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Home Inspection Nightmares XXIV

Jury-rigged toilets, improvised ductwork, and sawed-out rafters. Check out the latest dangerous discoveries made by house inspectors, courtesy of the ASHI Reporter

Move Over MacGyver

"Okay, MacGyver, you don't have anything on this homeowner, who fixed his toilet valve with a binder clip, some twine & a spork!"

Steve Butzer

HomeSpec Inspection Services

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hats Off to You

"Why use a tin pie plate to cover the hole in the chimney when you can use a farmer's highly flammable straw hat? E–I–E–I–Ohhhhh Noooo!!!"

Skip Spencer

Buyers Protection Group

Wyoming, Mich.

Canned Heat?

"Here's a photo of ductwork made from a gutter downspout and a food can."

John Handloser

Pillar to Post Piedmont

Palmyra, Va.

Going a Little Too Green

"This is a commercial building I drove past in East Cleveland. I couldn't believe it—those vines must working their way into every crack and crevice of the siding, causing leaks and structural failure. It gives a whole new meaning to the term 'green building.'"

Joe Lengel

Advantage Home Services, Inc.

Garrettsville, Ohio

Down the Toilet

"Not removing the toilet first sure does save you the trouble of connecting all those drain pipes."

Randy Payne

Quality Home Inspections

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Let Me Start Counting the Ways

"Stripped wire sheathing, improper grounding, no cable clamps...How many more ways can you improperly wire a subpanel box?"

David Maudlin

Cornerstone Inspection Services

Carmel, Ind.

Sharp Slicer

"This fan was found in the floor space to move air from a wood stove. It was running when I was searching for a noise that no one could explain. I almost lost fingers."

David Grudzinski

Advantage Home Inspections

Cranston, R.I.


"Are these black 'vent' pipes supposed to be attached to something inside the house?? This is a three-year-old house by a local builder. It must have been a Friday afternoon job by the plumber who was in a hurry to get to happy hour."

Bob Pyne

AmeriSpec Inspection Services

Colorado Springs, Colo.

Ah, the Giant Squid Configuration

"Why bother running the laundry, kitchen, and bathroom exhaust ducts directly to the outside when you have this convenient furnace flue to connect them to."

Scott Mitchell

Pillar To Post Home Inspections

Suwanee, Ga.


"This deck is resting on the ground on one side and on a retaining wall that is falling over on the other end."

Matthew Steger

WIN Home Inspection - Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown, Pa.

Flammable, Schlammable

"Who needs an approved oil line? I think I can use my garden hose. If it leaks, I'll just use some of this 'premium absorbent.'"

David Grudzinski

Advantage Home Inspections

Cranston, R.I.

Desk Fan or "Death" Fan?

"The gas had been turned off, so the furnace blower was removed and wired to an extension cord. Who needs a desk fan?"

Michael Gonzalez


Atlanta, Georgia

Buttered Brick

"The owner said the mason told her he 'buttered' the mortar so the fan could come out easly and be changed if needed."

David Maudlin

Cornerstone Inspection Services

Carmel, Ind.

Running on Empty

"This garage has its own furnace and a truck's gas tank to go with it. 'Hey, my garage is on empty.'"

David Grudzinski

Advantage Home Inspections

Cranston, R.I.

Cracked Repair

"The toilet tank cracked and rather than replace it, the homeowner filled the tank with caulking."

Brodie Brown

Browntree Home Inspections

Marietta, Ga.

What's That Old Saying?

"Wait, don't tell me: Is it 'Measure once, cut twice?' It's not dangerous if the cuts don't go all the way through the rafters, is it?"

Ed Massart

Speaker of the House

Glen Ellyn, Ill.


"I came across this interesting way to add extra R value insulation and humidity in your attic space: with a dryer vent. No wonder the rental unit gets really hot on a hot, hot, hot day in summer."

Norman Bodewig

Accu-rate Home inspections

Cape Coral, Fla.

Snake Eyes

"Another vacant home with a built in mouse trap. Once we saw each other, it didn't take long for both of us to turn and go the opposite way."

Paul Reichle

Missouri Property Inspections, LLC

Troy, Mo.

Looks Like a Yeti Took a Bite

"Mechanical contractors and power saws are a dangerous combination. What's worse, this evisceration of the rafters was not even needed to install the unit or ducts. They were cut out 'just in case.'"

Steve Anderson

Anderson AmeriSpec

Germantown, Tenn.

Danger: No Diving!

"This jobsite has a high dive, but no pool!"

Ronnie Blankenship

Complete Home Inspectors

Salem, Ala.