Granite Trumps Structure


I think this post is a gem.  This scenario happens more often than it should.  Homeowners focus more on the cosmetic items and the eye candy rather than attending to the major structural components of the home.

Via James Quarello – Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC):

Everyone likes a good game of cards. I enjoy a good game of Go Fish or War with my two girls now and again.  War is a simple game where the highest card wins or trumps the other, lower cards.

I find that when looking at houses certain features trump others in the grand scheme of building new or renovating. This prioritizing is most certainly dictated by budget. There is only going to be so much money in which to accomplish the wants and needs of the new or present homeowners. The wants are complicated by the fact there are usually two people involved “wanting” different features, which can lead to some minor discord.

Crunchy wood from termitesThe big problem with the wants is they sometimes trump the needs. The needs are usually the ugly stuff you can’t show off to your friend’s. For example that super efficient new boiler which happens to be in the not so attractive basement, over in a far corner hidden by stuff everyone stores in those out of the way places in their home. No one is going to show that to their friends. Well maybe the guy will while the lady of the house dies of embarrassment. This will lead to some more of that minor discord I mentioned after the guests have left.

I recently inspected a home where it was clear no one cared about the needs during a major renovation as much as the wants. The home was beautifully redone inside and out. The quality of the work was good, so there were only some relatively minor issues that came up during the inspection with one big exception.

Sill plate damaged by termitesIn the basement was discovered a significant amount of termite damage. The damage was to about 10 – 12 feet of the rim and box joist and to several floor joists. The amount of damage present didn’t occur in a few months, but over the course of many years. What was fairly apparent was the damage had very likely been found during the renovation. There were some very cursory repairs to a few floor joists. In addition the entire ceiling and walls where the damage was found had been painted. The room was roughly finished and was used as a rec room.

Because of the location and amount of damage this is no small or cheap fix. In fact I was present during an estimate by a contractor and the price given to repair was $10,000. That will but a lot of wants.

Let’s face it granite counter tops are so much more showy than Formica and who really cares if the floors fall in.



James Quarello
2010 SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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About susanmorrison

After living in Walpole, MA for many years, our family was transferred to the west coast when I was a senior in high school. In 1983, I graduated from Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California. I am also a 1987 graduate of Providence College with a major in liberal arts and a minor in business administration. I bring to the table many years of sales experience beginning with thirteen years in Corporate Sales at Delta Air Lines. I'm the mother of three children and I'm very active within the Franklin, MA community. I am also a cancer survivor and support the American Cancer Society Charities.

My husband and I have built five homes and I've lived in a variety of other locations including Toronto Canada, Irving Texas and my current home in Franklin, MA. As a result of all my moving around, I came to the conclusion that I was an expert at moving...why not become an expert on the other side of the table? I earned my real estate license in 2004 and believe that I have found my true niche'. I can empathize with my clients on a variety of levels; whether they are buying or selling. And, like so many other good realtors out there, I believe that possessing good communication skills is one of the many keys to success.

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