montreal home inspection: Burn Baby Burn - Candle "heaters" - 01/16/14 08:17 AM
 
BURN BABY BURN       -   Candle Heaters  
A few tea-lite candles, a metal pan and some flower pots - emergency, supplemental, or off-grid heating or something else entirely?
 This is a link to a YouTube Video that was sent to a family member. They were impressed with it but I know the science is wrong and the safety risks are huge.
http://youtu.be/WKr806o4wdE           
 Videos like this have been circulating on line for about 10 to 12 months now. If you do a search for candle heaters you will get dozens of videos, … (8 comments)

montreal home inspection: Cutting corners - Panel opening. - 07/26/13 06:10 AM

It's a cover and yes... it's a cover for electrical box, but it's not a cover for this electrical box.
It looks like a frugal and creative solution.
It is the cover for common wall/ceiling connection boxes and it does prevent errant fingers or tools from being poked in where they should'nt be.
However, considering that the parts actually made to cover those openings are very inexpensive (A pack of ten is less than $2.) 
Think about it.......Is it really a good idea to sink a few screws into a hot electrical panel?
And do you think this was done by … (19 comments)

montreal home inspection: Do You Really Want To Live In A Fireman's' Reno? - 07/24/13 05:13 AM
Do You Really Want To Live In A Fireman's' Reno?

 
I saw this a few weeks ago while inspecting the neighbouring property. I couldn't resist taking a shot of it. The selling agent noticed and told me  a fireman owned the property and was fixing it up, renovating it in his off time.
Her tone and attitude to this told me she thought this was admirable and she was 'wowed' by this industriousness.
That's all fine but as a home inspector and understanding structure a well as I do, am somewhat less impressed.
Yes, the joists are cantilevered but … (21 comments)

montreal home inspection: Do You Live In A Bubble ?..................................PUCC; People UN CLEAR On The Concept - 03/17/13 01:17 PM
Do You Live In A Bubble ?..................................PUCC; People UN CLEAR On The Concept
Some people don't think their decisions and home reno choices have any significant consequences. If so you might be living in a bubble.
Honey? Where should we put the electrical panel?  I don't know dear, why don't we put the walkin closet next to the stairs. It's closer to the bed room.
But hon, that'll leave the electrical panel in the bathroom.  Yes dear?
But hon it  probably should not . Dear I want it by the bedroom and there's enough static in the clothes as it is.
OK.........
(1 comments)

montreal home inspection: How Does A Flipper Like Their Eggs.....................................................The Lazy Flipper's Fridge - 02/28/13 06:58 AM
How Does A Flipper Like Their Eggs.....................................................The Lazy Flipper's Fridge 
Have you heard of this one ?;
How does a flipper like his fried eggs.....................I don't know, but you can bet they're not sunny side up!
And - What does a flpper keep in his fridge?;

Not much, right?
And there's a few more paint touchups tp be done. (Paint roller and brush are wrapped in a plastic bags and put in the fridge to keep them from drying between coats of paint - so you don't have to wash and clean them each time.)
it's powered, that looks normal, … (5 comments)

montreal home inspection: You Might Be A Vampire If…………You’re Worried About Radio Activity. - 02/23/13 08:21 AM
You Might Be A Vampire If…………You’re Worried About Radio Activity.
I recently got this warning via an acquaintance on facebook It came with the link below, which takes you to a site inviting you to a seminar/meeting on the subject.
 
                                         
Hydro Qc Installing Smart Meters- Info Session on RadioActive Dangers from Smart Meters
The idea sounds familiar because this can has been kicked around before.  It is the same dumb idea as getting cancer from cell phones and hands … (8 comments)

montreal home inspection: Kaboom. Nanny, Family, 2 Small Children Die in Fire. Cause Said To Be Electrical! - 02/22/13 04:48 AM
KABOOM. Nanny, Family, 2 Small Children Die in Fire. Cause Said To Be Electrical! 
That may be the way the headline would read, but fortunately it has not happened. But conditions are prime for it and the risk level is high.

The grey 'snow' layer covering everything under this house is laundry lint. About 12 to 20 years accumulation. And it does cover everthing; soil, rocks, insulation roll and other debris a like. And its hanging off joists, wiring and walls.
It's a real mess! But thats not all. The photos below show the area heater and where it is … (6 comments)

montreal home inspection: Was it snowing on 10th Street today? - 02/20/13 02:16 PM
Was it snowing on 10th Street today?

