What does it mean looks can be deceiving?

Dan, did those 2 HIs “get creamed” for moving some stuff or not moving some stuff to find what was hidden?

Randy, it sounds to me that the HI in your case history operated within our SoP. HIs typically don’t move stuff for the obvious reason that stuff can break when we start moving it around. That doesn’t change the value of your post which still has a great lesson in it, but it seems that the HI didn’t make a big mistake based on the parameters that we operate within.
On those occasions when property sellers/owners have been present for my inspection, I’ve gotten permission to move things or they have moved them for me when I have had a suspicion of something hidden, but during most inspections for a buyer-client, the home owner is not present to move anything or give permission.

“Hollow Tile” Terra-Cota blocks were quite popular post WW11 and Korea, especially among returning GIs who built their own homes (as did my Dad and Uncle). Fairly light weight, surprisingly strong when properly oriented (the hollows in vertical position, like CMU block). The product was usually produced locally, in areas where there was sufficient raw material. Typically in river basin areas where there was plenty of clay - like that used to make bricks. I remember going with Dad to Eastern Terra-Cota in Perth Amboy NJ to pick up a pick-up truck load at a time, which was enough block for a weekends work. Had to do it that way, the Vets were working at “regular jobs” during the week. As I said, it was an inexpensive product and why pay for a delivery truck? It was interesting times!

NOT moving / removing stuff to see behind

Wow! Gotta say that is a new one to me. I wonder if there is more to those stories than they didn’t move stuff.

Not really … For example, seller has 1 room in the basement OR one side of garage FILLED with boxes, furniture, etc from wall-to-wall and 6’ high. Inspector is not in the moving business, so he doesn’t move the stuff. Buyer is present and see’s whats there. Buyer closes and moves in … Guess what there is MOLD under the stuff OR a 1" wide 1" high offset in the concrete slab. Seller is long gone BUT the inspector is still there and becomes the scrapegoat

I see what you mean. I’ve had similar come up a few times, but it never went anywhere when I said that I can’t inspect what I can’t see.

Just make sure that you take pictures of all areas that are not accessible for your record and document in your report.

Like Marcel said thats why you take a lot of pics even if you don’t use them in your report to CYA when a nutsy shows up 3-6 months AFTER you’ve been there

Here is a 1928 home in Glen Cove, Long Island, NY where the entire house is constructed of Terracotta Blocks as you can see in the attic. The outside is a stucco clad home.

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