Know what you are looking at? Easy, Read the signs, Follow them!

Know what you are looking at?  Easy, Read the signs, Follow them!


DO you know?

Well there’s a couple of my foot prints there in the attic floor insulation.

But there’s more. A lot more. All over the place.

They aren’t individual tracks like mine. No, they are pathways for much smaller feet.

And here they are roads well traveled. They are more compressed and well defined. These two around the stud in particular.

That’s because this is the only direct route to the other side of this wall, to the addition section of the home.

But fainter, less traveled paths are visible too.

In fact they are everywhere.

b And here, on the other ‘side’ of the wall, they are just as abundant.

The route around the chimney is well traveled too, as I’m sure this area is toasty warm, in season.

Oh! Didn’t I mention that!

This is the off season for these itinerant travellers.

Travellers, well I should say foragers.

They come here only to seek food and shelter in the cold season.

Now in the summertime they are out doors, feeding and doing there thing, mostly at night as they are nocturnal.

But they can be found by day if you keep an eye out for them.

But if you really want to see them, lots of them, well just come back here in the fall.

It’ll be like a convention!

What are they? You might have guessed by now. They have several names that generally depend upon where you meet them.

They are most commonly known as field mice, but if you encountered them in the space over your head you would be talking about ‘mice in the attic‘.

Here it’s a lot of mice in the attic. They’ve been coming here for a long time,(they have reservations!). And they know how to get here. They have easy access.


So if you want to be sure that your seasonal guests have invitations, you want your inspector to have the experience to read the signs and know what has been going on, even when it’s not happening now.

So when you are looking at, or investing, in a home or property you want your inspector to be able to correctly ‘read the signs‘.

For the Montreal or the surrounding area you know who to call.


Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

How do you slowly blow up your neighborhood?

Here is a good example of the difference between a good inspector and everyone else. Nobody else would have given this tiny plant a second thought. It’s far from being an emergency but it exactly the timely information that owners of this property need.

This is a re-blog so if you have comments for Loren please click through to the original blog and leave your comments there.

This is a follow up to the post What not to do when listing a house part 2.  I said that there was another disturbing addition at this property.  It seems like common sense to know that a tree can get large and damage a foundation.  I usually like to see large trees at least 10 feet from the house.

Another component of the house that doesn’t play well with roots is the plumbing system.  Roots can cause leaky pipes and plug sewer lines.

Here is one location where I just had to say get it out now while it is small.

Palm Tree

The side walk is to the right.  The trunk only has one place to go.  When it does it will break the gas meter and leave no way to shut it off.  When it does cause a leak and the home owner goes out and starts their car in the garage just 3 feet away the whole neighborhood could go up like something you see in the movies.

For all your Arizona House Plans and Phoenix Home Inspection needs contact me.


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Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post

He Got Away. I Didn’t Catch Him …But I Know Where He Lives !

He Got Away. I Didn’t Catch Him …But I Know Where He Lives !


Who do you think has moved in here, Some furry, nut-gathering denizen of the surrounding boreal forest?  No doubt you can picture some cute little anthropomorphized creature that could be friends of Thumper and company.

You may, even realistically, see an enterprising squirrel moving to that sweet (suite) little condo, but no, that’s not the miscreant here.

No this architectural folly detail is being squatted by a much bigger brute. This guy saw me coming and lit out for the hills. He knows I don’t care for him and his kind for all the damage they do to our homes and property.

He’s not going to like the new owners’ big golden Labrador either. He’s going to get a run for it, literally.

 He’s a raccoon.  And he’s a big guy.  You wouldn’t think he could squeeze through that small hole but he can. Of course he’s renovating to suit his needs. You can see where he’s started on the door and he has plans for extensive interior renovations as well. Cause he’ll raise a family.

Some kindly observer will say, “Oh live and let live, he’s not hurting anything.”

But is that true?

Well look closer.  Do you see the square wire mesh covering the other opening?

 That’s not there by chance and not put up there to be a meany and deny the birds a habitat that was built for them.  That’s because it wasn’t built for them.  Nope.

This architectural detail was made for another function. This building is a large post and beam structure with cathedral ceilings so there is no attic to speak of.  Just a small air space at the peak above the collar ties that has to be vented.

 So this little folly at the peak has a purpose. The architect made it decorative in keeping with the rustic style of the house. But it was not built to be a home for birds. It just looks like one.

 So if it’s not for the birds it’s definitely not for raccoons. Especially DIY guys like this one who will break into the collar ties space and be renting out rafter bays to all and sundry.

So unless you want racoons in your ceiling, “No Racoons Allowed.





Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post