What I'm Seeing Now

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Max Headroom Or Minimum Headroom - Which Would YOU Want?

So, take your pick, Max Headroom or minimum headroom - which would YOU want?

This is a flip.  A previous, small house was razed in favor of a large, expensive house.

Everything was made newer and larger - from the foundation to the roof.  Pulling up to it, from the street, it gives every appearance of being a wonderful house!

After spending many hours there one fine day, there are many, many things that make themselves obvious that much of the house was put together by people who are not professionals in the trade they worked on.  Name your system - electrical, plumbing, HVAC, architectural design - a jack-of-all trades, and not a specialist, spent a lot of time in this house!

Take this rear door arrangement for example.

We have a basement door, from a finished basement, to a stairwell under a double door off the kitchen eating area.

The "designer," let's just call him Flipper, not his real name, said it was his "vision" to put the kitchen door there.

Never mind that the family room is on the right side of the house, outside of this photo, and would have made an ideal spot for a doorway to a deck or patio.

THIS SPOT IS FLIPPER'S "VISION!"

The house is now an expensive house and my clients want to put a deck there.  They do not, however, want to put a teeny little deck off to one side.

Let's picture the deck they want to build - say 18', 20', maybe 24' wide.  Can you see it?

Now, picture yourself exiting the basement door to do a little yard work.  As you approach the top of the stairs your max headroom there would be about 3 1/2 feet!

Have a nice day!  Can you catch the "vision?"

The International Residency Code, adopted and followed by this particular county, says, in both the 2006 and 2009 editions, that the minimum headroom when going up or down a staircase is 6' 8".  Hey, there isn't even enough room there to accommodate that guardrail under the deck!

I think a little "vision" should have been used by Flipper to read the code's minimum headroom requirements before deciding to put his visionary kitchen door there!

Oh well, that little protective rail over the kitchen door sure is beautiful and does add a nice touch!  It better, cause it ain't a' goin' no where!

My recommendation:  when you pull up to a newly-renovated house, don't assume anything!  You KNOW what happens when we ASSume...

 

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 43 commentsJay Markanich • July 07 2012 03:07AM

Comments

I L♥VE Max Headroom * Like Nosmo King....granted * older generations were SHORTER than we are however they make doors 6 feet tall for a REASON

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) over 8 years ago

Doors were that high in ancient Mesopotamia, Wallace, and they were 4' tall then!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

OMG talk about vision...I think tunnel vision maybe.   That's just plain stupid on so many levels.  Who does that?

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 8 years ago

Good morning Jay congratulations on the feature I tell you between Kathy and you it's almost a total domination of the featured posts.  What's one's vision is anothers downfall

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 8 years ago

Debbie - I can tell you in one word - Flipper - not his real name...

James - with that deck there it would be hard to downfall those stairs!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Watch me while I slap my head and roll on the floor in laughter.  You mean the flipper really didn't see the problem.  I know my vision is cloudy but better glasses help and so does common sense.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 8 years ago

Hi Jay,  That's a weird one.  I see oddities all the time, where somebody had a "vision" when they should have kept their eyes shut and called in somebody who knew what they were doing.   

Posted by Dianne Goode, Realtor/Broker (Raleigh Cary Realty) over 8 years ago

It shows a lack of planning for sure, but nothing we don't see all too regularly. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 8 years ago

That is just plain silly.  You would have thought someone would have had the idea that a door moved slightly to the right would have been better. Jimminy Crickets!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 8 years ago

Wow!  That has to be the biggest screw up I've seen a flip.  It's hard to believe that a county inspector didn't put the breaks on that puppy at the rough inspection.  Oy!

Posted by Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 8 years ago

Jay, Flipper (remember him?) was smarter than this jokester. I think people do things like this for the benefit of those of us who blog about them.

Because it makes for GREAT blog fodder.

(Jack-A$$..... she mumbles under her breath.....)

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago

Jay I didn't the buyers think about this before they made an offer? Hopefully there are other window options they can convert into exit door.

Posted by Ritu Desai, Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949 (Samson Properties) over 8 years ago

This is hysterical.  It reminds me a little of the Winchester house in California where stairways lead to no where and doors open to nothing.  A little imagination and this French door could be made into a window and the door moved.  Aparently it's a custom in some areas to have the old fashion basement door outside.  I believe it was originally done for coal delivery.  In this day and age, I would board it up.  Looks like a burglary waiting to happen.

Posted by Chris and Dick Dovorany, Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty ( Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida) over 8 years ago

Jay, I think an even better detail would be if those doors opened out :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 8 years ago

Jay, I have a solution, forget about it ; ) how about a gang plank to a tree house?

 

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Common sense is often missing and results in a door to nowhere. 

Posted by Erv Fleishman, Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates (Realty Associates) over 8 years ago

Jay -- now if only flipper has moved the basement door to the right and run the stairs the other direction, this would have been a bit better.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 8 years ago

Hey, hey...don't mess with his artistic vision! Function and value have nothing to do with artistic vision, I mean, just look at 'modern art'!

