Articles filed under Stone, Barry

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  • Water dripping from furnace flue pipe Mar 20, 2015 12:00 AM
    Q. We purchased a home that was built in the 1960s. The forced air furnace is new, but the metal flue pipe from the furnace is connected to the original concrete flue pipe that extends up through the roof. Whenever the furnace is turned on, water drips from the flue pipe onto the top of the furnace. The contractor who installed the furnace said that this is not a safety problem and won’t damage the furnace. We checked with another heating contractor, and he said the same thing. But this doesn’t seem right to us. What do you think?

     
  • Contractor who left house a mess is not a true friend Mar 13, 2015 12:00 AM
    Q. I had a so-called friend build my house. What a costly lesson it has been. After moving in, there was one defect after another. The worst thing is a pool of standing water under the house, nearly a foot deep.

     
  • Homeowner’s asbestos inspection was incomplete Mar 6, 2015 12:00 AM
    Q. We own a home that recently flooded. Now the interior must be stripped to the framing and rebuilt. An environmental inspector was hired to determine if there is any asbestos.

     
  • Seller worried about environmental hazards Mar 26, 2015 3:49 PM
    Q. I am concerned about environmental hazards in my home — about lead paint, asbestos ceilings, formaldehyde in treated wood, etc. etc. But I’m not very knowledgeable about these things. I’ve read just enough to be scared to death! Now we are planning to sell our home, built in 1978, and are concerned about what may have to be disclosed to buyers. What do you advise?

     
  • Aftermath of an “as-is” home purchase Feb 27, 2015 12:01 AM
    Q: We just purchased a home “as is.” The previous owner signed a mold disclosure statement that says there is no known mold. After moving in, we found that one entire bathroom wall is rotted with mold, and the roof has mold as well. Isn’t the seller liable for withholding this information?

     
  • Crazy buzzing in bathroom wall Feb 20, 2015 12:00 AM
    Q. There is a buzzing sound in my bathroom wall, and it’s driving me crazy. I have tried turning off the electrical power at the main, turning off individual circuit breakers, and shutting off the water main, but the noise continues each evening.

     
  • FHA inspections vs. home inspections Feb 13, 2015 12:00 AM
    Q. The home I’m buying just had an FHA inspection and the inspector said that everything is OK. This concerns me because I’ve noticed little cracks in the walls at the window corners. Aren’t FHA inspectors supposed to check these things?

     
  • Buyer confused about recent escrow Feb 6, 2015 12:00 AM
    Q. I just bought a house and closed escrow on the 22nd of the month. That’s when my homeowners insurance took effect. The sellers wanted to close escrow earlier, so they closed on the 17th, and that’s when they canceled their homeowners insurance.

     
  • Whirlpool tub isn’t meant to be shower Jan 30, 2015 12:01 AM
    Q. We just bought a remodeled older home. Our home inspector found no problems with the whirlpool tub and shower setup, but since moving in we are having problems with drainage around the tub rim.

     
  • Problems with wet insulation found during inspection Jan 23, 2015 12:01 AM
    Q. I recently did a home inspection on a new house and found problems involving wet cellulose insulation in the walls. The insulation was installed about three months ago and the wall panels under the siding are now warped. In fact, the panels are still wet and so is the insulation. Installing wet insulation inside the walls of a home seems like a bad idea, but I’d like to know what you think about it.

     
  • Home inspector goes to small claims court Jan 16, 2015 12:01 AM
    Q. I’ve been a home inspector for about two years, so I’m still learning. Unfortunately, I just learned a very hard lesson after doing a free walk-through inspection as a favor for a real estate agent who was buying a high-rise condo.

     
  • Specialists needed to identify, remove asbestos from attic Jan 9, 2015 12:01 AM
    Q. I purchased my home about seven years ago, and my home inspector said nothing about asbestos in the attic. Recently, I decided to add more insulation and was told that the insulation I have is asbestos.

     
  • Unexpected moisture problem under house Dec 26, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. My house is built on a raised foundation and has a moisture problem under the floor. I first noticed this when the flooring began to warp and to change color.

     
  • Who is liable for undisclosed septic problem? Dec 19, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. Two days after we moved into our home, the septic system backed up into the tub and toilet. This was a big surprise because the septic had been inspected and approved by a septic contractor before the close of escrow.

     
  • Understanding GFCI outlets Dec 12, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We just bought an old house, built in the 1950s, so the electrical outlets are not grounded. We’d like to add GFCI outlets near the bathroom and kitchen sinks for shock protection, but our home inspector told us that GFCI outlets will only work if there are ground wires. According to the inspector, GFCIs are useless without a ground. Is this true?

     
  • In Illinois, a buyer’s agent represents the buyer Dec 5, 2014 12:01 AM
    In a recent column, I answered a question from a Washington, D.C., real estate attorney. A number of real estate agents and attorneys have written to express displeasure over my response to her. Therefore, I offer this explanation and apology.

     
  • Undisclosed water intrusion in addition Nov 28, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. Our house has a three-room addition that was built without a permit, according to the sellers’ disclosure statement. We hired a home inspector before we bought the property, and he reported no serious defects with the addition. But every time it rains, the floors in those rooms become wet.

     
  • Furnace recall overlooked by home inspector Nov 21, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. When we bought our home, our inspector said nothing about the furnace, except that it “appears functional.” Recently, we had it serviced by a contractor who said it is a recalled unit made by Premier.

     
  • Pinhole leaks common in copper water pipes Nov 14, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. In the past year I’ve had three pinhole leaks in my copper water pipes. My insurance company has refused to pay any more claims for damage caused by leaks, and the cost to repipe my house is more than I can afford. When I asked my plumber why these leaks keep happening, he didn’t have a definite answer. I thought copper piping was supposed to be good quality. Why do these leaks keep happening?

     
  • Home inspector didn’t disclose leaky roof Nov 7, 2014 10:03 AM
    Q. Before I bought my house, several friends said, “Don’t buy a place with a flat roof. You’ll have leaks.” But I didn’t listen. I figured that a home inspector would let me know if the roof was OK.

     
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