washington: What Is It? What's the Difference? - 02/14/09 02:43 PM
The following pictures are of three different siding materials that look quite a bit alike.  Knowing what each is and the pros and cons of each may be important when you purchase that next home.
 
Cement Asbestos Siding   
Asphalt Shingle Siding   
Striated Cedar Siding   
As you can see, each of these siding materials are similar.  The top, cement asbestos has been given a bad rap.  Asbestos is a problem when it is friable (fibres floating in the air where they can be breathed) but as long as it is intact and kept painted, it is one of … (4 comments)

washington: This years gardens - 05/29/08 11:55 AM
I haven't posted in this group in a while.  Just took a few pictures of the perrenial gardens at my place yesterday and thought I would share a few.
This view is looking toward the house from near the street.
Looking at the house and gardens from the South.
Looking at gardens from the East side.
Just recently finished building this office/studio for my wife.  These gardens, along with the firepit and stone walkway are brand new; not quite so jungle like yet.
This view is from the North, looking back toward the new gardens along the edge of our little … (20 comments)

washington: My Book Meme with thanks to Deborah Pearce - 12/07/07 01:51 PM
How does an avid reader talk about his five favorite books?  I don't think I can choose five favorites.  I'v been reading for 60 years and may have thousands of favorites.  What I'll do, I think, is choose some recently read and some I think are notable.
Last night we had our monthly Book Group meeting.  This is a small private group.  Our first read was Dante Allighieri's Inferno.  We went on to read Purgatorio and will soon be going into Paradiso to complete the Divine Comedy.  Last night we talked a bit about the completion of our most recent book, The … (10 comments)

washington: Sand In The City - 08/04/07 10:05 PM
This weekend, Bellingham,Washington hosted a sand sculpture contest.  It covered the three days of Friday through Sunday.  I happened upon it quite by accident, but since I did have my camera with me, I thought I would check it out.  All the entries had an architect as a sponsor, and they all were interestingly creative.
This one is in progress, and it is being done by a professional sand sculpture team.
Chess game

Pirate shipwreck
Mice and cheese


And finally, the organizers didn't forget the kids.  There were two very large sand boxes for the kids to play in.  Any local cats would have been in … (16 comments)

washington: Noxious Weeds - 08/04/07 09:46 PM
Most exotic garden plants are not particularly problematic.  The majority of garden plants do come from elsewhere in the world.  Some of them, because of their invasive nature, become a serious problem for the well being of native plants when the spread to wild areas.  One of the main ways they escape gardens is as seeds in the belly of birds.  Some of these invasive, noxious plants in the state of Washington are as follows.  Gardeners may be surprised by the inclusion of some of these plants.
Common Fennel, a non-bulbing type that has tall feathery licorice smelling foliage.  Escapees inhabit and … (15 comments)

washington: My Backyard Mountains - 08/04/07 09:22 PM
Since I mentioned Mountaineering/climbing in my recent MEME I thought I would show a few peaks that appear just East of Bellingham, Washington. They are all part of the range known as the North Cascades. I call these my backyard because they are relatively easy to access.  There are a number of trailheads that take off from the Mt. Baker Highway, which deadends at Artists Point (called Huntoon Point on the USGS maps) which is at the Mt. Baker Ski Area.  I have climbed the majority of the peaks shown, and I can say that the degree of difficulty from one to the … (5 comments)

washington: Nooksack Falls - 08/04/07 02:43 AM
East of Bellingham, Washington there is a not very well known set of falls on the North Fork of the Nooksack River (A fork that is solely glacier melt water) at about mile 46 on the Mt. Baker Highway on the way up to Heather Meadows.  This fall, which is two pronged, plunges about 100 feet into the gorge below.  It is exceedingly beautiful, and scary.  A few years ago a fence was built to prevent people from climbing out on the rocks.  This was done in response to a young woman falling to her death at the falls.  Here are … (6 comments)

washington: Summer Food - 08/04/07 02:41 AM
As the summer progresses, this Bellingham, Washington vegetable garden gets more out of control.  The pumkins and squashes leap out of their beds and fill the pathways.  The fourth succession planting of brocolli is ready to harvest.  The corn is producing tassles.  Eggplants have started producing fruit.  Tomato plants and pepper plants are loaded.  I ate my first pole beans today.  The first planting of bush beans is not far behind.  It gets harder to find the time to weed, but I try to do a little each day.  It is truly wonderful to go out to the garden and pick the … (21 comments)

washington: Ajo Harvest - 08/04/07 02:19 AM
Last week I harvested my garlic (Ajo in Spanish).  I grow both hardneck (rocambole) and soft neck garlics.  I grow several varieties of hardneck because I like their flavor  and ease of peeling.  I grow the soft neck because they keep longer.  Hardnecks will lusually last till December and soft necks will go into March or April.  In both cases, they have to be properly dried.  Here in Bellingham, Washington the garlic is usually planted in November.  It puts down roots and grows to about six inches high before any frost.  It then goes dormant till it warms up a little, … (2 comments)

washington: Tour de France. Uh, Bellingham - 08/04/07 02:10 AM
The road I live on is very rural and thus has very little traffic.  The local (Bellingham, Washington) cycling club uses it for practices and on Tuesday evenings, races.  There are usually 60 to 70 bicycles involved in these races.  The do a number of laps on a large loop that is several miles long.  It's pretty fun to watch them go by every ten or so minutes.  With that large of a group the sound of their passing is amazing, and they create their own wind.  This past Tuesday I tried to get a few pictures of them.  They happened … (6 comments)

washington: Riparian Repair - 07/28/07 01:35 PM
This is a quick look at an intergovernmental/private money project to restore the riparian area  along sections of the Nooksack River  just outside Bellingham, Washington.  This area, which is prime wetland habitat, had been poorly used for many years.  It is home to many species of duck, overwintering area for Trumpeter Swans and Snow Geese, and had badly trashed small streams.  The streams have been repaired, with current interrupting log jams, and many riparian trees have been planted.  A good sign is that the beavers have returned.
You can see the number of agencies involved in this project.
This is an overall view … (9 comments)

washington: Commercial Fishing - 07/28/07 01:27 PM
Bellingham, Washington has a long and active history of commercial fishing.  In its heyday there were a number of very large Salmon Canneries around Bellingham Bay.  Today, with the decline of Salmon runs and the major control of fishing grounds to keep the worlds oceans from becoming a desert, local fishers have to have licenses and nets for many different species, and have to travel far afield to keep their way of life.  The following photos are acknowledging their commitment and honoring their profession.
This is the original fishermen's memorial at Zuanich Pt. Park.  The plaque on the left names those who … (13 comments)

washington: Local Independents, A Free Press - 07/22/07 09:07 AM
I'm sitting here this early Sunday morning looking at a group of local independent newspapers.  These papers, in this era of only three corporate owners of news media, are the last bastion of a free press in this country.  These locals, all with a slightly different political bent than each other, really bring out the information that one needs to make informed local decisions.  They also are a great source for local arts and entertainment.  Here are the ones in my county.
Cascadia Weekly, published in Bellingham, Washington.  http://cascadiaweekly.com
Whatcom Independent, published in Bellingham, Washington.  http://whatcomindy.com
Fish Tales, the newsletter of the Nooksack Salmon … (0 comments)

washington: Not Your Mother's Porridge - 07/22/07 07:51 AM
There has long been a raging argument over the best way to make oatmeal.  Stay with me now, I know that many people don't like oatmeal.  Try this way some time and maybe it'll change your mind.  I learned this way years ago and it is the only way I'll eat it.  In our busy lives, my wife and I always have breakfast together on weekends. Sunday is bacon and eggs, very basic with the bacon done on George Foreman and the eggs poached, both being a very low fat way to do it.  On Saturday, we usually start with oatmeal.  … (4 comments)

