Another year is behind us, so you know it’s time for my top home inspection finds. I think we can all agree that the past few years have not been…the best…for a lot of folks, so here’s to starting new with a fresh new year full of fun and excitement.
And remember that whatever you’re doing in life, it’s all progress. Keep smiling.
I try to post crazy images like these to my Instagram page daily, so if you are not following me over there please do. Here’s a link to make it easy for you: Follow InspectorBen on Instagram.
DIY Chimney Cap
Full disclosure: I did not take this picture. It was sent to me on Instagram and I just had to share it. At first, I thought they had used grill grates around the sides, but I believe I was wrong and it is actually wire rack shelving…even better. The icing on the cake is the warped plywood top.
1906 Electrical Panel
Louisville KY is packed with old homes built circa 1900. If you are going to be a home inspector in Louisville you better have a lot of knowledge of older homes. This old fuse panel is a neat glimpse into the past. The inspection sticker from the city is still mostly in place, and you can read the date of 1906. How cool is that!?
Another fun fact is that most of these old homes are still using Knob & Tube wiring, which most insurance companies have exclusions for.
Brown Recluse Spiders
Every year I find more and more houses with Brown Recluse spiders. I lost count at over 100 homes in 2021. If you live in a state that has Brown Recluse spiders it’s only a matter of time until you come across these dudes.
While not typically aggressive, they will bite you if you are stupid and try to handle them. This house had sticky traps in place that were covered in dead Brown Recluse Spiders. If you would like more info on this topic, you can read my article Brown Recluse Spiders in Kentucky.
New Construction Attic Framing Fail
Pssst….Do you want to know a secret? Your house is not perfect. Nope, not even close. Every single home on the planet has a wall, floor, ceiling, or something that is not perfectly flat, level, or plumb. How can it be? We use the cheapest materials and have them installed by the cheapest labor. What could go wrong?
However, most of us do not have attic framing so crooked that it feels like a funhouse when you walk through it. Thank goodness my client had the forethought to have a pre-drywall home inspection done to cover his tushy. This place was a hot mess of crooked framing, and the builder was trying to convince my client that it was no big deal because the city of Louisville had already passed the job. Shameful.
$8 dollar 2×4’s
Who could forget the price gouging that took place in the lumber world over the summer of 2021? House packages skyrocketed as the price of lumber went through the roof. Now that things have come back down to somewhat “normal,” it makes you wonder if the days of $1.29 2×4’s have gone the way of $1.29 gallons of gas…never to be seen again.
Freezing in a Flip House
You guys know my love/hate relationship with Mr. Flipper. He even has his own hashtag on IG that I created a few years ago: #mrflipper. This home had a fancy new kitchen with shiny stainless appliances. But they skipped the step of putting any insulation in the attic. You know what they say, we catch fish with shiny bait.
You are the fish, and that cheap shiny range and fridge are the bait. On a side note, you can learn how to fix your own attic insulation with my DIY Attic Insulation Guide.
Grow-op in the Attic
Once a year I’ll stumble across some crazy stuff that gives even me pause during a home inspection. And even though I have suspected many homeowners may have participated in past drug-related activities, it’s rare to find an abandoned Marijuana grow-op in the home.
This one was tucked away in the attic of an Old Louisville home, and still had all the lights, pots, and soil.
Water Fountain in the Home
I have done thousands and thousands of home inspections. I can’t recall ever seeing a functional water fountain installed. It’s not a problem or an issue. In fact, I can’t help but wonder why we all don’t have one. Drink more water!
Falls City Brewing
I love me some beer. In fact, my wonderfully critical wife says I love it a bit too much. So you can’t imagine how pumped I was when my termite inspector Ralph brought me this Prohibition-era glass bottle from the local brewery Falls City Brewing Company. He found a sixer of these glass bottles buried in an old crawlspace in the Highlands (a neighborhood in Louisville) and the owners said he could have them.
I reached out to the guys at FCB and they told me it was likely these bottles contained Near Beer (non-alcoholic beer) or possibly some type of cola.
For those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting my termite inspector, Mr. Ralph, you are a better person for it.
Mr. Flipper be Flippin, Y’all.
Old houses do suffer from foundation problems from time to time. Sometimes, you need to install a support column in a crawlspace or basement so things stabilize and the movement doesn’t get worse. All of that is “normal,” to an extent.
What is not normal is when Mr. Flipper installs TWENTY-EIGHT 4×4 posts in a 1200sq ft house. Flip houses can be a nightmare, most of the time.
12″ Crawlspace: Not for the Faint of Heart
Do I like crawlspaces? Of course not. Who does? But, when it comes time to suit up and do what needs to be done, I do it. Not because I want to, but because it’s best for you, the buyer.
Home Inspection standards across the board pretty much state that you are not required to access an area that has less than 24″ of clearance. That is pretty much every older house in the Louisville area. Not on my watch.
The Juice is Worth the Squeeze
It’s pretty rare I post anything non home inspection related on my Instagram account. I assume folks don’t care about my life outside of work, but I think after the crappy couple of years we all have been through that I should end this silly post on a positive note.
A couple of years back my wife Michelle and I started mountain biking as a hobby to try and be a bit healthier, lose a few extra pounds, and maybe make room for a couple of extra beers in the interim.
That hobby has turned into a quasi-obsession for us both, as we are constantly looking for new places to ride. Most of our trips are centered around a place that may have a hill we can pedal.
We’re not really good at it. You won’t catch us high flying through a jump line, but we still enjoy it nonetheless.
Our time here is finite, and the hard truth is that it’s later than you think. Here’s to a new year and a new mountain to bomb down. See you in the woods!