Jump to content

OCD is such a sad, sad thing . . .


Bain
 Share

Recommended Posts

I wrote this up sort of like, "Only someone like myself who suffers severely from OCD would even notice this, but once noticed, I probably wouldn't be able to sleep until I'd corrected it." Ha, ha, and all that. It's fascinating and a little weird how folks like us develop an ability to observe. Last week I passed this balustrade probably six times till I realized there was something about it I didn't like, that something in my sub-conscious was screaming, "Wrong, wrong, wrong." So I stopped, took a look, and realized what was bothering me.

They say that as long as you realize you're leaning a touch toward the state of whacko that you're really okay. Right? Or is that just what us nuts tell ourselves?

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif DSC06251a.jpg

172.47 KB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We've collected some 17th century furniture. Most of it has carvings, often with a repeating pattern. Most have an intentional "oops". I think it has something to do with only the Big Guy is perfect. Maybe this contemporary builder shares this belief with the primordial craftsmen. Yeah right!

We have a set of chairs, each with 2 balusters flanked by 2 halved balusters. On one of the chairs, the halved balusters are inverted. No one else notices, but it sure bothers me. I'll bet most good inspectors have ARPs.

20061126185924_chair.JPG%20

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by randynavarro

I appreciate your attention to detail Bain but as discussed other places on this forum, in my opinion, its these kind of write-ups that gives our profession a bad reputation.

I'd mention it verbally to the client, but wouldn't write it up.

Wow! I can't imagine *not* writing it up.

I have an even harder time imagining how someone would argue against fixing this, particularly in new construction.

It's wrong.

It looks stupid.

It's embarrassing to the builder.

It's easy to fix.

Please explain why writing this up would contribute to a bad reputation.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Jim Katen

Wow! I can't imagine *not* writing it up.

I have an even harder time imagining how someone would argue against fixing this, particularly in new construction.

It's wrong.

It looks stupid.

It's embarrassing to the builder.

It's easy to fix.

Please explain why writing this up would contribute to a bad reputation.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

This is a tough one. I guess I would view this item as almost cosmetic. I know its blatantly wrong and ugly but I believe that cosmetic, aesthetic and decorative items best be left to other folk.

I guess it depends on how its written. Using your verbiage Jim, "It looks stupid" communicates an image of home inspectors as cranky, pissed off, and generally rude - not a good 'reptutation' IMO.

Thus I would be sure to inform my client of the issue but wouldn't put it in writing. Who says that all these types of items have to be documented in writing?

How far do we go on reporting 'ugly'?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Randy,

While I agree that reporting cosmetic stuff is not in our mandate, you need to look at this from another angle. This isn't really a costmetic issue that can be wall-papered over, cleaned or painted, it's an issue that says, "Look at me, I've been carelessly assembled. What else am I hiding?"

If you bought a new Lexus and the trim was installed backwards, wouldn't you hope that the dealer would see that and fix it? If you hired a mechanic to check the car over for you, wouldn't you want him to tell you about it so that you didn't look like a dork driving a car with the trim installed wrong? That house costs a lot more than a Lexus. The least they could have done was to get the balusters correct.

Considering the fact that inspectors end up in court all the time for allegedly not doing a thorough enough job on a home, noticing something as easy as this is to fix, recommending that it gets corrected and putting it in your report, could demonstrate during any future litigation that, not only were you paying attention to even small details, but you weren't pulling punches just to assuage the feelings of any realtor who was on site, in order to preserve your future referrals.

On the other hand, not mention it and record it, and a homeowner bent on suing you for allegedly not finding something, might produce a photo of this and say to a judge, "Look at this photograph of the stair railings in my home. This wasn't included in the report either, and clearly shows that the inspector was either not carefully inspecting the home or he intentionally avoided mentioning this because he didn't want to look like he was being picky and risk not getting future referrals from my realtor. Heck Judge, I wanted him to be picky. If he didn't report this, what else didn't he report besides the issue I'm in court about today?."

You could end up looking like the bad guy. Besides, most of us are cranky - with darned good reason - the 'zoids and their facilitators are constantly trying to undermine our efforts to do a truly professional job and are foisting their expectations of what an inspector should be and how he/she should inspect on the profession, instead of leaving us alone to decide that among ourselves.

Ah, I could go on forever. I gotta get off my soapbox and get some work done. Later, Dudes and Dudettes.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup. All good points Mike. I can't argue with any of them.

When I write something, I'm not worried about looking like the bad guy. But I also have to be sure my scope of work and how far I'll go in an inspection is pretty well defined and I don't deviate too much.

UGLY is a pretty large category. Once I start writing ugly stuff, I imply to the client that I'm covering all ugly stuff so I'd better be prepared to catch all of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While we're knocking the proverbial dead horse around the room, 1/2 of my bidness is generated from client referrals. People want to know about stuff like assymetric balusters, and appreciate it when I point those things out to them. That's why they tell their friends about me. Equally important, it's an easy fix if you know what you're doing, but most don't, and would have to hire a carpenter to switch the balusters. What carpenter's gonna put down his beer and slide off the couch for less than two hundred bucks? I figure that's two hundred bucks I've saved my buyer.

