On a recent new construction inspection I arrived much earlier than my clients. I like to do that. When they arrive I can greet them and introduce myself, and mention a couple of things about the house.
Usually the supervisor comes to the house when he sees me. Often he will say something like, "Well, you won't find anything wrong with this house!" This supervisor was no different.
I was inside this house about 10 minutes when I found three serious problems.
This is one.
The house has two furnaces, the lower level being a high efficiency, condensing gas furnace.
Very efficient, they bring fresh air in to mix with the inside air. They also reheat for a second time the exhaust that goes through the roof of lesser-efficient furnaces.
The exhaust that results is so cool PVC can be used to blow it outside. You can see a thermal image of a properly-working furnace here.
In this photo you can see the exhaust tubing exit through the far wall.
So what's the problem?
The problem was so serious I turned off the furnace.
It was a bit chilly, and I could see my clients were a little cold when they arrived.
Wanting to get into the warm house they came in through the garage door.
After introductions and my silly jokes, I said to the wife, "Don't take off your coat!"
"Because I have turned off the furnace."
Their questioning looks said it all. "Walk this way."
Leading them to the furnace, I gave them a quick lesson on how it works.
I like these furnaces, espcecially to be able to say to my clients how efficient they are.
This one, though, had a small problem.
Just an itsy bitsy one.
Who knows how long this broken vent has been spewing carbon monoxide into the house.
We quickly finished in the basement, to get out of there, and when we went to the upper levels I made a point of opening windows.
As I said, this was one of THREE major things wrong with this house, in addition to the accumulation of "smaller" problems.
My recommendation: Don't EVER skip a home inspection on new construction. Any of a million things may have been overlooked by the supervisor on site every day! The County had already approved the house for occupancy!
And carbon monoxide is almost never a good thing... *
* Obviously that is my dry humor coming through. It really NEVER is a good thing.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560