Jay Markanich, a Virginia area home inspector, shared this interaction on a new home building inspection. I, like Jay, feel that the Building code is the "minimum" standard and should be the "floor" of construction practices, not the "ceiling"...
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If you are looking to purchase a home in Orangeville, whether new or resale, call me, Chris Smith @ 1.866.936.3500 for information and assitance in helping you make a good decision and finding a home perfect for you...
More new construction fun! And guess who it's with ... again? And the same tricks - late afternoon phone call, the inspection needed to be done the next day, enormous amounts of insurance information - same old, same old.
The buyer called me in a panic. We had previously corresponded many times, but she did had not been told the requirements the builder has pertaining to inspectors and inspections not realizing things were far enough along to have the inspection. Even though I had warned her, she did not believe me (they seldom do). I told her to call the lady in the office back (we're buds) and to say that "Jay" was doing the inspection, she would have her information overnight and we would be there at 7am the next morning.
My office buddy offered a new wrinkle, "We won't fix anything unless it's a code violation."
YEAH, RIGHT! Why do they keep trying to pull this, um, this stuff?
May I offer two of the things they fixed the very afternoon of our inspection? Were they against the code? I HAVE NO IDEA!
#1 - This little beauty is a vent that starts in the powder room on the first level, passes through two floors to exit through the wall above one third-level bedroom, to travel another 25' or so to the left of this photo to exit through the roof.
Can a powder room fan push air up and that far? I HAVE NO IDEA!
How far is that air pushed? I calculate 50'+. What size fan is needed to handle that distance? I HAVE NO IDEA!
Does the code cover the size of a fan and how far a vent tube can extend before it exits through a roof? I HAVE NO IDEA!
Worse, just a couple of feet to the left of this photo is the little anomaly seen below.
Gee, ain't it perty?
The insulation around that very solid vent tubing is missing just a bit.
Won't that create condensation inside the tubing? Why yes, yes I think it just might!
Where will that condensation collect? I'm going to guess it will collect in that little hitch in the get along, seen above. I pushed on the bottom of that little, teensy downward bulge and, heaven to Betsy, it was already full of water! Why I bet the cover on the roof wasn't there the whole time!
THAT'S WHAT MADE THAT EXCELLENT TAPE JOB TO THE RIGHT COME LOOSE AND EXPOSE THE VENT TUBE AS IT STRETCHED FROM THE WATER WEIGHT!
Hey, eventually won't that tube fill with enough water to prevent air from passing through that improvised trap above? Why, yes, yes I think it just might!
Does the code DEMAND that the builder fix this interesting arrangement? I HAVE NO IDEA! But they did...
#2 - While they were at it, they also fixed this little beauty above the master bathroom!
If you are going to do something in life, BE CONSISTENT!
And these vent guys are nothing, nothing I tell you, if they are not CONSISTENT!
Were these two vents the only thing the builder fixed following my inspection? You already know the answer to that!
Were all the things they fixed because of the code? I HAVE NO IDEA!
But I do know those things were schmuck work and that's why they got fixed!
And my little bud in the office knows that if they don't fix them, that information might just get out into the public...
My recommendation: when the builders play their games, don't participate! And when they say they won't fix things unless they are code violations, don't buy that either! Why? Schmuck work is schmuck work, and they won't want it attached to them in public.
And my office buddy is probably thinking that I am the only home inspector in the area!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia
Chris Smith CSSBB
Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage