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Holmes Inspection: Mike Gets New Toys


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#211

BoDiva

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Posted Mar 11, 2012 @ 11:12 PM

That's why it is so important to check a contractor's references. People so often ask for them, but then never call them. It's particularly good to ask someone who has had work done that you love who did their work.

Sometimes I wish they'd go into how to get and evaluate references and how to check out complaints with local BBB or the courts.
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#212

emma675

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Posted Apr 4, 2012 @ 10:56 AM

Having grown up in Texas where basements are a rarity, I have to ask, what the heck is a cold room? I've never heard of this before and it seems to be popping up on HI a lot more recently.
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#213

Taeolas

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Posted Apr 4, 2012 @ 6:35 PM

A cold room is just that; an uninsulated unheated underground room that was used for storage, often food storage during winter. Not as common nowadays with supermarkets and what not, but somewhat common in older homes.
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#214

emma675

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Posted Apr 5, 2012 @ 10:22 AM

Thanks, Taeolas! It sounds like it's almost a natural refridgerator in a way. I had just noticed that these rooms were being mentioned more and more in recent episodes since they seem to be doing basement gut episodes.
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#215

Taeolas

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Posted Apr 5, 2012 @ 10:30 AM

Yeah, they'll often come up in a basement redo, usually because as you'll see, some homeowner (not necessarily the current HO's) didn't understand the full implications of a cold room, and they'd insulate it improperly or otherwise try to bring it in as just another closet/storage room, causing all the usual cold zone vs hot zone problems.
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#216

aceplace57

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Posted Apr 7, 2012 @ 4:52 AM

I have to disagree with Mike about putting a washer/dryer in a cold room. This was the homeowners mothers basement apartment episode.

I see nothing wrong with it. I know a lot of homes in my neighborhood that have the washer/dryer in a unheated carport closet. Its a outside storage space. Most people keep a 60 Watt incandescent bulb on for a little heat in the winter. That's just enough heat to keep the washer hoses from freezing in our moderate winters.

A cold room is no different than any other outdoor storage building. Its unheated, outdoor storage that's attached to the basement. Most cold rooms I've seen have an exterior door with a weatherproof gasket that faces the basement. That way you don't get chilly drafts in the basement from the cold room.

A cold room is underground and the earth should keep it a little warmer than a storage building in the yard. I'd be surprised if a cold room temperatures ever got below freezing.

Edited by aceplace57, Apr 7, 2012 @ 5:44 AM.

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#217

Ima Pilgrim

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Posted Apr 7, 2012 @ 10:09 PM

That's why it is so important to check a contractor's references. People so often ask for them, but then never call them. It's particularly good to ask someone who has had work done that you love who did their work.

Sometimes I wish they'd go into how to get and evaluate references and how to check out complaints with local BBB or the courts.


Sometimes that doesn't work either, not everyone is in the BBB and they pretty much suck anyway, since the contractors pay them to be listed, they don't want to kill the revenue stream, they are very poor about filing complaints and getting resolution. I'm in court right now with the 2nd contractor on my renovation, the first one defaulted because he couldn't beat the bank at their game, but ended up hurting himself more than he hurt me - happy to see the back of him. The second one was recommended by my LENDER, as someone reliable who had done work for them before. Not so much. 6 months after moving in all my floors failed because none of them were put in right, among many many other examples of shitty half assed work. And surprise, he's going Chapter 13 so even if I win, I'll have to wait till his house gets foreclosed on or he pays off the lien I'm about to slap on his house.

It's only because I watch Mike religiously that I know just how badly I got ripped off. I actually watched him nailing down the subfloor and heard Mike in my ear saying "That's not how we do that.." Next person who works on my house supplies an insurance bond, or no deal.
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#218

Lastkidpicked

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Posted Apr 19, 2012 @ 5:42 PM

Ima Pilgrim, I'm sorry to hear that you're having a tough time, and this post is in no way directed at you or others who have been ripped off.

But there is another side to these stories that the show is ignoring. Sometimes a legitimate carpenter will have this conversation with a homeowner--

Carpenter: I noticed your front porch is made out of Redwood. It gives a little when you walk across it. We use treated lumber now, so that doesn't happen.

Homeowner: What should we do about it?

Carpenter: The proper fix is to tear it out and replace it with treated lumber. But I can shore it up for you and you should get another five years or so out of it.

Homeowner: Great! Do that.

Carpenter: Okay, but start budgeting your money because in a few years we will have to just tear it out and replace it with treated lumber.

