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What's in Your Attic?
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I wish I could take the credit for this page. However, my regular readers deserve all the credit. I kept getting request for "Pictures of the Week" that they had missed and wanted to see. Several readers requested a Houston Home Builder Hall of Shame. I couldn't agree more. I have forgot who some were, but the ones below are the memorable ones. (Note: There are quite a few pictures on this page, if you're using dial up it may take several minutes to download the pictures, we promise the wait will be worth it!)
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This is probably the most famous "Picture of the Week". This guy was Supervising a work crew. He slept the entire time I did the inspection and the workers woke him up just before leaving.
Most anyone knows not to put a A/C compressor under your dining room window. Plus, any competent builder should know these things need air space. What was the builders reaction when my client told them it didn't have proper air space around the unit? "Take it or leave it, we're not changing it".
The Red "X" is a load bearing wall that is carrying the weight of the roof. The Yellow "X" is triple joist that were suppose to be under the load bearing wall to support it. The White circle indicates there is only one stud below the 3 joist where there should have been 3. How did the city inspector and the builders "Quality Assurance" inspector miss this? This is a structural nightmare waiting to happen.
This Hall of Shame member is from the Baytown area. I doubt seriously if the incompetent person who installed this furnace had a license. I also doubt the builder really cared. Where was the city inspector or the builders "Quality Assurance" inspector? They probably never went into the attic.
This Hall of Shame goes to the Houston City Inspector who green tagged the final electrical inspection of this home and failed to notice that the ground wire for the electrical system was not connected to the ground rod, which was directly below his feet when he put this green tag on the meter box!
Oh Crap!
Unfortunately, these "Little Presents" are left at way to many new homes we inspect by unsupervised sub-contractors.
As our motto says "What's in Your Attic?" or closet, or garage, or under the living room carpet......
I find about a dozen flues off of fireplaces each year. This is a one year warranty inspection where the homeowner had been using his gas log system quite a bit. I have no doubt if he'd been burning wood his home would have went up in flames. Why didn't the builders "Quality Assurance" inspectors or the city catch this? They would actually have to look up the flue!
Undersized bracing for these rafters on a high end home in Houston. The builders response was "The city ok'd it, that's good enough for us". This roof will likely be sagging within a couple years if not corrected! The IRC code clearly states that purlins are required to be sized as rafters.
This breaker box had passed the City of Houstons final electrical inspection and the builders "Quality Assurance" inspection!! The main feeder had shorted out against the side of the panel box and burned a hole in the box itself.  What was their solution? To put a piece of wood between the cable and the box!! I guess they figured it needed help to start a fire!
Another example of a builder that did not install the windows correctly. Builder rarely install windows correctly.
30% to 40% of the new homes we inspect have at least one window that has signs of moisture intrusion. The builders solution? Apply more caulk to the outside!!! (that is the builders solution for most intrusion problems)
Every undercounter sink in this $750,000 home was installed wrong (there are no clips or other support holding the sinks in place). The only thing holding up the sinks were caulk around the top.  Guess what happens when you put all your China in the sink at once or when the caulk fails?

Home Builder Hall of Shame

There was no lintel or flashing above this window. How the builders inspectors and the city inspectors overlooked this is a mystery. Water literally poured into these Townhome when it rained. Mold had the perfect climate to prosper.