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Had a weird one the other day

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So, I get hired to do a pre-offer inspection on a quad-plex in the north city.

I get there and it's a foreclosed property that's supposed to only be 10 years old; water all over the floors of three units and some mold growing in a closet that backs up to a utility room where the danged water heaters have burst.

The deal is non-typical inspection to look at only:






I arrive and it looks newer. All vinyl siding, gable roof over trusses and architectural-grade comp roof and a new slab foundation. Still, once inside there's something about the building that tells me it's older - the doors are stile and rail with plywood panels typical of the 30's to 50's, there's an ironing board cupboard converted to a spice cupboard in one unit and there looks like there's too much paint for a 10-year old structure.

Check out the roof - it's newer and fits the age the buyer says it is. Check out the slab foundation plumbing and electric downstairs and it all fits. Go upstairs and open a service panel and I'm suddenly going back in time with old tin-coated copper feeds, TC copper branch circuits, rag wrap that's been extended to reach the breakers (an obvious replacement of a fuse box), split-bus panels and a date of 3/68 in the corner of the three upstairs panel labels.

Then I notice the edge of the wall around the panel enclosure - it's plaster over gypsum lath! What the hell!

Stick my head up in the attics and I discover a one story tri-plex that's been jacked up in the air 10 ft., had a new slab foundation with garages and a fourth unit stuck underneath it; then a new trussed roof, OSB deck and arch-grade cover were plunked down on top. There was still knob-and-tube wiring in use!

Told the client and realtor. They were a little skeptical until they peeked up in the attics.

Some days I love the crap I find with this job.



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Hi Joe,

I don't take pics; I let the customers take pics and then email them to me and I paste 'em in. One of these days though; I just gotta get a handle on all this compustuff first.

Yeah, I did recommend a permit review. I thought it pretty bizarre that the tax records listed it as built in 1999 and I was kind of disappointed to find a bunch of old sub-panels that had the grounded conductors and equipment-grounding conductors separated with bonding screws in place and lots of old K & T still in the building.

Who knows what the heck they'll find.



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