Newer construction

I dont inspect many new homes. This was a model home that was built in 2004.

In the photos attached I wanted to ask about the following.

The exterior vents/outlets had no caulking.

The basement stair stringer was only nailed at the top. It had a railing but I thought there should be protective balusters.

The furnace had no serviceman shut off and the panel was more than 25 feet.

The gas fireplace had no glass doors installed. Isnt this required?

Noted a few cracked floor joists.

Why the air admittance valve. Is this a vent for the condensate drain. Also isnt a code now to drain into a drip cup. Being the house was 2004 was this required then?

Should the column have hardware attached to the main beam or is the weight of the home sufficient?

Are these legitamite items to note on the report?



Here are a few more photos.

The one is of the missing serviceman switch. Panel is across the basement.

The stair stringers. This is the only support. 5 nails on each side. Is this enough support.


Another couple questions.

When running the water at the 2nd floor bathroom there was visible debris(Looked like dirt) Could this of been from the main water line when it was installed?

Also the furnaces ducts where noisy. It sounded like the where expanding & contracting. Is this common?



Sorry to keep replying to my own post, but I need to be informed and this forum is an excellent tool for learning.

How can I tell if the unitrol valve is on the list of recalls when the tag is covered.

The tank was 2004. I was just going to attach the recall and let them figure it out with the builder.



My code check book says glass doors are required. Dont forget the damper has to be blocked open also.

My question is whether that is really a gas fireplace, the pipe coming in is a gas log lighter only. I think there is a difference.


Regarding the stairs, some device that will prohibit the passage of a 4" sphere is required. It doesn’t have to be a baluster.

IRC R312.2: "Required guard on open sides of stairways, raised floor areas, balconies and porches shall have intermediate rails or ornamental closures which do not allow passage of a sphere 4 inches (102mm) or more in diameter.

  1. The triangular openings formed by the riser, tread and bottom rail of a guard at the open side of a stairway are permitted to be of such a size that a sphere 6 inches (152 mm) cannot pass through.
  2. Openings for required guards on the sides of stair treads shall not allow a sphere 4 3/8 inches (107 mm) to pass through."

Looks to be a gas starter for a woodburning fireplace. I that is the case, don’t have to have glass doors, I believe. Height of descending handrails at steps should be between 34"-38", for fall-over protection. Didn’t see a natural gas shut-off near hearth. Is there one?


How long have you been inspecting? Most of the questions you are asking are quite basic and answers can be found in the Code Check books.

It has been said that if give a hungry man a fish you will feed him for that moment, if you teach him to fish, he will be able to feed himself in the future.

Here is my contribution regarding the vinyl siding trim


I don’t think anyone’d give you a lengthy argument against fastening the column flange to the I-beam.

The fireplace may or may not be a wood-burning fireplace. Many premanufactured fireplaces are not built for use with solid fuel. The gas fixture is standard here for gas-fired fireplaces. In the upper left corner or right corner (usually) of the metal framing, there should be a manufacturer’s plate. That will usually tell you the type of fuel the premanufactured fireplace is approved for.

Because all of San Diego County is rated as a high fire hazard area, my comments above might apply only to premanufactured fireplaces installed in San Diego County. I know we’re very tough on wood-burning fireplaces, so tough that some jurisdictions here will not approve the building or installation of wood-burning fireplaces.