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  1. #1
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Light Over Stairs

    Is a light required over the stairs of a single family dwelling in a high rise condo building? If so, where is it stated in the IBC?

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  2. #2
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    First off my answer is: "I don't know" ...


    But ... in a high-rise condo ... short of elevators are you referring to the "common stairs" for the entire structure?

    Maybe something in that regard?


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    First off my answer is: "I don't know" ...


    But ... in a high-rise condo ... short of elevators are you referring to the "common stairs" for the entire structure?

    Maybe something in that regard?
    Nolan: Well, you may not know, but at least you answered. More than I can say for all the sparkys on this forum who can usually not wait to jump
    at the chance to correct this or that.

    It is not a common stair, but a stair contained within the single-family unit.


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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    illumination required for all stairs 303.6 irc nec
    switch required top and bottom over 6 risers


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Is a light required over the stairs of a single family dwelling in a high rise condo building? If so, where is it stated in the IBC?

    First off ... you cannot have a "single family dwelling in a high rise condo building", that is an oxymoron of terms.

    You CAN, however, have a "dwelling unit" in a high-rise condo building.

    A stairway IS a means of egress, even in a dwelling unit, thus, the following applies:

    From the 2006 IBC. (underlining is mine)
    - SECTION 1006
    - - MEANS OF EGRESS ILLUMINATION
    - - - 1006.1 Illumination required. The means of egress, including the exit discharge, shall be illuminated at all times the building space served by the means of egress is occupied.
    - - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - - 1. Occupancies in Group U.
    - - - - - 2. Aisle accessways in Group A.
    - - - - - 3. Dwelling units and sleeping units in Groups R-1, R-2 and R-3.
    - - - - - 4. Sleeping units of Group I occupancies.
    - - - 1006.2 Illumination level. The means of egress illumination level shall not be less than 1 foot-candle (11 lux) at the walking surface level.
    - - - - Exception:For auditoriums, theaters, concert or opera halls and similar assembly occupancies, the illumination at the walking surface level is permitted to be reduced during performances to not less than 0.2 foot-candle (2.15 lux), provided that the required illumination is automatically restored upon activation of a premises’ fire alarm system where such system is provided.

    From the 2008 NEC.
    - 210.70 Lighting Outlets Required.
    - - Lighting outlets shall be installed where specified in 210.70(A), (B), and (C).
    - - (A) Dwelling Units. In dwelling units, lighting outlets shall be installed in accordance with 210.70(A)(1), (A)(2), and (A)(3).
    - - - (1) Habitable Rooms. At least one wall switch–controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in every habitable room and bathroom.
    - - - - Exception No. 1: In other than kitchens and bathrooms, one or more receptacles controlled by a wall switch shall be permitted in lieu of lighting outlets.
    - - - - Exception No. 2: Lighting outlets shall be permitted to be controlled by occupancy sensors that are (1) in addition to wall switches or (2) located at a customary wall switch location and equipped with a manual override that will allow the sensor to function as a wall switch.
    - - - (2) Additional Locations. Additional lighting outlets shall be installed in accordance with (A)(2)(a), (A)(2)(b), and (A)(2)(c).
    - - - - (a) At least one wall switch–controlled lighting outlet shall be installed in hallways, stairways, attached garages, and detached garages with electric power.
    - - - - (b) For dwelling units, attached garages, and detached garages with electric power, at least one wall switch–controlled lighting outlet shall be installed to provide illumination on the exterior side of outdoor entrances or exits with grade level access. A vehicle door in a garage shall not be considered as an outdoor entrance or exit.
    - - - - (c) Where one or more lighting outlet(s) are installed for interior stairways, there shall be a wall switch at each floor level, and landing level that includes an entryway, to control the lighting outlet(s) where the stairway between floor levels has six risers or more.
    - - - - - Exception to (A)(2)(a), (A)(2)(b), and (A)(2)(c): In hallways, in stairways, and at outdoor entrances, remote, central, or automatic control of lighting shall be permitted.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    First off ... you cannot have a "single family dwelling in a high rise condo building", that is an oxymoron of terms.

    You CAN, however, have a "dwelling unit" in a high-rise condo building.
    JP: Thank you for your sarcasm. And for the information. Typical Peck reversed crap sandwich.





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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JP: Thank you for your sarcasm.
    Aaron,

    It was not "sarcasm", it was truthful and correct and informative.

    If you want "sarcasm" then ... (Nope, I'll stay away from that, there is no need for that here. )

    You simply must learn to read what is written and not put your twisted twist on it, NOT EVERYONE is out to get you ... (okay, maybe 99.999% of the people on Planet Earth, but NOT EVERYONE) ...