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by randynavarro

Originally posted by Jim Katen

Wow! I can't imagine *not* writing it up.

I have an even harder time imagining how someone would argue against fixing this, particularly in new construction.

It's wrong.

It looks stupid.

It's embarrassing to the builder.

It's easy to fix.

Please explain why writing this up would contribute to a bad reputation.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

This is a tough one. I guess I would view this item as almost cosmetic. I know its blatantly wrong and ugly but I believe that cosmetic, aesthetic and decorative items best be left to other folk.

Fair enough. We all have our threshold for what does & doesn't merit inclusion in a report.

It's certainly cosmetic, but once he notices this, the buyer is going to see it and do a slow burn every time he walks by it. Just because something's cosmetic doesn't mean it doesn't carry a lot of importance.

Look at it this way. In a house like this, the balusters' function is not only to provide a barrier - chicken wire could do that. Clearly, it's intended to look nice as well. To that end, someone established a plan for their installation. The installer failed to adhere to that plan. As a result the baluster no longer fulfills the function of looking nice. Instead it looks dorky. Who wants dorky in his front entryway?

I guess it depends on how its written. Using your verbiage Jim, "It looks stupid" communicates an image of home inspectors as cranky, pissed off, and generally rude - not a good 'reptutation' IMO.

Hey, buddy, I'm not rude. I always strive to be cranky and pissed off in a polite manner. (It's more professional that way.)

Thus I would be sure to inform my client of the issue but wouldn't put it in writing. Who says that all these types of items have to be documented in writing?

How far do we go on reporting 'ugly'?

Well, I didn't say it was ugly. I said it was stupid, as in a *stupid* mistake -- the result of carelessness & inattention. My customers have given me the impression that they care about stuff like that.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Mike,

Concerning the topic at hand when I do a new home inspection I point out the cosmetic stuff, I point out anything might be a concern. I do it now but I didn't use to. I have had to many clients show concern. I had a client the other day ask me if I could inspect the inside the heating ducts cause they were told of a case where someones new house had standing water in the ducts from construction. There are times I really wish I had a sewer scope or the equiviilent for concerns like those. Its beyond the SOP but thats a reasonable concern and I and any inspector should be happy to oblige if thier able.

Chris, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Brandon Chew

I think those balusters look beautiful just the way they are. Don't you know that true beauty is not orderly and symmetrical. [:P]

You guys are rocking my chi. [;)]

You talkin' wabi sabi?

If imperfection is necessary to create perfection, the joker with the baluster's got it going on.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If this issue was found in an older home, I would have verbally told the client, but not have included it in the report. However, this was discovered in a "New" home! I would have written it up and suggusted the client have the builder fix it!

If I found this in a new home and didn't write it up, I would not be doing my job and would more than likely hear about it later on.

Kevin

'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All due respect,

It's not just a cosmetic issue (especially for a new home). It's a quality of work issue. How many of you have labelled some addition, roof job, etc. as being "amateur workmanship"?

If you really wanted to stretch it, it could be a safety issue. Ever been to an amusement park where they have one of those "crazy houses" with the floors built on a slant, pictures hung at an angle, etc.? The visuals do not agree with what your sense of balance is telling you, making you feel "all messed up". When I opened that pic, it almost made me ill; I found my head tilting slightly to the right to compensate. Just a thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depending on 'anality', it isn't a trivial fix (but not so tough either). It appears that the sequencing went from the ends toward the center, and then didn't mesh. The stairs are pretty much fixed with the 'odd' baluster in the center, so the railing along the landing should be reworked to continue the sequence. But the builder wouldn't learn anything if it didn't hurt a little, right???

Gary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by ozofprev

Depending on 'anality', it isn't a trivial fix (but not so tough either). It appears that the sequencing went from the ends toward the center, and then didn't mesh. The stairs are pretty much fixed with the 'odd' baluster in the center, so the railing along the landing should be reworked to continue the sequence. But the builder wouldn't learn anything if it didn't hurt a little, right???

Gary

I'd just swap the 2nd & 3rd balusters from the left. It wouldn't take long.

BTW, the builder won't learn anything in any case. This was done by the finish carpenter's third assistant who was fired weeks ago anyway when he failed to show up for work because he couldn't make bail on a meth-cooking charge.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by mthomas1

The problem here, it seems to me, is "defensible standard" - I might feel strongly that those ought to symmetrical, but I *also* have strong opinions about how vinyl siding "ought" and "ought not" to be laid out - what's my logic for writing up one, but not the other?

I don't know. What's your logic? If it looked goofy and I thought it would be an annoyance for the buyer, I'd mention it.

What kind of layout sins do you mean?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jim,

Multiple short runs to use up scrap, overlap toward the direction from which the wall is usually viewed... stuff like that.

The general problem is: "Where does it end?"

What about the room with all that nice cherry wainscoting and trim, and that single-panel hollow core cherry veneer door?

Or, how about the general interior detailing of a typical Chicago condo “loftâ€

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...