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 8 years ago
Jay-I hope you're saving these for an Hgtv reality show because you can't make this stuff up!
Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 8 years ago

I'm watching Cindy!  I'm watching!  I think his vision line was baloney and he knew it.  Was he trying to cover something maybe?

Dianne - oddity is surely the word.  And the county passed this too!

Jim - I think they planned to keep that little protective rail there over that door forever!

Kathryn - the other side of the house would have been ideal - a large family room is there.  It would have framed the house nicely.  And a picture window in the kitchen eating area would have been beautiful.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Mike - you'd think, would you?  They approved it!  And this "Flipper" has an "excellent" rating with this county...

Wait til you see the beam support on another post!

Andrea - and we surely do have lots of fodder!  Jack A$$ume...

Ritu - there is a window in the family room that looks like the one on the right side of the photo.  But why buy a "new" house and then have to rip it apart to get the deck they want?

C&D - my grandmother's house had a little chute door for coal delivery.  It fell right into the basement bin.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Shadow - your comment made me laugh, out loud, for a long time!

Don - I prefer that tree house!  Can you say zip line!?  And a great Tarzan scream...

Erv - this is a door to somewhere, but not anywhere good!

Steven - woulda, coulda, shoulda does not exist in Flipper land.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Than - you saying Dali or Picasso could have put up a better, albeit oddly shaped, deck?

Kathy - I don't make them up.  I call'em as I see'em!  This installation is exactly as you see it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Hello Jay,

"Flipper" might want to rethink his/her design skills...poor planning on this all the way around!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 8 years ago

How can a "vision" be poor planning Lisa?  When it comes, it comes!  And we should obey, we should obey, we should obey...

Poor Flipper.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Hi Jay - I see some pretty wierd flips with stairways to nowhere, doors in midair, a family room beyond the master bedroom, so that the master becomes a glorified hallway for your guests, etc.  I don't know what some people are thinking!  And I know I see only a small percentage of the wierdness that you see.  The one you have pictured here is a good example!

Posted by Susan Neal, Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker (RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks) over 8 years ago

Wow, Susan, those are all very weird examples of flip normalities!  And thanks, this one is a good example!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Is that the Flipper in the window?

Posted by Brad Brinke (ProCraft Inspection Services) over 8 years ago

I think that's the trees and blue sky Brad!  But that is Flipper in the bottom of the post!  And that was his real name!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Jay, your flipper blogs are my favorites.  You are at your best when you are inspecting flips!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 8 years ago
Well that makes no sense whatsoever. How could he lack the foresight to avoid such an issue!
Posted by Kevin Mackessy, Dedicated. Qualified. Local. (Blue Olive Properties, LLC) over 8 years ago

Do you ever see a normal home Jay?  :)

I really enjoy reading about what you see.

 

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 8 years ago

How about having the basement exit come up onto the deck (you know, add a few steps UP) and then down to the ground from the deck? It will take up a whole lot of the deck, but then the whole thing doesn't make any sense anyway, so why not that? At least you'd have a lot of headroom!

Posted by Hella Mitschke Rothwell, Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker ((831) 626-4000) over 8 years ago

They are the most fun, thanks Pat!  This is a huge house in Vienna.  You'd have found it as much fun as I!

No sense at all Kevin.  Are you asking me?  Ummmm...  I don't know?

GQ - I do!  What, you want a post about dog bites man?  No fun!  Oh wait...

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2034078/she-s-never-bitten-anybody-
http://activerain.com/blogsview/2037447/choose-yer-chews-

Hella - and add insult to injury!?  That would be fun, however!  Not sure the County would approve, but hey, they approved this!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

They didn't want to get in the way of the "vision," Valerie!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Giggle, if I didn't know better I would be concerned you were "drinking the Kool-Aid" ...obey, obey, obey...LOL

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 8 years ago

I only obey when the principles are correct Lisa!  With or without Kool Aid!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Gotta love a vision but congratulations on the feature WOW, hard work and a little vision pays off HEHE

Posted by Charles Stallions Real Estate Services, Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc) over 8 years ago

Joyce - this guy went out of his way to accomplish that vision!  Even when it wasn't the best thing to do.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Wow that's a pretty big foul up.  I have to say, I'm not shocked.  The Fairfax county inspectors were at my father's place for all of 2 minutes when he put an additon on.  As soon as they saw that he used hurricane hangers, they signed and turned around and walked out.  There less than 2 minutes.

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) over 8 years ago

I was on a pre-drywall once, Justin, when the county guy showed up.  He is supposed to throw me off the property until he is done.  Instead he asked me what I had come up with, failed the house, and walked away.  Ninety seconds tops.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

Sometimes you look at things and have to just shake your head???

Posted by Robert Sole (REM Inspections LLC) over 8 years ago

Hey Robert.  This guys thinks this is a vision in reality!  I am truly amazed.  But just when I think I have seen it all, I see something new!  As do you!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 8 years ago

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