What I'm Seeing Now

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Can You See The Problem Here? All Spaces Along An Exterior Wall Need Insulation

Can you see the problem here?  All spaces along an exterior wall need insulation.

I had to blow them up a bit so you could see the problem I am having with this.

Nobody else seemed to notice.

This is one of the exterior side walls of the house.

The other side wall was the same way!

Can you see my problem?

Hopefully this will help. 

Here is another similar photo.

Another area, same problem.

Can you see this one too?

Does this help?

Certainly this will be a long term problem.

This floor joist is under the sun room.

The sun room is rectangular.

This basement will be finished.  So the walls will all be insulated. 

Around the house the rim joists are also to be insulated.  At least they should be!  Everywhere!

However, in this house, they have the two exterior joists situated so closely together, that there is a gap between them which I figured to be 8" or 10". 

That area will be sealed up, covered with flooring above, and drywall below.  It will become a large, long space of dead, and very cold, air.

Do you think that much square footage missing insulation all along both sides of the house and around the rear sun room will not influence the house?

OF COURSE IT WILL!

My client asked how these spaces can be insulated now.  The only way would be to cut holes and blow loose, cellulose insulation into the space.

DO YOU THINK THE BUILDER HAD PLANS TO DO THAT?  I doubt it highly.

My recommendation:   home inspectors catch things like this.  I wonder if the builder had.  I know the client, who had been in the house dozens of times prior to my visit, had not noticed it.  Now he thinks it is a concern.  And it is!  This is a silly design flaw, in my opinion, that this builder's designers should have picked up on.  For now, hopefully, it will be taken care of, at least for this client.

 

 

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 23 commentsJay Markanich • March 23 2012 03:20AM

Comments

Morning Jay doubt it or not it is still the builders responsibility.  You seem to bring up subjects that gets the mind to thinking and so early in the morning..

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 7 years ago

Jay, Hopefully the builder will be receptive to fixing this.  Could easily see them trying the "it's no big deal approach".

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 7 years ago

I actually have had agents say to me that there is no need to have a new home inspected until you are nearing the end of the builder warranty.  (Because it is "under warranty")  Your posts are great about exposing the fallacy of this belief!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 7 years ago

Of course it's their responsibility James.  I hope they step up.  They have created a difficult space to insulate!

Yea, no big deal Bliz.  I can hear the supervisor saying that too!

For sure Kathryn.  This kind of thing could NEVER get detected during the one-year warranty inspection.  It would be covered with drywall.  And the builder knows that!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Great catch Jay.  It really makes you wonder how many other homes were previously done incorrectly.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

Most prospective homeowners really wouldn't know or pay any attention to issues like this, that is why you are the right person for the job. They are better off as a result.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 7 years ago

Good morning Jay,

I am curious as to whether this builder advertises their homes as "energy efficient" or with specific R-Factors.  The problem you found would definitely shoot holes in that marketing campaign!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 7 years ago

Debbie - all of them, with this design.  Has to be.

But the supervisor should be aware Joe!  And pay attention.  Look, the electricians use the space to run wiring!

I think so Lisa, and no way would the "energy auditor," from whatever agency, would catch this after drywall.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Looks like an opportunity for Mike Holmes to step in with his foaminator.  I'll have to admit, when my electrical contracting company follows a build where foam is used rather than other types of insulation it's a real challenge to do extra work.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 7 years ago

Jay~I'm wondering why the buyer didn't just walk away. This seems pretty substantial to me...maybe I'm crazy?

Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) over 7 years ago

I like foam in certain contexts Mike, but for after work, as you say, it can be really difficult stuff to work with.

Gayle - this can be done with cellulose, but that MUST be evident prior to the drywall going up.  Who knows if they can get it done that quickly.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay -- there you go pointing out things that nobody else is ever going to notice.  Unless they use a thermal camera on that section, when they notice it is so much cooler than the rest of the floor.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 7 years ago

They would have found it one very cold day Steven, when they were in the kitchen or sun room and their feet were cold!  AND they would have remembered how nicely insulated the basement walls were and not understood why they were cold!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago
Hi Jay, Thank you for including these photo stories in the ActiveRainPhotoblogger group. These posts are so useful for all of us in the field. Well done!
Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 7 years ago

Thankyou William.  I just kind of discovered the group and thought these might be useful!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay- I think most contractors are not trained on how air flows in structures. I know a contractor that did not know what efflorescence was and installs drywall right on top of it. He has know idea of how air and moisture can affect a house. 

Posted by Eric Middleton, Professional Property Inspector (Closer Look Property Inspections Inc.) over 7 years ago

I think you're right Eric.  Houses are systems and lots of things work together.  Not understanding one thing in the system can affect so many other things.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

What about those holes in the floor trusses? They are close to the end. I would be very concerned about that too. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, I am sure this is how my home is constructed.  Either applying some foam insulation, or having someone do it for me, will reduce the air leakage in my home

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Love your posts and the photos that go with them! You give such great examples of why home inspections are vital!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 7 years ago

Jim - those holes demonstrate the space I am referring to.  They look close together, but that space represents about 8 or 10" of uninsulated area!

Chris - if you can do it, where you live you probably should!  Up there you can go with closed or open cell.

Barbara-Jo - glad you like it!  I love reading home inspector posts on AR too!  You notice that we inspectors comment on each other's posts all the time.  I like to suggest them.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Nice catch- no IR camera needed for that one.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) over 7 years ago

True Reubs.  Had they called me in the winter with the people complaining about a cold floor, a long, purple spot would have been pretty visible!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

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