Reuben Saltzman

Top 20 Home Inspection Photos from 2012

We post a new home inspection photo on the Structure Tech Facebook Page five days a week.  After pouring over all of our photos from the last year, we’ve come up with our favorite home inspection pics from 2012.  Click on any of the photos for a larger view, and feel free to share.

Bent Outlet Cover – Problem: I want an outlet right where the wall is angled, but I can’t get the cover plate to fit.

Solution: Cut the cover plate and then caulk it in place.

Bent outlet cover

Worst Common Vent Ever – How can you get four water heaters to backdraft at the same time?  Just do something like this.

Worst Common Vent Ever

Outlet in duct – Moving the outlet would have been too much work, so someone just cut a hole in the exhaust duct for the kitchen hood fan.  Nice touch with the masking tape on the sharp sheet metal edges too.

Hole in duct for outlet

Furnace covers reversed – furnace manufacturers intentionally make it impossible extremely difficult to get the upper and lower covers reversed.  With enough tenacity, one can make it happen though.  This allows most of the air to get sucked from the furnace room, completely bypassing the furnace filter.  No wonder the furnace filter was so clean.

Furnace covers installed backwards

Deteriorated Chimney – Flue gases from combustion appliances like furnaces and water heaters are corrosive; that’s why you see a metal liner sticking out of most chimneys in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.  When the appliance vents in to the chimney without a liner, the flue gases often condense near the top and then drip down and destroy the inside of the chimney.

This is also just one more reason why it’s important for the home inspector to get on the roof whenever possible.

Deteriorated Chimney Liner


Optional Combustion Air – Have you ever had one of those days where you felt… y’know… a little too fresh?  Thanks to this person’s nifty invention, the combustion air being pumped in to the furnace return plenum can be manually turned off.

Combustion air valve

Leaking Drain – Awww, isn’t that cute?  We noticed a bunch of water on the floor in the basement after testing all of the first floor plumbing fixtures.  To confirm the source of the leak, we filled up the kitchen sink with water, pulled the drain stopper, then ran downstairs to catch the leak in action.

Leak at Cast Iron Pipe

TwoFur – Early attempts at one-piece kitchen faucet / sprayer combos failed miserably.

Leaking Faucet

Leaning Porch – no photo editing performed here.

Leaning Porch

Leaves in Attic – this huge piles of leaves in the attic was a mystery.

Leaves in attic

Not-so-frost-free faucet – Frost free faucets have a long stem that allows the water to be turned off inside the home, preventing them from freezing.  It doesn’t work so well when they’re installed like this.

Not-so-frost-free faucet

Missing Roof Vent – Nice solution.

Missing roof vent

This deck puts the can’t in Cantilever – The word of the day is ‘fulcrum’.  Now, everyone over to the right for a demonstration. 

Wicked Cantilever


Medusa’s House – we think we know where she lives.

Medusa plumbing

Obstructed Vacuum Breaker – Over/under on how long it will be before that vacuum breaker is removed after the Bloomington inspector leaves: 9.5 seconds.

Obstructed vacuum breaker

Scorched ‘Safer Cooking’ Manual – Alanis Morissette would love this photo.   Dontcha think?

Scorched Safer Cooking Manual

Strategic Bath Fan Placement – this gives new meaning to the term ‘point source ventilation’.

Strategic Bath Fan Placement

Worst.  Roof.  Ever.

Worst roof ever

Exploding Range – what happens when you take a range designed for natural gas and install it in a home with LP gas?  You create an explosion hazard.   DO NOT test the oven if you ever come across this defect – a huge fireball will shoot out when you open the door, which will singe your hair and give you half a heart attack.  Don’t ask us how we know.

Yellow Flames at Oven

My crawl space has a flat tire – we couldn’t believe our eyes when we found this trailer frame partially buried in concrete in a crawl space, supporting the addition at the front of a house in Hopkins.

Crawl space with trailer

Men make things fit – We’ve seen plenty of doors notched out to get around toilets, but this might be the worst one yet.

Door cutout for toilet

That last photo was a ‘bonus’ photo sent in by Rick Norling, past owner of Structure Tech.   If you enjoy these kinds of photos, remember to like our Facebook page.  Thanks!

Related Post:  Top 20 Home Inspection Photos from 2011

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections


4 responses to “Top 20 Home Inspection Photos from 2012”

  1. David Hixon
    January 15, 2013, 3:14 pm

    Great article, as an ASHI and NAHI certified Inspector it has been amazing what I have seen as well. Well written article, informative and amusing!

  2. Michael Itman
    January 18, 2013, 5:20 am

    […] Saltzman, a Twin Cities home inspector with Structure Tech Home Inspections, posted on his blog the Top 20 Worst Home Inspection Photos of 2012. You’ll love […]

  3. wordpress
    April 17, 2013, 4:12 am


  4. Shane Baker
    April 22, 2013, 5:16 pm

    Great images. I’ve seen a few like them myself!

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