Question of the Week - 17 July Time to play spot the issues!

Welcome to another round of Questions of The Week!

Looks like I finally stumped the Brainiacs out there?? So let’s run the questions for another week to see if there are any new Brainiacs out there!

Please read the Introduction and requirements, changes may have been made.

A member of the Awards Committee will post questions, at a random day/time.

Eligible members may make one post per question thread to answer the questions, and the eligible member’s winning entry must have all parts of the questions answered completely in that one post. Editing your one answer post allowed will result in disqualification.

Any disregard to the above and divulging the correct answers or giving hints/references will cause a disqualification.

First correct answers (as judged by the Awards Committee or Poster of the Questions) wins.
Request your choice by emailing and submit your Mailing address for shipping.

Choose your prize from the following list!:

** $50.00 gift certificate from Inspector Outlet
** Case of books "Now That You’ve had A Home Inspection"
** Seventeen Custom Branded Videos value $50.00 ~ your choice!

If no eligible winner after 48 hours the Questions will be open to all members.
Good luck and let’s play Spot The Issues!

Q1: What is wrong in these pictures and how would you handle this? To help the following items are noted.

–The first picture is looking toward the garage walk through door into the home. The second picture is looking from the entryway toward the garage.

–The garage only has an attic above it with a gabled roof and the gable end wall facing to the front of the home (to the right where the overhead doors are).

–Other than the sawn lumber the engineered wood is Boise Cascade I-Joists and as seen here a quad Versa-Lam LVL.

–Hangers are Simpson Strong-Tie.

–Exterior walls are ZipWall Structural sheathing.

–The home has two exterior HVAC condenser units.

–Wiring is copper 12/2 with ground.

Q2: The last picture was new construction and so is this but you may even see this on an existing home where they have not used gypsum board in the garage outer walls. This is the very corner of the garage and house. What’s wrong here?





Q3: What is this we’re looking at? What is the problem with it? To help the last image is from a Flir TG165. They’re useless for real thermal imaging but they have a whole heck of a lot of other uses like this one. Since you (or my client) could not be there to touchy feely things then a picture really is worth 1000 words! Some additional help the temperature outside was 85 Degrees Fahrenheit. The house is a 2007 build.


Q4: How many issues can you find here? Yep that’s the gas heater/air handler of the same unit in Q3 above.


Q5: This is from a new home final inspection. How many issues can you find in this picture?


Very good Manny. Should get a variety of answers on this one.

Great option for the question, Manny! Thanks for doing these, brother.

Where are all the Inspector Brainiacs this week?

I’ll start it off. I’m a member!
Pic #1 missing ceiling
Pic #2 exposed wires

1-quad beam support improper
2-fingers caught under bedplate
3-missing trap on drain allowing outside warm air entry
4-headboard missing frame and mattress
5-floor covering missing

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I like you guys, you’re funny!!

Good questions Manny, thanks for your time.

Looks like we finally stumped the Brainiacs out there so we’ll run it another week since we have no attempts and no winner!

You go, Manny! :grin:

Hell, I’ll give it a whirl.

  1. Lack of fire blocking at concealed ceiling space. Reference IRC Section R302.11 Fireblocking (draftstop may also apply)

  2. It appears the sill plate is splitting due to not bearing fully on the concrete. I don’t believe there is a specific code to reference this condition as incorrect, so I would recommend the client have the builder compare with the cross section detail of the drawings. I doubt an architect would design with this much offset.
    Anchor bolt missing washer & fastener, while stud is preventing fastening. Lastly, I would confirm the anchor bolt is far enough away from the end. (7 bolt diameters)

  3. Trap missing on primary drain & I think the secondary condensate drain line is attached to the primary drain port on the evaporator coil. (Can’t tell for certain) Otherwise, the primary is blocked. The temperatures depicted in the photo proves which line the condensateis traveling down.

  4. Primary condensate drain line not insulated, missing sediment trap at furnace. Picture gets fuzzy when I zoom in…

  5. Lack of insulation, excessive bends in flexduct, missing joist hangers, ceiling joist unsupported, horizontal run of plumbing vent not supported at appropriate intervals.

