What I'm Seeing Now

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Even Fire Can't Escape This Fire Escape

Even fire can't escape this fire escape.

Obviously a mistake was made during construction.

They framed a window into this basement wall.  Apparently it was unwanted, so they filled it with concrete.

From the inside this is a long, basement wall.  You wouldn't know a window was ever there!

I'm not sure why they kept the window well in place. 

Or filled the hole with rocks!

But there it is.  If this is a fire escape, it will have to find another spot!

What?  You say a fire escape isn't so fire can escape, it's so a fire can be escaped FROM?

Oh...

 

 

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 22 commentsJay Markanich • September 29 2012 02:35AM

Comments

Interesting.  I'd be wondering if that window well still contained the drainage to the foundation perimeter.  Where does water in the window well go?????  Why not just cap any drain piping and remove the well???

Curious.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Good thoughts all Lenn!  Built in the early 90s there is no drainage from the well.  I would remove the well altogether, paint the wall and hope it blends in!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Morning Jay I just don't have the words or thoughts to tell you what I think in this forum.  Thanks

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 5 years ago

Hmmm...it looks like someone was not really caring what this looked like.  I think your idea for the fix is far preferable.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) over 5 years ago

Well, James, I thought it was a funny picture!

Kathryn - but it's been like this for a long time, almost 20 years!  I would surely change it.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago
Hmm I recognize that picture. See you in a little while at hopefully an inspection with better results.
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 5 years ago

Jay, Definitely an odd site, but inertia makes it easier for the home owners just to leave it alone. After all, it's "always been that way".

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) over 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

Crazy who ever did it.......I know municipalities have at times seemed too tough w/changes in their U&O's.....yet in this case maybe not tough enough.

Posted by Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR, SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038) over 5 years ago

Good morning, Jay....it would have been a lot easier for them to fill it in with loam and grow grass than to lug rock and have a hideous looking area.

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) over 5 years ago

Cindy - ha!  Those units down there are very solid!  Remember I said this was a photo I could use when I didn't have anything happening?  This is it!

It has Bliz.  How fun to contain fire this way though...    ;>)

Dan - who knows when this was done, perhaps during construction.

It is nothing but ugly Barbara.  I would remove the well and fill it in!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

This is bizarre.  But, it does seem that people don't always think things through and they often no longer notice things like this on their own house.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 5 years ago

Hi Jay,

A change order while building often leaves a home with a "Why did they do that kind of thing".

Looks like you were the lucky inspector to find this one.

Have a good day in the D.C Metro and Bristow areas.

Best, Clint Mckie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 5 years ago

They probally left the well as a precaution against future leaks. The seams are far from water tight. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 5 years ago

Clueless...it looks like it was a window well of sorts...bad sorts...when it grew up...and started as a elf egress.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (Keller Williams 414-525-0563) over 5 years ago

Good morning Jay. Looks like a great place to raise mosquito's. Doesn't look like that well would have been big enough for an adult anyway but if you were in the basement during a fire it would be nice to be able to try.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 5 years ago

Jay, You can escape, just need a jack hammer first ;) Nice touch though on the well and stones.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Debbie - it may be the builder included a window the buyer did not want, but who knows?

Clint - it is a fun one!  I think that well has to go!

Jim - they probably aren't, but there is no moisture inside.

S&D - I think this one would contain the elves too!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Randy - the window there was probably one of those small, sliders.  Only small children could get out of those.

Don - those stone are certainly very decorative.  Very zen.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jay -- a very interesting process there.  They didn't try to get the cement to match what the foundation looks like on both sides.  I wonder if that window well surround is attached in the concrete?  Of course, once they get it out of the way, just a little dirt, and the grass will cover it over.   Also looks like it is at the very minimum allowed by VA for clearance from the siding.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 5 years ago

Steven - the smooshed it up as far as they could to the sill plate above.  I think the well is held in place by dirt!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

All I can say is "well now":)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

Now and since day one apparently, Shadow Dweller.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

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