Archive for January, 2024

Canadian Showboat Springs Another Leak

Jan 31, 24 • News


Fans of Mike Holmes, dba the Canadian Showboat, might be surprised to find that it is all blow and no go with the popular builder/inspector.

Unveiling the Cracks: The Hidden Challenges in DFW Home Construction and Why Your Inspector Might Not Cut It

Jan 26, 24 • News


If you haven’t already, you might want to check out the recent WFAA article discussing the declining quality of home construction in the DFW area. You can find it here:


While the inspector’s concerns in the article are a step in the right direction, they may not be providing you with the full picture. His optimism in estimating that only 90% of new houses in the area have structural defects is questionable at best. In my 27 years of inspecting houses, I consistently find structural issues in every single one, and they seem to be worsening.


The recommendation to have inspections during the construction process, as suggested by the inspector in the article, is indeed sound advice. However, the problem lies in the fact that, like the inspector mentioned, almost 100% of the home inspectors licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission lack the qualifications needed to inspect buildings under construction.


All houses built in Texas must adhere to standards such as the International Residential (IRC) and Energy Conservation (IECC) Codes, as well as the National Electrical Code (NEC). However, the standards of practice (SOP) for TREC-licensed inspectors explicitly exclude knowledge of building, energy, or electrical codes.


Builders are required to conform to prescriptive codes, which provide detailed requirements for the design and construction of buildings, specifying certain materials, methods, and dimensions.


In contrast, the SOP for TREC inspectors follows a performance code, which sets overall goals and objectives for buildings in terms of safety, functionality, and sustainability. Rather than specifying materials or methods, performance codes prioritize achieving desired outcomes over time.


It’s important to note that a house under construction, obligated to be built according to a prescriptive code, cannot be effectively inspected using a performance code. Since it’s new, no time has passed, and its performance over time cannot be measured. Due to the intricate nature of house construction projects and the multitude of factors involved, performance codes lack the detailed instructions necessary for proper construction. This opens the door to interpretations by contractors and inspectors that often serve as excuses for not adhering to proper procedures.


Think about it like this. Car and Driver, Motor Trend, Edmonds, et al., don’t publish reliability reports on automobiles that have just rolled off the assembly line, right?


Builders required to adhere to prescriptive codes are unlikely to address reported defects from an inspector operating under a performance code. Hiring an under-qualified and under-performing inspector will lead to wasted money and a house that does not perform as intended over time.


No inspector lacking a Residential Combination Inspector certification from the International Code Council is qualified to inspect new house. Check your inspector’s credentials (or lack thereof) here:

Titular Titillation

Jan 3, 24 • News



The practice of using more elaborate or prestigious titles to describe a job or position than its conventional or common name is often referred to as “euphemism” or “title inflation.” Calling a janitor a “sanitation engineer” would be an example of using a euphemistic or inflated title to make the job sound more sophisticated or important. This can be done for various reasons, such as to enhance the perceived status of the position or to make it more appealing. However, it’s important to note that the appropriateness and effectiveness of such terminology can vary, and some may view it as an attempt to mask the true nature of the job.


The home inspection industry is rife with these euphemistic titles. Inspectors with zero construction experience and little time in the profession will attempt to lure customers in using such puffery. For those of you in the market for an inspector I’ve made an attempt here to decode a few of these for you lest you fall under their sway.


Thermographer is the term adopted to glorify users of infrared cameras. I suggest “heat whisperer” or perhaps “infrared ninja”. Any inspector in the business for more than 15 minutes owns an infrared camera. They have limited uses. They are not magical devices used to see inside of walls. An infrared camera is just another tool in the box.


Sewer Scope Inspector is the grandiloquent term for someone who inserts a rather long endoscopic device into the sewer pipes of a building. I like the term “rotoscatographer”. Any plumber is qualified to perform this function. Home inspectors are not. Allowed by nonsensical Texas law? Yes. Qualified? Not a chance.


UAV Pilot (drone pilot) is the term used by people who play with drones when they should be working, exceptions being commercial drone operators like utility contractors, commercial roofers, law enforcement agencies, etc. I prefer “Sky Commander” or “Crashologist”. If the drone cost less than $10K it is a mere toy. Toys are not tools.


I could add a few of my own to the vernacular, but fear that they might actually become commonplace.


“Darkness Disruption Technician” – One who uses a flashlight.


“Elevation Engineer” – One who climbs a ladder.


“Fastener Manipulation Expert” – One who employs a screwdriver.


“Gravity Consultant” – One who uses a level.


“Hydraulic Scrutinizer” – One who uses a water pressure gauge.


“Doctor of Distance Divination” – One who utilizes a tape measure.


And finally, “Home Inspector” – This is a misnomer that has been promoted by the real estate industry brokers and salespeople. One cannot inspect a home. One can only inspect the house that has been made a home by its inhabitants.


And now off we go into 2024!