    Gotcha!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    JP: Of course, you are always
    truthful and correct and informative.
    What was I thinking?

    If you want "sarcasm" then ... (Nope, I'll stay away from that, there is no need for that here. )
    JP: It's OK, I can handle it.

    You simply must learn to read what is written and not put your twisted twist on it, NOT EVERYONE is out to get you ... (okay, maybe 99.999% of the people on Planet Earth, but NOT EVERYONE) ...
    Gotcha! [/quote]

    JP: (Ducking)


  9. #9
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    Red face Re: Light Over Stairs

    In such an issue as no light in a stairway, do you need a code reference to recommend one be installed? I wouldn't. If someone were to question me on my reference I'd say that it was my opinion since my contract states that that is what I am providing. I point out all kinds of "best practice" stuff without worrying about what a code may say. If someone wants a minimalistic code inspection then they need someone other than me.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    minimalistic code inspection

    Eric,

    While I understand what you are saying (at least I think I do), a "code inspection" is ANYTHING BUT "minimalistic" in nature and in execution.

    Yes, a "code inspection" is to "minimum standards", but those standards are not "minimalistic".

    To say so says a home inspection is "minimalistic" as the home inspection is only inspecting for the very same things, only without the "minimum standard" as a "maximum limit", only as a "minimum standard".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  11. #11
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    In such an issue as no light in a stairway, do you need a code reference to recommend one be installed? I wouldn't. If someone were to question me on my reference I'd say that it was my opinion since my contract states that that is what I am providing. I point out all kinds of "best practice" stuff without worrying about what a code may say. If someone wants a minimalistic code inspection then they need someone other than me.
    EB: Many years ago I tired of answering stupid questions fielded by sellers, agents, clients, repair contractors, builders and attorneys regarding the contents of my report. Once I moved beyond reporting issues based upon my opinion (or even some lame inspection organization's standard of practice) and entered into the realm of actually being able to justify my opinion through documentation, the stupid phone calls dropped off to the bare minimum. Only those individuals who have been off their medication for weeks ever bother me with such trivialities nowadays.

    Why? Simply because I have taken my reporting in the general direction of 100% objectivity. It will never be 100%, but I will continue to intend that as a goal.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    A.D.

    I agree, you must have a basis for an opinion and a solid education will make that opinion quite sound. Code really has nothing to do with quality workmanship or comfort, and remember, for code, you really need nothing more than the equivalent of a D-. I think that many inspectors who stay within the confines of "code" would say that this deck connection is ok. I wouldn't.

    Using the "opinion" approach gives you more leeway to expand your reporting and go outside (beyond) the "code" box. Of course one could use opinion to go the other way too.

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    Eric Barker, ACI
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  13. #13
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    A.D.

    I agree, you must have a basis for an opinion and a solid education will make that opinion quite sound. Code really has nothing to do with quality workmanship or comfort, and remember, for code, you really need nothing more than the equivalent of a D-. I think that many inspectors who stay within the confines of "code" would say that this deck connection is ok. I wouldn't.

    Using the "opinion" approach gives you more leeway to expand your reporting and go outside (beyond) the "code" box. Of course one could use opinion to go the other way too.
    EB: While I do not disagree with what you say per se, I personally choose not to state personal opinions; especially not in writing. Subjectivity in reporting inspection findings weakens the resulting report and lends it vulnerable to attack by detractors, be they the sellers, their repair persons on their attorneys. Once a blatantly subject comment is identified, it can and will be used to discredit the remainder of your report.

    Yes, the codes are minimal requirements, as are manufacturers' installation instructions and industry standards. However, they also represent benchmarks for use in judging the acceptability of installations. And, they are, for the most part, in writing and approved by those in authority. Opining best practice is something quite different. Though perhaps a noble undertaking, it represents (at least to me) overt idealism that will not serve one well when examined under the bright light of litigation.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Sorry the sentence should read "Once a blatantly subjective comment is identified . . ."

    Spell check is not stupid check. I sometimes forget . . .


  15. #15
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    Smile Re: Light Over Stairs

    Hi to everyone,

    My name is Mark and I have been inspecting homes for 4 years. Maybe this is too simplistic, but the light in the stairs seems like a simple safety issue. I live in the Northwest and if the sun isn't out which is a good portion of the time, a stairwell can be pretty dark. I have only fallen down stairs once but it was painful enough I would want to keep anyone else from having to experience it.

