You have to take in the whole picture to see what's going on here, but to me it's one way or the other, but not both!
Go ahead. Take your time. Look at the whole picture.
This is the corner of a kitchen seen during a pre-drywall inspection.
Keep in mind, the buyer and her parents and the supervisor and various subcontractors and the County have seen this over and over and, um, over.
The home inspector walked into this kitchen and saw it immediately.
Do you see it yet? Here are a couple of hints.
The left photo is the receptacle for the refrigerator.
The right photo is the water connection for the refrigerator.
Notice where they are in the kitchen?
That large cable in between those two things is the wiring for the wall oven. The wall oven will be in a cabinet. Since it is a double wall oven it will be up high. There will be drawers in the cabinet under the wall oven.
EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THE WATER TUBING THAT WILL SERVICE THE FRIDGE WILL CONNECT TO THE WATER SOURCE ON THE PANTRY WALL FIVE FEET AWAY AND BLOCKED BY A CABINET?!
Even better - do you see the paper on the stud? That is explaining how it all should be. That diagram is a change order. It changes the fridge from the corner to the middle of the wall. This unit's design used to put the fridge in the corner. This change order moves it. It explains how the plumbing will also need to be changed, to, um, like, you know, BEHIND the fridge!
WELL, NO CHANGO PLUMBINGO.
And nobody noticed this? They were planning on doing the drywall the next day! The County has approved this connection! So all is well, right?
I know why they moved the fridge. In the corner like that, against the wall, the door does not open all the way. That's a big duh. A fridge in the corner is not smart.
After the inspection my client and I were walking away. We ran into the supervisor. Big smile, he asked me how it went. I said there were a few things I didn't expect (cough) and would send her a report. But I did ask about the kitchen situation.
His answer sounded something like this, laughing: "Yeah, like, you know, dude, we had to, um, you know, they made us change that because, like we had to, um, the people didn't like how, um, you know dude, the fridge door would, like, hit the wall."
So I said, "Hey, dude, like how many houses did you, um, you know, like build before they like figured out to, um, you know, change that?"
To his glazed eyes I said, sounding more adult, "When will you be moving the water connection port from the pantry wall? I can hardly wait to see how you intend to make access to that location and how you run the service tubing from the pantry to the fridge. Did you put the change order diagram on the wall?"
The glaze turned to sudden recognition and an oh-crap look. In the room right underneath there are many things associated with an entertainment center and it will be difficult at this point to change that plumbing.
My recommendation: good thing this was caught now! The paper work that the buyer and I had to sign prior to my inspection said that she could have an independent inspector, but that this builder would only repair code violations. OK, fair enough. Is this a code violation? Was the HVAC floor register in front of the door a code violation? Will they not be fixing these things? During this inspection I found a number of surprises like this, things that are not code violations but boggled my mind. Will they fix them?
I ASK, IS THIS KIND OF THOUGHTLESSNESS COMMON PRACTICE? (yes) SHOULD IT BE? (no) GOOD LUCK MAKING PEOPLE THINK. We report, you decide...
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560