I don't know if most accidents happen at home, it is because we are there a lot or because we do so many things that will become "accidents."
Personally I think most accidents are planned. Well, not PLANNED directly, but not thinking we do things that will fail, or fall, or break, or whatever, and when they do we say that we "had an accident."
Safety is a big part of a home inspection. I know I am always looking for unsafe things around the house.
For example, this stair, under the side door of a garage.
Fortunately it is not very high, so if there is a fall it won't be very far. But that doesn't that a fall won't hurt! The stairs are each too high according to the code, but that is not the issue here.
Look closely. The stair is floating, not touching the ground.
How did they do that?
What holds it in place?
Well not much. Two nails! Two rusty nails!
And those two rusty nails go into a 2x4 which is itself nailed into aluminum siding!
You don't have the benefit, if I can call it that, of standing on that stair to test it.
But I can tell you, it is NOT very secure! It wobbles and bounces.
It is, to quote a phrase, an accident waiting to happen.
I was kind of hoping that by standing on it I would break it so it would have to be repaired prior to my client's inheriting it! But no such luck.
My recommendation: it pays to make a safety sweep of our own houses regularly. Look for things that are leaning and might fall, something that is sagging and needs shoring up, sharp things within reach of little hands, etc. It will pay big dividends in the long run.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560