    As to "code issues"....we try to stay away from giving people the impression that we are trying to bring the home up to "code standards" (whether these are minimal or maximal). We report on "safety, maintenance and neglect issues". If we go down the code road, don't we have to know them ALL? Plus, isn't there too much in a house that is hidden that we can't even report on code-wise...such as plumbing, electrical and structural mistakes. On top of that, when we start reporting things as CODE VIOLATIONS, then we give people the impression we have the authority to TELL PEOPLE THEY HAVE TO DO WHAT WE SUGGEST. My impression is that home inspectors do not have that kind of authority. My thinking could be too fuzzy about this but I am open to input....


    Mark Silliman


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    A.D.: I think that we're basically on the same page. A majority of my "opinions" are based upon standards and industry guidelines. I don't think that it is possible to know every standard that would apply to any particular property at any one particular time - I wouldn't even try. If I were to present a report and say that it is solely based upon published standards I am bound to be wrong at one point or another. I'd rather have the "margin of error" that an opinion would offer me.

    If I say balustrades are widely spaced at 6 inches on a 1950's home would I be right or wrong? It'd be neither. I'd simply be stating what I think w/o citing any standard. If someone wants me to reference a standard, and there is one, I'll provide it. Around here codes require crawl spaces to have ventilation with the exterior. I believe that to be a bad idea and because I report based upon opinion, as stated in my contract, I can write as such in my report.

    According to the Oxford Desk Dictionary, opinion is defined as: 1) unproven belief or assessment. 2) view held as probable. 3) what one thinks about something. 4) professional advice.

    I'm not trying to butt heads with you, but rather just explain my approach. A local inspector I know recently was pulled into court. As soon as the judge read the inspection agreement with its reference to reporting based upon opinion, the case was thrown out. The client never had a chance to argue her case. For whatever reason, the courts in our state are quite good at adhering to what's written in a contract.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Thanks Eric for your reply. I had to think twice about your use of the word "opinion" but I guess it is as good as any. We use the word "suggestion". Maybe we don't use the word "opinion" because it implies more subjectivity. Most of the time at an inspection, people look to us for the final word, and many assume I am going to be assessing things based on CODE. I agree with you that much of what we do is based on standards and industry practices and yes even codes, but we downplay that part of it so customers don't get the wrong idea about what we do.

    As to picket spacing on a 50's deck, what we do is tell people that this was typical at the time but that now as a safety consideration they should consider upgrading or improving its quality. I tell people we are like general practitioners....when we see a problem we refer them to a specialist. We keep a list of contractors in the car that we keep updating with local honest dependable reasonably priced contractors, so that when we make a recommendation, we have resources listed that they can consult. If we get complaints about a contractor, they go off our list.
    Mark


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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Silliman View Post
    We report on "safety, maintenance and neglect issues".
    Q: Which are based on what?
    A: Code.

    If we go down the code road, don't we have to know them ALL?
    Nope. That is just another home inspector myth. Just like if you reported on "safety, maintenance, and neglect issues" does not mean you must know and report on ALL "safety, maintenance, and neglect issues".

    If you did, home inspectors would be in for one heck of an eye opening legal position.

    Thus, "code" is no different.

    It is really easy for a home inspector to mention, know, and quote "code" as back up documentation for those related items without making the client think that the home inspector has enforcement power.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Mark,

    Strange as many will think, not only is the railing wrong but so is the support of the rim boards. Even if the railing was supported with 4x4's that were double bolted at their base, it would be wrong. And that's just applying code requirements - not best practice. In fact, you'd be very hard pressed to find any deck that is correctly built.

    A good deck seminar, a really good deck seminar would make virtually all inspectors realize what they've been failing to report on.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  20. #20
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    A majority of my "opinions" are based upon standards and industry guidelines.
    EB: I think that if you look really closely, all of them are based upon one standard, guideline or the other.

    I don't think that it is possible to know every standard that would apply to any particular property at any one particular time - I wouldn't even try.
    EB: Neither would I. However, just because I cannot quote every common sense axiom which ever existed, it does not stand to reason that I cannot tell someone not to play in the street.

    If I were to present a report and say that it is solely based upon published standards I am bound to be wrong at one point or another.
    EB: And why would you "present" your report thusly to begin with?

    I'd rather have the "margin of error" that an opinion would offer me.
    EB: That margin of error is always going to be with you unless you somehow achieve perfection, whether you are able to provide supporting documentation for your opinion or not.

    If I say balustrades are widely spaced at 6 inches on a 1950's home would I be right or wrong?
    EB: You would be correct.

    I'd simply be stating what I think w/o citing any standard.
    EB: Yes, and clients pay home inspectors for what they know, and not what they merely think.

    If someone wants me to reference a standard, and there is one, I'll provide it.
    EB: So then, you would purposely withhold information from a client and force them to pry out of you? Why?

