June, 2007
Postcards from the Field
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Folded like a deck of cards



Mark Twain said, “Don’t let your schooling get in the way of your education.” The architect on this new pavilion got an education when it did not survive its first Syracuse
winter. Lacking collar ties, ridge beam support and cross bracing, snow load plus wind load broke the few welds holding this baby up!  

Dave Flood
Wise Pro Services
Liverpool, N.Y.

That is saying the least


I found this in an attic of a home I inspected. The homeowner was…well…inventive, to say the least.

Paul Vaughn
Lowcountry Home Inspection
Hanahan, S.C.

A stretch


“If I add a few more adapters, I can reach the bulb.”

Ed Massart
Speaker of the House Inspection Services
Glen Ellyn, Ill.

What the...?!

Spend a few moments looking at this before you make up your mind or read the answer. Is the T.P. valve and discharge line removed/modified? No gas shut off? Cold water inlet connected to drain? OR: Is this a modified 40-gallon gas water heater with a pump attached and run under a slate floor to radiant heat a 950-square-foot
addition? The thermostat is on the wall. I asked about a permit for the installation. They were checking.

Tom Hermes

Amerispec Home Inspection Service
Racine, Wis.

It is freshly painted
A builder completed a total redo of a 40-year-old colonial and left the original oil tanks encased in a block vault in front of a leaking wall. Note the painted-over efflorescence. You could smell the oil as soon as you walked into the house.

Gene Autore
Pillar To Post

Termite territory
These photos were taken at a house I inspected in Milan, Ind. I was surprised that the agent and the client needed me to tell them that there was a termite infestation. How bad do you think it is when there are tubes up the side of the basement toilet and behind the tub tiles in the 1st-floor bath? This is only a fraction of the

Chris Andler
Your Whole House Inc.
Cincinati, OH

10-cent quality

No need to ground this box. The cigar box is located under a kitchen cooktop. Fendrich was a local cigar company here in Evansville, Ind. I would call this a classic case of Indiana frugality.

Rob Cahill

National Inspection Service of Indiana, Inc.    
Evansville, Ind.

Cut it out

Here’s a photo of floor joists cut away for plumbing drains.

Chris Harr
National Property Inspections
Pickerington, Ohio