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Jim Baird

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Everything posted by Jim Baird

  1. 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.
  2. ...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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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?
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. ...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.
  9. All you can do is stop that journey to the center of the earth. Treated posts on 4" cap block located best you can might be best you can do. All that deflection is there to stay.
  10. Love the chain/faux narrative here...on this house blackberries ain't much in the mix. It is mostly privet, poke salad, elm, and sweet gum mixed with hackberry. A really dense mix.
  11. I have walked from jobs too, but in this case the buyer met me and led me where he could, after our phone conversation and his agreement to pay me per hr.
  12. I inspected a 120 yr old house the other day that was unoccupied for at least the last 20 yrs. The lot had gone untended for so long I described it as having returned to a "wooded" state. I called for an exterminator to follow me up because of evidence I found of termites. I saw no wiggling insects, but I noted that they were unlikely to get a termite inspector until the lot was cleared. I think the buyer remains undeterred. Anyone here done a house on a lot returned to feral state? No pics as the lot was so densely wooded you could not really see the building, plus I broke the screen on my point and shoot while crawling under.
  13. How about for floor framing? I have a distant cousin who bought a house built in 1917 by a rich guy south of here. He framed the whole thing from California redwood. No telling what it cost him but the house is still standing straight. Around here SYP or floor trusses are needed for any kind of span, and SYP has been degraded by the standards institutes and the codebooks because the "super trees" being raised now by the wood production experts are so pithy they fail the engineering tests applied by the raters. Someone earlier mentioned bounce. As an AHJ I inspected a modular with floor trusses that passed muster far as I could tell. The owners had moved in a bunch of stuff too early, and when I walked across the dining room the dishes in the floor standing china cabinet all rattled.
  14. When I was an AHJ I would make a visit whenever a caller had a safety issue. All the visits I made about possible mold were for tenants that also happened to be behind on rent. Some were downright comical with their feigned coughing.
  15. Heck no Marc. SYP is rated way higher than all those whites, which are lumped together under the SPF category which stands for spruce pine fir.
  16. It likely fell short of compliance with the 1900 building code;-)
  17. These rafters barely qualified as 2x4. The steepness allowed them to get away with scabs. Down in the crawl these guys notched away more than half of joist height to rest on ledgers. It is something I see a lot of, but only rarely have I seen joist split as a result of over notching.
  18. House framed in 1900. Looks like they sawed the pine right next door. Lots of slab pieces in the skip sheathing and lots of scabs to make length.
  19. My search for the main water supply cutoff found this fitting that looks like a pressure control where the supply enters the building. It is corroded, with a very slow drip leak. The bend in the copper looks like this assembly was forced in place, with what looks like a galvanized to copper mismatch.
  20. I've never seen it either. Mechanism might be water trying to get back to the ocean, as it all does, mortar being saturated from above by force of gravity, but not in amounts enough to carry lime along enough to make a proper drip and stain onto surface, like I have seen from uncapped parapets. Inside it is dry. This sand so obviously fell from these joints there needs to be a physical reason why.
  21. I'm seeing so many big holes in such a small area as to call for a "Don't Tread on Me" banner.
  22. My thinking is that this column absorbed a lot of water in the course of a very wet year, (69 inches in an area that averages 45, 12 of which inches fell in December), and the migration down and out pushed this sand from those joints. Nobody living here was around to vacuum it up.
  23. Here is a fun problem. Where did these sand deposits come from both on the front and the side of a massive chimney column of a 70's brick ranch? The column rises from the ground up through it all, has a rectangular and a square clay flue, one for a gas furnace vent, another for a fireplace that was fitted later with gaslogs. Column up top lacks a cricket, as modern codes would require, but I could see no roof leaking around the column perimeter despite the really sloppy flashing. House has been unoccupied for an unknown time, no disclosure available. My thinking is that the sheer mass of this column's faces has resulted, in a wetter than average year, in moisture migration towards the ground, that pushed this sand out of the mortar joints.
  24. Lots of laughs and thanks for sharing. I take every chance to unload on franchise types in any business, from burgers to bakeries to any kind of service. A couple of times I have had gigs cancelled by franchise offerings, rendered by realtors, of "coupons" off my price.
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