it is in my town of current (30 yrs) residence. Subject property was foreclosed under FHA rules, bank completely off the hook. No utilities allowed to be connected. Property offered "as is". Buyer big time beware. HUD sends a crew from two states away to "inspect", although they will not activate any utilities. The crew energized the electric system with a generator, and said they operated two HVAC systems and found them operational. I, working for a buyer not yet under contract, found this at disconnect of a condenser. I have never seen a disconnect jerried to not switch off. Maybe it kept tripping and they stuck this screw in there to keep it on. Owners who walked from the house took the water heater with them, but left behind a fairly late model car with good tires with a license plate expired in Oct '17. Do the brethren here do many of these half vast inspects?
  22. Realtors around here want an inspector to be a tail wagging, puppy dog enthusiast who is a booster for a deal. I tend to be a skeptic and see myself as the buyer advocate. When I find problems I raise hell about them and encourage the buyer to lower their offer. Other than former customers my referrals come from closing attorneys that know my work.
  23. ...a carpenter friend bought a hundred + year old home 40 yrs ago. Pine floor frame had sagged away from a central, double flue, rock and brick chimney column. He tried to straighten things with big jacks, but when he lifted, everything lifted together, so he ended up re-framing floors in pieces. With a lot of patience he finally got it right and still lives in a beautiful home. Warning: this kind of project will never be featured on "Flip this house" programs.
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