What I'm Seeing Now

head_left_image

Have A Nice Summer. See You Next Fall...

Some accidents aren't accidents at all.  That's because some things don't happen accidentally.  They lie in wait.

This is a homeowner-installed retaining wall, 4' high, behind a townhouse.

The wall itself is poorly constructed, bulging, coming loose and generally unsafe.

So why not put a rickety staircase against it!  Homeowner built!

This is a two-foot wide stair with five treads.  Each tread is attached to the "stringer" with two nails.  Each "stringer" is attached to the wall with a single nail! 

You can see the one nail just above the knot. 

The stair is poorly positioned against the wall.  It is not level.  There is no handrail or guardrail on either side.  And this stair is the only way to get to the back gate.

When people see things like this they often ask me if it is to code.  Well, of course not!  But what's so impressive about the code anyway?  How about seeing something built to MORE than code!

My recommendation:  Some accidents are just waiting to happen!  Beware of safety issues at every house you see.  Safety is one of the most important things home inspectors are looking for.  After all, people are actually going to live in the house inspected!

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 26 commentsJay Markanich • July 28 2010 06:03AM

Comments

This is so real , 

I like the Question : " is the Staircase build to Code " 

Good Post 

Posted by George Thoma, Branch Manager / Broker (Island Lending Hawaii, LLC | Equal Housing Lender ) over 8 years ago

Hi Georg!  Isn't it kind of early for you?  Or is it still last night for you?  Thanks for stopping by!

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

Good morning Jay, We never run out of blog fodder do we? It is amazing what folks do out of sheer ignorance, stupidity or both...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 8 years ago

And apparently this guy's family and friends use these stairs regularly!  Thanks Michael.

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

Aw gee whiz you are always so critical of all those homeowners trying to save a buck...and break a leg, arm, neck....ouch !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 8 years ago

Sally - some people really try to get into trouble!

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

Good Grief!!

These are the areas in homes whereby, when showing, I wouldn't let my buyers walk nor would I walk.  This is a broken ankle waiting to happen. 

What I never understand is how a home with this safety hazard even got listed before the repairs were made.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 8 years ago

The agent maybe never went out there Lenn.  And should have!  I did not go up or down those stairs, being afraid myself!  I was more afraid of the bad wiring in that house (yesterday's post).

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

It just makes you scratch your head.  It is one thing to do your own painting or something else that won't result in bodily injury.  However, it is amazing how many DIY folks make these thoughtless "improvements".  Yikes!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 8 years ago

"How about seeing something built MORE than code!"

Really!  Meeting code requirements is an absolute functional minimum, and often not a pretty thing.

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 8 years ago

Hi Jay, Another great post and another great photo, keep up the excellent work, it is appericated!

Posted by Dan Edward Phillips, Realtor and Broker/Owner (Dan Edward Phillips) over 8 years ago

A voidable

C ontrollable

C onditions

I nvolving

D irectly

E veryone

N ot

T hinking

S ensibly

 

I came up with this way back when I was in the service for a safety campaign they were running, and have never forgotten it.  I earned a 3 day pass for it and thought I would pass it on.

Posted by Don Spera, Serving York and Adams County, PA (CR Property Group, LLC) over 8 years ago

Kathryn - some of the DIY stuff I see is amazing!

Mike - wouldn't it be nice!  The code is a floor from which things OUGHT to build.

Thank you Dan for your kind words.

Don - that is a great way to remember it.  Good job!  I hope your free pass was to Disney World or somewhere similarly great!

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

I think you got that title from Billy Jays. Where has he been? Or am I not around enough to always catch his advice? Nana

Posted by Kate Kate over 8 years ago

Jay, many times I see issues like this and just have to shake my head and use one of my favorite sayings, "What a waste of good materials". 

 

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) over 8 years ago

Nana - where have you been?  There have been 2 Billy Jays in the last 10 days!

http://activerain.com/blogsview/1749930/dig-yer-drain-

http://activerain.com/blogsview/1762195/counter-yer-counter-flashing-

Jack - these materials looked rather recycled!  I worry that the nails were...

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

I'm designing a new website and have tunnel vision.

I did see Dig yer Drain. Many years ago, I grew a single alfafa sprout in my kitchen window sill for several weeks. Billy Jays could have featured it in his ads.

I did not see Counter Yer Counter Flashing though. Billy Jays isn't just a pretty face. He's smart too: "And you can mix-and-match different board widths to give it that really personal look!"

Posted by Kate Kate over 8 years ago

He tries to cater to all personalities and designer types Nana.  I think that is a big part of his success.

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

Jay,

That looks like real top quality construction from over here.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Steve - I think our people get your way, and your people get our way!  It's a wonderful thing.

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

Having a good home inspector is SO important - I stress that to every client!!!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 8 years ago

Well, I agree Barbara-Jo.  But it didn't take too much to see that thing was a problem!

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

Hi Jay, sound advice for everyone.  Thanks for posting.

Posted by Dale Ganfield over 8 years ago

Dale - sometimes you just shake your head! 

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

Wow - hope these folks have health insurance.  Another fine blog, Jay!

Posted by Cara Marcelle Mancuso, Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE! LONG REALTY (Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ) over 8 years ago

Don't know Cara!  Let's hope.  My client won't need it for here as she decided to pass on the house.

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

This blog does not allow anonymous comments