What I'm Seeing Now

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Regular Fireplace Flue

Sounds like another boring post.  Just a regular fireplace flue, photo attached.  More or less ho hum.

So, have a look!  It's actually very nice.

The vinyl siding is not melted.

The siding also has a nice bead at the bottom, making it a mid-grade siding.  Not bad.

The flue is straight up and down.

There's a little garden, though somewhat unkept, to the right side.

Some storage to the left side.

All is right with the world.  Until you take a closer look!

I post this so when I show you the next photo you will know I am not making it up by posting a doctored or upside-down picture!

Now, I am not sure how long this has been this way.

Obviously this flue was installed the wrong way many years ago, judging from the rust on the screws.

The house is 23 years old, so this may be the installation from day one.

While I sometimes say I will am no longer surprised, still, I will never, NEVER, understand what people are thinking!!

And the listing agent's response?

"Well, they don't use the fireplace anyway."

EXCELLENT!  Let's follow a nonsensical installation with a nonsensical comment!  Like she truly knows this family's fireplace habits!  But still!

I half expected Buster Poindexter to come dancing around the corner, cause the joke was on me, singing:  " So we go rum-bum-bum-bum, Yeah we rum-bum-bum-bum, Feeling hot hot hot -- Feeling hot hot hot... "

At this point of my day, full of things like this, I half expected it!

AND PEOPLE SOMETIMES THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP!

My head is feeling kind of hot, hot, hot.

I need some more ice, ice, ice...

My recommendation:  cursory glances don't always reveal what there is to see!  Look around, pay attention, and look more closely!  There may be a fun fact just around the corner!

 

 

 

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 34 commentsJay Markanich • April 28 2011 05:05AM

Comments

Good morning, Jay. H-m-m-m, kinda seems like one of those d-u-u-uuh moments, doesn't it?

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Thank you for the post. This is the reason buyers should have a home inspection.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) over 9 years ago

LOL, I can hear the music, too.  I can't get it out of my head now.  This is one of the many reasons it's important to have an inspector.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 9 years ago

Michael - maybe they wanted the heat to go thata way!

Gita - it is!  Some things are right and some aren't.  For sure...

Debbie - sorry about the song!  I couldn't think of a more appropriate one!

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

Jay, Things like this are why we recommend a home inspector to start with.  It's something a casual review isn't likely to just catch because it's so unexpected.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 9 years ago

Hi Jay, what about when they do use the fireplace for the first time. Then what?

There are reasons for installing things right.

Clint

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 9 years ago

And there is ever a question about having a home inspection by a REPUTABLE, QUALIFIED Home Inspector?  I don't think so!!!

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

Jay, that's a good example of something seen but not looked at. The instructions are not complex, you just have to be able to read.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 9 years ago

Jay - Reminds me of a home I looked at several years ago.  The flooring people were there installing vinyl over waferwood underlayment (not a great idea in itself) and the underlayment was stamped, "This side down."

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 9 years ago

I can't belive some of the responses you seem to be getting from the listing agents!  Give me a break!

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 9 years ago

The fireplace was running too hot, so they turned it down.

Posted by Sam DeBord, Seattle Real Estate Broker (SeattleHome.com -Coldwell Banker Danforth) over 9 years ago

Jay,

The arrow is to show you where the ground is ; ). Must of been the Friday late afternoon installation.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jim  I would say the last picture is "fairly conclusive" - I would think the fix is fairly simple

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) over 9 years ago

Jay,

The silly installations we see can at times be challenging to catch because they are so bad.

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

Bliz - this was unexpected!  I don't remember seeing this before!

Clint - right is right and you can't force the heat downward when it doesn't want to go!

Tish - I showed it to the people, first-time buyers, who themselves knew this was incorrect!

That's the truth Robert.  But then again, who uses the instructions?  Or asks for directions?

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

John - I saw that in a roof once on a new construction, shake roof.  The stamp clearly said, "This Side Up."  You know what the buyer wanted!  The builder was mad with me!!

Justin - these kinds of things are said all the time!  What if she had said that this house has no fireplace!?

Sam - I read that comment today in my car and it made me laugh out loud!

Yeah Donald, around 2pm!  Happy hour!

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

Karen - I don't know!  It depends on what is happening inside with the flue system!

