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Home Inspection Nightmares VI

The latest terrible tales from the fearless pros who inspect houses, courtesy of the ASHI Reporter.

10-cent quality

Photo by Rob Cahill

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.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Seriously crazy

Photo by Corey Folsem

This is a nice clean bathroom fan installation. It is wired to the wall switch and I don't even know how they attached it to the ceiling. It even doubles as a hair dryer because it blasts air in the face of the person in front of the sink. Nice....

Corey Folsem

Corey Folsom - Property Inspector

Ben Lomand, CA

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

A cozy fire hazard

Photo by James Quarello

This picture is of the exterior of a chimney that has been enclosed by an addition. The fireplace is built on the exterior side of the chimney, with the "hood" loosely attached to the brick. But not to worry. The homeowners used silicone caulk on the seam openings. A damper door was installed near the top of the hood, with a pull chain to open and close the vent. It is quite the engineering feat and very unsafe. As you can see by the photo, it was used often.

James Quarello

JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

Wallingford, Conn.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Jim Sutton

This is the quote from the seller in whose manufactured home the installation was observed: "My brother-in-law installed the water heater. Is there anything wrong?"

Jim Sutton

Mountain View Home Inspections, Inc.

Flagstaff, Ariz.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Peter G. Hitt

This is a water supply line running through the crawlspace of an apartment building utilizing plastic electrical conduit. Must be a recent change in the plumbing code.

Peter G. Hitt

A-2-Z Home Inspection Services, LLC

Jacksonville, Fla.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Death's staircase

Photo by Ed Massart

These balcony stairs were added to let the dog out! I hope no one sleepwalks.

Ed Massart

Speaker of the House

Glen Ellyn, Ill.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter


Photo by Brandon Dyles

Want to know what happens to wood framing when it is within 2 feet of the furnace exhaust? The wood becomes charred. I was shocked the house had not caught fire. A few inches to the right and we could have had s'mores.

Brandon Dyles

Picture Perfect Inspections

Bartlett, Tenn.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Another cozy fire hazard

Photo by Andrew N. Fugett

I saw this gas line from ground level and could not believe it. I'm sure glad I accessed the roof. The owner stated that his wife wanted gas logs and this was the quickest, easiest way to install them. That is duct tape securing tin plate at top of flue!

Andrew N. Fugett

Andy's Inspection Company

Jasper, Texas

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

And now...a moment to appreciate spring

Photo by Dave Hartpence

Winter home inspections, Upstate New York-style. You don't walk around the house, you "snow swim." At least you don't need a ladder to access the roof!

Dave Hartpence

Cornerstone Building Inspection, Inc.

Liverpool, N.Y.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

That is saying the least

Photo by Paul Vaughn

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.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

A stretch

Photo by Ed Massart

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

Ed Massart

Speaker of the House Inspection Services

Glen Ellyn, Ill.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

What the...?!

Photo by Tom Hermes

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.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

It is freshly painted

Photo by Gene Autore

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


courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Termite territory

Photo by Chris Andler

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

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Cut it out

Photo by Chris Harr

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

Chris Harr

National Property Inspections

Pickerington, Ohio

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Double yuck

Photo by Lon Grossman

What is the substance that is on the window sash? Hint: it's not soap, wax or glue. Believe it or not, it's an accumulation of cat urine from 26 cats that lived in the house. They also caused the damage done in the electrical panel by urinating on the floor in the room just above it.

Lon Grossman

Technihouse Inspections, Inc.

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Storage problems

Photo by Lawrence Ubell

Store nails, hammer and solvents wherever you can.

Lawrence Ubell

Accurate Building Inspectors

Brooklyn, N.Y.

courtesy of the ASHI Reporter