What I'm Seeing Now

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It's One Way Or The Other, But Not Both!

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

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 39 commentsJay Markanich • September 22 2012 03:25AM

Comments

This is quite sad.  But somehow, I'm not surprised.  I'm glad they called you before it was too late.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 6 years ago

And, Debbie, nobody had noticed this.  My client said she emailed my report and photos to her parents who wondered why they had not noticed all the things I did.  Well, that's an easy one!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

People that build....builders and consumers....should know what they don't know...nut guess they don't know they don't know...we know someone who HAD to buy a tiny refrigerator because the door opened to hit an island already wired with a cooktop....I know who would have re-wired if it had been my house.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 6 years ago

S&D - you have to plan to the end from the beginning.  That includes things like, oh, I don't know, measurements!!?  The island is in the way...  sheesh.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

. I learn a lot from your posts. Thanks for all the great tips you share.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 6 years ago

Gita - this is a simple case of thinking ahead, and making things work with the new plans given.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, I can only imagine what his "o-crap look" looked like. Looks like you may have some more posts from this inspection.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 6 years ago

I could Mike, but will have to hide them in the future.  I don't want to bore with the same house over and over!  His oh crap look was priceless.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

This is a great example why you need a home inspection during vital parts when building a new home.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) about 6 years ago

I think the pre-drywall inspection is absolutely essential Harry.  Minds are slowly being changed in that regard.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Are you from Krypton is all I want to know because seeing through walls comes pretty easy for you...RENT AN EYE is the name of a new business run by Jay....Before you buy anything, you call Jay and leave him alone while he goes through it all..

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 6 years ago

Richie - like the emperor's clothes, I am allowing you to see through the drywall too!  There really is drywall there!

Isn't it interesting that I can see something like this but nobody else?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

I'm happy to see they are foaming all holes. If they more the pipe lets see if they foam up the old hole too. Do you think that wire for the oven will ever end up in a box? My big question is if the cabinet is going in the corner will it go to the ceiling and block that register?

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) about 6 years ago

Yes and I would like to add that people who don't have those eyes need them if only to make sure all is well..Yes Jay

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 6 years ago

I don't get why the construction crew did not notice (least of all the supervisor).  This stuff astounds me. 

Posted by Gary Frimann, CRS, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) about 6 years ago

And THAT is why you have an inspector on your side during construciton! Great to see this buyer took that advice.

Posted by John Fauth, Turning your dreams into an address! (Coldwell Banker King Thompson) about 6 years ago

I always  enjoy reading your posts. Most of the time they are very informative but this one was funny and sad combined.  

Posted by Susan Shaw (Premiere Plus Realty Co.Marco Island, FL) about 6 years ago

I'm all like, this is a good post Jay. And he's all like, yeah. And I'm all, it's already featured dude!

 

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) about 6 years ago

Wow. You'd think moving the water would have been part of the change-order and gotten it's own attention... I guess one hand is still not talking to the other.
Bruce

 

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) about 6 years ago

And yet so many people think that they don't need an inspection on a new home???  Good catch.  I recently did a pre-drywall inspection on a new home and the superintendent followed us through the entire inspection.  He appeared quite bored even though I pointed out several structural issues (Girder trusses not nailed per engineer's specs, truss hangers not properly nailed, etc.).  t

Then while looking at the plan I asked the buyer if they had eliminated one of the sinks in the master bedroom because the plan showed 2 sinks, spaced about 4 feet apart, but there was only plumbing for 1 sink.  The super's eyes got really big and he snuck off into the corner talking on his cell phone!

Too many superintendents now have so little experience that anyone buying a new home without having it inspected is really rolling the dice.

Posted by Robert Sole (REM Inspections LLC) about 6 years ago
Wow, that makes you think. Look forward to meeting you and your wife for the Charity Walk on the Railway Trail!
Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) about 6 years ago

If one is building a home and has a chance to get phased inspections and they fail or refuse to do it, shame on them. There are thousands of components that go into the building of a home. Most buildiers and subcontractors want to do a good job (I think). But things do get missed. A fresh set of experienced eyes working for the buyer are well worth the expense.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) about 6 years ago

The value of the home inspecction... priceless!  Great post! I enjoy reading and learning from your posts. Thanks, Jay!

Posted by Beth Paterson, CRMP, NMLS #342859 (Reverse Mortgages SIDAC, LLC, NMLS #1790592) about 6 years ago

Good afternoon Jay. If anyone has any question on whether to do pre drywall inspections they need to subscribe to your blog for a few months.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 6 years ago

As I have seen in your past post, there not much out there that can surprise you anymore. This also points out why you should have another pair of eye look things over.  Just make sure that those eye are well trained like yours Jay.

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) about 6 years ago

Rob - all the counties are big on foam here.  Interestingly, our wall ovens died at 13 years of age.  When I bought the new ones and they took the old ones out of the wall, they had been hard wired directly to the ovens!  There was a junction box in the cabinet, never used!  I made sure they wired my new ovens properly!

Thanks Richie.  My eyes aren't so special, although I do have 20/5 distance vision!

Gary - not so astounding!  I see this kind of thing every week!

John - she found me on line because of my blogs!  I'm glad she did too...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Susan - you just like it because I can talk dumb!  When my kids talk like that I make them repeat it without speaking like, like, like.  Glad you enjoy the blogs!

Thanks Cosmo Man!  I hear that talk everywhere, even on CNBC interviews!  It drives me nuts!

Bruce - that is right on the diagram on the stud!  Why did it get missed?  They were going to get it after lunch, and never came back.  That Roach Coach food is very good you know.

Robert - here the builders don't want me near the supervisors, and make me do my inspections at a different time than theirs.  I wouldn't want anyone following me around.  My client needs to focus!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Cheryl - if we can swing it! 

Wayne - I agree, completely.  I would think a builder would want me there.  But alas, I guess not!

And thank you Beth.  I enjoy learning on AR, which is why I log on every day.

Randy - that would probably change a few minds!

Thanks Chuck.  I have a friend who is an engineer and asked me to do a pre-drywall inspection on his house, simply to get more eyes on the project!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

So many sets of eyes and all appeared to be blind. Catch it early and it's a lot easier and cheaper to fix

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) about 6 years ago

Jay,

In new construction I always recommend to buyers to have a pre-drywall inspection.  It's amazing how many times blatent problems are ones that "pass county inspections" that are fairly big issues that would be covered up once the drywall is up!!

 

Posted by Nellie Lytvinenko, 919-210-9992, Raleigh - Cary NC Real Estate (Homes by Nellie-Working with Buyers & Sellers ) about 6 years ago

Jay -- since the change notice was posted, and you saw it and read it, but everyone else missed it -- I am thinking the builder must have hired the 7-11 crew that could not read English or figure out drawings.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 6 years ago

Ed - when you are with something all the time, every day, it all begins to look the same.

Nellie - the county guys are interested in different things, don't spend as much time as I do, and don't get nearly as specific.

Steven - you got it.  This is so common.  Wait til you see the panel box I am posting about next.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Goodness, this is the same house with the register right in front of the back door?  I don't think they were thinking at all when they were building this house!

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) about 6 years ago

They were Kathryn, then they weren't and now they have to think again.  The horror.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

OK. I don't want to sound like I'm one-upping you, but I had a dishwasher that could only be completely opened IF the refrigerator door was standing open while you loaded the dishes, then the frig door could be closed again. Agents, buyers, and all walk thru visitors had not noticed this. The sellers just lived with it for years. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) about 6 years ago

Dude, like good catch dude.  So now they are only fixing code violations huh?

Posted by Justin Dibbs, REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale (Pearson Smith Realty) about 6 years ago

Fabulous Scott!  Did they invite the builder over for some lunch and ask him to get some dishes out of the washer for the meal?

Justin - for a while they demanded that I put the code in my reporting.  So I did.  After that, when there are code violations they simply say that the county approved it...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Code is one of those feel good myths in my opinion. People believe it encompasses all that is built or installed in a house, HA! not true. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 6 years ago

So not true Jim.  This contract says they will only fix "code violations."  Really?

Wait til tomorrow's post.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

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