What I'm Seeing Now

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Don't Get Too Attached ...

to your front porch roof.  One day you might come home to find it missing!

At least that's what I thought when I had a look at a new construction recently.  Overall it wasn't bad!  But some things just demand attention, and this was one of them.

This is the outside end of the front porch roof.  It could be that they aren't finished with it, but the builder said the house was ready for a pre-drywall inspection.  (It wasn't.)

My problem is this:  the ledger beam, which is the 2x6" that is attached to the house, is secured with only nails.  And the 2x6" joist rafters are only toe nailed into the ledger beam.  Only nails?

Ideally the ledger should be attached at 12" intervals with through bolts into and through the rim joist (or frieze board) which makes the roof a part of the structure of the house. 

Similarly the joist rafters should be more firmly attached to the ledger with some form of strap.  There are various that could be used.  That would strengthen the entire structure.

For sure that roof is not heavy and very, very wind vulnerable.  I have seen them literally blow off!

My recommendation:  Don't wait for the County to find things like this.  They may not.  County inspections are very quick - they have a lot of houses to look at!  Hire an experienced home inspector.  Home inspectors spend more time and look at everything!

 

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 30 commentsJay Markanich • May 20 2010 05:23AM

Comments

I see the same thing here too. Must have the same highly skilled workforce down there too...

Helping you help others live their American dream...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 10 years ago

William - that's the way to do it, do it, uh huh, uh huh...

Michael - no doubt!  My house was built in 1998 and I begged our builder to put on hurricane straps on the roof joist rafters.  He wouldn't because others would walk through and see them and want them too.  I said I would put them on myself and he similarly prohibited me.  Two or three years later the code required them!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

Good call Jay. Sometimes if the County Inspector has worked well with the builder in the past they don't seem to be as objective on every house.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 10 years ago

They just don't build them like they used to. It is a shame that quality has flown out the window in many cases. Builders have to step things up and the market is forcing many to do so.

Posted by Tom Priester, Paradise Sharks (Paradise Sharks ) about 10 years ago

Wonderful.

I don't think the contractor who did this would have done the same if it were his home, ya think?

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) about 10 years ago

It doesn't matter where you go, you can find contractors doing shabby work like this. Buyer beware.

Posted by Jay Schmitt, Gettysburg Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Keystone Realty) about 10 years ago

...even I know there is supposed to be those metal bracket thingies!!!....toe nailed in to the ledger beam * sounds painful!!!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 10 years ago

Randy - that could be true, but I don't know.  I do know that the County inspectors are busy and don't spend much time in each house.

Tom - they don't!  Part of the problem is what I call 7-11 construction, where "carpenters" are picked up in the morning at 7-11.  Another problem is the supervisors on site every day.

Ralph - I DON'T THINK A BUILDER WOULD DO THIS FOR HIMSELF, YOU ARE RIGHT!  When I do an inspection on a home sold by a builder who built the house for himself, I am assured it doesn't have the problems other houses have!

Jay - just another, of many, reason to hire a home inspector!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

Wallace - there are many types of "metal bracket thingies" out there!  My clients are going to speak to the supervisor who will probably say, "Of course!  That is already on my list.  They just hadn't gotten to it yet."

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

Thanks for the education!

"Confidence comes not from always being right, but from not fearing to be wrong."

Posted by Barbara Kornegay, Wilmington NC Real Estate, Homes (REMAX Essential) about 10 years ago

Thanks Barbara!  When principles are followed and physical laws obeyed, the "code" becomes natural and almost irrelevant because it is superseded.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

WOW, those people are lucky to find you. .a moderate wind and your house gets a make-over

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) about 10 years ago

Fernando - perhaps more than a moderate wind, but sooner or later physics takes over, the code is irrelevant, and your house does get a make over!

What do I mean by "irrelevant?"  If you overload a bedroom beyond what the code assumes a bedroom's dead and live loads would be, lets say to create an office with heavy book shelves and filing cabinets, and the floor crashes in, the code has become irrelevant!  The room "obeyed" the code, but not physics.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

...so few buyers think to have a home inspection for new construction purchases...Ditto, they are fortunate to have you!!!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 10 years ago

I do a lot of new construction inspections Wallace.  It is an eye opener to many people, including the supervisors, who are usually impressed at a fine-tooth comb over!

We built our house 12 years ago.  My builder did not like me.  I understood that everyone got a flower/fruit basket at settlement.  We did not...  However, in the years after that when my builder brought new people to this area, they called me to do inspections on their houses.  Gotta wonder why!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

Heck Jay, Give the folks a break! All that deck needs is a little duct tape to hold it in place!

Good find! That alone should justify the price they paid to hire a professional.

Posted by Brandon Clark (UTAH INFRARED Home and Building Inspections) about 10 years ago

Thanks for the post Jay-great information, I reblogged it as well. Please remember me a referral time to Charlottesville...................

Posted by Cliff Kavanaugh, ck@kw.com - 434-466-5128 - www.CvilleHomeSearch.com (Keller Williams Realty of Charlottesville Virginia) about 10 years ago

Brandon - I forgot about duct tape!  You are right, that was a bit short-sighted and picky of me.  I repent.

Cliff - thanks!  When I see clients it is after they have their Realtors and have made contract offers.  But if I have opportunity to refer someone to Charlottesville, I will remember you.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

Thanks for the post and the education. Have a great week...

Posted by Pat O'Reilly (RE/MAX..214-289-6176 Irving and all of Dallas Fort Worth) about 10 years ago

Thanks, Pat, for stopping by!  And you are welcome!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

In this case, a roof over your head may become a pile in the neighbor's backyard. 

Where is Croakster. His "pond" is waiting.

Posted by Kate Kate about 10 years ago

Jay- toe nailing seems to have taken the place of proper installation, jobs like that keeps us on our toes!

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Kate - or a pile in your front yard!  I haven't seen Croakster.  Maybe he has already left...  I noticed all my Hop-A-Long Cassidy records are missing.  He likes them.

Eric - the roof isn't only wind vulnerable, but also vulnerable to collapse!  What if we get another one of those 36" snowfalls?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

I'll fire up the jacuzzi then. Maybe he'll be here today. Are your Hop-alongs 45s or 33s?

Posted by Kate Kate about 10 years ago

They are 33's Kate.  And he doesn't have permission to take them!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

Sounds like your decree is too late. Croakster arrived and we're already playing 'em.

Posted by Kate Kate about 10 years ago

Jay- If that were to happen- I hate to even think about what could happen. I bet they were glad they had it inspected! How did the contractors react?

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) about 10 years ago

Kate - are they the guitar ones or the banjo ones?

Eric - haven't heard.  I am going by Sunday on my way to church and see if they are bolted!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

Out here the building and code inspectors only do spot checks, and sometimes those spot checks are only on spot houses. In boom times it's not unusual for a municipal inspector to stop by only 20-25% of the houses being built. It's just not a priority, especially if the builder as a good reputation to begin with.

Posted by Not a real person about 10 years ago

Russel - How do you define reputation!   ;)   Wow, I bet the builders count on the fact that they know few will actually be looked at.  What is the point of a County occupancy permit if they don't know it's okay?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 10 years ago

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