    Around here codes require crawl spaces to have ventilation with the exterior. I believe that to be a bad idea and because I report based upon opinion, as stated in my contract, I can write as such in my report.
    EB: I tell them that, if they wish to persist with a ventilated crawl space, that these are the requirements as to ventilation. I also have a two-page addendum (mostly plagiarized from Lstiburek, et al.) that explains why ventilated crawl spaces, in the opinions of leading experts in the field (and not just in my humble opinion) are poor choices. See the difference? I am building my case for my clients through use of authority, and not just what I woke up thinking this morning.

    If you could only be a fly on the wall during the discussions which revolve around each of your reports you might be more inclined to see thins a bit differently. I have been privy to many of these discussions where inspectors' reports are routinely belittled by persons standing to gain from denigrating them by identifying them as strictly that inspectors' opinions. That scenario changes drastically when the report is replete with references to authority.

    According to the Oxford Desk Dictionary, opinion is defined as: 1) unproven belief or assessment. 2) view held as probable. 3) what one thinks about something. 4) professional advice.
    EB: That statement is not just your opinion, is it? No, it is an appeal to authority.

    I'm not trying to butt heads with you, but rather just explain my approach. A local inspector I know recently was pulled into court. As soon as the judge read the inspection agreement with its reference to reporting based upon opinion, the case was thrown out. The client never had a chance to argue her case. For whatever reason, the courts in our state are quite good at adhering to what's written in a contract.
    EB: And, that is another. It seems you are catching on in spite of yourself.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Pardon the misspellings in the last post. Again, I blame them on the lack of skill of the spell checker and not upon the author, who shall forever remain blameless . . .


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Aside from spelling errors and standards of practice, now you guys got me really curious about ventilated crawl spaces. Being in the Northwest, we LIKE ventilation, because if you trap moisture in a space, you are going to get mold and bad smells as well as rot eventually. All of which will attract other WDOs. I mean as long as pipes and floor are insulated, why wouldn't you want ventilation. Is the air so bad where you live that you don't want it flowing under your house?

    So, I am curious about ventilation being a bad idea. Who says this and why?

    Signed,

    Perplexed


    Mark


  23. #23
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Silliman View Post
    Aside from spelling errors and standards of practice, now you guys got me really curious about ventilated crawl spaces. Being in the Northwest, we LIKE ventilation, because if you trap moisture in a space, you are going to get mold and bad smells as well as rot eventually. All of which will attract other WDOs. I mean as long as pipes and floor are insulated, why wouldn't you want ventilation. Is the air so bad where you live that you don't want it flowing under your house?

    So, I am curious about ventilation being a bad idea. Who says this and why?

    Signed,

    Perplexed


    Mark
    MS: Try starting with Joseph Lstiburek, P.E., Ph.D, Building Science Corporation, John Carmody, Underground Space Center, University of Minnesota, Jeffrey Christian, Manager, Building Envelope Systems and Materials Program, Oak Ridge National Laboratory . . . I have a lengthy report to do now, but will provide you with more if you need it.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Okay, I look forward to your response. I spent 45 minutes trying to track down something on crawl spaces related to ventilation and its problems but couldn't find what I was looking for. The websites related to Dr. Lsitiburek are many. But I am still very interested in a direct link or your summary if you got the time.


    Markk


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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Silliman View Post
    I spent 45 minutes trying to track down something on crawl spaces related to ventilation

    The websites related to Dr. Lsitiburek are many.
    2 seconds: Welcome to building science.com —

    1 second: type "crawl space ventilation" into the "search database" space, then click "search database".

    Results are many.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  26. #26
    Mark Silliman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Very interesting and helpful if I ever get around to building my own house!!

    Highly doubtful local contractors, builder/developers will buy into his ideas, however.
    It does make a lot of sense, and there were some good examples that would be comparable to Washington and Oregon climates so that I was pretty convinced.
    I didn't realize they would be talking about a "conditioned" crawl space nor did I consider the perimeter would be insulated. Some of our areas have A LOT of ground surface water that would have to be dealt with more effectively than is currently the norm, but I can see this guy's points.

    They say in the article that it would not cost more to go this route, but I am not entirely convinced of this....seems like a lot of work that is on top of what you normally do for an unconditioned, vented crawl space. Taping your 6 mil edges, insulating the perimeter, conditioning the crawl, outfitting for radon (not very threatening in Clark County)

    But it certainly is worth thinking about..... Could ultimately save a lot of money and increase the life of the house. Thanks for the links, by the way!


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    2 seconds: Welcome to building science.com —

    1 second: type "crawl space ventilation" into the "search database" space, then click "search database".

