I had an inspection recently with a couple who were buying a new home.
As far as problems with new construction go, this house took the cake.
The buyer introduced himself as "Big Phil." And Big Phil he was. Two of me could fit inside of Big Phil. His wife was as small as he was big. Let's call her "Little Gail."
After dozens of problems, we came across the master bath tub. It was the large one that fits into the corner of the bathroom. It was big enough for Big Phil to use!
I noticed something. It was not attached in any way, even the plumbing. I could even pick it up out of the cavity it was sitting in. And when I got inside, it bowed badly. It was sitting on nothing. Typically a platform of mortar or something that solidifies is put underneath to cradle and support the tub. If Big Phil was to get in without that support, I think it would certainly have cracked.
This was Big Phil's last straw. Very unhappy, he went to find Small Supervisor! I went downstairs to talk with Little Gail while Big Phil and Small Supervisor went upstairs. Unknown to me at the time, this supervisor had been on the job only a couple of days. He had no idea what was up with this tub. Or the house, apparently.
While speaking with Little Gail, a couple of employees came by with tool belts and tool kits. They went upstairs. A couple of minutes later Big Phil started screaming, there was a loud, breaking noise, lots more screaming and sudden silence. I thought for sure Small Supervisor was no more.
Then Little Gail did something that surprised me. She said, "Phil is hungry. All he needs is some food." She left immediately for the local grocery store! She left me alone, with Big Phil. I ran upstairs.
I was passed on the stairs by Small Supervisor and the other employees. Their eyes were bulging wide open and they were all white as sheets. They were in a hurry...
Big Phil told me what happened. Small Supervisor asked Big Phil to leave the bathroom while he explained what was up to the employees. He locked the door! He spoke to them in Spanish. He told them to set the tub on some foam, glue it down and nobody would know. And that he needed to get "the buyer" off his back. What he did not know was that Big Phil had grown up in a Central American country! Big Phil heard (and understood) all this, through the door. Small Supervisor then would not open the door when Big Phil asked him to. Big Phil asked more than once. They would still not open the door. So Big Phil apparently did what Big Phil usually does.
Big Phil literally broke into the bathroom! I have never seen that before on any home inspection! When I got there, Big Phil was breathing heavy, beet red and asking for Little Gail.
She showed up a minute later with two of the biggest sandwiches I have ever seen. I could eat one quarter of one of them, barely. She said, "Don't worry, Phil will finish it." And he did. After eating he was as calm as a lamb. He apologized to Small Supervisor, and gave him money to fix the door.
Little Gail knew just how to handle Big Phil. Thank goodness.
My recommendation: With some clients, it might be a good idea to bring food to the home inspection. Oh, and don't lock Big Phil out of the bathroom. He doesn't like that.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560