Why I Do Not Estimate Repairs

This was a tub/shower surround in a 1950s apartment I inspected in Burbank. It was tiled up 5 feet, and into the window frame. The tile was applied over a floated cement plaster base. When I fist saw it, there was a "minor" crack in the tile, and there was no caulking between the tile and the metal window frame. There was also a hole on the exterior window sill, about the size of a dime. The sill seemed pretty solid, as did the tile. Of course I could not see through the tile and plaster or through the exterior stucco to the damage lurking within.

Water Saving Tips

California is experiencing a serious drought. Both the Governor and the President are seeking solutions. Regardless of the endless political, ecological and legal wrangling between agriculture, urban use and concerned citizens, there are steps we, as water users, can take right now to help ease the situation.

How is Your Firewall?

A firewall is not firePROOF. It's designed to slow down or temporarily delay a fire, giving the people enough time to escape. In multi-family units, there is a firewall between each unit. Even in single family houses, though, if there is an attached garage, there must be a firewall. In the case of townhomes, there should be a fire rated wall between each unit, from the foundation all the way to the roof. The most common problems I see with these is missing tape, joint compound, or just holes, gaps and leaks in the attic area.

Beer Can Chicken

I'm trying a wet rub recipe on beer can chicken. I've used the rub on pieces for grilling before, but I think it might go nicely here as well. For instruction on how to cook beer can chicken, just google it, there are many sites that describe it out there. Here's the rub recipe, originally from a Sunset magazine some time back, and slightly modified, of course.


Attic remodel tips from This Old House

Attic Remodel Los Angeles


If you're planning on putting liveable space to use in your attic, this article has a great deal of sage advice.


I've listed few other things to consider that were not covered.

Your Family's Safety is My Main Concern

Many people misunderstand the purpose of a home inspection. To me, and to many of my peers, the primary focus is not to save the home buyer money, or protect them from unscrupulous sellers or agents, or to convey “peace  of mind”. Sure, that may be why you got a home inspection in the first place, and it just makes good, financial sense. It’s the responsible thing to do.

More fun with GFCIs

GFCI - Santa Clarita home inspection

Another great article on GFCI protection in wet areas, with a fun guessing game thrown in. Just make sure to read all the way through the last paragraph, where a common misconception about these devices is more accurately described.

Protect Yourself from Mercury in Florescent Bulbs


OSHA’s Bright Idea: Protect Workers from Mercury in Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Compact fluorescent light bulbs might be long lasting and environmentally friendly, but they also pose a potentially serious health risk when crushed or broken: mercury poisoning. OSHA offers two new resources to help employers ensure their workers are protected when handling fluorescent bulbs.

Shocking Lack of GFCI Testing

You've all seen them, those electrical outlets with the little test and reset buttons. But have you tested them? Do you know how to test them properly, and how often it should be done? Here is a tip from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and a link to much more information on GFCIs, everything you need to know to be safer.


Change Your Smoke Alarms!

This article was originally published in the California Real Estate Inspectors Association (CREIA) bulletin, intended for home inspectors. Mr. Walker was kind enough to grant permission to reprint it. While it is slightly technical, I believe it is so important it should be read from beginning to end by all. Please, for the sake of  your family and loved ones, read and follow this advice, and pass it on to everyone you know.


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