Archive for July, 2009

The difference between trusses and rafters

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Do you know the difference between roof trusses and rafters?  Rafters, or conventionally framed roofs, are historically how roofs were built.  It’s usually 2″x6″ or 2″x8″ lumber put together on the job site by a general contractor to form the roof.  In Florida they cannot consist of any structural member smaller than 2″x6″.

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Nowadays, we have really moved away from conventionally framed roofs and moved towards trusses. Trusses are engineered systems manufactured in a factory and then shipped out to the job site and then assembled on site. Trusses usually consist of 2″x4″ lumber. Because they are designed by an engineer, and manufactured under the supervision of an engineer, we can actually get more strength over conventionally framed roofs while using less lumber, which actually lowers the cost of construction.

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Medieval Style Castle Goes Up in Flames

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

A few other Miami home inspectors from Building Inspection Services and I inspected this building last year. It really looked like a castle, inside and out. Some of the cool features of this house I remember were the stucco on the house was done by an artist drew pictures in the exterior walls in some areas and made it look like the stones of a castle wall in other areas.
It had towers, four bedrooms and even had a salt water moat stocked with fish and a drawbridge.The fireplace was a huge hand carved masterpiece. The interior walls were decorated like a castle with full suits of armor, tapestries and such.
There was a giant pool which was pretty much the equivalent of three normal pools. The pool had a Pirates of the Caribbean theme complete with barrels of gunpowder and cannons. The best part of the pool was that you could swim under the exterior wall and come up out of the water in the middle of the living room.
This was one of the most unique buildings in South Florida and it’s a real shame that it was destroyed. See the full story about the fire from NBC:

Popular Drug Store Demolishes Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars in Improvements

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Building Inspection Services was recently hired to perform a rather interesting commercial building inspection. Before I tell you what we’ve been hired for, let me give some background information.
The owners of this 15,000 square foot commercial building leased the property for a number of years to a fitness center. It was an upper scale fitness center which included a swimming pool, running track, wet and dry saunas, masseurs, etc. Recently, this fitness center decided to move out so the owners got a new tenant, a widely known drug store chain.
In preparation to move in, this drug store performed major demolitions to the structure including removing all the interior partition walls, the electrical system including panels, plumbing, flooring, running track, showers, restrooms, drywall etc. In addition to that, they dumped all of the construction debris into the indoor swimming pool which destroyed the pool. If you walk into this building, all you see, for the most part, is just bare concrete floors and walls.
For some unknown reason, this drug store decided they changed their minds and did not want to lease the property. So after destroying all of the interior improvements to the building, they just walked away. This is where we came in for a litigation inspection.
We were hired by the owner of the building as a construction expert witness to determine the cost of the improvements that the drug store demolished because there is a pending lawsuit on the matter. We are still working on this case, however first estimates are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.