Tool kit - check, Car brush - check, Ladder - check, Snowshoes - check
    
           This was todays job, at a lull in the wind,       and this is how I dealt with it.
So, yes it was snowing. It was what a New Englander would call a sou'wester: gusting, drifting blowing snow, in your face, weather.
I'm prepared for it. It's not like it was going to be a suprise. It's winter. It's just going to be there.
I even have a second pair for my clients who … (24 comments)

montreal home inspection: The Elephant In The Room - Stringer Strangeness / Stringer Stress - 02/16/13 01:55 PM
 
The Elephant In The Room - Stringer Strangeness / Stringer Stress: Whats WRONG Here?

This is under the basement stairs of a nice looking home less than 2 years old.   There are a few things wrong in this photo.  
Can you spot all five structural defects?
Here are a few hints;
 1 - The riser of the last tread and one joist do not a double trimmer make.
 2 - Toe nailed joists do not carry weight, Forever or for long.
 3 - Nails are pins to hold framing in place. Weight bearing framing has to be … (16 comments)

montreal home inspection: "Every breath you take"...Is It A Red Flag? - 02/10/13 12:01 PM
 
"Every breath you take"...Is It A Red Flag?
 

No "Every breath you take" is the songs' refrain (POLICE/Sting).
Every breath you expel does add humidity to your homes interior, but that's normal, no red flags for that.  But...
Seeing a laundry drying rack like the one in the photo Is a big RED FLAG to any inspector.
Why?, Well the modern home is equipped with several exhaust systems located in specific rooms to remove excessive moisture at the source before it can be allowed to spread to places where it will do damage.  These would be laundry rooms, kitchens … (4 comments)

montreal home inspection: Have You Got The 'New House plumbing Blues'? - 02/06/13 04:06 PM
Have You Got The 'New House plumbing Blues'?
or What's wrong in this picture.?  A Plumbing Puzzler.

Everything is clean and new and dry, no leaks. It's a new house, less than 2 years old, being sold by the builder owner.
He (or his plumber) would get 3 out of 4 on this issue because of the 4 sinks in the home only this one is like this.  Very likely, one person did the rough-in plumbing (blue and red lines) and later, somebody else connected the sinks at a finishing stage.
The plumbing IS all clean and new. There are … (22 comments)

montreal home inspection: Is Your House Sporting A Beret? It's That Time Of Year. Keep Looking Up. - 01/06/13 10:12 AM
Is Your House Sporting A Beret?   It's That Time Of Year. Keep Looking Up.

    
It is that time of year. Snow does build up on roofs. You even get snow drifts on roofs with windy conditions.
You also get what I like to call snowbrows. Which may look like your roof is wearing a snow beret.
The right conditions can create built-up overhangs, or 'brows' at eves and other roof edges. They often get heavy enough to break of and fall with a big 'whump' sound as this pile of snow hits the ground or a lower roof.
(3 comments)

montreal home inspection: Cabinetry 101, Carpentry 312 - 12/18/12 08:45 AM
Cabinetry 101, Carpentry 312

Cabinetry 101;
If your woodworking skills are not up to fine millwork...just do this;Nail wooden boxes to the wall.
The wrinkle now is to find wooden boxes like this not being sold as antiques.
Carpenrtry 312:
The diagonal wall brace seen here is a good example of a 'let-in brace'. There are 6 of these stiffening the walls of this garage.
This was done in the days before the use of skill saws and availability of plywood. If plywood was used as sheathing on the exterior wall, the bracing would not be needed. 
These notches in … (3 comments)

montreal home inspection: Jack Frost Locked This Gate. ...Has He Locked Yours Too? - 12/17/12 09:42 AM
Jack Frost Locked This Gate.   Has He Locked Yours Too?

This is a metal latch on a gate post meant to hold the gate closed but be operable from two both sides. There were two of theses gates seen on a recent inspection. Both were in the same state.
The posts had been heaved up by ground frost. Now the latch bar cannot be lifted to open the gate.
 Originally the top of the post and gate would have been level and in line with each other. This is a pressure treated wood post set into relatively well draining … (11 comments)

montreal home inspection: Most of you probably slept right through it (the quake), Yes - we usually do. - 10/10/12 09:29 AM
Most of you probably slept right through it (the quake), Yes - we usually do.
That's right, we usually do, or other wise not notice because we're driving or otherwise in motion. Yeah, I'm talking about last night’s earthquake.
 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/10/10/montreal-longueuil-quebec-earthquake.html
 I'm usually one of those who 'miss' it but last night was the exception. I experienced a 10 second pulse of shaking that left no doubt as to what it was.
Some people heard a bang and some experienced just shaking. If you or your property is on rocky ground or bedrock you'd have heard the bang more. If your house … (2 comments)

montreal home inspection: Why is this bag of water hanging in the attic and should you have one? - 09/30/12 03:15 PM
Why is this bag of water hanging in the attic and should you have one?

