Three sides of this chimney looked just fine from a distance.
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.
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.
We’ve said many times that pressure washers should never be used to remove ice dams, because they tear up shingles.
Missing Roof Vent – Nice solution.
Leaves in Attic – this huge piles of leaves in the attic was a mystery.
Downspout Aimed at Outlet
One of our best photos. This shows a BX electrical wire being fed through a plumbing vent down to the basement.
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.
What’s keeping this chimney together? Inertia.
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.
Worst. Roof. Ever.
Laundry chute in shower
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.
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?
We’re guessing it took someone quite a long time to cut through this steel I-beam to get the door to fit.
Yes, that’s a live wire feeding through the dryer duct, underground, and out to the garage.
This was someone’s attempt at cooling a room where the AC unit wasn’t installed.
Medusa’s House – we think we know where she lives.
Hats belong on peoples heads.
Glowing Bonding Screw
Over/under on how long it will be before that vacuum breaker is removed after the Bloomington inspector leaves: 9.5 seconds.
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?
TwoFur – Early attempts at one-piece kitchen faucet / sprayer combos failed miserably.
Bent Outlet Cover – Problem: I want an outlet right where the wall is angled, but I can’t get the cover plate to fit.
One of the main service entrance conductors was badly corroded
Amateur drain repairs.
Hazardous aluminum branch circuit conductors
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.
No explanation needed.
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.
Duct tape is not an approved plumbing material.
We pulled the vinyl siding away underneath this cantilevered balcony to find major water intrusion
This is the only photo we didn’t take (thanks DKW3). This was someone’s solution to chronic water intrusion from ice dam leakage.
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.
Leaning Porch – no photo editing performed here.
Unsafe service entrance conductors
Jamie Hyneman Toilet
No explanation needed.
This is what ice dams do.
Put The Milk In Back
Yes, there was power at this mast head.
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.
That area rug better come with the house.
Men make things fit – We’ve seen plenty of doors notched out to get around toilets, but this might be the worst one yet.
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.
Sump Pump to Sanitary Sewer
this gives new meaning to the term ‘point source ventilation’.
We don’t know what was stored in these containers, but we’re thinking it wasn’t water.
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.
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.
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.
Well, that’s one way to insulate an attic. Most people prefer to open the bags and spread the stuff around though…
“There, that oughta do it.”
Hole in your fascia? No problem! Just use a bunch of caulk and a hockey puck to fix it.
Floor joists? We don’t need no stinking floor joists.
Time-Out Chairs Are All About Placement – want to make your kids behave? Consider a more strategic location for the time-out chair.
Some Things Can’t Be Explained
Dropped Ceilings Were Invented To Hide Electrical Hazards
This house was too full for ‘Hoarders’
This dryer duct was being used as a convenient way to run wire out to the garage.
Looks great… but uh, the tabs are supposed to be staggered.
“You look out for OSHA, I’ll paint the soffit.”
Hazardous electrical wiring
Leaking Drain – Awww, isn’t that cute?
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.
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.
One of the worst water heaters we’ve seen.
Electrical tape is not an approved plumbing material.
Load Bearing Soup Can (from Reuben’s house)
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.
Rorschach Mold – please look at the wall and tell us what you see.
Door Stop / Smoke Alarm Combo
This mushroom was growing in an attic below an improperly installed butterfly roof.
Worst Common Vent Ever – How can you get four water heaters to backdraft at the same time? Just do something like this.
Attics are supposed to be treated as warm spaces or cold spaces. Someone obviously didn’t understand the point.
Sump baskets are reinforced on the sides to prevent them from collapsing. Plastic refuse containers are not.
Another scene from the house that was too full for ‘Hoarders’
Scorched ‘Safer Cooking’ Manual – Alanis Morissette would love this photo. Dontcha think?
Yes, you’ve achieved the cabin feel alright.
Someone had an idea here. We’re not sure what they were trying to do.
This might be the most interesting tiled floor we’ve come across.
Hmmm… needs more caulk.
The entire center support structure at this two-story house was supported by a single telescopic post.
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.
That’s a terrible place for an electrical mast
This deck puts the can’t in Cantilever – The word of the day is ‘fulcrum’. Now, everyone over to the right for a demonstration.
“The Gauntlet” (mouse died of a heart attack)
You need gutters.
Corner Toilets Are Expensive
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.