    Results are many.
    JP: He is surely one of those that spends 6-7 hours on a 1500 s.f. house, if it take him 45 minutes to find Lstiburek's tirades on ventilated crawl spaces.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    MS: Try starting with Joseph Lstiburek, P.E., Ph.D, Building Science Corporation, John Carmody, Underground Space Center, University of Minnesota, Jeffrey Christian, Manager, Building Envelope Systems and Materials Program, Oak Ridge National Laboratory . . . I have a lengthy report to do now, but will provide you with more if you need it.
    Aaron. You are a very intelligent guy and I would never try to diminish that.

    You quoted an abundance of authorities in and on a particular subject. What absolutely none of those folks and institutes that you clearly hold on high are not going to tell anyone is if in fact the home that is the topic of inspection needs ventilation or not. You can do any wonderful and amazing things to some homes crawl spaces and they will still need ventilation. And none of those held on high folks and the investigative knowledge behind them is going to change that one bit.

    I have never understood exactly why it is that the reading of "learned materials" will absolutely convince someone that their combined "wonders of knowledge" will make someone make a foolish mistake like not venting a crawl space when it is absolutely needed. I for one do not need to read a dozen different papers or articles to tell me what I need to base my decision on when the subject matter is right in front of my face that is telling me what needs to be done. Some folks just read way to much.

    In a brand new home, following what many say on the subject, I can maybe see following what they are saying, in some areas, in some properties, in some climates, etc. In saying that. You still have to contend with all the wonderful wrong ideas that those folks have. All their ideas are for a perfect world where people actual stick their head in a crawl space once a month to see whats going on.

    That is not going to happen. Crawl spaces are lucky to ever be visited unless some type of extremely obvious concern comes up that sticking their head down there or hiring someone else to do so.

    Do crawl spaces need ventilation............Absolutely. Even if it is extremely minimal. Just for the sake of venting possible minor sewer gasses out from under a home or that slight drip from a water line or drain line to vent moisture to the exterior.

    If in fact you had electronic detection devices set up to monitor moisture, sewer gasses, gas from gas lines etc etc

    Do you need ventilation in a crawl space... Yes....90% of the time for one reason or another.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 05-12-2009 at 09:03 AM.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Aaron. You are a very intelligent guy
    Ted: And here I thought you had banished me to your "evil friends" list.

    It is perfectly OK with me if you wish to take the opposite side of the debate with all of the experts on the other side. However, I feel that you are so far out of your depth, you may wish to take some sort of flotation device along, just in case.


  30. #30
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Ted: And here I thought you had banished me to your "evil friends" list.

    It is perfectly OK with me if you wish to take the opposite side of the debate with all of the experts on the other side. However, I feel that you are so far out of your depth, you may wish to take some sort of flotation device along, just in case.
    Aaron

    This is a debate that has been going on since the invention of sliced bread.

    Seal a crawl space up completely. Have the slightest concern take place. Watch the havoc that slight concern will sew.

    Experts...What exactly makes them experts on that particular home in that particular lot in the particular climate with the particular conditions that are taking place in, around and under that home at any particular given time. I say absolutely nothing makes them the expert if their only thought is to seal up a crawl space completely and have it forgotten about until someone falls thru a floor one day. Because that is what will happen.

    Or insulate and or condition it. Serriously....condition a crawl space. My God man. Why did they not pour a slab to begin with or build a real house with a basement. Why would anyone want to build a pier and beam home just to go to all the expence of sealing it, conditioning it. For what. For a space that 1 out of ten households ever looks into their crawl space until like I said there is something extremely major that catches their attention.

    Experts. I say no. Not the experts. Only an expert on a home that they tend to on a monthly basis with constant monitoring and changing of property conditions around the home etc etc etc.

    Out of my realm. I seriously think not. Like I say. Man was given the ability of thought and some just think way to much until they convince themselves that there is no other way until they figure what the other way is only to rethink it because they thought wrong and didn't figure this or that into it at all until they give themselves a freaking headache from just thinking to much. My God man. Life is simple if you let it be, One can make life as difficult as can be just by thinking about it way to much.

    There is way to much what ifs when it comes to a crawl space not to have at least minimal ventilation for a whole host of reasons. Sometimes you just have to put the books and articles away.

    Just my humble opinion. What ever it is worth. After all I am way out of my realm and maybe I only think I have an opinion when I really didn't think about it at all. I guess I am just going to have to read another thousands books or so that might make me think my opinion was maybe really an opinion after all but I will have to waite to see if those books think it is alright to have an opinion before I try to think about having an opinion.

    MY GOD MAN


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Ted: You should consider joining the Flat Earth Society.

    The Flat Earth Society -- Home


  32. #32
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Ted,

    I can speak for my area of the country - incorporating the crawl into the conditioned space is prudent due to the humidity that can be experienced in the summer. No question that this goes against adopted standards (code).

