Seattle Home Inspector's Blog


Sort of like the sum of the parts being greater than the whole.

The home was newly remodeled.  Why would anyone think an inspection was necessary?  I have talked about this many times, as has every other inspector with a blog. 

There is the very erroneous opinion that homes that have been newly remodeled homes, or homes that are brand-new, will not have defects that warrant a home inspection.

I have even heard agents tell clients: “If there was anything seriously wrong, I would have seen it.”


I know of several agents that used to be home inspectors and I seriously doubt that any of them would say that.

For one thing, agents are not going to crawl to the far reaches of crawl spaces or attics, take the electrical panel cover off, walk on the roof or any number of other things.  For a second thing, very few agents have been trained as home inspectors and would not likely be capable of understanding that the several inconsequential things seen may actually mean something more important.  Sort of like the sum of the parts being greater than the whole.

But back to our newly remodeled home. 

Pizza Party (A short story to go with some pictures).

The buyers had their keys and they spent the whole day moving into their new home—we have all been there—a mixture of fun, excitement, anticipation, sweat, and hard work.

It was dark and the day was nearly over and enough had been accomplished to take a break amidst the mountain of boxes and tentatively placed furniture.  Someone suggested it might be fun to make a fire in the wood stove in the family room.  The wood fired pizza would soon arrive and everyone could take a well deserved break.  The rest of the unpacking could wait.

The door bell rang and the crushing smell of fresh pizza filled the house--along with the smell of the wood fire getting up to speed in the stove.

As the family enjoyed the pizza and the warm fire, they started to settle into the home in their minds.  They relaxed and joyfully discussed where “this” would go and “that” would go.

The Pizza was awesome, and they were grateful that there was a great pizza place to order from—should have been on the listing information about the house.

When they first heard the fire-siren, they thought nothing of it.  When it got louder and louder and eventually seemed like it was right at their front door, they got a little more curious.  It never occurred to them that it might be their house that was on fire, until they heard the violent knocking on the front door and heard water pounding against the side of the house and saw water streaming down the windows.

Steam was hissing violently out of the stove like a leaking locomotive.

When the fireman showed them the side of the house, they were grateful that they also had great neighbors--concerned neighbors—to go along with the great pizza.


By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Comment balloon 11 commentsCharles Buell • August 24 2014 04:14PM


So true Charles Buell! Sometimes the remodeling is done to hide problems. 

When buying a home, always have it inspected by an inspector hired by the buyer not the seller.


Posted by Paul Peck, Licensed Drywall and Painting Contractor (Peck Drywall and Painting serving Brevard County, Florida) almost 6 years ago

Good morning Charles. What a story. You are so right. I had a bad cintractor in my newly refinished new old home and despite my due diliogence, I am still pating for him. Great post.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 6 years ago

Wow...that siren scenario would really freak me out too!  Great post as always!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) almost 6 years ago

Charles: And your advice should apply especially to new homes. Building contractors and their subs will go out of their way to save a buck and it is usually to the detriment of the future owner. There are of course builders who are the exception. (I had to insert that disclaimer to avoid the hate mail)

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc.) almost 6 years ago

Paul, the interesting thing about the story is that the chimney not going through the roof should have been visible to anyone!

Sheila, ah yes---the hidden costs of remodeling

Kristin, thanks---sirens are sort of designed to get our attention

Norman, there are indeed builders that are the exception---and probably more than we know---we don't hear about them if they aren't doing anything negative

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 6 years ago

To quote a very old phrase, "Holy Moly Kingfish!"

Not many will understand that phrase, but it goes well with your story and photos!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Always, always, always get a home inspection done. Regardless of the age of the home, and in my opinion, especially if it has been remodeled. Good golly, people. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 6 years ago

Jay, yes it does

Debb, pretty amazing isn't it?  I bet I told my buyer DON'T USE THE STOVE ten times during the inspection

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 6 years ago

Looking at the stove installation, a few things jump out at me there. A bit slower than the outside installation, but trouble none the less. But hey, it looks  good 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 6 years ago

I know Jim---that is just z-brick over plywood

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 6 years ago

zee brick is good, no? 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 6 years ago