Omaha Home Inspector Greg Wayman, ASHI Certified finds:
Contractor Screw-Ups! Gallery 3
What to do when hiring a licensed contractor :
Hopefully, the licensed contractor you hire does a great job and you're very happy when the project is complete. However, you have to look out for #1. Before hiring a licensed Contractor, check them out by talking to past customers. If the job is a major renovation, go visit a past customer's house and see their work first. Once you hire them, take lots of pictures throughout the project, check up on their progress, and keep an eye on their quality of work.
If something stinks and you feel the contractor is screwing up, call in an unbiased 3rd party (ie-Home Inspector) to check things out. Spending $100 for a trained professional to review the work may be your best investment.
Photo #1: Contractor forgot to waterproof around the water main
You can caulk the inside all you want and you'll never stop the water. It started to rain at the beginning of the inspection. By the end, water was coming in around the water main at a steady stream. There was water from one end of the basement 3/4 of the way to the other end. The only proper fix for this is to excavate down on the exterior, waterproof the wall properly, and fill the dirt back in. Oops;-)
Photo #2 Newly installed roof
A friend of the family had installed this roof. Luckily the felt paper underneath was still protecting the roof. He forgot to install the double layer at the edge. The felt paper was the only thing protecting the roof at the base edge from water seeping down where the shingles butted up against each other.
Photo #3 New patio funnels water to old window well
This freshly poured patio poured over the original patio covered up an old window well. The concrete still sloped toward the house and funnelled all of the water towards the foundation wall and into the crawlspace. Genius! This licensed Contractor should have never been paid.
Photo #4 Balancing Act
The City passed this Mechanical Inspection. The furnace functioned fine, BUT what about the fact that it's teetering on bricks stood upright on 1 end and balancing on a wood block and old recepticle on the other? There was nothing else mounting this furnace to anything. When it ran, the furnace wobbled.
Photo #5 Chimney Sweep installed a new cap
...but neglected to mention the large cracks in the brick, the clay flue liner was breached, and the crown was inadequate, cracked, and uplifting 1"!!! Here is a strong case to make sure the Chimney Sweep you hire is a Certified Member of the Chimney Sweep Institute of America.
Photo #6 Exterior light installed upside down
Notice the water filled up inside the light bulb. Cool, huh!?! This was a newly remodeled house by a licensed Contractor.
Photo #7 Carbon monoxide poisoning on a newly rehabed Omaha condo
This newly renovated downtown Omaha condo was located on the 3rd floor. It had a furnace located in the closet that had its flue exhaust dumping out the backside of the wall instead of running up a flue pipe above the roof line. The exhaust fumes had the high probability of re-entering the condo in the nearby dining room window OR bedroom window...not to mention the neighbor's window about 5' away also.