clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Home Inspection Nightmares V

The latest in our series of horrors sleuthed out by the inspectors of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Stephen Wilson

Nothing feels better than a good shocking shower before going for a swim. A showerhead placed directly over an electrical junction box does the trick.

Stephen Wilson

Professional Inspection Services, LLC

Columbus, Ga.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

The environment is so overated

Photo by Kevin Sullivan

This is a plywood septic tank on the banks of a river. Notice the inlet pipe has been disconnected—I guess the tank didn't work as well as they thought it would. Interestingly, the real estate agent, owner and county officials did not seem to care, and it is still in use today, as shown on this photo. Float trip, anyone?

Kevin Sullivan

Eagle Eye Inspections, Inc.

Washington, Mo.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Tom Quinn

This is a creative use of a toilet plunger. The tub diverter body is a rubber toilet plunger, painted white. This was found in a 120-year-old, $750,000 home that was just rehabbed.

Tom Quinn

Quinn Building Consultants

North Dartmouth, Ma.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Kim Thormodsgard

Gee, do you think the old water heater was shorter? Exhaust fumes should go up and out, so a downward facing pipe is not going to do any good.

Kim Thormodsgard

Thor Home Inspection

Sioux Falls, S.D.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Dan Gartrell

Here in Virginia, no matter how you hang it, an attic fan is an attic fan.

Dan Gartrell

Homestar Real Estate Services, Inc.

Gainesville, Va.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Treed House

Photo by Corey Folsom

Here in California, we love trees! We would rather just build the house around a tree. But, does the tree add safety or stress to this steep slope?

Corey Folsom

Corey Folsom Property Inspector

Ben Lomond, Calif.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Roof vent periscope

Photo by Shane R. Pouch

Dive! Dive! Dive!

Shane R. Pouch

Outlook Inspection Services, Inc.

Olathe, KS

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

The plumber did it

Photo by Rod Harrison

Here is a picture of a concrete block pier that has been field-modified by the plumber. The seller could not understand why it needed any additional support. "It's been that way for 40 years and we have not had any problems."

Rod Harrison

Christian Building Inspectors, Inc.

Duluth, Ga.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Let's play 'hide the chimney'

Photo by Michael R. Conroy

I would call this a camouflaged chimney.

Michael R. Conroy

Alpha Home Inspection

Duncannon, Pa.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Dave Macy

This tree is about 100 years old and is being supported by the garage. As you can see, the tree did some damage to the roof, block, and trim. This tree will be costly to remove. The main utility pole is next in the tree's path.

Dave Macy

Home Safe Home Inspections

Broadview Heights, Ohio

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Lon Grossman

This is why you need an alternate-energy, back up sump pump. A battery or generator would surely help avoid floods like this one.

Lon Grossman

Technihouse Inspections, Inc.

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Jim Radcliffe

The top of the cabinet is missing from this new HVAC system in a recently renovated Cape Cod-style Atlanta home. An exposed air handler not connected to ducts would explain why there was no heat coming out when I checked! It will be a nice house when they finish it.

Jim Radcliffe

Medallion Inspections

Atlanta (Suwanee), Ga.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Close it up

Photo by Malcolm Whipkey

That register used to be a pathway for passive heat from the boiler to be transported to the living space above. Now, it's a way to transport the back-drafting water heater's gas fumes.

Malcolm Whipkey

1st Home Inspections, Inc.

Allison Park, Pa.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Keith Nelson

I was on the roof of the house next to this one during an inspection and had to take a picture of this. It is of a skylight with a tire, bungee cord, and tin over it to prevent water from coming in.

Keith Nelson

Amerispec Home Inspection Services Inc.

Omaha, Neb.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Just look upstairs

Photo by Bob Mulloy

No wonder the bathroom exhaust fan does not work.

Bob Mulloy

Allsafe Home Inspection Service, Inc.

East Bridgewater, Ma.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

What a drip

Photo by Warren Tomek

This is a homeowners version of "Can You Fix the Drip?" They tied a string from the shower head to drain. Ingenious! Never mind that there is mold everywhere in the shower.

Warren Tomek

Five Star Inspection Services

Madison, Conn.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Don't even ask

Photo by Butch Upton

Is the switch for the light or to turn the water off? The wires for this fixture are snaked through a garden hose.

Butch Upton

Upton Enterprises, LLC dba Housemaster

Gastonia, N.C.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

A fork in the stove

Photo by C. John Limongello

My customer pulled the stove out to see the electrical and this is what we found! Ladies and gentlemen, this is what cover plates are for.

C. John Limongello

Southern Home Inspection Services

Jasper, Ga.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Bruce R. White

Never be looking up the chimney when you open the damper. Here is photo of a new home that came equipped with its own firewood. A 2-foot section of framing lumber fell out of the chimney when I opened the damper. This was moments after the superintendent said I would find nothing wrong with his custom home.

Bruce R. White


Laguna Beach, Calif.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter