14

There could be several factors that may be contributing to the situation. It sounds like an air quality problem. This could be caused by airborne mold spores, chemical contamination from bad paint or flooring adhesives (VOC's) etc. , CO from a malfunctioning heating or A/C unit or something from outside getting in. I have had to address this problem with ...


11

What makes the commercial product better than just purchasing steel plates and bolts? The commercial product doesn't rely on the screws in wood to connect the two sides. A sideways force would be spread over the area of the bracket, compressing a wide area of wood. With the plates, the same force would lever the screws out of the wood.


9

It depends on the deal you make with the Electrician. It's common for the Electrician to get the permit, though not unheard of for it to be the homeowners responsibility. The only way to know for sure is to ask the Electrician, or read through the contract/estimate. It's also typical that if the Electrician pulls the permit, the cost will be passed along ...


9

I'm guessing from the image that this is a sub-panel, in which case the inspector is correct. The National Electrical Code (NEC) says: National Electrical Code 2008 250.24 Grounding Service-Supplied Alternating-Current Systems. (A) System Grounding Connections. (5) Load-Side Grounding Connections. A grounded conductor shall not be connected to normally non–...


8

In many jurisdictions, there is a separate rough-in inspection and then a final inspection. The rough-in is usually done with wiring in place and before drywall is installed, unless the new cabling has been snaked into place. Wires are exposed in boxes and no devices are installed in the boxes. The final inspection is usually done with all devices and ...


8

The most dangerous thing I hear on construction sites is, "Aw, that ain't goin' nowhere." I can't tell you how many things I've seen go wrong because someone did some eyeball engineering and guessed wrong. I would not substitute plates for post caps. The connector has to secure the beam and post in position, resist lift-up / shear / twisting ...


7

My approach has been: Drop baseboards. Knock out a small hole behind the baseboard. Stick my iPhone in. Snap a bunch of photos with the flash on. If the photos aren't working well enough/providing enough coverage, I'll record a video with the flash on. This has been tremendously useful in working out where cables are and where they've been stapled to the ...


7

Yes, unless you are an inspector yourself. Inspections often catch things owners don't know about. The owner may have maintained it meticulously, but he can only fix the problems he knows about. My home inspector caught a few safety issues like pitch of the exhaust from the water heater and a sharp edge around a flexible gas line in the fireplace. You should ...


7

That is made for structural building members, e.g. this is designed to support a composite main beam holding up a 2-story building. Home Depot doesn't even stock it. What you're actually after is this guy, which does way more stuff in a more complicated way than what you're trying to make. If drilling holes in a piece of flat stock was good enough, why ...


6

Can a licensed contractor perform work, that requires a permit, without a permit? If the work requires a permit - that is a City / State Ordinance [aka LAW]- the answer is while the contractor could perform the work - it is a violation of the Ordinance. It is possible that the contractor might have it in fine print where it requires you to get the permits. ...


6

The inspector should have red-flagged 2 or more circuits to the same outbuilding. That's not allowed. There should be a subpanel alright, but it needs to be on the garage, and then the mandatory grounding rods are a straightforward matter. The grounding rods are no substitute for a ground wire; they do different jobs. Since Code does not allow multiple ...


5

Just leave a tail hanging at the location of the first light can. Tape the cleanly-cut end (in case someone does something stupid at the panel) and let the inspector know what's up. Everything after that can be addressed at final inspection. The same situation (and solution) applies for bathroom vanities and other fixture-only (no box) lighting.


5

Laws and rules vary widely across the country. Most towns or counties have the right to inspect the interiors of dwellings for the purpose of tax assessment, health and safety conditions. Construction inspections fall into all these categories. Insurance companies may require inspections to assess their risk of loss. The purpose of most govt inspections is ...


5

Don't build anything without a permit!!!! However, the "code" only stipulates the height of "habitable rooms" (7'). Bathrooms, storage rooms, utility rooms, hallways, etc. are not habitable rooms. Habitable spaces are rooms used for living, eating, cooking and sleeping. (R202) Can you call the rooms: study, kids playroom, closet, etc.? However, you can't ...


5

First, I gather that gang boxes are what you know, but don't use them. For a nice pile of cubic inches, you can get either 4-11/16" square deep boxes (42 or more cubic inches) or 6" square deep boxes (quite a bit more). For big boxes like this, go to a proper electrical supply house. Big-box stores actually don't specialize in big boxes, surprisingly; ...