    Now is it a bad idea in Texas, Maine, Wyoming? I don't know. But for N. IL I have no question about it - it's a bad deal.

    I'll bet that down by you wall cavity vapor retarders are installed towards the outside. Here they're installed towards the inside. Different climates, different applications.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Ted,

    I can speak for my area of the country - incorporating the crawl into the conditioned space is prudent due to the humidity that can be experienced in the summer. No question that this goes against adopted standards (code).

    Now is it a bad idea in Texas, Maine, Wyoming? I don't know. But for N. IL I have no question about it - it's a bad deal.

    I'll bet that down by you wall cavity vapor retarders are installed towards the outside. Here they're installed towards the inside. Different climates, different applications.
    EB: You only THINK it is humid where you are. Come and visit us in Dallas area and we will introduce you to real humidity with a nice sprinkling of hellish heat to boot.


  34. #34
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Ted,

    I can speak for my area of the country - incorporating the crawl into the conditioned space is prudent due to the humidity that can be experienced in the summer. No question that this goes against adopted standards (code).

    Now is it a bad idea in Texas, Maine, Wyoming? I don't know. But for N. IL I have no question about it - it's a bad deal.

    I'll bet that down by you wall cavity vapor retarders are installed toward the outside. Here they're installed toward the inside. Different climates, different applications.

    My entire point seems to have been missed. Maybe I have not read enough books to make me see the light in clear communication.

    My point was that in every single home there is an entirely different set of circumstances. Every home needs something different no matter what the climate.

    I also said that every single home should have at the least a modest amount of ventilation for all those unknown factors involved.

    Can some crawls be completely sealed off???? Sure. All of them can be. In saying that My personal experience from being in a freakish amount of crawls in my life time is that there are way to many what ifs to contend with to close any crawl off completely.

    If it is to have the space conditioned then I would highly suggest a ridiculous expense of its own system as not to mix the air with the air in the home for a plethora of reasons.

    Did I just say "plethora"? Gees, now I am sounding like Aaron. I will have to cut back on my book learnin


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    I can speak for my area of the country - incorporating the crawl into the conditioned space is prudent due to the humidity that can be experienced in the summer. No question that this goes against adopted standards (code).
    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    EB: You only THINK it is humid where you are. Come and visit us in Dallas area and we will introduce you to real humidity with a nice sprinkling of hellish heat to boot.
    While South Florida does not have the heat which Dallas has, South Florida a very humid, being Sub-Tropical and all.

    That is why VENTILATING crawl spaces works extremely well. And has worked extremely well for the 100 years this area has had houses built with crawl spaces. Granted, MOST (if not ALL) new construction is on slab-on-ground and there is no crawl space, but when there is a crawl space it is ventilated 99.99% of the time. The few I found without ventilation were damp caves with water dripping from everything - ventilated crawl spaces were all dry, even those with high-water marks on the stem walls from the frequent flooding in those areas from heavy rains, once the water drained out, the crawl space ventilated itself dry and it remained dry.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  36. #36
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    While South Florida does not have the heat which Dallas has, South Florida a very humid, being Sub-Tropical and all.

    That is why VENTILATING crawl spaces works extremely well. And has worked extremely well for the 100 years this area has had houses built with crawl spaces. Granted, MOST (if not ALL) new construction is on slab-on-ground and there is no crawl space, but when there is a crawl space it is ventilated 99.99% of the time. The few I found without ventilation were damp caves with water dripping from everything - ventilated crawl spaces were all dry, even those with high-water marks on the stem walls from the frequent flooding in those areas from heavy rains, once the water drained out, the crawl space ventilated itself dry and it remained dry.
    JP: Flahdah or elsewhere, I still think that a closed crawl space filled with conditioned air is the way to go.


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Leaving vents open during humid months you will have a rain forest in NC. Specially if it is low to the ground and clay soil. 3-4' high crawls with sandy soil doesn't appear to be a problem.
    Code changed and it's required to have a moisture barrier covering 100% of the crawl, overlapped 12" and fastened in place. That alone will help allot. Now they need to mandate gutters and water proofing
    If you counted the hairs on Ted's head that is how many crawl spaces I have seen with mold, fallen insulation, sweating ducts..........rain forest.

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  38. #38
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Just scrolled fast and noticed this thread went from lights to decks to crawl spaces. Little drifting going on.......

