What I'm Seeing Now


"All Our Houses Are Built Strictly To Code..." Part 2

"All our houses are built strictly to code..."  Part 2.

That was the focus of the previous post which considered the idea that we have been conditioned to accept a minimum standard in so many things.  And we have been conditioned to replace!

Our computers, phones, most electronics, software, fashions, cars, and on an on, are superseded in a couple of years by the next, best, very special version.  And we seem to need to have the newer whatever!

But if houses are built "strictly" to anything it probably should not be a minimum standard.

But what if the minimum standard was this:  "Would I want my family to live here?"

For example, if houses are really built "strictly" to code, how come in the last year or so I have found only one, ONLY ONE, garage access door hinge that properly closed the door.

Those doors are called by various names - fire doors, garage access doors, fire separation doors - but the code remains the same - from an open position the door should close automatically.

The hinge you see to the left, and usually there are two, are supposed to be set such that the springs have enough tension inside to shut the door.  It is a fire code compliance matter.

The garage can be a dangerous place when it comes to the potential for fires, or exhaust gases getting into the house, or from whatever is stored there.  These doors are in place, along with special drywall, to help forestall or prevent a problem, and give a family time to get out of the house. 

Would we want to patronize these businesses after seeing these ads?:

Jay's Sparkling Water Company - "We filter our water to the minimum standards required by law."
Bob's Bridge Builders - "We build our bridges to the minimum engineering tolerances required by law."
Dudley Do Right Deli - "We use the lowest grade meats required by law."
R&R Cruises - "We equip our boats with the fewest life boats required by law."

Sound facetious? 

If things are built "strictly" to codes then how is it possible that I still see whole walls or ceilings in new construction devoid of insulation?

Nobody checks this?  The insulation contractor didn't realize?  The County approves this?

The Golden Rule may be considered to be a Biblical thing, but it is not religious.  It is about interpersonal relationships.  That is the fabric of society!  Societies float or sink on how people treat each other.

My question regarding standards, "Would I want my family to live here?", really would be a good standard if it was practiced by everyone involved in the building process.  Architectural designs would be stupendous.  Purchasing agents would order great stuff.  Builders would advertise superior materials and features.  Supervisors would be careful and considerate.  Subcontractors who really learned and practiced their craft would be hired.  And if $$ is the bottom line all this would increase $$ dramatically.  The word would get out!

Wonderful words written by a gentleman named Luke teach, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."  May the Agape Force be with us.

My recommendation:  it seems like the older and more cynical I become, the older and more cynical I become.  Life experience is a cruel but effective teacher.  Four times in the last week I have seen garage access door hinges that were not set.  Really?  Why is this overlooked over and over and over?  It's simple.  It's basic.  It's uncaring and inconsiderate, to say the least.  Like all of us I have plenty to work on and improve.  But one thing I try hard to do is treat others as I would hope to be treated.  It's basic.  And it's caring and considerate, to say the least.



Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 23 commentsJay Markanich • February 28 2017 10:41AM
"All Our Houses Are Built Strictly To Code… " Part 2
"All our houses are built strictly to code… " Part 2. That was the focus of the previous post which considered the idea that we have been conditioned to accept a minimum standard in so many things. And we have been conditioned to… more
"All Our Houses Are Built Strictly To Code… "
"All our houses are built strictly to code… " That's what the young supervisor said to me and my clients when he showed up at the end of our pre-drywall inspection. Me - "Are you sure you want to say that? " Supervisor, smiling… more
This Was A Highly-Touted, And New, Hardwood Floor
This was a highly-touted, and new, hardwood floor. And it looked great everywhere! It was a very professional job. Except in the powder room. The toilet wobbled. And there was a hefty and dark stain behind and beside the base of the toilet. Since… more
This Is A Beautiful Light Fixture! But Don't Forget The Insulation!
This is a beautiful light fixture! But don't forget the insulation! This is new construction. The entry way featured an open ceiling with a circular, wrapping staircase leading to an upper level hallway that serviced all the bedrooms. A very… more
This Is The Most Attractive Clean Out Port Cover I Have Ever Seen!
This is the most attractive clean out port cover I have ever seen! A local builder who designs and sells only a couple of houses a year hires me to do inspections when the houses near completion. He considers it to be another layer of protection… more
Clogged Peek-A-Boo Dryer Exhaust Vent Opening - And Dangerous!
This is the clogged peek-a-boo dryer exhaust vent opening - and dangerous! I had to search for it. Knowing it was behind the house it took a minute to locate it. But there it was, the clogged peek-a-boo dryer exhaust vent. The underside of the deck… more
"Insulation To Be Evaluated And Improved By A Licensed…
The addendum list of requested repairs said, "Insulation to be evaluated and improved by a licensed contractor. " In the previous years this homeowner had done many home improvements with less-than-stellar results. At the inspection I said… more
New Construction Inspection - Would You Like To Take A Bath Here?
New construction inspection - would you like to take a bath here? I do a lot of pre-drywall and then final inspections on new construction. And it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. We never know what we will find. On every inspection I do a sweep with my… more
Do You Have Mice In The House?
Do you have mice in the house? These folks do. And they don't know why. It's a bit of an unusual request to get me to try to determine why there are mice in the house. Usually that would be left to some pest company, and responding to some ad… more
Whirlpool Access - When Access Is Not Access
A very important thing is what home inspectors call Whirlpool Access. This is the case of Whirlpool Access - when access is not access. Every whirlpool tub has a motor and wiring. All that needs access. That is in case there is a need to get to the… more