5

First of all, there are typically two ways of making sure your construction is safe: Use an off-the-shelf approved product and install it exactly in the approved way. Design your own solution and do a real load calculation to prove that all the loads and possible failure modes are accounted for. Your question sounds like you're trying to pick the latter ...


4

It would help if you told us where you are, and what you are showing us a picture of. If it's a main panel, neutral and ground and bonded together. If it's a sub-panel, neutral and ground must be kept separate.


4

Congrats on your pending venture, a new home! I am a certified Home Inspector and have a few ideas for you. Actually, there are several items that a good home inspector is going to look at that are not on your list. Keep in mind that an inspector is going to be able to render an opinion on the condition of the systems and structure of the house. Other ...


4

You might find such a person, but it'll be tough. I suspect you'll spend a lot of time on the phone, reading your 4 points out, before you get someone that's willing. My guess is that you'll end up finding an older, semi-retired handyman type. Concerns/roadblocks include (but aren't limited to) the fact that you're asking the trade to take some measure of ...


4

The inspector is likely correct, depending on what codes you follow. If make up air is required for the water heater, it should come from outside, not a habitable space. If make up air is required for the dryer, that too should come from outside. If the vents compromise the firewall between the garage and habitable space, they must be sealed in an ...


4

Depending on the circumstances, the Permit Issuing Authority will either forbid the construction or grant a written "variance" from the rule. Sometimes a variance will have stipulations. As an example, in my area the electrical service for a new or remodeled residence must be buried. In my case, the nearest available power service was on a pole that already ...


4

I've recently been through this process, and here are a few things to look for. Some home inspectors will use some more high tech equipment such as IR/Heat cameras and provide additional services like foundation level checking. I saw some inspectors that offered free (short term) home warranty's with their inspection which can be a good added value. Ask ...


4

Conduit in place should be fine for the inspection. The forces involved in pulling make doing so without the conduit buried (so it stays put) rather difficult, and in any case it's quite common (and it you have not, I suggest you go get some) to put empty conduits in a trench for future use (i.e. a small conduit for network/phone/communications.) I have to ...


4

What is the folly of this method? If the "only" thing that were to happen was that one of these DIY plates failed with you on the deck (and nobody else), you aren't likely to sue yourself, but the medical bills could easily more than overwhelm the difference in price between the DIY solution and the approved solution. Is it dangerous? You do not ...


4

You are being written up for a missing Equipment Grounding Conductor (EGC) which is the ground wire that goes with hots and neutrals in every circuit or feeder. The thing between this meter-main and your house is feeder not service wire. Above the meter is service wire. Feeder requires EGC, service does not. What I see is 200A service coming from the top. ...


4

In your case whether or not they screwed up is kind of a matter of interpretation. The claim that concrete always cracks is really BS. In my opinion (and the opinion of many others) the number 1 reason residential concrete cracks during curing is too much water used in the mix. It's possible to put down concrete that WON'T crack - do you seriously think ...


3

Usually they do require the cover plate to verify the box is set correctly. Each inspector is different but some don't like DIY folks, especially in Lane County, Oregon. Benton & Linn counties were not so bad (I haven't worked up in Portland for ~15 years) but they usually want everything finished. I have seen inspectors fail an install because the ...


3

5th ed. Code Check p.12 "Separation & Protection from Garage" min. 1/2" (5/8") gypboard on garage side of walls common to house (309.2 "06 IRC"; 302.4 "97 UBC") No duct openings into garage (309.1.1 "06 IRC"; 302.4X "97 UBC") p.20 Ducts General: No duct openings into garage (see above) Return Air: - Not from bathroom, kitchen, mechanical room, closet,...


3

From what I can see in the fuzzy pic, someone wanted a double-gang outlet where there was a single-gang box. They apparently didn't want to cut the wall at all. There's probably no concern as far as safety, but pop an outlet tester into it to be sure.


3

I have to add that besure you check and replace your furnace filter regularly, if your house uses forced air. There are horror stories out there. If it's never been replaced, that's worse than not replacing it at all. I usually come off the dime and get a MERV 9 or 10 rated filter, and (try) to replace them every couple of months, even though some of them ...


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