If spaces are impossible to get to and not visible to the home inspector, a camera can sometimes see where the home inspector can't!
On a recent flip I noticed the upper room of a Cape Cod, which in this house was divided into two "bedrooms," looked different.
You know the space - each room is basically pentagonal shaped, with 4' high side walls, an angled ceiling, and here the flat ceiling at the top was about 2' wide.
I saw where some drywall was new and other drywall was not. There were some new receptacles.
The usual accesses, on each side of the room's 4' high wall there is usually an access. And also another small one in the ceiling.
But here, there were NO accesses.
Were they drywalled over? I had to think so. Intentionally? I had to wonder.
Tapping on the walls and ceiling the drywall sounded bare. Could there be no insulation there?
There was a small closet upstairs.
And in the back wall of that closet was a small, covered hole.
It was large enough to get my hand in, along with a camera. Digital cameras are conveniently small these days! They are a home inspector Best Practice.
Reaching around, and turning it both directions, I snapped a few photos.
And reaching up I found I could get the camera into the cavity between two roof rafters.
Well, my, my, my! Shazam!
There was no insulation on the 4' wall in any photo. And in either direction! I picked one that showed that clearly.
Similarly, above, and all along the angled ceiling section, there is no insulation! Um, not to code.
This is a level of the house nearly devoid of insulation! How do you think those rooms will feel in winter and summer? Um, not to code.
To top it off, the new receptacles may have all been like the one in the photo above - attached to nothing! That one is merely stuck into the drywall. Have they all been? Um, not to code.
Only one HVAC register existed, in the corner of one room. The other room had none. And there was no return on that level. These are a couple of very hot and very cold rooms! Um, not to code.
Does the flipper know this?
I BET HE DOES! THAT'S WHY THERE IS NO ACCESS TO ANY ATTIC AREA! MY TRUST LEVEL DOESN'T EVEN EXTEND AS FAR AS I CAN MAKE THIS FLIPPER/SELLER FLIP!
My recommendation: a home inspection can be invaluable even if it only finds one problem in a house! The lack of insulation in this third level was not the only problem, but a HUGE problem! This would have been one very, very uncomfortable space. Next question - how is the insulation behind the new walls in the rest of the house? YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT I THINK.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560