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Home Inspection Nightmares XI

You won't believe your eyes. But it's all true! See 15 appalling screw-ups found by home inspectors

Plug In, Turn On, Lights OUT!

Photo by John Fryer

California has always been a leader in new technology, and the San Francisco Bay area and Silicon Valley are considered by many to be premier locations for creative minds and innovation. This innovative "flex-a-switch" design hasn't caught on yet—caught on fire, that is—but who knows!

John Fryer

Fryer Consulting

Oakland, California

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Scraping by with a Spatula Fix

Photo by Danny Blankenship

I found this in the guest bath toilet. The seller had just repaired it and hoped I would not find out about his ingenuity. I think he hoped his wife wouldn't either.

Danny Blankenship

The HomeTeam Inspection Service

Ocala, Florida

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Joe LeCron

This is the best argument for proper bathroom ventilation I've ever seen! The shot of the room shows a dot on the ceiling. The close-up is of that dot. It's a cluster of mushrooms growing from the ceiling of a 1950s bathroom, with no exhaust fan and a barely operable window in the shower.

Joe LeCron

Seagate Inspections, Inc.

Toledo, Ohio

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Hot Lunch

Photo by Bill Gray

You were probably wondering where all the old, really cool, plaid lunch boxes went. Here is one in a basement ceiling being used as a 120V electrical junction box. The temptation to peek inside subsided when I read the labels listing the "STEPS to DISARM."

Bill Gray

All Star Home Inspection, Inc.

Gaithersburg, Maryland

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Coupled Up

Photo by Tom Oliver

It would have been cheaper to run to the store for a solid piece of PVC pipe than to use all of the couplings on this water heater.

Tom Oliver

Oliver Home & Building Inspections, LLC

Montrose, Colorado

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Post Too Short? No Problem!

Photo by Gene Autore

The contractor probably didn't plan on a home inspector entering this nasty crawl.

Gene Autore

Pillar To Post

Norwalk, Connecticut

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Rooftop Garden

Photo by David Clegg

I didn't know if I should tell my client he needed a roofer—or a landscaper.

Dave Clegg

House Inspect

Mt. Laurel, New Jersey

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Tread Very Lightly

Photo by Clint Bissell

With the center beam in this condition, I didn't stay in the basement too long!

Clint Bissell

Sandy Spring Inspections

Ashton, Maryland

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

DIY Venting

Photo by Arthur S. Lazerow

This is clothes dryer that vents directly into a chimney, above the boiler vent. Nothing like adding more moisture to the hydrocarbons from the oil-fired boiler to really eat the insides away!

Arthur S. Lazerow

Alban Home Inspection Service, Inc.

Bethesda, Maryland

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Look Before You Rinse

Photo by Brandon Dyles

I remember during training I was instructed to look under the cabinet before turning on the water. During this foreclosure, someone took out the drain and P-trap on this bathroom sink. Now I bring spare towels just in case.

Brandon Dyles

Picture Perfect Inspections

Bartlett, Tennessee

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Bet It Smells Good, Too!

Photo by Bob Mulloy

This is one unique condensation collector.

Bob Mulloy

Allsafe Home Inspection Service

East Bridgewater, Massachusetts

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

One Flue Pipe Short of a Full Deck

Photo by Andy Wallace

Seems they ran out of furnace flue pipe before they got through the roof. Nice cap, though—I guess it's there in case the roof leaks. And yes, that's asbestos cloth above as a safety precaution.

Andy Wallace

National Property Inspections

San Luis Obispo, California

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Where's the Fire?

Photo by Jeff Nathan

Irony defined.

Jeff Nathan

Building Inspectors Consortium, Inc.

Highland Park, Illinois

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Call in the Hazmat Team

Photo by Brion Grant

Kitchen looks okay to me!

Brion Grant

Northland Home Inspection, Inc.

Flagstaff, Arizona

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Empty Nesters?

Photo by Mark Walters

I found this bird's nest in an attic area. It was about 4 to 5 feet tall.

Mark Walters


Littleton, Colorado

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter