Seattle Home Inspector's Blog

head_left_image

We all know looks are not everything!

As a home inspector I see examples how looks are not everything at almost every inspection.  Take this wall at a stairwell for example.

Poor stairwell guard

In all likelihood, when the home was built, there was some other type of guard or wall to protect against falls into the stairwell.

For whatever reason, someone wanted a wall that provided more privacy to the hallway and bedrooms that could be viewed from the front entryway. This guard wall looks great and does the job of blocking the view!

However the translucent panels are merely very light shoji screen material and would not support a fall against it of any magnitude. Kits horsing around in the hallway might find themselves suddenly downstairs. This type of guard should not just give one the psychological feeling of safety, it must actually resist a real fall against it.

So while it looks great---it is not actually so great in terms of real safety.

 

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Seattle Home Inspector

 

The Human Rights Campaign   QR code for Charles Buell Inspections Inc  ASHI.org

 

WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

Comment balloon 13 commentsCharles Buell • January 22 2016 06:45AM
We all know looks are not everything!
share
As a home inspector I see examples how looks are not everything at almost every inspection. Take this wall at a stairwell for example. In all likelihood, when the home was built, there was some other type of guard or wall to protect against falls… more
Anomalies and other anomalies
share
Thermal imaging can improve an inspector’s eyesight by quite a lot. What the human eye can see is a relatively narrow portion of the electro-magnetic spectrum. Another small portion of that spectrum is the infrared spectrum which is what a thermal… more
When you get the cart before the horse.
share
While they are often not very big, Air by-passes are some of the biggest problems in the battle to make our homes more energy efficient. We spend a lot of money on expensive energy efficient heating systems and appliances to save money in the long… more
Seeing in COLOR!
share
Infrared technology is more and more showing up in Home Inspector’s tool boxes. The technology can be very useful in conjunction with other tools in that box in assessing the conditions within and outside a building. Some of the applications are… more
What goes on behind closed doors.
share
This is something to think about the next time you are in the favorite no-tell-motel. The picture above show the door to my motel room at a recent vacation. It looks like a normal door but if you look close there is something odd about the door. Can… more
UFO---or simply an Unbelievably Filled Object?
share
No, this is not some sort of UFO---it is a dining room light fixture. It is probably not a good sign when the color of the fixture is the result of standing water inside the fixture. When you have roof leaks this bad it may not bode well for… more
How not to do insulation
share
I wish there was a way to write this without sounding like my typical rant about the qualities of fiberglass insulation, but alas that would have to be the fault of fiberglass insulation. I am not sure why, but it seems builders (insulation… more
Out of sight—can mean out of one’s mind!
share
The house I want to talk about today, originally had a three car garage. Very early in the life of the home, perhaps dating even to the time of construction, someone decided one of those garage bays would become living space. In this first picture… more
How to flash siding butt joints
share
A common problem with cement board siding products (and some other types of horizontal lap siding) is that older installation guidelines called for caulking the joint instead of flashing the joint. This has proven problematic over time as caulking… more
There are still a lot of these recalled toilet tanks out there.
share
If you flush the toilet and it sounds like there is some sort of jet engine in the tank, it may be a compressed air, assisted flush, type tank. These flushing mechanisms work REALLY well but some of them, like the Sloan Flushmate III/503, are… more