Lists featuring what has been done to a house can be a good marketing tool. But sometimes things that get advertised can get a home inspector very excited!
The list on this house included, "The Attic Is Properly Prepared For Storage." A whole lot has to happen for that to be true. I seldom see it. Attics usually don't make very good storage spaces!
I got the story though when the listing agent stopped by to "answer any questions."
It seems the "local DIY expert," her words, has been "wonderful," her word, about showing the homeowners in the neighborhood how to do the "latest things," her words, to their houses.
One of the "various improvements," her words, was to do the "latest thing" to the attic! And it was done some time ago.
Now follow me as I try to help you to grasp the "latest thing" in attic wear!
First, apparently, is to remove as much of the insulation as possible from the floor of the attic.
That is so that plywood can be laid down flat for better support for storage.
Some areas, like the small space here, cannot accept plywood, so they were simply left uncovered.
Everywhere else can be covered completely with plywood!
So where does the insulation go, you might ask?
Well, between the roof rafters! This is the "latest thing."
It holds up real well with 1x4s!
In this attic much of it was falling, there were serious gaps, and whole sections of sheathing did not get covered.
But you can always get back to that later!
Then, you sprinkle, willy nilly, cellulose insulation over some, but not all, areas of the plywood. A light coating of insulation seems to be the "latest thing."
This leaves you plenty of room to get creative with the next "latest thing" for your attic.
Layering and shelving!
Don't worry, we'll get to that falling and missing insulation later.
And the gaps? Well, nothing is perfect.
What we NOW have in this attic is a big shed, PROPERLY PREPARED FOR STORAGE!
That is the "latest thing!"
By the way, both upstairs bathrooms vented directly into the attic space. The tubing which used to service them was laying on the floor.
This was apparently done to add additional air movement to the attic space as both gable vents, which provide the ONLY venting for this attic, were made substantially smaller. It's the "latest thing" to "control" air flow, especially in winter!
Question, and this one will be on the final exam, so get it right. What happens when you cover roof sheathing with insulation, introduce two bathroom vents into the attic, and restrict air flow through the attic space?
You got it!
And all over the place!
And in many shapes, sizes and colors! It was quite the fashion statement! *
YOU DO KNOW WHAT THAT STUFF IS, DON'T YOU BOYS AND GIRLS?
While not quite the "latest thing," this is probably the thing that happened MOST LATELY!
Selfishly, as a home inspector, I hope every neighborhood has a generous DIYer who is so eager to share his knowledge with the rest of us! This guy is great!
I have to tell you, it sure makes my job fun!
And, side benefit of all side benefits, I enjoyed a wonderful sauna while I was up in there! My shirt completely changed color!
My recommendation: if there is a generous, local DIYer in the neighborhood of your listing, you might want to have your house looked at by a home inspector BEFORE you advertise that fact in your Feature List! The inspector will be able to tell you what IS and IS NOT the "latest thing."
* And it tastes like chicken...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560