Steve - not seeing this ever before, it was a surprise to me!  Glad I caught it!

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

"Well they don't use the fireplace anyway." ????

Someone needs to make THAT relevant to the situation.

Posted by Mike Jaquish, 919-880-2769 Cary, NC, Real Estate (Realty Arts) over 9 years ago

Mike - that's a little like Bernanke saying, "We don't have any plans for dealing with unemployment," as if he can do anything about it anyway.

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

Were your ears feeling hot, hot, hot after the agents comment? I think I am more amazed by the great insight that a listing agent can have into the daily lives of their clients. What's the word, omniscient. ;)

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

Jay, I bet that thing is "HOT" as it says if it's ever used.  Not only is it heated by the hot air on the way out, but again on the way up as it rises past the upside down vent.

We had a false louver vent on a front gable of a customer's house recently that had fallen off.  Nothing seemed wrong, until we got up on the ladder and found out the louver vent support was installed upside down!  Similar to your "HOT" being upside down, so was the wording on it that said "TOP".  But they installed the louver vent in right side up, and of course once the caulk that was holding it in broke...well you know the answer.

We told the customer the right way to fix it would be to remove the siding in that area, and turn the support bracket right side up...he didn't go for that.  Oh well!

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) over 9 years ago

Jim - my ears get hot a lot!  And the ice gets a workout most weeks.  This one was definitely omniscient.

Jeremy - then what to they intend to do with it?!  They can't leave it and they can't use it.  What did the want in the end, more caulking?

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

Since it was a false louver, we ended up putting some exterior rated screws through the face of the louver "vent" cover and sealing over the screws with a clear roof cement.  Not the best, but at least it was directly under a gable soffit, up near the peak.

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) over 9 years ago

Well, Jeremy, if it shed water outside without letting it get in then it works.  Hopefully your repair will last a long time.

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

Well, I'd say it's got a good chance, since it was a false vent in vinyl siding.  But certainly not the correct/ideal installation.

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) over 9 years ago

Did you forget the duct tape?

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

Duct tape would have totally made it right!  Can you have Billy Jays send me some in the next order?

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) over 9 years ago

Well, duct tape is certainly the more invisible repair.

But beyond that, Billy recommends:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/1577379/put-yer-putty-

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

Thanks, Billy!

Posted by Jeremy Wrenn, C.O.O., Winslow Homes (Winslow Homes) over 9 years ago

In Ontario, every wood burning system needs to have a WETT (Wood Energy Transfer Technology) Certification before a home can be insured, so is always required at the time of sale.  Any modifications necessary to meet current standards must be completed before obtaining certification. At times, Jay, I find this officious, but it will save lives...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 9 years ago

He isn't here now Jeremy, but I am sure he would say you are welcome!

Chris - I have never heard of WETT!  I just looked it up and who knows, can you legislate common sense?

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

You would think a contractor would notice the words being upside down at the least.... Or maybe that's giving some contractors too much credit.  I have definitely seen some bone-headed things that make you wonder if these people have brains. 

I hope you did a little Poindexter moves out there.

Posted by Joel Weihe, Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits (Realty World Alliance) over 9 years ago

Dear Jay -

One day when I have a chance to meet you - I'll tell you the story about the HVAC finishers I worked with i Atlanta.  There seems to be no limit to what folks can do when they are not likely to be held responsible.

Commenters on the inspector blogs often say "contractor" followed by negative comments.  Just as all real estate agents are not REALTORS - not all workers are really contractors.  Some are barely qualified tradespeople - often hired by homeowners for lower prices - often chosen over the licensed, qualified, actual contractors whose training, insurance and reliability cause jobs to cost more.

Alas - if there weren't these folks - inspectors would have less work, eh?

Have a happy day -
Lynn

 

 

Posted by Lynn B. Friedman, Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers (Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ...) over 9 years ago

Sheree - this was someone who obviously did not know what he was doing, did not care, or cannot read English.  That is a total strike out on three pitches.  He should have nothing to do with a fireplace!

For sure Lynn!  I would have much less work to do!  My biggest problem with modern construction is the word "professionalism."  I call it 7-11 construction.  You simply can't pick up "professionals" at 7-11 in the morning and expect good work.

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

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