Get Real! You Can Do Better Than This!

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Again, on new construction, you just want to grab the guy and say, "Get real!  You can do better than this!"

This is what we saw coming around the back side of the house.

This is a guy who knows purple primer should be used on PVC tubing.

This is a guy who does not understand aesthetics.

I notice that the sump pump guy understands both of those things to the point where he did not make his installation so ugly.  He didn't take the UPC stickers off, however.  Why not?

When my clients asked me what could be done now about this ugly installation, I said either replace the tubing and don't use the purple primer, or that possibly it could be sanded off.

But the sanding might make it look just as ugly!

This furnace exhaust is also 3' from the opening of the window.  My understanding is that it should not be within 48".  There is no guarantee that this window will not be open when the furnace discharges its exhaust (full of Carbon Monoxide).  I pointed that out on the pre-drywall inspection and the clients asked the County about it, but the County approved it on the final mechanical inspection, so what appears to be dumb to me is just fine.  The builder skirts again.

In addition to this furnace discharge being so near to the window, it will be right beside any deck or patio built there as the rear door is beside the window.

The intake tubing, the one pointing downward, is 18" from the ground.  That is "considered" acceptable here, but I bet would be considered too low in areas that get regular, deep snows.  It is important that this intake not be blocked in anyway.

What can I say?

My recommendation:  it's the little stuff!  If the little details are taken care of, you can expect that the larger things have been taken care of too.  When they are not, well, it can be hit or miss.

 

 

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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Rainmaker
1,282,831
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Oftentimes not Winston!  But this is a new house!  The buyers were disappointed, by the way.

Oct 26, 2012 05:50 AM #10
Ambassador
1,555,759
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Jay, It's strange to me for what people pay for homes that things like this still happen.  I'd expect that if it was me putting the PVC together, but a professional???

Oct 26, 2012 09:05 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,282,831
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Bliz - this is a very, very expensive home.  The house I grew up in is smaller than the master bedroom in this house!

Oct 26, 2012 09:20 AM #12
Ambassador
646,650
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905
Vernonia Realty - Vernonia, OR
"Your Gateway to the Lake" Birkenfeld Oregon

Jay~It comes down to integrity, and taking pride in a job well done. And shame on the county for letting him skid by again.

By the way, did I ever tell you that you could pass for looking like a football coach?  Hope that makes your day!

Oct 26, 2012 09:45 AM #13
Rainmaker
1,282,831
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Coach?  A football coach Gayle?  Oh yeah, maybe.  A guy named Mark Moseley, who used to kick for the Redskins, lives nearby.  I see him periodically at the grocery story.  He and I were talking one day and someone came up asking for our autographs.  Moseley thought that was the funniest thing he had seen all day.  What name did I sign?

Jimmy Johnson.

Oct 26, 2012 10:18 AM #14
Rainmaker
313,005
Fred Hernden
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Home Inspector

I'd say it was a miss! It looks like a periscope to me... lol, put a camera in it and spy on the neighbors!!

Oct 26, 2012 10:42 AM #15
Rainmaker
1,282,831
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

So I guess the purple primer is camouflage Fred?

Oct 26, 2012 10:51 AM #16
Rainer
170,234
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

I take issue with the open faced (horizontal) exhaust. Its prime for water entry , snow and debris. In the non heating seasons, nest building insects and small birds just move right in.

Oct 26, 2012 11:37 AM #17
Rainer
277,537
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA
- Pierce, King, Kitsap, Thurston, Mason Counties

Jay -- this is one big mess.  Are the buyers getting a discount for having to get these things fixed properly?  This issue is not whether there is 15" of snow, but which way the wind will be blowing and piling snow against the house when it snows.  Six inches of snow being blown and piled up could be over 18" deep.  And who wants to go out in midst of snowstorm to check on a white pipe?

Oct 26, 2012 12:57 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,282,831
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

There are two kinds of those vents Robert, and this is one of them.  It is the most common around here.  I have never heard of anything moving in, but something could!  It is a condensing furnace vent, so, as you know, it tilts back towards the unit so the moisture inside can be eliminated.  I doubt much precip would get inside, but it wouldn't hurt.

Steven - the pipes are fine.  The ugliness of the purple color is the issue.  The intake is another thing altogether, and most installers don't consider height as much as they should, in my opinion.

Oct 26, 2012 02:04 PM #19
Rainmaker
78,275
Eric Middleton
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc. - Uniondale, NY
Professional Property Inspector

Jay,

I try and help my clients understand that some codes are simply the bare minimum of how certain equipment should be installed. As you brought out in your post, this installation is likely to create problems down the line.

Oct 26, 2012 08:47 PM #20
Rainmaker
1,282,831
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Well, for somebody Eric.  But the builder's contention would be that the county approved it.  So what do they care?

Oct 27, 2012 03:07 AM #21
Rainmaker
78,275
Eric Middleton
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc. - Uniondale, NY
Professional Property Inspector

Jay,

I had an inspection similar to yours concerning the installation of some exhaust vents. The buyer, builder and myself reviewed what was required by code. It took some time but I was able to convince the builder to go beyond the code and re-install the vents higher up from the ground and further away from the living room window. Sometimes we win some, sometimes we don't.

Oct 27, 2012 08:05 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,282,831
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Honestly, Eric, even if the code had not addressed any of that, what would common sense dictate?  And would that builder have put the vent 2' from his daughter's bedroom window?

Oct 28, 2012 03:11 AM #23
Rainmaker
648,284
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I think you have bigger issues than the cosmetics. Like Robert mentioned, those openings should be screened to keep vermin out. Like you said the exhaust is too close to the window. Those pipes need to be moved. 

Oct 28, 2012 06:16 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,282,831
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I said that pre-drywall Jim.  The intake is screened, but too low for my thinking.  They don't recommend screening the exhaust.

But the county approved it!  No move-o.

Oct 28, 2012 06:59 AM #25
Rainmaker
648,284
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

What I find more than a bit amusing and confusing with regard to the placement of the exhaust near a window is this, direct vent gas fireplaces are allowed insides houses, but the exhaust from a high efficiency heating system can not be within 4 feet of window. Seems a bit incongruous, but hey, I don't make da rules. 

Oct 29, 2012 05:43 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,282,831
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I know Jim, and I think ASHRAE is the "testing and measurement" group which sets the standards from which the codes are derived.

Incongruous to say the least.

You are expecting later what we are just starting to get now.  Good luck.

Tell the girls that if the wind gets to 70mph, I am going outside to experience it!  I have never felt that.

Oct 29, 2012 05:47 AM #27
Rainmaker
78,275
Eric Middleton
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc. - Uniondale, NY
Professional Property Inspector

Jay,

I had a friend tell me once that common sense is not that common. In our profession we find a lot contractors and builders that simply build and renovate. Sense common sense is not that common, that's where we come in and make money.

Nov 02, 2012 05:32 AM #28
Rainmaker
1,282,831
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Agreed Eric.  Sometimes common sense isn't good sense either!

Nov 02, 2012 02:51 PM #29
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

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