The last 2 photos blurred as I zoomed in on my phone so I may be making up issues that aren’t there, but it looks like it.

I like learning from this & you perspective. Thanks Manny!

Well now I’m back in the real world (lots happening in an alternate universe lately) and Brandon is the winner for last weeks QOTW! You’ve picked out some major issues and beyond what I was looking for. So here are the answers for the QOTW.

Answer 1: There are several items wrong here. To help determine this you would need to review the Boise Cascade (BC) documentation for their products (, the American Wood Council’s Wood Frame Construction Manual (AWC WFCM, the building codes (they require the use of BC docs and AWC docs), and to be 100% sure on at least one item the Engineer’s plan for the home.
–The paired BCI Joists are being side loaded but their webs have not been filled and the joists have not been fastened together. You can easily see they are not fastened because they are separating. A quick look with a flashlight between the separation displays no web filling. This is a BC requirement.

–If you look closely enough you will see that paired set of joists are warped/distorted when they reach the wall.

–The quad Versa-Lam’s are not being properly supported underneath them where they rest above the door corner as seen in the second picture. Here you would need the engineered plans to be sure and these plans did call for full width (across the entire beam) and height stud packs from top plate to bottom plate. The placement of this quad Versa-Lam beam now prevents that from happening. However even if you don’t have the plans you can see the Engineer’s intention, and the typical method of framing, by looking at the far side wall of the garage in the second picture where those Versa-Lam’s rest on the exterior wall top plate. There you have full width and height stud pack under them as well as under the built-up BCI Joists. When in doubt call it out!

This is a simple set of issues to handle as far as I see it. You just throw it right back to the Builder and recommend their Engineer of Record review these conditions and specify corrections. Also make sure your client knows to request a copy of this engineering review for their records. If the Engineer wants to bless this condition and put their stamp on a letter saying that then at that point it doesn’t matter what anyone else may think.

Answer 2: Most of these issues can be found in the AWC WFCM as well. Another source you really need to be familiar with are the Building Codes or you will miss at least one of these items. I am sure many of you have the Code Check series as a reference so why not obtain and become familiar with the full building code manual?

–The anchor bolt is missing its washer and nut.

–Studs are not cut to full length to have full bearing on the baseplate.

–The baseplate is not fully bearing on the foundation and is overhanging it.

–The baseplate is cracked (and all the way through although you can’t see that here).

–Stud bottom ends are being shattered/damaged during nailing.

Answer 3: What you’re looking at is a Cowboy mounted evap coil case. Here in Texas we like to lasso them to the attic rafters. YeeHaw! What you’re seeing is a complete blockage of the primary condensate discharge point inside of the evap coil case with the condensate discharging through the secondary above a window outside. If you were there you can easily feel the cold secondary and warm primary. Since you’re not the TG165 image should help you get the feel of it (pun intended). Also check out the rust and condensation around that bottom cabinet seam and in the pan below. That’s been leaking air for awhile now around the unsealed opening where the refrigerant lines enter. This is original to the home and that case appeared to never have been opened. I fully expect it to be nasty in there!

Answer 4: This should be a gimme question.

–Personal possessions, flammables, and debris improperly stored in the attic. Heck that was nothing compared to what was around the access opening!

–PEX water lines across the access decking. Although you can’t see the PEX plumbing about the only thing that might be insulated in an attic are water lines.

–Loose decking.

–Insulation disruption.

–No curbs around the decking preventing insulation from being placed at proper depth and maintained there.

–AC condensate lines not insulated and dripping to the materials below.

–Gas line to heater without a proper sediment trap.

Answer 5: There was some real nice work there but the only issue answer I’m looking for here here is they seemed to forget something. There’s no insulation!


Congrats to Brandon Feltner!

Congrats Brandon! :smiley:

Congratulations, Brandon!

Where have you been Larry, playing in somebody else’s sandbox? :grinning:

Congratulations, Brandon!

Hey, thanks fellas! Things have been so busy I didn’t even realize.

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