Short answer: No. The attic space is outside the heated area of the home and such water will freeze, eventually break the plastic and soak the building materials and leak into the home interior. So why is it here?
Here's the bigger picture;... it's a real effort to do it the wrong way.

The blue arrows (1 & 2) are the start and direction of the exhausts from two bathrooms. Instead of going straight up and out through the roof, the ducts are bent downward … (25 comments)

montreal home inspection: Yesterday was an inspection day for me. - 09/16/12 05:25 PM

Yesterday was an inspection day for me.
 
It was a triplex, one down and 2 up, with a basement garage.
 Unfortunately there were over a dozen significant issues, ranging from foundation cracks, oil tank replacement, deck structure, aluminum wiring, mold and to leaking skylights.
But nobody’s panicking. It’s a seventy two year old building and fundamentally it is a sound building.
 Some of the items are deferred maintenance. (Repairs not done or left for the new owners.) Ideally this should be reflected in the asking price. This is where the agent’s knowledge of the area and comparables is essential.
(4 comments)

montreal home inspection: Common Sense? "Common wisdom" REALLY? ...Choosing The Inspector. - 07/14/12 11:07 AM
Common Sense? "Common wisdom" REALLY?  ...Choosing The Inspector.
"Accepting a referral for an inspector through your realtor is not something I recommend." *
*(Quoted from the linked Montreal Gazette article below, A Guide to Choosing Inspectors.)
Many consider this to be good advice or just common sense.  But is it really?.... Realtors are commonly asked for such referrals.
The agent is someone who you are trusting to guide you though the whole process of making the major financial and investment decisions (often the major investment decisions) of your life.
You do need your own real estate agent who will be working … (5 comments)

montreal home inspection: Yes! It Was Biblical ! And on the Fourth! - 07/08/12 12:25 PM
Yes! It Was Biblical ! And on the Fourth!
Think of this senario next time you're wondering if that roofing really has to be replaced now.

It really WAS Biblical.
We were having a beer, watching the ducks and the wind surfers on the lake.
The lake was calm. The ducks were swimming,bobing and feeding.
Then the rain started. Then suddenly became really hard and heavy.
The wind came up, blowing waves OUT into the lake. The ducks were now standing, looking at us as if to say "What did you do?" They were swiming moments before.Talk about … (6 comments)

montreal home inspection: Prime Real Estate for Cottontail the Bunny (Reading, PA) - 08/22/11 11:26 PM
These guys are rare visitors or itinerants in our Montreal neighbourhoods. They do successfully live and breed here but there is not much 'space ' here in our residential 'flora' for these 'fauna'. So they are occasionally seen but not that common.
I was recently in PA this summer. It's lovely country. There's no rabbit that wouldn't just love it.
 
This is a re-blog. Should you wish to leave a comment please click through to the original blog and do it there for the writer who's work this is.
Prime Real Estate for Cottontail the Bunny (Reading, PA)

Yesterday … (5 comments)

 
Robert Butler, Montreal, Canada, Home Inspector (Aspect Inspection)

Robert Butler

Montreal, Canada, Home Inspector

Montreal West Island, QC

More about me…

Aspect Inspection

Address: Montreal - West Island, Serving the greater Montreal region, Pointe-Claire, QC, H9S 4l7

Mobile: (514) 914-1249

Email Me

Usually I'm presenting an aspect of home maintenance, value improvement or 'how too' instructions to feature best practice ways to do things around building and property issues. Some times it's building tech history or how thing came to be as they are, the back story on terms, expressions and phrases. I keep track of the strange, the unique, the special and interesting things I get to see, including the dangers. These are filed as OMGs. OMGs always have photos, so I share the file with you from time to time. The rest come out of thin air. More than once I start writing a comment on someone else's blog and end up inking a whole new blog. Am I inspired or am I ranting? You can decide.


Links

Archives

RSS 2.0 Feed for this blog