Seattle Home Inspector's Blog


The “Silver-Lining” in war

     I find it painful to even write the title of this blog, and yet I can't get away from the fact that whenever the government spends huge amounts of money there is often some spin-off into the private sector.  Along with the huge amounts of waste, inefficiency and loss of human life, war is a time when we develop and utilize the newest technologies.

     I was reminded of this on my recent trip to Rhode Island, for my daughter's graduation from college.  We took at little day trip down to beautiful Watch Hill, Rhode Island, where we walked out on the spit---at the end of which there are some old World War II bunkers.

watch hill bunkers












      This Watch Hill beach is a very secluded---little known---stretch of beach that was sort of an annual "hooky" destination during high school when the weather started getting nice. (Warning:  Dashboard navigation may not get you there.)

Watch hill from the bunkers











   One of the things that came out of World War II that directly benefited the housing industry was steel-reinforced concrete---bunker technology.  Prior to the mid 40's, house foundations were likely to be vastly inferior to house foundations constructed after that date.  There were regional exceptions to this where concrete block foundations were popular but even those saw improvements with the use of steel-reinforced footings, and eventually some amounts of reinforcement between the courses of blocks.  Requirements of reinforcement for both types of foundations have improved even more since the mid 40's with standardization of building codes---especially in areas of high seismic activity.


Charles Buell 

     PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)sunsmile all  pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.

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Comment balloon 8 commentsCharles Buell • May 30 2008 12:45PM
The “Silver-Lining” in war
I find it painful to even write the title of this blog, and yet I can't get away from the fact that whenever the government spends huge amounts of money there is often some spin-off into the private sector. Along with the huge amounts of waste… more
Would you make sandwiches on this?
This might fall into the Stager's Realm----I am not sure. I frequently find (in what would otherwise be very nice kitchens) cutting boards in very poor condition. I especially like the delaminating plywood version---all packed with grease and… more
The cheap cousins…..
Enamel Steel sinks have always been popular in low-end construction as an "inexpensive" means of providing that "enamel" look without the expense of its more durable cousin Cast Iron Cast Iron sinks and tubs can scratch,… more
Why is there a garden in my Medicine Cabinet?
Recessed medicine cabinets should not be installed in the exterior walls of the home. This is especially true of older homes with only 2x4 walls. It is very difficult to get enough insulation---if any---behind the unit to prevent the back of… more
If only this were “Horse-shoes” (perhaps a hand-grenade will do)
As a former builder I know what it is going to take to fix many of the issues I find in homes. When I first started inspecting, my "past" kind of got in the way. Sometimes I felt sorry for the repair person---as I visualized myself… more
A “Room with a View. ”
For my next edition of: "Cool Things in Homes" (as opposed to the usual: "Parade-of-defects, " I offer this "really cool" Velux Skylight This Skylight in the closed position looks like any other skylight. But… more
And Many Happy Returns…..
I have done several blogs in the past about problems found in New Construction. The same sorts of things happen with Newly Replaced components of the home as well. For example the roof covering on this house was less that a month old. .. more
Washing dishes and the “Meaning of Life. ”
I have heard stories of inspectors that have gotten themselves into hot-water because they turned the oven or dishwasher on, only to find out too late that the appliance was being used as a pantry or a bread box. While this has never happened… more
Holy Teredo Batman!
On my recent sailing adventure in the Puget Sound I came across a large beach log that had been riddled with the tunnels of the Teredo Clam This is a salt-water clam that eats wood and can be very destructive to wooden timbers like piers… more
Band-Aids and Monster Spray!
When the kids were little sometimes we had to deal with the "monsters under the bed. " It always seemed to work to have a good supply of "Monster Spray" on hand to save the day (night). I never gave it much thought about… more