September 2011 What's This

The metal chimney for the natural gas furnace is missing the rain cap to prevent rain/snow and aminals from going down the chimney.

July 2011 What's This

This collar has been improperly installed as the upper portions should be installed under the shingles so that water runs down the roof and not into the attic.  This roof was only a few days old and the roof plywood was damaged.

January 2011 What's This

This is electrical radian heating. In the 50's, somebody decided that they would put electrical wires between sheets of drywall in the ceiling to heat a room. Many of the systems are not illegal to have due to fire reasons however this house had the system looked at by an electrician who was willing to sign off in writing that the system was safe to keep.

One of the major issues with this type of system is that you are heating the CEILING - heat rises so why heat the highest point in a room. 

February 2010 What's This

This is what roofers call "Ice & Water Shield" and it comes in many formats however Grace is one of the more popular brands.  This protective membrane should extend a minimum of 24" beyond the inside face of the exterior wall line of a building and should extend from the eave above the highest expected ice dam. Check local codes and regulations as they may vary.  In the picture on the right, the client wanted three rows of membrane instead of one.  On roofs with alot of valleys or complicated roof designs, the ice & water shield should be installed on the whole roof instead of tar paper.

November 2009 What's This

This is an old service wire for an electrical entrance where the 'Hydro' wire from the street is connected to the wire entering the house.  In modern installations, these connections are crimped together and have a protective sleeve so there is no exposed wires.