The point is, in the real world where people have to spend real money, not everything is an emergency and an automatic tear out. I'm not saying this is right, I'm just saying I'd like to see that side of it shown as an alternative.
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#219

lu1wml

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Posted Jun 11, 2012 @ 12:47 PM

Saw the two-parter last night where the load-bearing walls had been removed in an earlier remodel.
That must have been a house Mike dreamed about--sagging floor, bad plumbing and electrical, asbestos--and then after he'd said that it would cost about $300k, he finds the foundation ready to crumble.
All bases were touched.
I did like the show, and felt so sorry for the homeowners, especially the husband who looked ready to cry, and had a deer in the headlights look at the same time.
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#220

bunnyface

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Posted Jun 11, 2012 @ 12:59 PM

I've seen bits and pieces of Holmes shows around but that two part episode last night was the first one I've ever sat and watched beginning to end. Those poor people. (Didn't they say they just accepted the homeowner's inspection though? That seems crazy, even before we saw what else all happened.) I was just shaking my head every time they came up with something new.

So now that I've watched a whole show, I have all kinds of questions about this show and who pays for what and whether or not the former homeowner/contractor/inspector has been strung up yet. But I'll go back and read the thread before I ask again.
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#221

lu1wml

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Posted Jun 11, 2012 @ 2:10 PM

This episode is discussed on pages 2 & 7.
A discussion of who pays is here.
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#222

Bastet Esq

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Posted Jun 11, 2012 @ 2:19 PM

I had seen bits and pieces before, but last night was my first chance to watch that two-part story all the way through. Wow. I do think there were red flags the homeowners should have picked up on alerting them to problems - or at least potential problems - beyond what was stated in the report, but by far my greatest ire is saved for the inspector and the stream of idiots who did such reckless work in the first place. And I do mean reckless in the legal sense, as that shit went beyond negligence. What a mess!
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#223

OSM Mom

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Posted Jun 11, 2012 @ 4:36 PM

And that whole episode is a cautionary tale for trying to make an older house have the ever-popular (and IMO awful) "open floor plan". The walls all these idiots want to take out are load bearing walls...and they were there for a reason. So if you ever look at a house that's been 'opened up', be sure that it's done properly.
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#224

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Posted Jun 25, 2012 @ 3:49 PM

I watched a couple of these shows yesterday. I didn't realize it was different show from the usual Holmes stuff (Mike is Mike). I read back from the beginning of the thread and was glad (kinda) to read that maybe home inspection is less thorough in Canada than it is in the US. I've had two inspections recently (waiting to close on one) and watching these shows, all I could think of was 'what did my guy miss?' I walked around with him, and I have lived in one of the properties for years, so I knew some of the flaws already, but still...

The HOs who could look into the basement of the house next door? WTF was that?? That whole place was just scary; 'money pit' doesn't begin to describe it.

I felt sorry for the woman's whose deck broke, injuring her and her friends. What a disaster that was. And then to be sued and vilified afterward when it wasn't your fault? Jeez.
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#225

Cgr

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Posted Jun 25, 2012 @ 7:36 PM

I think the quality of inspections depends on the person doing it. As far as I know it isn't regulated. But most of them are bonded.
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#226

lu1wml

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Posted Jun 25, 2012 @ 10:57 PM

I thought that the inspection was backed up with a warranty or bond, if anything that the inspector passed, failed.
We sold a house FHA and the inspector was very picky.
With the see-through basement, I think that was the part where he said the dividing wall was a 2 x 4. I wonder if the fact that the buildings were originally stores meant that was allowed.
I can't really tell much difference in the Homes and the Inspection shows, but I believe you see Mike doing more work in Homes.
Anyone else look forward to shows shot in the summer, so that Mike will show up in the wife-beater under his overalls?
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#227

Suz at Large

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Posted Jun 26, 2012 @ 8:59 AM

I thought that the inspection was backed up with a warranty or bond, if anything that the inspector passed, failed.
We sold a house FHA and the inspector was very picky.

As far as I know, there's no general nationwide (in the US, anyway) certification or licensing of home inspectors, and it's up to each state. My state has absolutely no certification, licensing, bonding, warranty, or other regulation of home inspectors. I could declare myself a home inspector this minute and take money for doing inspections, and as long as I refrained from actual lying and fraud, be totally legal. I'd be really crappy at being a home inspector, but that's not illegal as long as I don't lie about my qualifications or commit such willful fraud as failing to visit the house and saying I did.

And, yes, I got burned bad by a home inspector - and thank goodness it was only a central a/c unit she said was nearly new that turned out to be 20 years old (it was on a hard-to-access rooftop so I didn't climb up a ladder to look at it - apparently she didn't either). I say "only" a central AC unit, because although the unit was expen$ive to replace, it wasn't a matter of bad structural stuff, mold, water intrusion, dangerous wiring, or the like - such as Mike's crew has to fix on this show.

