Cutting corners – Panel opening.

hole cover

It’s a cover and yes… it’s a cover for electrical box, but it’s not a cover for this electrical box.

It looks like a frugal and creative solution.

It is the cover for common wall/ceiling connection boxes and it does prevent errant fingers or tools from being poked in where they should’nt be.
However, considering that the parts actually made to cover those openings are very inexpensive (A pack of ten is less than $2.)

Think about it…….Is it really a good idea to sink a few screws into a hot electrical panel?

And do you think this was done by a liscenced professional electrician?

Where else have corners been cut?


N.B. Notice the hand labeled numbering system imposed on the breakers.

Manufactureres label the odd numbers on one side and even on the other.

You can even see the numbers stamped in the face of the panel (on the right).

But they are upside down to us!.

Without even opening the panel cover I know I’m going to find “issues”, if not outright “errors”, and that’s exactly what I found.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

Do You Really Want To Live In A Fireman’s’ Reno?

Do You Really Want To Live In A Fireman’s’ Reno?

balcony reno


I saw this a few weeks ago while inspecting the neighbouring property. I couldn’t resist taking a shot of it. The selling agent noticed and told me  a fireman owned the property and was fixing it up, renovating it in his off time.

Her tone and attitude to this told me she thought this was admirable and she was ‘wowed’ by this industriousness.

That’s all fine but as a home inspector and understanding structure a well as I do, am somewhat less impressed.

Yes, the joists are cantilevered but the building is very narrow so this length is over extended and originally was actually build with the outer posts transferring weight to the ground.

The top floor deck is fully renovated. The second floor one is not, but the ground floor unit is mostly demolished.  Doing things a section at a time is fine but for the fact of gravity in this case. Gravity is serious, both in the sense that it is a serious risk condition and the failure, basically falling from this height, or having something fall on you from that height. That’ll be injury, likely serious too.

All these apartments are occupied, including the top one occupied by the fireman. Maybe that’s why the top one was done first.

Too bad, cause its just hanging there. Dangerously!

A pro contractor could safely renovate in this sequence but it would all be supported in the interm with no safety risks and all openings to the apartment would be blocked to keep people out of the hazardous zone.

But a real builder would do a full demolition and build it back up, from the ground up.  Buildings are erected from the ground up for a reason; gravity.

This fireman though industrious, is actually working dangerously, both for himself and his tenants.

You don’t frame the roof before building the basement. Remember ‘ ground up’ not ‘ top down’.



Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post