View Full Version : Philadelphia Rehabs Wearing Me Out

Nick Ostrowski
07-04-2007, 06:24 AM
I think I'm getting to the point where inspecting a Philly rehab house is actually annoying me. These properties are absolute crap. When you walk into the basement and three to five different defects automatically catch your eye, you know it's going to suck. Guess it's time to raise prices for inspecting these gems.

Check out these beauties. I titled the pics (crap1, crap2, etc. for obvious reasons).......

Crap1 - Self explanatory
Crap2 - multiple carriage bolts on sistered joists with no nuts to secure bolt and joists together (bolt just hammered into the drilled hole)
Crap3 - a whole lotta shimming beneath the 1st floor subfloor (the sistering you see on these joists was done to relevel the floor surface on the 1st floor so they could lay a new subfloor and wood floor)
Crap4 - open splice inside return air duct
Crap5 - there is actually a rubber roof beneath all that stucco debris (they obviously made no attempt to protect the roof during the stuccp application, they applied fascia capping on top of the edge of the rubber roof and drove nails through it, and yes that is the SEC laying on the roof)

Also, no pic for this but when I got to taking a look at the 2nd floor bathroom, the first thing I did was stand in the tub and and immediately heard grout on the tiled walls and floor grind, crack, and break. The same sound was heard when walking on the tiled floor in said bathroom.

John Arnold
07-04-2007, 07:38 AM
Nick - It's so often the "sistered" joists, isn't it? Fastened with drywall screws, too short, no bearing on the foundation, etc. etc. Or grossly notched out like yours.
I did one recently that was selling for top dollar because it was a "complete rehab", new everything, yada yada. The tile floor of the "new" bathroom was so sloped it was funny. The toilet was tilted over. The client was disgusted and walked.

wayne soper
07-04-2007, 07:49 AM
Hey Nick, It's not just philly. Everyone watches flip this F'N house and thinks it's easy.WRONG!!
I wear a special hat when I do those. It say's "WHY ME" across the front. On the back it say's "f U"
SO easy a broker could do it

Nick Ostrowski
07-04-2007, 07:54 AM
John, the quality (and I use that term loosely) of these rehabs downtown is criminal. I can't recall the last rehab I looked at that was done well and I can't recall the last rehab I looked at where my cleint actually went through with the sale. They come in with smiles and leave in disgust.

Four out of the four tiled floors in this place had cracked tiles, loose tiles, and breaking grout lines. The whirpool tub had no GFI protection. The light fixture on the wall above the tub was not a moisture rated fixture. Stains and leaks on the ceiling and walls throughout. I don't think any of these workers really know what they are doing.

I vote for a full ban on the airing of any "flip-this-house" type shows on TV.

John Arnold
07-04-2007, 08:06 AM
I like where they take a 100 year old stone foundation and "finish" it without any attempt to deal with moisture whatsoever. They just create a dead air space between that leaky foundation and yummy new drywall and wood framing.

Nick Ostrowski
07-04-2007, 08:22 AM
Here's the definition of a Philly rehab......

"New windows and hardwood floors installed. Updated modern kitchen and bathrooms. Freshly painted. 2nd job will be needed to pay for corrections of all the crap we do wrong".

Jerry Peck
07-04-2007, 09:27 AM
Your photo 4 is described as a 'remote self-igniter' and 'remote control for remote self-igniter has apparently been lost (inspector did not find it during the inspection), not to worry, though, the self-igniter will self-ignite without homeowner action'.

Matt Fellman
07-13-2007, 06:15 PM
Did somebody say notching? Don't worry, we have crap in Oregon too :)

The picture doesn't even quite do it justice... that's about mid-span of a 4X12 beam. It's one of those that you crawl close to and then run like hell so the house doesn't fall on you. I think the bathroom floor covering was the only thing holding this one up.

Vince Santos
07-17-2007, 03:45 PM
Speaking of Philly. I'm thinking about visiting next month to check out some historical items. Got any suggestions on what areas to visit?

John Arnold
07-17-2007, 05:27 PM
Speaking of Philly. I'm thinking about visiting next month to check out some historical items. Got any suggestions on what areas to visit?
There's an archeological excavation going on that seems to be generating a lot of interest (not that I've been there. I haven't even seen the Liberty Bell!). I believe it's a house George Washington lived in, including some slave quarters. Pretty sure this is near Independence Hall in Center City (downtown).
There's a fascinating medical museum - The Mutter Museum, which has really unique exhibits (may gross out the kids, if kids are in the picture).
If you take a ride in a horse drawn carriage, take the driver's comments with a grain of salt. Lately it's been revealed they make a lot of stuff up.
There's really a ton of sight-seeing to do in Philadelphia. Just depends what sort of things you're interested in.

Joseph Michalski
07-23-2007, 07:49 PM
Regarding the tourist things:

If it is a hot day, the "duck" tours are actually a good bit of fun (especially with kids) and get you out on the river.

I always take out of town guests to the Liberty Bell & Independence Hall (right across the street from each other). The "lights of liberty" tour of the historical area takes place at night and is pretty good, too, if you around for touristy things by night. Elfreth's Alley, the Betsy Ross House, and anything related to Ben Franklin usually don't disappoint, either - especially the Franklin Institute (science museum for kids, mostly).

The run up the "Rocky" steps at the Art Museum is something everyone seems to like, too.

South Street is always an interesting night time walk.

Joseph P. Hagarty
07-23-2007, 09:00 PM

Staying in Philly or the general locale?

Michael Thomas
07-24-2007, 02:50 AM
Heh. Still writing up the little stuff, I see.

Flippper's chimney comes to visit:

"Village officials have had difficulties contacting the contractor, JD Construction of Norridge. The telephone number on the permit application is disconnected."

Bruce Breedlove
07-24-2007, 04:07 AM

What happened there? Looks like a chimney collapse struck the neighbor's house.

Too bad about that piano. Lucky no one was killed. (I hope.)

Michael Thomas
07-24-2007, 05:42 AM
Around here many houses (I live in one) are build on brick foundations that extend down only 18-24" below grade with no footing, works because the sandy soil provides a combination of good bearing surface and excellent drainage.

Flipper decided to excavate out a full basement, cut a entrance, rented a Bobcat, and hired a couple of kids to dig it out. Foundation failed over the weekend. No workers on site at the rehab, and the people in the house that took the hit from the chimney (friends of ours - that's how I found out about it) were not in the house at the time.

That chimney hit their house hard - I don't have a pic, but a brick that penetrated above the staircase ended up embedded in the opposite wall of the living room.

Looks like the city is going to declare the flip Cat food.

Bruce Breedlove
07-24-2007, 12:07 PM
Did I call that one or did it call it? :D