What I'm Seeing Now

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This Is A Holey Post (I Said "Holey", not "Holy")

Water is THE killer of houses, inside and out.  The outside of the house comes with an exterior "skin," which is supposed to keep that water OUT of the house.  That skin develops in different forms, shapes and materials, and all combine, ostensibly, to keep the water out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are two of four such "skin" features on this new construction.  You have seen this house before!  AND these are two of four similar features, each with EXACTLY the same problem! 

Can you see the problem?  Look closely and where that small roof detail on the front ends in the corner, the materials do not reach the end.  On all four features there is something that looks like this:

The "skin" has a hole in it!  Water gets into that hole and infests the bare wood inside.  It will cause rot.  The rot will cause structural damage.  The structural damage will cause future repairs.  The future repairs will happen AFTER the builder's "warranty" expires (they know that).  After said expiration the homeowner will be on the hook to repair it, necessarily sooner rather than later.

THE LONGER THE HOMEOWNER WAITS THE MORE IT WILL COST!

What's wrong here, and in all four locations?  The drip edge, the protective, white horizontal piece of metal under the shingles, should extend all the way to the end and be cut to fit the space at the end.  That's the part that requires care and professional skill!*  Then a PROPER caulking should be applied where needed.  The shingle should not be cut to overlap that end.  It will dry out, crack and/or blow off, and take more shingle with it, so a larger gap can open up later.

To see this from the street you need a home inspector's eye.  And if you use THIS home inspector his eye will be accompanied with a Canon 20X Image-Stabilizing Binocular to bring those spots close and right into steady focus!  That binocular isn't cheap, but very, very effective!!  That little tool can also make it convenient for the client to get up close and personal with what the inspector is describing too!

When is the best time to catch these little anomalies?  BEFORE THE CLOSING!!

My recommendation:  Always, always, always hire an experienced home inspector on new construction.  What can look pretty from the street may actually be a ticking time bomb waiting to explode one day as you look up and discover a sagging roof!  Or missing materials!  Or, believe it or not, carpenter ant or termite damage!

* While you might expect care and professional skill from your builder, it is not always forthcoming.  Finding that in today's 7-11 Construction Worker Pool is about like hoping to find a fine tailor in the WalMart Men's Department.  Ain't happenin' !!

 

 

 

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 28 commentsJay Markanich • November 21 2010 08:30AM

Comments

Jay ~  Just more of the same great information; thank you!

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) over 9 years ago

You've seen these pictures before Tish, but at the risk of being redundant, going over each individually is intended to be instructive as I can explain why it is a problem.

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

I just helped a client buy a rather new home...only five years old.  The seller could have benefited from a great inspection when he bought his NEW home as there were defects that resulted in his having to pay $5000 in repairs to correct the damage...and yes, it was water damage.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 9 years ago

As I said, Kathryn, water is THE killer of houses...

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

With an older home, your chances of seeing signs of the "creeping" damage are greater...not so with new homes!  Everything looks so shiny and new - and yet that seems to be exactly when you need an inspection the most, to look out for just this kind of potential "killer."  As always, I learn something every time I read one of your posts.

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 9 years ago

I am glad for that Susan!  Keep your eyes peeled!

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

The poor work you're showing would/should have been done by the siding contractor, a "professional". Is it common practice down your way for the builders to find siders at home depot? Sounds more than a little scary.

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

Not Home Depot as much as 7-11 Jim.  The "pros" hang out there by the dozens, waiting for a special hire to come along!  No kidding...

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

Jay,

I was bidding on a big job yesterday and the potential client ended up with someone who agreed to do two properties, high cost deal, for less than what I would charge for one of the houses. Way under what anyone I know would charge. I bet they will get quite the report.

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

I hear you my friend.  And with all the experience that comes with both of those reports!  Steve, just two days ago a client for whom I did a pre-drywall and final on another house, and a pre-drywall on this house, went with another inspector for the final inspection who was $120 cheaper than I!  I'm thinking, why, is $120 that important to save and get an unknown quantity?  It is an $850K house and in the SAME neighborhood at the house in this and the previous posts!

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

@ Steve, That happens all the time. People some how believe that when paying less they are going to be getting the same thing. I have a sample report on my web site and ask the price shoppers have they looked at it or any other one for that matter. Most answer NO. They got the phone number and called, no research. To me this is laziness and a sign of our desire for everything to be quick.

Jay, These people obviously do not recognize the value of your service and mistakenly think cost and value are the same.

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

Sure, I get it Jim.  It is disturbing to assume that all home inspectors are red apples.  Are optometrists?  Or plumbers?  Or English teachers?  Well, you know what happens when we ASSume!

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

Valerie - I would expect very few home buyers in a thousand would have noticed that.  And maybe not many others.  That exposed space is less than 2" square.

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

Jay, but covering those difficult areas properly takes time----time is money remember.

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

And you might have to even use a snip Charlie!  Imagine, the time demands in that!  The horror... the horror...

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

Jay, I am so glad I found you. You are my "Mike Holmes' on Homes"... and I can "type" to you. Thank you. Another great blog!

Posted by Lydie Ouellet Dickinson, Realtor (Realty Executives Tri County, Bellingham MA) over 9 years ago

Guess if it were holy...it would have been blessed without holes,,,,,

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

Lydie - well, thanks!  I am glad you enjoy the posts.  But you realize I am not making this up - I am just showing you what's out there!

Sally - that's a pretty good way to think about it.  Houses would be more "holy" if people practiced the Golden Rule.

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

Thanks for today's lesson.  I have subscribed to your blog so I can keep learning!

Posted by Stephanie Williams, Realtor Murrells Inlet (Seaside Properties) over 9 years ago

Thank you Stephanie and I am glad you ARE learning!  That makes it all much more fun and very worthwhile!

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

That home is full of lessons.  Water is the enemy even in our reasonably dry climate.  Snow load and runoff are big concerns.  Thanks for sharing the details of this home.

Posted by Mike Weber, 40+ years in Northern Colorado (Keller Williams Realty Northern Colorado) over 9 years ago

Of course it is Mike!  I bet you don't have a lot of flat roofs out there!

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

we have very few flat roofs here, Jay, and the ones we do have scare me.

Posted by Mike Weber, 40+ years in Northern Colorado (Keller Williams Realty Northern Colorado) over 9 years ago

I bet!  How many inches (feet) of snow do you get each winter? 

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

Where I live now, we only average about 60", but I spent 7 years livving at 9300' and getting 240" on average.

Posted by Mike Weber, 40+ years in Northern Colorado (Keller Williams Realty Northern Colorado) over 9 years ago

Wow, point your finger at your head, twirl it in circles and whistle!

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

As the previous owner of two brand new houses, I never once thought of hiring an inspector. I really could have used one on my second house for sure! Paid the price in later but in labor, not dollars. Live and learn I did!

Posted by Sam Fischer over 9 years ago

And, Sam, life experience can be a cruel but effective teacher.

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

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