Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Sorry for the cliched title.  But if the shoe fits, wear it.  There I go again.  Sorry.  But really, beauty is only skin deep.

A couple of years ago the deck was sagging.  It was getting old.  So, wisely, the female homeowner hired a professional company to rework the underside supports, stabilizing the old girl, and add new decking to the topside.

That is a smart plan and a proactive homeowner.

The professional company also suggested that she let them add the decorative lattice work all around.  They also added a black mesh all around so nobody could see under the deck!

And they nailed it on everywhere.

That will secure it so that not only is it pretty, but animals would be less likely to go underneath and make a home.

That also made it harder for the home inspector to get under there to check their work too.

But alas (and alack) he did.

Carefully removing the small nails holding the lattice into place, he was able to bend back an edge enough to get underneath.

THE UNDER SUPPORT IS VERY IMPORTANT YOU KNOW.

I can see from the construction that there will be a very important beam resting on a very important column right under my very cute blue spot.  (I'm a regular Rembrandt...)

And there it is!  Just as I suspected!

It seems the original column was cut in favor of the new arrangement.

The arrangement left by the professional company, hired to rework the underside supports, stabilizing the old girl.

Well, you remember.

Is that great or what?

Now that is a real, um, arrangement!

Do you see what I see?

1.  The original column was a necessary 6x6" and buried in the soil.

2.  It was replaced with a 4x4", which is an improper dimension.

3.  That 4x4 rests on a concrete block, merely stuck in the soil.

4.  It is barely toe nailed into the beam it "supports."  Well, at least they used two nails.

5.  The clever, what shall we call it, COMBO SUPPORT, made up of the rest of the cut off, former 6x6" column, a concrete block and a 2x4, all resting flat but, you can see, not touching the underside of the beam.  I'm not sure which was intended to be the final support - the classy column or the combo support!

6.  That beam is merely nailed at a 90 degree angle to another beam, under my blue spot!  Cute, by any measure.

I thought it deserved a closer look!  ------->

This kind of thing really zips me off!  This lady got ripped off. 

I want to be present when they come back to the house to give her money back! 

This is pathetic.  And it wasn't the only combo support!

It was a few years ago though, so the likelihood she has any claim at all is pretty slim.

She is being relocated and the relo company sent out two home inspectors.  She told me she fixed everything on their list.  "What was that?"

"The rear hose was dripping."

AMONG the things I found include:  two bathroom GFIs which turn off lights but not receptacles; a whirlpool without GFI protection; a sub panel wired incorrectly; a rusted panel box in the bathroom; severe water intrusion in the crawl space; that water had shifted soil such that it is pushing a concrete block support column under the main support beam almost to failure; approximately half the insulation under the floor fallen onto the soil and ruined; a separated furnace vent - well it was amazing.  That's not the entire list!

This lady has been taken and taken and taken.  It is disgusting.  I felt very badly at this inspection.  And I set this seller up with some really good people to take care of her needs.  That's usually beyond the scope of what I do, but NOT in this case.

My recommendation:  we are in a service business.  It is important that those we serve are served well.  And remember the Golden Rule.

 

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
474,790
Maggie McFarland
RE/MAX Pearland - Maggie McFarland - Pearland, TX
Pearland Realtor, Homes for Sale in Pearland Texas

Ji Jay - wow! I feel bad for the woman... I hate seeing that happen!

Aug 27, 2011 08:23 AM #10
Rainmaker
472,240
Kenneth Cole
Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com... - Staten Island, NY
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Good morning Jay.  Somebody must still be asleep out west.  I managed to get to the suggest button before they did.  Another good catch.  I hope you stay dry and safe.

Aug 27, 2011 08:29 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,385,533
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Short Sale - CDPE, REDS

 It started out sounding like the contractor had done all the right things...and I am sure to the homeowner it sounded that way...having had a friend who had the skunk family living under her deck...eww eww eww.

Aug 27, 2011 08:45 AM #12
Rainmaker
181,130
David Gibson
Broker / Owner Colorado Home Sales LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Denver, Parker

Low decks like the one you inspected can be such havens for termites, drainage problems and more. And often they offer little if any resale value.

