What I'm Seeing Now

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Completely Remodeled - Must See Inside (#2 of 3)

This is the same house on the previous post and could probably take up a couple of chapters in a home inspection training book on things you hope not to find on a remodel.  This house could provide 30 blog posts.

Many rooms had been changed.  The master bathroom was enlarged by eliminating the linen closet.  They wanted a larger, more modern, double shower stall.  It looked nice, but sacrificing the only linen closet is not recommended.  It had a new vent fan and HVAC register.

The register blew no air.  The vent fan worked fine (I employ the toilet paper test - if it holds toilet paper firmly against itself, it works...)

A visit to the attic revealed why no air blew from the register.

That is a dryer vent, obviously uninsulated.  Dryer vents do not make good HVAC vents.  Period.

It is connected to the other side with tape.  A hole was repaired on the right side by taping a towel over the vent.  And you can see it is crushed and torn.  It did somewhat cool the attic space, for which I was temporarily grateful... 

On the left is the bathroom vent, which drew out air.  Here is what I found.

 

 

 

 

 

It vents into the furnace vent, which passes through the roof!!

This view shows the whole connection.  I have to confess, I have never seen that before, and I have seen many bathroom vents!

The furnace vent has a "hot" vent on the inside of this larger "cool" vent, but this is a BAD BAD to say the least.

 

 

 

 

 

The house boasted a "fourth bedroom!"  This bedroom was 6'x8' and used to be a garden shed.  It was cleverly converted into a "bedroom" with some insulation, one small, jalousie window and an exterior door.  There was one receptacle, cut into the back side of a receptacle in the original, abutting bedroom.  The box for this new "bedroom's" receptacle was shaved to fit both back to back.  And cute!

Okay, the ceiling was low, the two degree slope on the roof leaked badly, the walls were soft and stained high and low, and it smelled like a moldy-oldy gym sock, but cute!

There was an HVAC register in the ceiling, which did not blow air either.  Here is what I found in the attic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you see on the left is the beginning of the vent for that shed "bedroom."  It is another crushed dryer vent, taped into the main trunk, which transitions into another uninsulated slinky vent.  The view on the right is the continuation of that same vent as it goes down and eventually into that room.  That tear is not helpful...

Another problem you might not have noticed is that nearly the entire attic was floored with a mish-mash of plywood.  For storage, don't you know!  This crushed the insulation to the point of having an R-value of about what, five or six?  The air conditioning in the rest of the house was not very effective, competing with so much heat radiating down from the attic.

My recommendation:  Place your hands against HVAC registers to see if they actually blow air.  Without getting too technical, the air flow should feel fairly strong.  If not, it should be evaluated.  And don't crush attic insulation for any reason.  If you need the attic for storage, create a shelf on the trusses up off the insulation but don't store too much weight.

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 12 commentsJay Markanich • July 10 2009 05:27AM

Comments

An inspection of this house would be an agents worst nightmare. The deal will be affected.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 11 years ago

Gita - the deal was affected!  My client was so grateful at the end she gave me a kiss.  I am not an alarmist, just say it as it is.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

WOW.. I would hate to think what would of happened if the buyer had skipped the home inspection. This home should be a poster child for the home inspection industry, but I bet you have a whole file full of these! Just shows you can't judge a book by it's cover!

Thanks for making a great point!

Dick and Dixie

Posted by Dick and Dixie Sells, Realtors, Tampa Bay Florida Homes For Sale (Sells Real Estate, LLC) over 11 years ago

Jay-I've got to scan the picture from our inspection in Woodbridge on Monday.  A bucket tied to a rafter in case of a leak?????

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 11 years ago

Greeat points for all agents. .get a home inspection to protect your buyers. Thanks for this post

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) over 11 years ago

Dick and Dixie - unfortunately the cover for this book advertised it as terrific!

Cindy - I have seen buckets, bowls, pitchers and even a gasoline can to capture leaks.

Fernando - yep!  Eso es un dicho, significando "sips..."

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Jay....I have an idea...quick...call the networks...the cable companies...It's Jay and "This New House"...starring YOU as the infamous home inspector/detector....I like it !  Can we all stay tuned ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 11 years ago

S&D - we see some gooduns.  I think I would be far too sarcastically jocular for TV...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Jay, a Re-model?----seems more like a re-muddle to me.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 11 years ago

Shadow - in many, many more ways than one!  The Three Stooges would not have made some of this stuff look so bad.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

Speaking of stooges, the "contractors" who did the work on this house must've been the biggest bunch of stoogies around.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 11 years ago

James - this house represents about 50 viable blog posts, if not its own book!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 11 years ago

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