Holmes Inspection

Season 2 Episode 11

Headroom Headache

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Jun 24, 2010 on HGTV

Episode Recap

Scott and Erin purchased a home in an older neighborhood for themselves since they liked the idea of being centrally located and not having to drive in order to do small errands. Before committing to the house they liked, they hired a home inspector and listened to his evaluation of the condition of the house. Chief among his recommendations was that they replace the furnace (which they did). Apart from that, the other issues he had pointed out were largely cosmetic. The report he had handed them stated simply "acceptable" with regards to most of the major elements of the house. Since he could find nothing else of concern with the house, Scott and Erin felt comfortable with their decision to buy it and move in.

After moving in, the homeowners noticed a few seemingly small things that should have been in the inspector's report, such as the fact that the range hood was not being vented to the outside of the house. In time, they had hired a plumber to connect a braided water line to the dishwasher. When he had gone into the basement to shut off the main water feed to the house, he found that the cut-off valve was almost completely disintegrated. Aside from the obvious plumbing problem that had been overlooked, Scott had a sneaking suspicion that the horizontal support beam in his basement was "not quite right". He was correct about that. The four pieces of 2 x 10 lumber that acted as the house's horizontal support beam was actually several shorter pieces that had been nailed together rather than continuous boards. This will seriously undermine the strength of the overall beam.

Concerned that there were far more issues with their home than they were made aware of, Scott and Erin wrote a letter to Mike Holmes and asked for his help. When he began his inspection, he immediately noticed some other incorrect plumbing under the kitchen sink that the first plumber they called should have noticed immediately. He then went into the basement and agreed with Scott's assessment of the horizontal support beam. He also couldn't help but notice the extremely low head space at the base of the stairs leading to the basement, likely due to the fact that he almost cracked his forehead on it. Erin had even taken the precaution of posting a sign over the low ceiling saying "Watch your melon." Further inspection revealed improper electrical wiring, a gas line that was dangerously close to the wiring leading to the breaker panel as well as having been split off to feed too many appliances, a trip hazard on the front steps, a basement window that had no proper support for the wall above it, a staircase which had not been tied properly into the structure of the house and a stair rail that was unsafe.

With a complete list of what was really wrong with the house, Mike walked Damon through them all so that he and his crew could get to work on putting this house back into the state Scott and Erin thought they were getting it in when they decided to buy it.