washington: Crawlspace? No It's a Deck! - 07/19/07 12:11 PM
Not all WDO (wood destroying organism) damage is limited to crawl spaces.  The following pictures show a deck in need of replacement.  There are several reasons why this deck is in the shape it's in.  When it was built, the structural lumber was not pressure treated.  The joists are Douglas Fir 4X10, good solid construction, but the wrong product for the job.  The house is located in a wooded area, dropping needles constantly, which go through the gaps in the decking and rest on the joists, holding moisture.  The result was severe Anobiid beetle infestation and severe Wood Decay Fungus (rot).  … (16 comments)

washington: Fire Hazard - 07/19/07 10:45 AM
I think a while back a colleague did  a post on chimney's and their problems.  I thought I'd show this one to illustrate why it is important to get chimneys inspected and cleaned annually.  Creosote buildup can burn your house down.  And it can happen fast.
This is a chimney fire just waiting to happen.  I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.  Fortunately, the buyers of this home had a home inspection and were advised to have a level two chimney inspection/and cleaning done.  If this were the winter, and the wood stove being used, it could have ended very poorly.
Thanks for looking.
David … (23 comments)

washington: Coffee Boxes - 07/18/07 03:50 PM
Back when our youngest was going to College, to get summer money she worked at a drive through espresso stand.  She derogatorily called them  "coffee boxes" because little boxes is what they looked like.  Since that time, the drive throughs have gotten a little more creative in their design.  Here, without any editorializing about the design or the quality of the coffee (I prefer to go inside the places I buy my coffee.  I already spend way too much time in a vehicle.) are some photos of a few that I've come across over the course of a business week.
              … (15 comments)

washington: Nice House, Bad Bugs - 07/16/07 03:00 PM
When I arrived at this house to inspect it, a nice young couple buying their first house, I thought that this one would be easy.  70s rambler that appears to have been kept in nice condition.  New roof, new siding, sweet.  As I looked around I found a few things that made me suspicious.  Soil against the siding; crawl space vents at or below grade with inadequate wells.

 When I went into the crawl space this is what I found.  The outside conditions were a clue to this space.
Severe Anobiid damage to beam, note the rust on the hanger.  This beam is damaged … (12 comments)

washington: More Trees - 06/25/07 11:00 AM
On a previous blog post I showed a number of specimen trees on my property just outside Bellingham, Washington.  The trees I'm showing on this post are some more mature ones.  These I didn't plant, but were instrumental in making the decision to buy this property ten years ago.  The gardens that are visible were not here when we bought the place.
These are two very large Black Locusts located in our front yard.
This may be the largest Weeping Willow in Whatcom County Washington.  The tree to the right is an English Walnut.
The large trees in the background are a row of … (0 comments)

washington: Dutch Treat - 06/21/07 11:57 AM
Yesterday I was doing an inspection in Lynden, Washington.  Lynden is a small town Northeast of Bellingham, Washington.  It was founded in the late 1800s by Dutch immigrants. Lynden, Washington is a very clean and well kept community. The downtown area looks like a little bit of Holland.

Lynden also has a unique entry.  The gateway to Lynden is, I believe, the only one anywhere that is flanked by a pair of cemeteries.
Lynden is also the home of the Whatcom County, Washington fair.  The permanent fair grounds occupies a large area on the South side of Front Street, the main drag of Lynden, Washington.
I … (4 comments)

 
David Helm, Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp (Helm Home Inspections)

David Helm

Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp

Bellingham, WA

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Helm Home Inspections

Address: 4186 Rural Avenue, Bellingham, Wa , 98226

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My blogs offer a wide range of topics, from home inspection to cooking to woodworking to gardening to local area information and photos. I love talking about Bellingham, Washington and its surrounding area. Home inspection is my work; life is my passion.


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