Aug 27, 2011 09:54 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,239,056
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Michael - I see women taken by contractors all the time.  And years later what can they do?

Maggie - it is a terrible problem and a real, real pet peeve of mine.

Ken - thank you!  I don't think this Armageddon they have been predicting will be anything of the sort.

Sally and David - skunks moved in!  Skunks are the example I use with people when I find holes under their front stoop.  I tell them to fill the hole in before the skunks find it!

David - around here termites are everywhere.  WE are their haven!

 

Aug 27, 2011 11:31 AM #14
Rainer
56,903
Brad Gotham
Granite Peak Inspection, Inc. - Colville, WA

Jay, The Golden rule is a great start to any business plan.

Aug 27, 2011 11:36 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,239,056
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It's certainly the best Brad!  I buy into it for sure.

Aug 27, 2011 11:39 AM #16
Rainmaker
472,240
Kenneth Cole
Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com... - Staten Island, NY
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Jay, 29,000 to go.

Aug 27, 2011 02:39 PM #17
Rainmaker
235,748
Brad Rachielles
CENTURY 21 Prestige Properties, Ca BRE# 01489453 - Upland, CA
REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA

Jay, Have you ever thought of writing a book about the "NEW AND IMPROVED CONSTRUCTION METHODS" that you run into? I so enjoy your posts. Do you think you would run into so many "classics" in other areas of the country?

Aug 27, 2011 03:52 PM #18
Rainmaker
249,610
John M. Scott
BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties - San Francisco, CA
Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area

There oughta be something interesting she could do with those photos you took.....

Aug 27, 2011 04:17 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,239,056
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Ken - what does that mean?  I hope it doesn't take me a long time.

Brad - I am sure "new and improved construction method" are everywhere and all would understand the book.

John - maybe, but this was done a couple of years ago.  These weren't the only ones!

Aug 27, 2011 05:27 PM #20
Ambassador
898,923
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Jay, oh.. that didn't make me happy, LOL. I think I got your message...

Aug 27, 2011 08:43 PM #21
Rainmaker
218,542
Tara Stone
NJ Estates & Stables - Frenchtown, NJ
NJ Estates and Stables

Wow...look what you can find out when you peel back a little lattace..and the golden rule is a forgotten art..I think you are leading the way back!

Aug 27, 2011 09:42 PM #22
Rainer
277,279
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA
- Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Mason Counties

Great Job, as always, Jay.  Hopefully the relocation inspector was paid for by her company and not by her.

Aug 27, 2011 10:33 PM #23
Rainmaker
453,503
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Jay - I just want to know what the crew did for the homeowner to "stabilize the old girl." I hope she feels better now.

 

Aug 27, 2011 10:43 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,239,056
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Andrea - for people like this, it's certainly best to have a home inspector by to check the work.  Obviously the paradigm has not shifted that far toward home inspectors!

Tara - it seems to be forgotten.  Most of the self-employed people I know try to do their best job.  I know I do.

Steven - let's just say he was floated in on a balloon and floated out after the inspection.  They probably ought to float that inspector out of town.

John - I noticed a little up and down when I was walking on it.  I don't know where it will go from here.  That's one of three!  The other two were similarly silly, but not quite as bad.  Still, they had a lot of play too.

Aug 28, 2011 04:13 AM #25
Rainmaker
472,240
Kenneth Cole
Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com... - Staten Island, NY
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Jay;  when you reach 500,000 points I understand you have free membership. 

Aug 28, 2011 08:49 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,239,056
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Sorry Ken, that didn't occur to me!  I am not one to look at points and such.

Aug 28, 2011 01:21 PM #27
Rainmaker
634,471
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I've seen some of those relo inspection reports. Not worth the paper their printed on. As for the contractors taking advantage of this woman to say it sickens and angers me is an under statement.

Aug 28, 2011 09:46 PM #28
Rainmaker
1,239,056
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Me too Jim.  I was pretty proactive in trying to help her.  Not exactly what I typically do with a seller!  She was so upset she was shaking.  Even the buyer felt bad.  I bet he shoulders a lot of this himself.  He manages a shopping mall, so he has access to lots of people.

Aug 29, 2011 06:09 AM #29
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,239,056

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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