The only thing approaching any kind of nationwide supervision: I think that there are FHA and VA certifications for home inspectors, so that for homes being sold where FHA or VA financing is used, there's probably a requirement that the inspector hold the FHA or VA certification. I don't know if that certification requires them to be bonded or provide a warranty for their work.

I also don't know if any states regulate home inspectors. In the wake of the housing bust, state regulators have come down hard on real estate appraisers, but at least in my state that regulatory reach hasn't extended to home inspectors.

I learned the hard way that it is TOTALLY buyer beware when it comes to home inspections. Needless to say I was not so casual about selecting the inspector for my most recent home (condo) purchase, and was present for the inspection which I wasn't for the time I got burned.

Edited by Suz at Large, Jun 26, 2012 @ 11:53 AM.

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#228

Cgr

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Posted Jun 26, 2012 @ 4:29 PM

When we first moved to TX my husband thought about being a housing inspector. He decided it wasn't what he wanted to do. He wasn't wild about crawling into attics when it was 110 degrees up there, or more. But there was some sort of apprenticeship Not sure if that was required by the state or the bonding agency. But when we have had houses inspected here in TX they stipulate that they don't look behind dry wall, for termites, mold or poor construction.
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#229

Taeolas

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Posted Jul 16, 2012 @ 7:28 AM

I haven't looked into it up here in Canada, but as HI shows, there aren't that many regulations up here either; but it's one of Mike's causes to try and tighten up that industry as well.

I think the main thing that Holmes Inspection brings across, is to Be Informed and to Be Present. Mike doesn't want people to become inspectors themselves; but he DOES want people to know what to look for and where things can be hidden. And part of that is to be present when the inspection is done so you can SEE how the inspector works, so you can ask questions and you know what he looked at and what he skimmed over. And if it smells bad, you can account for that. (Especially if it literally smells bad).
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#230

lu1wml

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Posted Aug 7, 2012 @ 10:51 AM

In the one with the young woman biker, who had lots of leak problems, I was really sorry that they ended up putting stucco all over her brick house.
I was hoping they could keep it as a brick house, because who'd prefer a stucco one?
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#231

Bastet Esq

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Posted Aug 7, 2012 @ 12:19 PM

Was that addressed? I don't care for the look of brick houses, but I'd assume someone who bought one does.
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#232

stinkymcgee

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Posted Aug 7, 2012 @ 12:30 PM

Yeah, it depends on the specific brick used (and, of course, the quality of stucco work), but overall I think I'd prefer stucco. Brick is great for outdoor accents, for chimneys perhaps, but I don't generally care for the look of an entirely-brick house.
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#233

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Posted Aug 8, 2012 @ 2:39 PM

Where I'm from, mid-Atlantic, all-brick houses were considered the best-built, and were more expensive. Houses with brick-facing on the front were less expensive.
I like brick.
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#234

bookseller362

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Posted Sep 16, 2013 @ 3:40 PM

I'll tell you, the show is educational - and darn scary! We've been thinking of renovating our 1958 bathroom in our 123-year-old home to make it more accessible. And, quite frankly, I am scared to death of what they may find when they start pulling things apart... And Mike isn't lessening the fear, either, thankyouverymuchMr.Holmes. I can easily see a major crisis behind that wall of plastic tiling...

 

Brrrr.


Edited by bookseller362, Sep 16, 2013 @ 3:44 PM.

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#235

aceplace57

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Posted Sep 20, 2013 @ 8:55 PM

Mike sometimes does some really weird things with no explanation. I just rewatched Go With the Flow, the episode that dealt with two bad fireplaces. Lighting a fireplace on the first floor caused smoke to come out of the basement fireplace. They also moved the laundry from the first floor mudroom into the basement.  Mike made a big deal out of the previous homeowner sealing off a door they didn't use and venting the dryer through the door. That minor modification was within code and legal. There was a patio door entrance two feet away from that sealed off door. But Mike in his all knowing wisdom couldn't stand it.  It was one of the simpler jobs from season 1. 

 

Mike tells Damon to remove the homeowners storage from the attic above the garage and drywall the ceiling.  Why doesn't he install a pull down attic ladder? They come with a gasket that seals out any garage fumes. It costs $40 a month to rent a storage locker in my city.  I'd be furious if Mike took away my attic storage. I'd wait until after Mike and the crew packed up the cameras. Then, I'd be out in there cutting a new access panel hole. A lot of garages have a pull down ladder and attic storage space. That's where all our luggage gets stored, camping gear, and other bulky stuff that isn't heavy.


Edited by aceplace57, Sep 20, 2013 @ 9:06 PM.

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