Tag Archives: san juan county


In the spirit of the spooky season, I’ve compiled a few home inspection-related stories to get you in the mood. Just remember: home inspection reports don’t have to be scary as long as you keep them in context. 

Happy (scary) reading! Boo!

Author: Family Handyman

Title: “110 Super Scary Home Inspector Nightmare Photos

Recommended Because: When you are a seasoned home inspector, you see it all. This is a catalog of some seriously scary things—including many examples of things I’ve come across in my career (I’m not kidding).

Author: Realtor.com

Title: “10 Scariest Things a Home Inspector Might Find in Your House

Recommended Because: A nice rundown of things that go bump…in your bank account.

Author: InspectorPro Insurance

Title: “Top 3 Scary Home Inspection Stories

Recommended Because: Snakes. Rats. Haunted houses. Home inspectors share their scary stories. 

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


It’s easy to take hot water for granted, but did you know it’s important to maintain your water heater annually? Whether you have a tankless or conventional water heater—electric, propane or gas—annual maintenance is essential for safety reasons, efficient/reliable operation, and to extend the serviceable life of the appliance. Here’s a great DIY resource giving tips and advice about maintaining water heaters. 

And, here’s a tip: If you have an electric water heater, consider purchasing replacement elements and thermostats (they’re inexpensive) and storing them next to the water heater. In this way, you’re prepared to quickly and easily replace elements/thermostats to restore hot water without making a long trip to the hardware store (fingers crossed that they have what you need). You’ll be a hero restoring hot water quickly, trust me! Finally, if you ever notice that your water heater tank is leaking or corroding, that’s your tell sign that the water heater is at end-of-life and requires replacement ASAP.   

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


Sometimes, I see the nuttiest things when it comes to handyman repairs. Case-in-point: I recently came across a pair of metal corrugated flue pipes on a rooftop in San Juan County that penetrated the chimney chase.

Aside from having an “alien-like” quality in appearance, they were also not properly terminated or secured.

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


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).


I don’t know about you, but I enjoy lounging on decks that don’t collapse. 

If you are like me and also appreciate structural stability, you should really consider installing metal support hardware throughout your deck system.

For example, I recently came across a home in San Juan County with an exterior deck and stair system in need of metal post-to-base hardware installation for improved security. Some of the underlying support columns were very loose and, therefore, the deck was not necessarily considered stable.

Metal support hardware can help stabilize decks and stair systems and should always be used. The video below shows one example of how to install metal support hardware on a railing system while giving you an idea of why it’s so important. Thanks for watching!

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


In terms of historic properties, the West Coast is a “young pup” when compared to regions east of the Mississippi. However, that certainly doesn’t mean the area is devoid of homes of yesteryear: Northwest Washington has a healthy inventory of beautiful historic homes.

For this post, I’d like to share some worthwhile articles that address what to consider when inspecting historic properties. I hope they help you gain additional insight for wherever you are in the home inspection process.

Thanks for reading!

Author: International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)

Title: “Inspecting Historic Homes

Recommended Because: The article presents  a helpful overview of things to consider in the main different structural elements (e.g.., foundation, wall coverings, roof, windows, etc.)

Author: American Home Inspectors Training

Title: “Historic home inspections require experience

Recommended Because: The article addresses some of the characteristics you should consider in a home inspector when it comes to historic properties. 

Author: National Trust for Historic Preservation

Title: “10 Tips for Inspecting Historic Houses Before You Buy

Recommended Because: If you are in the market for a home or selling a home, check out the National Trust for Historic Preservation for lots of great tips related to historic properties. This is an excellent article particularly for those considering the purchase of a home.

To see what it’s like to inspect a historic home, check out the video below.

And for history buffs who merely want to see some impressive historic properties in Whatcom, Skagit, Island, and San Juan Counties, check out the links below. Road trip anyone?

National Register of Historic Places Listings: Whatcom County

National Register of Historic Places Listings: Skagit County

National Register of Historic Places Listings: Island County

National Register of Historic Places Listings: San Juan County

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

Fun Fact Friday!

  • On average, there are 178 sesame seeds on each McDonalds BigMac bun.
  • The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.
  • The bagpipe was originally made from the whole skin of a dead sheep.
  • In ancient Rome, it was considered a sign of leadership to be born with a crooked nose.


Share your Northwest Washington imagery with the All Islands Home Inspections community. Simply take your photo and/or videos, and tag it with #AllIslandsLife on Twitter or Facebook.

Throughout the year, those who tag with #AllIslandsLife will have a chance to win some fun prizes, such as a $20 gift card to Starbucks (which happens to be this month’s prize)! 

To be eligible for this first contest and a chance to win a whole lot of caffeine, please tag your imagery by Feb. 25, 2019. We’ll announce the winner in our new, shiny newsletter, so make sure to subscribe using the signup form below.

Subscribe to the All Islands Argus Newsletter

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

How to calculate appliance energy usage

Kitchen AppliancesI conduct Residential Energy Audits on behalf of OPALCO, the local utility provider in San Juan County. Oftentimes, homeowners are completely unaware of how much it actually costs to run a particular appliance. But, it can be calculated easily!

If you’re trying to decide whether to invest in a more energy-efficient appliance or you’d like to determine your electricity loads, you may want to estimate appliance energy consumption. You can do so with this formula: Wattage × Hours Used per Day ÷ 1,000 = Daily Kilowatt-hour (kWh) consumption (1 kilowatt [kW] = 1,000 Watts). Multiply this by the number of days you use the appliance during the year to determine annual consumption. To calculate the annual cost to run an appliance, multiply the kWh per year by your local utility company’s rate per kWh consumed. Note: use eight hours as an average daily maximum wattage time for a refrigerator. Although turned “on” all the time, refrigerators actually cycle on and off to maintain interior temperature. For typical wattages of various appliances see our chart.