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  39. #39
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Leaving vents open during humid months you will have a rain forest in NC. Specially if it is low to the ground and clay soil. 3-4' high crawls with sandy soil doesn't appear to be a problem.
    Code changed and it's required to have a moisture barrier covering 100% of the crawl, overlapped 12" and fastened in place. That alone will help allot. Now they need to mandate gutters and water proofing
    If you counted the hairs on Ted's head that is how many crawl spaces I have seen with mold, fallen insulation, sweating ducts..........rain forest.
    That is because it has improper ventilation. A moisture barrier laying on wet ground in a crawl. Darn man. You have to get the moisture out of the crawl, not bury it under plastic. why don't you just plant mushroom spours and grow mushrooms under there.

    Still no one is reading just as I am gullty of all the time. Every single crawl has its own needs. All crawls need at least minimal ventilation even if it is a fan on a humidistat so when the moisture level gets to high from that water buried under the plastic a damper will open up won one side of the crawl when the fan kicks in on the other side of the crawl. If there is that much water in the crawl add a sump. I see it all the time. Slope the soil to one end and have a sump there at the low end. If water is dripping in the crawl off of the insulation and floor joists it is not from outside moisture or water vapor getting in, it is from ground water under the soil even if it does not feel that wet.

    Not ppointing in any direction but have any of you spent a life time of remodel and inspecting and building and run into these things all the time and had to address them in a real life situation solving these problems ear in and year out. You have to assess the situation for every home. If you cannot do that then you should just defer the situation to a contractor that does this for a living. I hope you are not telling your clients that the water dripping off of their subfloor is from outside humidity. Does the humid air get in there and when it is stagnet out with not a breath of air rise to a pretty good level, yes. Put a crawl space fan in. Get the air moving. Do not close it off with all that moisture in the soil under the home junder the plasticand have a subteranian swamp under the home. Seriously guys. You have to put a lot more brain power into it than just some reading book or genralizations from blanket does and do nots.

    Every home is its own little planet that has to be treated on an individual basis.

    I have read all the studies and books and articles and and and. They do not tell you what should be done or not done at any given home.

    Starting from scratch on a brand new home, prepped before the home gets built for proper soil and drainage and and and is one thing. An existing home has its own set of cercumstances that have to be addressed on an individual basis.

    These may be my opinions but sorry if it all makes way to much sence for all the nay sayers. I have been there and done that way to many times in life.

    I may run on a lot about a lot of topics but this one I know by heart, unfortunately.

    Gees......Why would anyone want to take a bunch of plastic in a crawl to cover up wet soil under the home and have problems forever. You might as well put a glass floor in the house and start your own catfish farm.

    Fix the problem.....Do not cover it up or close it up.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    That is because it has improper ventilation. A moisture barrier laying on wet ground in a crawl. Darn man. You have to get the moisture out of the crawl, not bury it under plastic. why don't you just plant mushroom spours and grow mushrooms under there.
    Ted: Ventilating a crawl space with hot humid air is just exactly like pissing into the wind: counterproductive. When you condition the air in the building above you exacerbate the problem by increasing the condensation at the bottom of the cooler flooring.

    The ways in which one removes the moisture are legion, and vary depending upon the exact circumstances, but will include:

    1. A moisture barrier consisting of 40-mil EPDM or pond liner or better. this prevents wicking of soil moisture into the space.

    2. Infusion of conditioned air from the house above with no return air provisions. This provides positive pressure. The flooring will leak enough to provide sufficient return. This removes the humidity from the ambient air in the space.

    If the ground water is such that you require a sump pump, you should not site the house on the lot. Believe it or not, there are suitable and unsuitable building sites. Knowingly building upon the unsuitable type makes one a blithering idiot and one must suffer the consequences of dismal future performance. Think Las Colinas. That visual should suffice.


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Ted: Ventilating a crawl space with hot humid air is just exactly like pissing into the wind: counterproductive. When you condition the air in the building above you exacerbate the problem by increasing the condensation at the bottom of the cooler flooring.
    Not when the floor is insulated as required.

    Jeez, your argument would therefore mean that exposing the outside of the exterior walls to the hot humid air means that it needs further encapsulation within an outer shell to remove that hot humid air from contacting the exterior walls, through that insulation and contacting the inside wall surface.

    So that is where those people got their 'double envelope' idea from?

    How about if we just built a large dome over each city, controlled that environment, then built thermally efficient buildings within that dome? Oh, wait - that's already been thought of too.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  42. #42
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Not when the floor is insulated as required.
    JP: Sure, go right ahead and fill the floor joist cavities with batt insulation. That effectively stops most of the air circulation between the joists and traps moisture against the sides of the joists that drips down from the floor above. That solves a lot. Even if you foam the bottom of the subfloor, unless you use treated lumber, the undercarriage will be a mold factory. Get real.

    Just like attics and A/C ducts, the crawl spaces should be brought into the conditioned space. Period.


  43. #43
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    JPGet real.
    I am relating real life experiences with VENTILATED crawl spaces in HOT-HUMID areas.

