What I'm Seeing Now

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Big Phil

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 20 commentsJay Markanich • December 08 2009 04:56PM

Comments

Jay that was a great post, I will always remember to have some food handy during my home inspections from now on. It might also be a good idea to pick a language other than Spanish as most people speak it to some extent. Or there's the method I really prefer... don't cheat and then try to lie about it. LOL

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) almost 9 years ago

In this day and age, Sue, that probably wouldn't work...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

Home inspection stories can be fun to tell, but I am glad that was yours. I have the one of the naked British guy.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

When you think of Big Phil, think Haystacks Calhoun, Steve. 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

That was quite the story.  Thanks for taking the time to tell it.

Posted by Ralph Brady, The premier inspector in Humboldt (Brady Home Inspection) almost 9 years ago

Jay, I always have food bars on hand---for everyone that wants one.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Moral of the story: Don't calm your little kid's behavior with food. Little kid may grow up to be a Big Phil.

Posted by Kate Kate almost 9 years ago

I am glad you liked it Ralph!  It was not so funny at the moment, but is now.

Charlie - I do too.  I have Nature's Trail Honey and Oats for anyone who wants one.

Nana - what!?  I thought it was don't lock Big Phil out of the bathroom!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, I agree that would not be good either.

Posted by Kate Kate almost 9 years ago

Yours was good too, Nana...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay, thanks. Nana

Posted by Kate Kate almost 9 years ago

Hey Jay,

At my inspection tomorrow I think I will bring a big Mac extra value meal, and have them super size it! lol

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) almost 9 years ago

Nana - I think Big Phil's problems began a long time ago...  as you posit.

Eric - nothing is more powerful than an idea who's time has come.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Jay,

Great story! Did you happen to pick up on any of the dialogue??? At least small supervisor and his phony craftsmen didn't end up like the door!

Posted by Bill Saunders, Realtor®, www.BillSellsHotSprings.com (Meyers Realty) almost 9 years ago

No, Bill, all I heard was screaming and thought Small Supervisor did end up like the door.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Of course little supervisor should lose his job for asking the workers to try and cover up a serious structural issue.  Even filling the tub with water could have cracked it and sent hundreds of gallons of water pouring down onto another level of the home.  Big Phil had a right to be angry but breaking down the door might have been a bit much.

Posted by Pat Fenn (Marketing Specialist for CJ Realty Group/Cindy Jones Broker ) almost 9 years ago

Pat - you are right of course, and that supervisor was a dope.  This house had dozens of problems and Big Phil and Little Gail had not even moved in yet.  That tub was the last straw!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Perhaps one day Big Phil will meet a Bigger Phil and learn a hard lesson. He had good cause to be angry but breaking down a door...

Posted by Vince Santos, Southeast Michigan Home Inspector (StepByStep Home Services LC) almost 9 years ago

I have done inspections for numerous Redskins, Vince, and Big Phil is huge I can tell you!  But, you are right, there's always someone bigger out there somewhere!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 9 years ago

Little Supervisor is lucky Big Phil didn't eat him! You of course can't blame BP for being frustrated and angry. Is it really too much to expect that the tub and house be built right.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 9 years ago

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