Tag Archives: All Islands Home Inspections

DOING YOUR ELECTRICAL WORK? BE CAREFUL!

Surprisingly, electrical issues are common discoveries at home inspections, with the most common being improperly wired switches, outlets, and handyman/unprofessional wiring practices. Purchasing an outlet tester (costs less than $10) is a simple, quick way to determine if your home’s outlets are correctly wired. You’ll probably be surprised to find a few in your home! Unless you’re entirely confident and competent, I recommend hiring a licensed, bonded, and insured electrician to perform any and all electrical work. 

If you DIY and your work doesn’t appear professional (think PERFECT), it will likely be called out by a home inspector when your home is sold. Competent electricians are fastidious and “fussy” with their work (it’s their signature after all), and there’s nothing better than a “fussy” electrician I like to say! 

Be sure to check with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, as most electrical work requires a permit and final inspection. Permits are easily obtainable and inexpensive. Furthermore, having a third-party review of electrical work is just another layer of safety and insulation against potential future electrical issues. Plus, it’s the law! Finally, for the DIY homeowners out there, a great book is “For Pros by Pros: Wiring a House by Rex Cauldwell. I’ve relied on this book for years of building and remodeling. It’s excellent!

If you have questions or comments about electrical work, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

WATCH YOUR STEP: HANDYMAN RAMP NEEDS REPAIR

Frequently, handyman construction practices are undertaken to make life easier for home residents. A lot of the time, these “fixes” work just fine. Occasionally, however, there needs to be corrective action taken because of safety concerns.

I encountered just such a scenario during a recent home inspection on Fidalgo Island. I noticed handyman construction practices at a ramp from the garage interior to the home, which I considered a potential safety issue because the boards deflected a lot when I walked on them. When I note these types of things, I always recommend further evaluation and repair by a qualified contractor in my reports.

If you have questions or comments about handyman construction practices, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: EARLY MORNING VIEW

On Saturdays throughout the year, I hope to give you a peek of what I see as a home inspector traveling around San Juan, Island, Whatcom, and Skagit counties through photos and videos I’ve taken along the way.

I’m sure if you know or live in Northwest Washington, you probably feel the same about how special it is here. That’s why I invite you to share your Northwest Washington imagery! Simply take your picture or video showing why you appreciate the region, and tag it with #AllIslandsLife on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

GOOD TRY, BUT SOME REPAIRS ARE BEST LEFT TO THE PROS

While I appreciate it when homeowners attempt to take on handyman repairs on their own, sometimes it’s best to leave things to the professionals.

Case in point: during a recent inspection on Shaw Island, I noticed handyman plumbing practices at a copper supply line within the kitchen sink base cabinet. Its execution left a bit to be desired. 

If you have questions or comments about plumbing issues, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

CUT IT OUT: SUPPORT COLUMNS NOT PROPERLY INSTALLED

At times, handyman repairs in crawl spaces can be quite, well, interesting. This especially rings true for older homes, which frequently showcase repairs made decades earlier using a variety of methods and materials.

Even relatively newer homes can surprise as well. Recently, during an inspection in Friday Harbor, I came across unconventionally shimmed support columns in a 1995-built home. The columns were likely incorrectly cut when installed, so shimming had to compensate for the issue. There was also some minor settling that may have contributed to the situation as well.

I recommended the potential buyer bring in a qualified contractor to further evaluate and make necessary repairs. Furthermore, because we live in a seismically active area, I encouraged them to consider installing metal support hardware for improved security. 

If you have questions or comments about structural issues, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: NOT A BAD WAY TO END THE DAY

On Saturdays throughout the year, I hope to give you a peek of what I see as a home inspector traveling around San Juan, Island, Whatcom, and Skagit counties through photos and videos I’ve taken along the way.

I’m sure if you know or live in Northwest Washington, you probably feel the same about how special it is here. That’s why I invite you to share your Northwest Washington imagery! Simply take your picture or video showing why you appreciate the region, and tag it with #AllIslandsLife on Twitteror Facebook.

If you have questions or comments about home inspections in general, tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).

Fun Fact Friday!

Sunflowers can help clean radioactive soil. Japan is using this to rehabilitate Fukashima. Almost 10,000 packets of sunflower seeds have been sold to the people of the city.

A single strand of Spaghetti is called a “Spaghetto”.

If you cut down a cactus in Arizona, you be penalized up to 25 years in jail. It is similar to cutting down a protected tree species.

IN A ‘JAMB’?: DOOR ISSUES RARELY INDICATE STRUCTURAL ISSUES

Uh oh: Your door is not closing properly.

It used to work seamlessly, but now it doesn’t stay open or close correctly. Perhaps it rubs against the floor or its jamb. What’s changed? What’s wrong? Is the structural integrity of my home at-risk? Why is this happening? 

Oh no!

Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but sometimes doors that don’t function properly can cause homeowners great concern. Problematic doors are a particularly common issue for historic homeowners. However, most of the time, the causes and solutions for fixing the problem are simple—and not of structural concern.

Recently, while inspecting a house in Skagit County, I came upon this issue. A bedroom door in the home was rubbing against its jamb. In my report, I recommended that a qualified contractor further evaluate the door and make any needed repairs. I also noted the issue didn’t appear to be of any significant structural concern.

Case (and door) closed.

If you have questions or comments about interior door issues, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

A SPECIAL INVITATION TO MY READERS

Hello, All Islands blog readers! I want to extend a special invitation to you today: if you ever think of any topics you’d like me to cover or questions you’d like me to answer, please let me know. I mean it. My goal is to provide you with the most helpful information possible.

Additionally, I invite you to connect with me in other ways, too. I’ve listed my social media channels below. Please take a look. Thanks for reading!

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Do you have questions or comments about home inspections in general? Go “All” in and tweet us (@AIHomeInspect).