That downspout connecting to the return air duct fed to the exterior of the home and was being used as the combustion air intake. It’s not conventional and it’s probably a little small, but hey, it works.
One of our best photos. This shows a BX electrical wire being fed through a plumbing vent down to the basement.
Any unused openings in electric panels are supposed to be covered over, not only to contain any potential fire or sparking that could occur inside the panel, but also to prevent unwanted visitors from coming in.
Load Bearing Soup Can (from Reuben’s house)
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.
We could tell this chimney crown needed repair just by looking at it from the ground, but we had no idea it would be this bad. This chimney crown obviously needs to be completely replaced.
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.
This deck puts the can’t in Cantilever – The word of the day is ‘fulcrum’. Now, everyone over to the right for a demonstration.
Someone went to a lot of effort to install this bath fan above the shower, but without a duct… what’s the point? I can only scratch my head.
Electrical tape is not an approved plumbing material.
We pulled the vinyl siding away underneath this cantilevered balcony to find major water intrusion
One of the worst water heaters we’ve seen.
Duct tape is not an approved plumbing material.
The roof decking was in horrible condition at this house, but that didn’t stop the roofers; they installed a new roof covering right over the top. That black stuff is the ice & water shield.
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.
That area rug better come with the house.
Someone had an idea here. We’re not sure what they were trying to do.
We’re guessing it took someone quite a long time to cut through this steel I-beam to get the door to fit.
Time-Out Chairs Are All About Placement – want to make your kids behave? Consider a more strategic location for the time-out chair.
No explanation needed.
“You look out for OSHA, I’ll paint the soffit.”
Laundry chute in shower
The owner thought they had ice dams, and had already replaced their patio door because of all the leakage. The culprit? The furnace flue came loose when the roof was replaced several years ago. The exhaust gas caused massive water damage and ice buildup throughout the attic.
Missing Roof Vent – Nice solution.
“The Gauntlet” (mouse died of a heart attack)
Glowing Bonding Screw
Amateur drain repairs.
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.
this gives new meaning to the term ‘point source ventilation’.
Bent Outlet Cover – Problem: I want an outlet right where the wall is angled, but I can’t get the cover plate to fit.
This house was too full for ‘Hoarders’
Hazardous aluminum branch circuit conductors
Medusa’s House – we think we know where she lives.
We spotted the exact same brass chandeliers in two different houses, on opposite sides of town, on the same day. One was in a laundry room, another in an attic.
Scorched ‘Safer Cooking’ Manual – Alanis Morissette would love this photo. Dontcha think?
Worst. Roof. Ever.
Rorschach Mold – please look at the wall and tell us what you see.
Hazardous electrical wiring
Attics are supposed to be treated as warm spaces or cold spaces. Someone obviously didn’t understand the point.
The entire center support structure at this two-story house was supported by a single telescopic post.
TwoFur – Early attempts at one-piece kitchen faucet / sprayer combos failed miserably.
Over/under on how long it will be before that vacuum breaker is removed after the Bloomington inspector leaves: 9.5 seconds.
We’ve said many times that pressure washers should never be used to remove ice dams, because they tear up shingles.
Sump baskets are reinforced on the sides to prevent them from collapsing. Plastic refuse containers are not.
As I was typing up the insection report for this house, my wife saw this photo on the computer screen and said “Wow, that chimney looks like it’s about one angry bird away from collapse.” Good call.
Leaking Drain – Awww, isn’t that cute?
We don’t know what was stored in these containers, but we’re thinking it wasn’t water.
Jamie Hyneman Toilet
This was someone’s attempt at cooling a room where the AC unit wasn’t installed.
This dryer duct was being used as a convenient way to run wire out to the garage.
Downspout Aimed at Outlet
Put The Milk In Back
Sump Pump to Sanitary Sewer
Leaning Porch – no photo editing performed here.
Another scene from the house that was too full for ‘Hoarders’
Hmmm… needs more caulk.
Men make things fit – We’ve seen plenty of doors notched out to get around toilets, but this might be the worst one yet.
Minnesota Nice – you’d think we staged this photo, but we didn’t. The owner of this Minneapolis home left some appliance manuals on the kitchen table, a three page letter listing the deficiencies they were aware of, a garage door opener remote, a flashlight, and two boxes of girl scout cookies.
Well, that’s one way to insulate an attic. Most people prefer to open the bags and spread the stuff around though…
Looks great… but uh, the tabs are supposed to be staggered.
Yes, there was power at this mast head.
The cover to this electric panel had been cut out to allow for cabinet door hinges to mount flush. Yes, that large black wire that gets pushed back by the hinge is the main service entrance wire.
No explanation needed.
You need gutters.
Corner Toilets Are Expensive
This is what ice dams do.
Door Stop / Smoke Alarm Combo
Unsafe service entrance conductors
We’ve seen plenty of rotted windows, but this one was also filled in with expanding foam, trimmed to match the profile of the window, and painted to match.
Three sides of this chimney looked just fine from a distance.
That’s a terrible place for an electrical mast
This might be the most interesting tiled floor we’ve come across.
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.
Worst Common Vent Ever – How can you get four water heaters to backdraft at the same time? Just do something like this.
While most people would have had to decide between a heat register and a cabinet here, this homeowner decided to have their cake and eat it too. Can you guess what city this house was in?
Leaves in Attic – this huge piles of leaves in the attic was a mystery.
This mushroom was growing in an attic below an improperly installed butterfly roof.
I noticed water leaking out from behind the escutcheon, which is that decorative metal trim ring around the pipe sticking out of wall. I turned the water off, pulled the escutcheon away, got my camera ready, turned the water back on… click.
Floor joists? We don’t need no stinking floor joists.
Dropped Ceilings Were Invented To Hide Electrical Hazards
Apparently someone was tired of replacing those pesky fuses, so they replaced the fuses with a couple short lengths of copper tubing. Can you say fire hazard?
One of the main service entrance conductors was badly corroded
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.
Some Things Can’t Be Explained
What’s keeping this chimney together? Inertia.
Yes, that’s a live wire feeding through the dryer duct, underground, and out to the garage.
Yes, you’ve achieved the cabin feel alright.
Hole in your fascia? No problem! Just use a bunch of caulk and a hockey puck to fix it.
This is the only photo we didn’t take (thanks DKW3). This was someone’s solution to chronic water intrusion from ice dam leakage.