Little House Of Horrors
OK, so these photos didn't all come from the same house. No house I've found has been that bad. The purpose of these photos is to give you an idea of the kinds of problems that a buyer won't ever see during a tour of a home. They aren't exactly the kinds of things that a seller would show off--if they even know about them. These photographs are not stock photos. They were all taken by me during home inspections here in the Central Arkansas area. They represent only a small portion of the kinds of problems found. Some are serious safety issues, some are gross, and some just leave you wondering: "What were they thinking?"

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photo taken by a home inspector in north little rock ar
Photo #1
Apparently this particular log was  just too useful to simply burn in the fireplace
This pic shows one example of the creative use of items to support a  floor. On one hand, I guess you have to admire the fact that someone used (recycled?) the materials at hand, but stability is highly questionable at best, and then there are the issues of decay and possible termite infestation. Believe it or not, it's not the only log I've seen used in a similar capacity. Then there are the tire jacks, old wheel rims stacked on top of each other, a steel side rail from an old bed frame, piles of rocks...

If you believe that this has to be the only time someone has done this, click on the thumbnail below:

photo taken by a home inspector in conway, ar
Photo #2
Interior view of moisture damaged wall
The damage that can be done by moisture trapped in walls and other areas can be extensive. These are the conditions found in a stucco wall cavity (about the size of a small closet) that had a design defect which allowed moisture to build up. This photo was taken from the bottom of the wall looking up. To the left of the picture, you can see a "relatively" intact stud. It is split badly, but not showing rot damage. The withered studs are clearly seen. The bottom half of the picture shows the remains of two studs. The one to the  right is almost completely gone, and the one to the left is so wasted away as to be useless. Unfortunately, most often the damage is in concealed areas not easily seen. Often, the first clue a homeowner has that there is a problem is when the rot gets so serious that something literally falls off the wall or collapses. This home was only about ten years old. It was ultimately torn down -- and it was a million dollar property.

photo taken by a home inspector in little rock,ar
Photo #3
Leaning pier
The pier in the center of this photo has settled and rotated outward at the top. In doing so, it caused the beam which rests on it to twist. If the pier leans slightly more, the center of gravity will have shifted to the point where the pier will fall over completely, with the result being major failure of the floor system--and any walls and roof areas supported by this area. Note also the unsupported joint in the beam directly above the white pipe in the foreground. I didn't want to hang around under this home any longer than necessary.

photo taken by a home inspector in benton,ar
Photo #4
Silicone to the rescue?
An amateur attempt at a drain tie-in. The white PVC plastic is "joined" to the black cast iron by a gob (that's the technical term) of silicone. This is obviously not a proper fitting. Silicone will not bond well long term to items which weren't even cleaned well prior to assembly. In fact, the damp ground surrounding this indicates that it is already leaking.

photo taken by a home inspector in bryant,ar
Photo #5
The tide is out!
This section of ductwork clearly shows a high water mark along its length. Water has stood in the duct, filling it up about halfway. Poor water control in this crawlspace allowed water to stand several inches deep at times. Ductwork is not watertight. This will allow water to flow in the duct and remain there at a depth equal to the water level outside the duct. Not a good condition--unless you like mold and mildew in the air supply to your home.

photo taken by a home inspector in hot springs,ar
Photo #6
Just plain nasty
The smaller drain on the right side of the photo was never properly tied in to the larger drain beside the pier. Consequently, it drains out under the home. If you look carefully, you can see that the area to the right of the pier is largely under wastewater also. The black specks are those small gnats that always seem to fly up your nose. Fortunately, most of them here have drowned!