My first PAID inspection and a serving of humble pie

And holy sh.t did it kick my ass. Ive been basically working on it for 12hrs. now. 8 of it on site. I missed some dumb easy stuff, but its not required by the SOP so i think im in the clear on that?!? Hopefully lessoned learned.

The house was a EXTREMELY poorly maintained Condo (owner and h.o.a.) listed as an investor special, but at least it was relatively new, 2001. I definitely got flustered and spent way more time running up and down the stairs than i should have.

Anyway the only real question i have yet is about the support of the landing going down to the basement. The walls surrounding it are “floating”. Existing support is metal strips hanging from above (2 on each side) and what looks like powder actuated nails into the foundation. It “looks” like could be adequate but i would like some second opinions.

Roast Away!!!


Don’t try to pick out every defect.
Think dimensional and orientate components.
Columns, Beams, Joists. Studs.
Observation: 1: Stairway landing ‘Missing columns.’
2: Poorly fastening and support at critical intersections.
3: Joist hanger Fasteners not perpendicular.
4: Suspect ledger fastening.
Recommend: A licensed general contractor evaluate and improve stairway and landing defects.


There is nothing wrong with that. I see it often.


Ryan. No worries. Inspection and reporting just gets easier and faster with experience. I spent 10 hours writing my first report. The next one was a lot faster; and so on. You seem to be very detailed and observant and that is a good place to start. With experience you will get more efficient. Eventually you may actually have fun on an inspection and be very comfortable and confident. Give it some practice and don’t worry about the first few taking a lot of time. You got this. :+1:


Yes, Ryan, we all started out slower and got faster as we learned more.

Maybe, try to set a routine. Like, when you get to the house, start on the out side and go clock-wise and the same with the interior, go clock-wise. And don’t vary from it as best as you can.

Give the buyer a clipboard, pen and tape measure and tell him/her to write down their questions if you are not where they are and you will answer them when you get there or at the end of the inspection when you are going over the report with them…

I tried to leave the crawlspace for last because it was usually messy and, when doing the attic, take old sheets to put down on the floor and cover clothes in the closet and the take them outside to shake them out when done.

Just some thoughts. :smile:


Hi Ryan, Larry has good advice about establishing a routine. It could be outside first, inside first, top to bottom, clockwise/counterclockwise, etc. Get YOUR routine established and do it the same for each inspection. Then you will minimize missing things and reduce backtracking as well as optimizing your time.

The old sheet that Larry suggests is a good idea. I also carry a small cordless vacuum to pick up any insulation etc. that miss the sheets.
Good luck !

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You’re allowed to run those in Ohio? :grin:


only with supervision from a qualified electrical inspector…


Thanks for the advice and encouragement. Being that it was a fixer upper definitely didn’t help. Luckily most of the equipment/appliances were in decent shape. I kept talking to myself “if you jump around, you’re gonna miss something”. :joy:


Is there anyone you would recommend? :grin:

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What am I missing here. I don’t see anything wrong. Powder actuated nails that fasten the ledger to the concrete. Framed 2x4 stud support under the stair landing. Rest of the framing holding up drywall.


One down hope you have many more. Hope you have good reporting software. Software helps you organize your report and use pre-developed comments and/or save your own comments for use again. It’s then easy to modify those comments to fit your need rather than rewrite everything. Good luck we have all been where you are.

The landing is supported by the nails and the straps, the 2x4s are floating. That’s his concern.

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Richard, it is nice to see you on our forum again…hope to hear from you more often…Enjoy! :smile:

There’s a framed wall under the landing, though.


Hey Ryan I always recommend the stringers to be attached with the simpson metal stringer hangers for additional support. I would also mention that all ledgers should be attached with Lag screws or bolts.


That’s a floating system. It’s all hanging from above.

You probably are aware that individual concrete nails sometimes split the concrete and hence your concern.

Worst case scenario remediation could be installing a support wall under the ledger board, like Darren pointed out in his pictures, supporting the other cement wall side of the landing. From your pictures it is difficult to see if the stair side of the landing support wall fully traverses under the support joists on both sides.

Congrats on your first inspection man! As it was said before don’t try to pick everything out. Set a routine and as you go through more inspections you will alter your report and how you do the routine to shave time off. I remember my first one and I had a an old panel of nightmares but because it was my first one I was over eager to please and put myself in danger trying to get the cover off. Also, Investor Special usually means you are in for a long day lol.

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[quote=“jfudge, post:7, topic:163187”]

Too funny! On a side note, I found our old friend Mr. Parks trolling several home inspector Facebook groups.