What I'm Seeing Now

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Magically Invisible Duct Work

There are ways to do things that are less noticeable.

For example, Monticello has air conditioning.  It was not put in by Mr. Jefferson, obviously, but some time later.  It is composed of very small duct work, and small holes, about 3" in diameter, in the corners of ceilings which are hardly there.  It is a very good job!

Then, there are the other kinds of installations which leave much to be desired.

The other day I did an inspection on a 100 year old farmhouse.  In its day, it was a lovely place.  Years of deferred maintenance have created many problems.

Over the years they have made improvements. 

One such improvement was air conditioning.  A good idea and a necessary one.  With a metal roof, and poor attic insulation, it gets real hot in there!

To the right is the corner of the master bedroom.

A new AC unit was put in the attic and duct work run throughout the house. 

It is not exactly invisible.

 

 

 

 

 

Nor is this one.  This is in the corner of the closet in that same bedroom.  Not the prettiest installation.  The other problem is that it takes up about 1/3 of the closet. 

Closets in 100 year old houses are not that large to begin with!

Taking up a third of it with invisible duct work might not be the best way to handle the improvement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second bedroom has just as fun, and aesthetically pleasing, an installation.  Hidden unobtrusively, you can hardly tell it is there! 

The floor was attractively cut out, as well as the ceiling, and it is deftly held in place by well-placed braces.

OK, this has all been tongue in cheek, but it might be part of the reason that this house has been on the market for over a year. 

When improvements are made, they really should not be slip shod, spur of the moment or done unprofessionally.  Everything that goes into a house makes up its appeal when it goes on the market one day.

My recommendation:  think things through before improvements are made to your house.  And be sure your improvement is done in such a way that another would want to buy it!

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 9 commentsJay Markanich • October 18 2009 08:08PM

Comments

jay,

Interestingly, we rarely think that those old homes were remodeled in later years and now have what they did not have before. What is wonderful is that it is not an eyesore

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 8 years ago

Where did they put the duct work.  I didn't notice anything but the big snakes in the pictures.  They need an exterminator

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) over 8 years ago

Jon - it can be wonderful when it is done attractively!  P.s.  My legal name is Jon, spelled as you do...

Russ - agreed.  Those weren't the only varmints I saw!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

This has to be a first!  I've never seen anything like this.  We must give someone credit for creativity and getting central heat and air cheap!

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) over 8 years ago

Jay - I did some remodeling on my daughter's 125 year old all brick home several years ago. Fortunately, an HVAC system had been added years earlier, for the crawlspace was only about 15" high and all the interior walls were brick and came from the ground up. It was quite a chore making wiring and plumbing changes.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 8 years ago

Barbara - they had central heat prior to this system, which was a heat pump.  But it was an oil furnace and did not work, although it appeared on the listing statement that it conveyed in working order!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

John - it always seems that remodels take more time and cost more money than anticipated.  That's why inspecting them takes so much time - it is hard to figure out sometimes what they did!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jay, well it looks like they got started with the project---now if they can only find someone to finish it:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

So it seems Charlie.  I think they have been using this duct work for many years - the compressor was dated 1998!  And the old oil furnace has apparently not been used in many years...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

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