Breaking Point?

To be clear and upfront, I’m still taking my Pre-Requisites here for my NHIE. I am still a sub-contractor in residential remodeling. That being said, what’s your breaking point?

I ask only because I hit mine the other day. I’ve been trying to let it go, but I do believe I’m morally stuck…
Long story short, we walked into the persons house to help with some major repairs. As soon as we walked in, our new guy ran out the front door dry heaving and trying not to throw up. The stench of decay, ammonia (from the cat urine), dog manure, and spoiled/rotten foods plagued the air. It was HORRID. However, I remained respectful, courteous, and professional. We finished our walk through, and in a few days came back to begin our work.

There will always be a “worse” situation. Normally, I don’t care how bad a place is. But I care for sake of anothers life. The owners had moved out, but most of their property was still in the home as they were still working on getting it all out. Over the course of the two weeks we were there. We never once seen the animals fed, watered, or let out. So we started doing it ourselves. The dogs were so hungry they were eating their own feces as they went… Naturally this made me LIVID. I went to the guy who’s over seeing the work, a buddy of mine. Explained everything, and how the smell of decay is getting so bad that it’s making our heads throb at this point. He agrees and calls us outside to stop working. The stench was from a python being forgotten in a 75lbs tank, and it began to rot.The tile we had to rip up was so saturated in animal urine that both levels of sub-floor beneath it was complete rotted through and extremely orange/yellow. There’s so much urine upstairs that it rusted some kind of nut and bolt to the floor. When you walk, it sounds like velcro. The garage they just threw all their garbage in, and dumped the used litter into a big pile in the middle. Leaving the garage door cracked for neighborhood cats to use it too. There’s so much more, but you get the point. The owners are 100% of sound body and mind. They just don’t care.

Typically I work it all. I don’t care how gross the home, crawl, attic, shed, garage, nor anything else is. If you’re paying me to get a job done, I’ll get that job done. But all of that topped off with the decay in a house that has no ventilation or power. I officially found my “NOPE” house. We won’t be back until its deep cleaned and they’re moved out.

What’s your horror stories? The worse of the worse. Tell me your grittiest, dirtiest, “Not doing it” house. Even if it’s before your Inspection days.


Well, you covered just about everything. That one is going to be hard to top :rofl:


Yup, sounds like my nastiest homes all combined, plus a whole bunch more. :rofl:


Makes me cringe to think about it.

1 Like

I’d make a call on the bastards.
Animal cruelty/abuse.


I got bombarded in another thread for saying I’d walk away from something similar but I will say it again here….naw, not me. I don’t need $400 that bad. Refund and wave goodbye.


Ohhhhh that’ll be happening. We gathered plenty of evidence too. Buddy of mine is taking care of it.


Ever notice how fast the authorities move in on animal abuse but when it comes to children there are so many hurdles to get over before they are rescued?


Sadly, yeah. I know someone who worked with CPS, she left and went to childrens therapy. Mostly because of that issue right there.

Years ago, when I was first starting out, I was doing a ton of insurance inspections. They sent me a property that happened to have a puppy mill. The workers allowed me in one building for about two minutes, before telling me I could not see the inside of any building. They also requested that I not take pictures. I refused their request. Like Anthonie’s post, the smell was so bad that I was gagging.

As soon as I got to my car, I called the manager for the company that I was contracted through. I told him that I know that the rules state that if I report the puppy mill that I would be fired. He confirmed that I would and also told me to edit out anything in the report that mentioned it. It was my best “not doing this” decision that I have ever made. It took somewhere between 40-50 different phone calls before I was able to get someone to go out and investigate. They did end up shutting them down though.


I went into one that had 3 feet at the front and up to about 5 ft of garbage at the back of the living room. Blocking most of the doors. Open food cat containers and urine everywhere. I wore a respirator the entire time. Looked closer at the garbage pile because it was moving from thousands of cockroaches. The basement also had about 10" of sewage and water

1 Like

They threatened to fire you over reporting an unsafe puppy mill? That sucks. Thank you for helping those animals anyways though! That’s crazy.

As soon as I see more than just a few roaches. I instantly suit up! Haha. That’s horrid though! Roaches, fleas, and bed bugs, all nope bugs. Lol.

We were reminded multiple times that we are not mandatory reporters and what we saw was none of our business… Obviously, the puppy mill does not fall under the mandatory reporter umbrella, but if it deals with children or animals, I’m doing something about it.

1 Like

EXACTLY! Even if it’s an anonymous tip. Something should be done.

I guess I’m a prima-donna on this. I don’t go into nasty houses, wet crawlspaces, attics filled with friable ACM or heavy mold, etc. I even quit doing new construction phase inspections on houses with no walks, drives, patios poured yet AND no grass or sod in place AND solid mud around the house.

I’ve walked several times AND we don’t go in the hood.


I’ve always been the type of person that’s “well, someone has to do it.” And laugh about it as I go. Some day, I do imagine I’ll be the same as you are now. There’s no wrong preference, only individual ones.

I’m a firm believer in “well, someone has to do it.” , BUT not me


I have 3 brand new homes for rent on my website. No pets, no smokers.

Some people can have pets and smoke and somehow their home is fine. Others can’t do either.