This is a custom house. It is six years old. I like to inspect custom houses because I find the work there to be of superior quality. The builders are smaller and don't build the same house in every neighborhood.
Custom houses usually have spectacular carpentry, features, kitchens and bathrooms. Bathrooms usually have large whirlpool tubs.
When there is a whirlpool tub present, it is very important to look for and know where the whirlpool access panel is.
Make sure the builder has provided access! Why? If the motor breaks or there is a leak, typically the tub is surrounded by tile and you don't want to have to 1. guess where the motor is and 2. go about breaking the tile and wall to find it.
Often the access panel is in the cabinet beside the tub. It should be large enough to get into the motor to repair or remove it!
Sometimes there is an opening provided in the tile.
When that's the case, usually I can see where it is.
The tile professional would leave grout that looks somewhat different in appearance from the grout around it.
The groove may be deeper, or the gap a bit wider.
Either way, it is important that a professional-looking access be provided so that IF a contractor has to get in, easy access is possible.
My favorite technique, of course, and considered BEST PRACTICE in any custom home, is DUCT TAPE.
But it needs to be a color that either goes with the tile or enhances it.
Appearance is everything, so pick the best tape!
And, in my very humble opinion, less is more. If some dastardly UNPROFESSIONAL has put a longer strip of what was probably gray duct tape, feel free to replace it with a better color and shorter strip!
Sometimes duct tape can be re-used. That's great because it certainly makes it easier to get in and get out!
My recommendation: do work you can be proud of! And when touring a house, be sure to look for proud work. Proud work will always lend commentary to what else might have been professionally done on a house! Once a pro, always a pro. And a pro over here will be a pro over there. That's what I always say...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560