Unique Home Inspection!

I’m looking forward to this job, which I have lined up for Monday morning. It’s a BC Electric Rail Sub Station, converted into a home. Built in 1910. The MLS listing is below…


And here’s a virtual tour…


[FONT=Tahoma]Should be fun! Solid walls with all the plumbing and mechanical exposed! What could be easier! :smiley: [/FONT]

With that virtual tour and the photo gallery, you shouldn’t even have to leave your house for this one:D

I know! My report’s already half-done!

It looks haunted!!! BooOOooOoOoooOOooo! Dont go in alone!! :shock:

1st issue, no handrail on front steps. anyone spot anything else? There sure is quite a few different building materials used inside, and sure is plenty of space! Check back with us Arne and tell how it went.

Aren’t those concrete handrails running down both sides?

I would say the chicken wire all the way around the loft to correct the spacing between the railings would be an issue.

Also, the doorway coming into the living room from the small entryway is extremely high with no step or ramp or anything. Looks like a major trip hazard to me.

Those are the two big ones that stood out to me in the 34 seconds I was looking at it. There are also issues with most of the electrical outlets I saw.

Oh, and I LOVE unique homes like this. They do present unique problems however.

It DOES look haunted… “Scoooooby”!!!

The page wire railing in the loft jumped out at me too - the whole railing up there may need an “extreme makeover - power station edition”. I think this is going to be a case of “what did the builder try and accomplish in adapting a commercial application to residential… did he make it work… and is it safe”. That step-up you mention poses a problem for me too, Wendy… but nothing perhaps a small landing wouldn’t fix. I wouldn’t want to step OUT of that door, half-asleep! As for the electrical, we’ll see… from the tiny pics in the virtual tour it looks like the externally-mounted receptacles are EMT, which while “industrial”, should be okay… unless I’m missing something?

As for the handrail at the front… I’d call the sides rails too… but even so, a tubular steel rail running right up the center might be appropriate.

I’m really looking forward to this! This is a really unique opportunity around these parts!



Hi Arne!

I think the electrical outlets look like they have gaps around them, but it’s too difficult to see, so I don’t know. I’m sure that unless the kitchen had a full makeover, there will be issues with GFCI’s throughout there and the bathrooms as well. Lots to see and lots to potentially miss as well eh? :wink:

You have a great time! I’d be thrilled to get to tour the place no matter what. :slight_smile: I saw a railway station in Az. on the net that was sold by the gov’t for one dollar! It was renovated and the track moved away so it is an extroardinary home now! :slight_smile: What a deal for a dollar! :slight_smile:

Wow! That is WAY cool!! You’re gonna be there a while, though. Too many OBVIOUS defects to mention, though I will add that the downspouts on the back patio would make me look for moisture issues along the back lower wall.

Except that I think the lower back wall is about 14" of solid concrete! Haha! I’ll know more on Monday!

The receptacles will be interesting! If they used a box that’s supposed to be installed IN a wall, but mounted it on the outside, so long as it is totally enclosed would you call this out?

In Canada, while GFCI’s are manditory in bathrooms, they aren’t in kitchens… although I usually comment on that as a “recommended upgrade”.

It’s listed for $800k, which - for 12,000 square feet - is a pretty good price per square!

You want a tour? Hop in your car and come on up! I’m only about three hours north of Seattle!

Don’t be arrogant…

Typical these old structures have many problems…

Be careful…

Know your safety and building code!

Converting an old commerical building to safe living structure takes alot of work and money.


Thanks John. The day that I realized that I can be arrogant because I now know everything, was the day I realized that I know nothing! :slight_smile:

I’ve actually invited a second pair of eyes along. My instructor/mentor from when I went through my own training always said… “If you ever come across anything real interesting that you think I haven’t done before, call me!”. So I shoot him an email and say that I think this qualifies. It does… he’s going to come along… and it turns out that he’s done two of these… including this very one! Show off!

I realize that you are excited and having fun wtih this, but you need to remember that this home was built in 1910 and not 2007, although there are many upgrade over the years. IMHO this will be a much more difficult inspection than you may anticipate. While it may be easy to tear it apart because it does not meet most current codes, you need to remember that it was not built to most current codes, and there will be a lot of peculiarites to this home. I wish you luck and good fortune on this inspection.

Nope… I’m starting early and expect to be there the better part of the day! I could fit 5 or 6 average sized homes INSIDE of this one… never did I think it was going to be an easy day.

Good thing because I’m not a code inspector. I look at new homes with new eyes and old homes with old eyes… goes without saying. As far as peculiar… absolutely! For me, it’s all about (a) what is it designed to do? (b) does it work? © and if so, safely?

Thanks for your comments… appreciate them. And don’t worry about me being able to laugh… I take my work much more seriously than I take myself. :slight_smile:

I hate dial up

Well Arne, how fun was it?:smiley:

I might just take a drive one of these days. :slight_smile: