Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)

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A Thousand Words of Warning

I was taught back before I had any gray hair and when I went to home inspector school that using those concrete blocks, with the channels in them, for piers was a bad idea if the channels were placed horizontally. That is the wrong way to go about it. You know, like this.

The channels should go up and down. I see blocks used the wrong way in homes some of the time, but they are used the wrong way in manufactured homes nearly all of the time. Honestly, I think that such installation is the "norm" in the manufactured home inspections that I do. As an inspector, I was taught that blocks with that channel in a horizontal position will easily crush. Far as I can see, even the so-called professionals who put in manufactured homes for a living apparently do not buy that crushing theory.

When I see them installed that way -- read that as usually -- I always tell the clients that the blocks are prone to crushing, destabilization. I think that most of the clients think that it is another rambling from a worry-wart home inspector running when he is not being chased. That changed recently. I was actually able to write  this concern into my report in a manner with real teeth -- no sooth saying, see the photo.

In this case a picture was worth a thousand words of warning.

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections

Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 13 commentsSteven L. Smith • July 30 2009 11:08PM
A Thousand Words of Warning
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I was taught back before I had any gray hair and when I went to home inspector school that using those concrete blocks, with the channels in them, for piers was a bad idea if the channels were placed horizontally. That is the wrong way… more
It Doesn't Take A Rocket Scientist
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Don't Let The Water In
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It is common place to find that a repair has been made, yet it is not done correctly. The photo below is a good example. The original receptacle at this outside corner of the home had not been a GFCI protected receptacle. The seller… more
Picture This: Washington State Approved Home Inspector Education
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One of the things that I do, as the program coordinator for the Bellingham Technical College home inspection training program, is to work to assure that our students will qualify for their Washington State home inspector licenses. That… more
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Can You Guess the Culprit? Crime Scene Below.
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I was inspecting at a manufactured home that was located out in the country just the other day. The two downspouts out front were as flat as pancakes. I will put a photo below. This crushing was from just above my head down… more
Those 70's Houses
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Bellingham Home Inspection (King of the House) -- Aging Furnaces
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There are times when, just glancing at a furnace, it does not look so bad. But a look up under the draft hood can be the first clue that time is not on our side. The furnace above was in that category. Further investigation… more
Bellingham Home Inspection (King of the House) -- Paging the Engineer
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Trusses that you are likely to see up in attics are engineered components. They are designed by structural engineers and truss manufacturing companies that have special software. That software has sophisticated math that has been… more
Not Quite Strapped In Bellingham
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There is no doubt about it at all. The person who installed the water heater had planned to put seismic straps on the tank. Now this was not a professional installer, that was for sure because the TPR drain was routed up and through… more