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Home Inspection Nightmares XVII

Home inspections can turn up the most bizarre things.

Hanging by a Thread

Photo by Timothy Hemm

This receptacle installation is the only wiring in a 1920s garage.

Timothy Hemm

Eagle Home Inspections

Yucaipa, Calif.


Photo by Brandon Dyles

I think it is safe to assume that this furnace is not venting properly. I inserted a smoke emitter into the burn chamber and all of the smoke backed up into the attic. A rain cap that was installed on the chimney exhaust left little room for venting.

Brandon Dyles

Picture Perfect Inspections

Bartlett, Tenn.

License Expired

Photo by Jeff Leighton

Here is a picture I took of an electrical panel. Looks like this little guy wasn't licensed to work around electricity.

Jeff Leighton

Inspect-It 1st Property Inspection

Scarborough, Me.

The Art of the Termite

Photo by Jeff Nichols

We have very artistic termites here in Georgia. This tunnel measured 6 inches wide at the top.

Jeff Nichols

Edifice Inspections, Inc.

Marietta, Ga.

Cozy Nest

Photo by David Grudzinski

Given that this dryer vent isn't quite making it all the way outside, this ends up being a heated bird's nest.

David Grudzinski

Advantage Home Inspections

Cranston, R.I.

Air Quality Nightmare

Photo by Bob Drennan

The duct tube on the right is a clothes dryer on the first floor that's been vented directly into the hot air supply duct in the basement. That's lint from the dryer visible in the hot air register on the left.

Bob Drennan

R.E. Drennan Home Inspection

Great Barrington, Mass.


Photo by Kevin Hawes

Apparently, you can use anything to patch your furnace. The date renewal stickers on the license plate were dated 2002. The newer furnace (installed below this) actually was installed in 2004, and the Municipal Inspector had signed off on this permit.

Kevin Hawes

Assured Home Inspections

Calgary, AB


Photo by Matt Wynne

The latest in energy-efficient building products: the self-powered outlet.

Matt Wynne

Aberdeen Building Consulting

Long Island, NY

Good Thing They Didn't Insulate the Attic

Photo by Vince Clingenpeel

This is an attic exhaust fan. The structural installation to hold it in place includes drywall, sheet metal, fiberglass batts, Zip ties, electrical tape and...of course...duct tape.

Vince Clingenpeel

Clingenpeel Properties Inc.

Falls Church, Va.

Trapped Again

Photo by Richard Graf

I just had to share this one. How many different ways can a sink trap be installed? Upsidedown is probably not one of the better ways. I found this in a 15-year-old manufactured home.

Richard Graf

Eagle Home Inspection

Whitefish, Mont.

(Photos courtesy of the ASHI Reporter.)

Indoor Pool

Photo by Charles Zehner

This picture was taken in the attic of a Civil War-era home. Of course, the disclosure said the roof didn't leak. Not only was a kiddie pool catching water from the roof leak, but an elaborate gutter had been fabricated from aluminum coil stock.

Charles Zehner

Sherlock Homes Property Inspections

Evansville, Ind.

It's Got a Flat

Photo by Larry Dickens

Recyling is good, but using old bike innertubes as a trap? Not so good.

Larry Dickens

HomePro Systems, Inc.

Huntington, W.Va.

Doubly Dumb

Photo by James Clark

To change the cartridge fuses in this shut-off box, you need to call the electrician and the plumber!

James Clark

True Blue Home Inspections, Inc.

Chicago, Ill.

Cap it Off

Photo by Stephen Wilson

If your trash can does not need protection from dogs or raccoons, you might as well use the lid for an attic fan hood.

Stephen Wilson

Professional Inspection Services

Columbus, Ga.

Flip Turned Into Flop

Photo by Calvin Bolt

This homeowner tried out a new kind of ice-and-water-shield plumbing vent boot instead of using the stiff plastic that would normally hold the vent in place.

Calvin Bolt

Calvin Bolt Inspections and Testing

Warsaw, Ind.

Flip Turned Into Flop

Photo by Calvin Bolt

The DIY "flipper" (the seller) of this house told me he replaced all six bad floor joists. But that's how far my screwdriver went in when I went looking for dry rot on just one of the remaining joists. I ended up finding 17 more like this! Does my client (the buyer) want to trust what went on behind all the new drywall? I don't THINK so! There were dozens of other serious visible issues. Buyer beware!

Calvin Bolt

Calvin Bolt Inspections and Testing

Warsaw, Ind.