I can't believe this one!

Did an inspection on a 1956 ranch in a nearby suburb. It had a 25 x 25’ rear addition, added subsequently. The house was structural brick with a frame addition covered with T-111. The original was over a dirt crawl with a full basement under the addition.

The grade around the rear addition was all poured concrete, but was only about 1/2" below the T-111 and there was evidence of old Great Stuff in the gap.

In the basement:

  • 2 x 10 floor joists with a doubled 2 x 12 central beam. The beam was supported by the foundation walls and 2 4 x 4 wooden posts with no footings, just resting on the slab (but no cracks in the slab floor, surprisingly).
  • On the east (right) side, the original joists were severly notched, but sistered. The sisters were only 4’ long and held to the original joists by 1/4" carriage bolts.
  • There were only 5 sill plate bolts, non of which with washers or nuts, and none on the north side. The sill plate was not treated lumber. The sill plate was lifted and twisted (at most, 30 degrees). There were places where there was as much as a 1 1/2" gap between the sill plate and the foundation wall. Sunlight was clearly visable in some spots.
  • The top of the foundation had a brick ledger, but the ledge was on the inside, not the outside.
  • The top of the foundation wall was 1/4" higher than the exterior concrete patio. This patio was sloped towards the house. I turned on a hose and 5 minutes later there was a waterfall over the foundation into the basement.

The buyer was an electrician. Took me 15 minutes to convince him that a) this was messed up and b) he might want to walk away.

Shortest report I ever wrote. Just a cover sheet and a 1 1/2 page introduction explaining the major bullet points.

Busy time, these last two weeks, but most of the houses were rear POS’s, with silly, stupid and dangerous issues.


  • Backdrafting water heater.
  • Condensate and humidifier drain emptying, directly, to crawlspace.
  • Portion of ductwork in crawlspace (about 2’) artfully constructed of duct tape.
  • Bathrooms exhausts venting to attic.
  • Stab-loc panel dead front almost completely embedded in the drywall mud.
  • Service drop rubbing on garage roof. Drop only 9’ above driveway.
  • BUT: All new kitchen cabinets and granite countertops, Toto toilets with bidets, really nice tile in the shower enclosures and all that other flipper crap.


I will now gently settle into an alcoholic stupor. :mrgreen:

Glad it is not just me.
Been getting the unusual lately.
This stuff seems to have a pattern .

Would love to have plain old Bungalows and 1920’s 2 flats right now.

Doing a 1880’s total remodel to cathedral ceilings with eifs front and sitting in a vaulted sidewalk area Sunday.

I sent you a couple IR referrals today, one for a parapet wall issue and one for a moisture intrusion/brick wall moisture problem. I’m heading south for a week of R and R.

But it’s been that way for 50+ years and I never had a problem!! Sound familiar? You deal killer, lol. Wow, the wire shelf was the safest item I saw, as it was empty. LOL

Got one. Thanks.

Did he give you written permission to skip regular SOP items since you shortened it ?

I realize it is OK with the guy but is there a chance he could change his mind and decide he wants the full report ?

Contract ammended to state “limited inspection at client’s request”.

Just got an e-mail from the client’s wife:

"Hello -

M** and I are so grateful to you for your keen insight and honesty regarding the 75** Ch**l property inspection. Thank you so much for having our best interests - we really dodged a bullet on this.

Although we really liked the house and had many plans for it, we realize it was not meant to be and that the right house will come our way. Your detailed report on the structural issues were eye-opening and it scares us to think that someone may not have an inspector as savvy as you should they decide to buy that house. We will recommend that the seller’s agent receives a copy of your report so no one makes a costly mistake in buying that place.

You came highly recommended by Lynn ***** and we certainly will recommend you to others who need an inspection for their property. M*** enjoyed meeting you and was very impressed with you. We look forward to using your services again when we find the “right” home for us.


Seems OK with the inspection to me, wouldn’t you say?

Just making sure your on top of it .
I should have done the same thing for a place from last weekend that I spent forever doing the report on.
They are not buying thanks to the boatload.
Posted some of the roof shots here.

Iron on Iron, Bob. We agrevate each other to make each of us better.

I figured you kinda knew that.
Two smart guys and neither one of us learned to spell.
Thanks CPS

Maybe closing 49 schools and giving the survivors ipads will churn out the brightest talent in the country now eh ?

Sometimes you just need a good bulldozer.

I’m glad they thanked you. I had a similar experience and the clients walked away from some serious potential problems I pointed out to them. Sure enough I inspected his next choice too. Trust and integrity win every time.:smiley:

Good point. I had 3 inspections, these last 2 weeks, where the owners had enclosed their back porch and used it for living space. Looked rearl good, clean and well done, but the foundation was just porch footings and not the foundation required for live and dead loads of living space. I pointed this out and explained that it really could not be made “legal” unless you completely rebuilt it. The buyers, and their agents get upset with me. Hey, at least if they buy it and it turns into a mess, I am off the hook.

Although I had a client 4 months ago where there was no access to under the porch area. After they moved in they looked in there and found a mess with all sorts of debris and rotted wood. They demanded that I fix it, but I just pointed them to my report. Needless to say, they were also mad.

I am beginning to think that some people are just too lazy, stupid or ignorant to own a house.