What I'm Seeing Now

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"Stunning Professional Patio And Stairs"

Thus read the Flipper's Fantastic Features list.  Impressive list too.  You already met the fridge.  Now would you like to see the stunning professional patio and stairs

It is all very stunning.

Level, square, and sturdy.

OK, the new aluminum wrap is getting a little stepped on under the door.

But that is only a slight oversight.

But all is not as it appears.

The patio does have some sinking areas in spots and some loose pavers.

But that is not what I focused on.

Looking at the stairs from the outside, before everyone arrived, it didn't look right.

I noticed, for example, that the second layer of pavers is resting on wood underneath.

That can't be strong.  Or sturdy.

So I poked around.

And I was right.  It isn't strong.

Or sturdy.

Or stunning.

Or professional.

Can you see from this photo how it is all put together?

Does this help?

This staircase was put together with glue!

>  The pavers are glued together in small sections.
>  Plywood rests between the layers.
>  The side pavers are just sitting there, even without any glue.
>  The glue has dried.
>  As glue dries it shrinks.  As this glue shrunk it released what it was holding onto.
>  And this "staircase" has completely come apart.

I actually left it like this so the buyer could see it!

He was, um, impressed!  Really, really impressed.

And he said something interesting, "Is this the kind of thing we are going to find inside?"

I said that probably, yes!

Thus beginneth the inspection.  Yes, it took a while, on this little townhouse!

My recommendation:  when you read the word "professional" on any features list, ask to see the receipts or invoices from the "professional" who did the work.  If they cannot be provided, how can the fabulous features list be proved as correct?  If things don't add up from the start, they won't add up later.

 

 

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 39 commentsJay Markanich • August 03 2011 06:55AM

Comments

Good morning Jay-amazing what you come across. Its not just the flippers but the "depot" set of weekend DIYers too.

Posted by Marco Giancola, Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida (Beachfront Realty) about 9 years ago

And no handrail.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) about 9 years ago

And I'll be the home owner/seller was very proud of his "work".

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Good morning, Jay. It is amazing the crap that folks throw together isn't it? <sigh>

Posted by Michael Thornton, Nashville Area - Photography & Videography (RadnorLake Video) about 9 years ago

Both of which are pet peeves of mine Marco.  But at least homeowners who do this stuff for themselves are trying.  Sure, they can use professional help, but they are trying.

My REAL pet peeve is the DIY TV show that does something incorrectly thereby demonstrating how to do that thing wrongly to a whole bunch of people!

It's only two steps Ken, so that wouldn't be required, but with this staircase I would recommend a really, really strong one!

Could be Lenn!  It was on the Fabulous Features list.  He was proud of his fridge too, I think...

And heavy crap this was Michael!  But gluing crap is no better than spreading it.  This Flipper sure is good at spreading though.

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

Gee Jay....we ALL know that super glue and duct tape are a homeowner/handy or not so handy person's best friend...for the moment...it holds any/every thing together !

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

S&D - my personal opinion is that duct tape, wrapped carefully all around the who monolith, would be a far stronger application.  But that's just me...

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

Hi Jay,

Just to get a buck. Looks like it was put together by a "fly by nighter".

All you can do it report it and move on.

When I was in construction all the time I would add a "Bullnose" to the threashhold entry this way it would not wrinkle the wrap.

Best, Clint Mckie

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

I did!  And you did a bullnose, Clint, because you aren't a bullhead.

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

I think I may have seen some of his other houses.

Posted by Larry Craven, Realty Direct, Inc (Realty Direct Loudon County) about 9 years ago

I think this guy gets around Larry!  I see him all over NOVA!

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

Nothing worse than hype and misplaced pride. Talking proudly about 2nd class work says volumes about all the work and the worth of that work.

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

But it was probably really, really good glue Robert.  I may be a bit too jaded to know that.

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

Jay, definitely goes to prove that "home projects" like beauty, should be more than skin deep.

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

Chris - this beauty was about a 2x6 deep...

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

Jay math is math and in this case 2 plus glue doesn't equal quality.

He should have some of the finer products offer by Billy Jays.

Enjoy the day

Posted by Don MacLean, Realtor-Homes for Sale- Easton Mass (New England Real Estate Center Inc.) about 9 years ago

Good afternoon Jay. No liability issues there. lol. Even Billy Jay's Super Dooper Glue would be a tough sell there.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 9 years ago

Jay --- that lumber doesn't look pressure treated, or otherwise properly prepared for the kind of weather you folks get in NO VA - so I would imagine it would start warping/splitting etc. before a year was out.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 9 years ago

Don - an excellent formula which so often applies to flippers!  And Billy would have a better product than that!

Randy - the stairs would need a bit more work before that glue would be effective!

Steven - it isn't treated but they did paint it with some kind of varnish or something.  But that would not be enough!

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

Jay;  When you're over 60, you look for a handrail on ONE step.  Understand code, and 3 steps.  but for my money, I like a rail on every step.  And I'm in good condition.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) about 9 years ago

And with these steps I'm with you Ken!

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

Jay, I do hope that door to the left is completely starionery.  Otherwise, someone could take a bit of a tumble.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 9 years ago

They are Pat.  A handrail was suggested too, which, with these stairs, is a great idea!

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

Jay, you are so wrong!  This is totally stunning, but not in a good way.  :)

I've NEVER seen anything like that, especially not on a house for sale!  Incredible.  Stunning!

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

When I say stunning Jeremy, I mean like Marilyn Monroe or something like that.  But I agree with your point.

I do remember bathrooms in South America (hole in the floor for a toilet) that were truly stunning however!

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

Yes, that would be a much better version of stunning.  But I was certainly amazed that anyone tried this type of repair in such a manner!  Crazy!

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

It worked great Jeremy!  Until the glue dried...

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

Yes, so short lived this success in home repair...

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

Long live the short-lived success.

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

Yes, as strangely enough, short lived successes like this are what keep me and you in business!

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

That is, pointing them out and repairing them long term.

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

Aye, aye cap'n!

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

I'm stunned. That isn't glue Jay, it's construction adhesive, very professional :)

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

Yes, Jim, it's probably Liquid Nails.  That's what it looked like.  That should hold though, right?

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

You know, I find that liquid nails are the hardest to drive in.  Right after air nails.

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

They splatter for me.  I don't know about you...

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

Yes, me too!  And with my air nails, I'm always misplacing them.

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

Do you look up?

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

Ah ha!  So that's where they've been all this time.

Thanks!

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

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