Seattle Home Inspector's Blog

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Fortunately I always carry a sponge in my bag of tricks.

Form follows function---or not!

Nice sinkI know I am tilting at windmills when it comes to even suggesting that the shape of things should have anything to do with function.  We have gotten so good at making things, that we have come to expect, even demand, that things look the way we want them to---regardless of those thing’s function.

Whether it is the quest to make a better mousetrap or whether it has more to do with the simple fact that we make things look the way they do because we can, humans seem to find no end to being “creative.”  We use the excuse that we are trying to make something better, but it seems that more often we are merely making it different looking because we can.  In some cases, to justify our jobs perhaps.

While I can make a strong case that it has less to do with being “creative” and more to do with being “inventive,” I don’t want to bore you with the distinction in this post---although having that discussion in the comments might be fun.

At an inspection the other day I came across a sink that epitomizes this problem.  This sink pushes the envelope of “form” to such an extreme, function seems truly secondary.  Now while the problem this sink has is little different from any sink that has no overflow at all (something I would argue is a problem regardless)---this sink does have an overflow---it just isn’t functional.  When there is in fact an overflow present, wouldn’t it be logical to take the leap of faith that it might actually function?

Sink about to overflow onto the floor 

 Sink about to overflow onto the floor

When this sink is filled, water actually flows over the low edge before it goes down the overflow---I know, I learned the hard way. 

Fortunately I always carry a sponge in my bag of tricks.

 

 

 

Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

 

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Seattle Home Inspector

 

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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board

Comment balloon 32 commentsCharles Buell • January 30 2012 08:43AM
Fortunately I always carry a sponge in my bag of tricks.
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Form follows function---or not! I know I am tilting at windmills when it comes to even suggesting that the shape of things should have anything to do with function. We have gotten so good at making things, that we have come to expect, even… more
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