Nations Home Inspections, Inc

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Things I’ve Seen

Putting a Spring In Your Step
While inspecting a four–unit condominium building in a larger condominium complex in the western suburbs I was in the bedroom above the garage. Everything looked fine in the room, but something felt wrong as I walked across the room. Then I jumped. And jumped again. Wow, the floor was bouncy. Something was wrong. I continued to bounce around the second floor, but only the bedroom above the garage had the bounce. I advised my client that the structure was compromised, and the floor was not as strong as it should be. I advised him to do some more checking. After talking to a representative from the condominium association, he discovered that this was a known problem that affected several of the buildings in the complex. My client immediately withdrew his offer to purchase the property and, armed with this new information, he restarted negotiations to purchase the property and saved a bundle.

This is a good example of a how it’s important for an inspector to keep all of his senses open and to follow his gut when something seems wrong, even if it can’t be seen clearly, or maybe not seen at all.

Water, Water Everywhere
The owner of an older condominium unit on the top floor of a four–story building in Chicago called me and said that she was getting water leaking into her unit during periods of heavy rain, and was frustrated by the conflicting opinions being thrown about and the general lack of action by her condo board.

After inspecting the unit, the roof, and the exterior it became clear that the problem was caused by the need for tuck pointing at the exterior brick and the lack of proper water flashing details above the windows. Based on my inspection and the thorough report I provided to her, she was able to convince the condo board of the required repairs and push them to spend nearly $100,00 to engage a masonry contractor to make the repairs. Now she’s high and dry.

Knowing what the problem is will only get you so far, but being able to effectively communicate the problem and its consequences to all the parties involved is an essential skill that should not be overlooked.

Hot Under the Collar
While inspecting a large new–construction home in the northern suburbs, my client and I eventually found our way in to the family room. I hadn’t been very impressed with the quality of the workmanship up to that point, and we were in for more of a treat here. After looking around the empty room for about 10 seconds I remarked that it didn’t look like there were enough warm air supply registers to keep the room warm, especially since there were two exterior walls and a large bank of windows on one side.

After tracking down the construction plans we confirmed that indeed the plans called for an additional supply register in the room. Wow, was my client mad. He was mad at the builder for the sloppy and cheap job. But he loved me, and appreciated my service and the details that I was providing.

A cookie–cutter, checklist approach to inspections is never enough. Inspecting what’s wrong is only the start, and understanding what’s not there, especially the subtle details, is what the brings the inspection process to a higher level.