Tag Archives: tim hance

WHEN IN ROME(X): HANDYMAN WIRING PRACTICES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED

During a recent inspection in Friday Harbor, I came across handyman electrical wiring practices serving garage ceiling light fixtures. In this case, homeowners had unconventionally routed Romex electrical wiring and open wire splicing.

I recommended that my clients consult with a qualified electrician to address the issue.

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

SETTLEMENT MAY MAKE YOU A WORLD TRAVELER (BECAUSE YOU TRIP SO MUCH!)

Settlement issues at outlying walkways do not always equate to structural concerns for homes. In reality, most of the time they don’t. 

However, what settlement issues do often create are tripping hazards. I noticed an example of this during a recent inspection in Ferndale, where I found apparent settlement at an entryway concrete stoop.

I notified the homeowner that this issue could easily lead to an unwary passerby having an unfortunate incident. However, I also assured them that it didn’t appear to be of structural concern to the home itself. 

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

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: BARREN BOAT

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).

BAR SINKS SHOULDN’T DOUBLE AS IRRIGATION SYSTEMS

During a recent home inspection on Orcas Island, I came across a bar sink drain line not connected to the home’s septic system. Furthermore, the sink’s line discharged directly onto the front lawn.

That can’t be good for the landscaping.

I recommended that my clients seek further evaluation and repair by a qualified plumbing contractor to address the issue.

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

DOES YOUR WOOD STOVE NEED A CREOSOTE ANTIDOTE?

If you’re Dick Van Dyke as Bert in Mary Poppins, you might view this as job security. For the rest of us, it’s a hassle that needs to be cleaned up.

To what am I referring? 

A whole lot of creosote and tar glaze I noted at a wood stove flue pipe during a recent home inspection in Sedro-Woolley. I also pointed out the lack of a rain cap over the open flue pipe. As a result of my review, I recommended further evaluation and cleaning of the wood burning stove and flue by a qualified chimney sweep. 

“Chim chiminey, chim chiminey, chim chim cher-ee…”

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

IS YOUR GLASS SAFE? SOMETIMES, THE ANSWER IS NOT ALWAYS CLEAR

Okay, let’s get this out of the way: If you want to watch a couple of fellows destroy—or should I say, “try to destroy”—some glass, check out the video below. It’s a commercial for a laminated glass company. I won’t blame you if you skip the rest of the post, which happens to be about a topic called “tempered glass.”

And while the video does feature “tempered glass” as one of its star attractions/”victims,” it’s mostly just satisfying to watch glass get destroyed—or at least thrashed. Is that weird? 

For those of you still with me after that highly entertaining minute of destruction, let’s talk tempered glass. First, what is it?

“Tempered glass is about four times stronger than ‘ordinary,’ or annealed, glass,” reads an article in Scientific American. “And unlike annealed glass, which can shatter into jagged shards when broken, tempered glass fractures into small, relatively harmless pieces. As a result, tempered glass is used in those environments where human safety is an issue.”

A prime example: During a recent home inspection in Bow, I noticed a single-hung window less than 18” above a covered porch that didn’t have a “tempered glass” sticker or marking. Porches typically have lots of foot traffic, so this issue was essential to address. I made sure to flag the point to let them know to have it further evaluated. 

The lack of appropriately installed tempered glass is a relatively common item in my reports, so make sure your low-lying windows have been evaluated and are tempered.

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

IS YOUR GARAGE READY TO TAKE ON A FIRE?

Most of us keep all the highly flammable stuff we own in a specific area of the house. Typically, this is the garage. Or on the third shelf of the refrigerator (have you ever tried ghost pepper hot sauce? Yee-ow!) 

For this post, we’ll focus on the garage and not your condiment collections. So, what if your garage were to catch on fire? Good news: if it was well-made and is up-to-code, garage ceilings and walls are considered fire separation barriers. In other words, these walls and ceilings would (hopefully) burn first, and buy a little time before the fire department arrives and the rest of your home catches on fire.

During a recent home inspection in Mount Vernon, I came across a garage with holes in the sheet rock ceiling that needed to be taped, mudded and sealed. Again, that’s because the ceiling and walls of a garage are considered a fire separation barrier in a home. 

Is a fire separation barrier the same as a firewall? Nope. The Uniform Building Code defines a firewall as the following: 

FIREWALL: A fire-resistance-rated wall having protected openings, which restricts the spread of fire and extends continuously from the foundation to or through the roof, with sufficient structural stability under fire conditions to allow collapse of construction on either side without collapse of the wall.

“The closest thing you’ll find (to an actual firewall) in residential construction is a one-hour fire-resistance-rated wall,” wrote Minnesota-based home inspector Reuben Saltzman in a recent article. “This is needed between townhomes and two-family dwellings, with a lot of fine print and special requirements.”

While it probably doesn’t have a firewall, your garage should always be considered and maintained as a fire separation barrier and an extra level of safety for your home and those who live in it.

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

STANDALONE SATURDAYS: FERRIES AT DAWN

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.

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).

LOOKING FOR HOME INSPECTION NEWS YOU CAN USE? I CAN HELP

Feeling social? Well, so am I. 

I thought I’d take a few minutes to let you know about the many ways we can connect on social media. When I post, my goal is to share useful information with my audience while having fun along the way.

Click on the links below for more details. Thanks for reading (and hopefully following!).

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allislandsinspections

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AIHomeInspect

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/tim98hance

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allislandshomeinspections

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-hance-1aab1a9

MailChimp Newsletter: https://us19.campaign-archive.com/home/?u=d5233cbc96de02d1839a082e3&id=08a860b331

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