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  • What’s Wrong With This Picture?

    Do you remember the magazine “Highlights for Children?” I think they still publish it. I used to like reading it when I was waiting at the dentist’s office when I was a kid. We didn’t have a subscription at home. My favorite feature was the “What’s wrong with this picture?” page. It was a full page illustration with many mistakes in it and you had to find them all. Not to brag or anything, but I was always good at it. I would find all the mistakes and even some that were not “mistakes,” but I would still find them. No wonder I grew up to become a Home Inspector.

    Take a look at this picture. Can you find what’s wrong? I see a sight like this at least once a month. Did you find the mistake? It’s pretty obvious.

    To make room for the new HVAC system in the attic, the HVAC technician cut into the truss. Little did he know that you are NEVER to cut, notch or drill a truss. In contrast to conventionally framed homes (which are constructed with large pieces of lumber) truss constructed homes are engineered meaning they can use small pieces of lumber such as 2 x 4’s or 2 x 6’s. Whenever one of those trusses is altered, it places stress onto the remaining wood, which was not accounted for within the engineering and compromises the integrity of the structure. In short, any alteration done to a truss constructed structure should be approved and signed off by a structural engineer in order to assure for structural integrity.

    All these years later, I love to find things wrong with any picture. I still don’t like going to the dentist.

  • Homemade pie, Homemade pillows….Homemade security system?

    I love things that are homemade. Some of the best gifts I ever got from my daughters were items made from their little hands. Things like a wobbly paperclip holder I keep on my desk and a “World’s Best Dad” frame with a cute photo of us. I see many homemade things in other people’s homes too. Things that make me stop and smile. But I saw something homemade at an inspection recently that made me stop and shake my head…a homemade security system! Check out the photo! I know you just laughed out loud.

    I guess one good thing you can say about this security system is that it is portable. It can be moved from room to room, depending on what you want to capture. I like the fashionable stand that it comes with too! Lovely paint buckets.

    I know the home seller had their reasons for (ahem) installing this security system. It just gave me and the potential buyers and their Realtor a nice chuckle.