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Jim Baird

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Everything posted by Jim Baird

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. It likely fell short of compliance with the 1900 building code;-)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. I'm seeing so many big holes in such a small area as to call for a "Don't Tread on Me" banner.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. When my wife asked for a bottle rack on the wall for new wine club shipments, she got the charred southern yellow pine 1/4 inch paneling courtesy yours truly. Hanging ten on the curl of the future's wave.
  17. ...if it is concrete slab I would just flash under what is likely an aluminum threshold. Doubt you will find ground contact treated 1x6 anyway.
  18. I think you can get beaded material in 3/8 plywood too. Not so heavy as fiberboard.
  19. Don't have the link but section details are posted on the Brick Institute of America site.
  20. "...We have good ceiling height (around 7ft)..." Seven feet is not compliant with minimum height for "habitable space". Do not waste time or money with the effort. Real estate types often encourage buyers by hinting that they can "finish" the basement and increase SF/value. I have seen some spectacular botch jobs in this direction that actually devalue the property. I was told by an inspector even older than me that there are two kinds of basements, those that do leak and those that will leak.
  21. So I guess this is a great leap forward? The code agencies are struggling a bit, as they make their money like any publishing house, selling their copyrighted content. NFPA publishes the full range of codes, but they dominate in electric, life safety, and fire. ICC used to run a great forum, but they shut it down several years ago, broke it into pieces, and the traffic dropped to near zero.
  22. ...when I mention potential cost of remedies, it is expressed only as far as number of figures, as in, three, four or five.
  23. Like Marc said be sure you know what you are looking for before you head down to the big box. Most of all don't ask the guy at the big box what to do or buy.
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