    I HAVE NEVER seen a problem with them being VENTILATED.

    I HAVE seen problems in the few which were NOT ventilate.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  44. #44
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I am relating real life experiences with VENTILATED crawl spaces in HOT-HUMID areas.

    I HAVE NEVER seen a problem with them being VENTILATED.

    I HAVE seen problems in the few which were NOT ventilate.
    JP: Until 12 years ago, all I ever lived in was houses with pier and beam foundations with ventilated crawl spaces. Check your map. This is a hot/humid climate as per IRC and whomever you wish to ask. Better yet, get up off your butt and come see for yourself. It is, this very moment in the midst of May, 100% humidity and on its way to 90° F. That hot and humid enough for you? Wait until the end of August and you will also need to be accompanied by an EMT to revive you for your speedy return trip.

    I have seen so many problems with ventilated crawl spaces that I cannot recount them all without taking a week off work and bogging down the Hann's site to the point that the "pull your head out" boy over in the left column actually is able to do so.

    Maybe you have different humidity over there in Flahdah? Or maybe, just maybe, your story's all wet.


  45. #45
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Jerry

    I have no idea what Aaron is talking about. It is only in the 80s and the humidity is only 50%. Dry as a bone around here. I think he must be drinking some of that army supply depot left over agent orange or something like that

    Just kidding. It does get just a teeny bit humid over here. But, in stating that, even in this humidity, I have installed or had installed many a crawl space fans that took that stagnant air and blew it out from under the home. They usually run for several days or a week or maybe more but when they have done their job they shut down and the crawls are nice and dry. Then they only kick in when the moisture level gets higher again and then shut down once more. I have checked many of the crawls on a reinspect after a couple weeks and the moisture level in the wood has decreased substantially.

    But, in saying all that. Will it work in every case? Absolutely not. Some of the crawls have to be worked on to correct the moisture getting into the soil under the home BEFORE other measures are taken.

    I repeat one more (who knows, maybe my last) time. All crawls have to be corrected based on there particular set of conditions.

    Are all those books and articles right?? Sometimes. But there is no blanket fix for any crawl with the exception of GET RID OF THE WATER IN THE CRAWL AND CORRECT THE WATER INTRUSION PROBLEM. Then you may go ahead and take other steps.

    Oh yeah. Then add proper ventilation based on that crawls needs


  46. #46
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Without the plastic barrier "which is required here" the wet soil in combination with the humid air brings the dew point to "rain forest" when it touches the cold floor surface. Just the cold air radiating/convection through the floor causes the moist latent air to condense on the insulation, ducts, water pipes, etc.

    Jerry you coming from the land of the sand box I can see why you never have a problem. Sand dries out quick and doesn't hold water like our soil.

    Three or four years ago I had a moisture problem in my crawl space. I covered 100% and closed my vents and never opened them again. It stays around the same temp year around, the air is not musty and dry as a bone.........Your area may differ......but crawl spaces was a dumb idea from the getgo

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  47. #47
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    It was not "sarcasm", it was truthful and correct and informative.

    If you want "sarcasm" then ... (Nope, I'll stay away from that, there is no need for that here. )

    You simply must learn to read what is written and not put your twisted twist on it, NOT EVERYONE is out to get you ... (okay, maybe 99.999% of the people on Planet Earth, but NOT EVERYONE) ...

    Gotcha!
    FUNNY!!! 99.999%? Are you sure of that statistic?? Seems low!! Nice of you, however to give the benefit of the doubt!!


  48. #48
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Meyer View Post
    FUNNY!!! 99.999%? Are you sure of that statistic?? Seems low!! Nice of you, however to give the benefit of the doubt!!
    I forget ... is it "round up" at "5" or is it "round down" at "5".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  49. #49
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Without the plastic barrier "which is required here" the wet soil in combination with the humid air brings the dew point to "rain forest" when it touches the cold floor surface. Just the cold air radiating/convection through the floor causes the moist latent air to condense on the insulation, ducts, water pipes, etc.

    Jerry you coming from the land of the sand box I can see why you never have a problem. Sand dries out quick and doesn't hold water like our soil.

    Three or four years ago I had a moisture problem in my crawl space. I covered 100% and closed my vents and never opened them again. It stays around the same temp year around, the air is not musty and dry as a bone.........Your area may differ......but crawl spaces was a dumb idea from the getgo
    MS: Thank you for the breath of fresh air in this molding conversation!


  50. #50
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Ted: You should consider joining the Flat Earth Society.

    The Flat Earth Society -- Home
    Ted - I just had a flashback to a book I read once. Aaron you sound alot like Peter Keating under the tutleage of Ellsworth Touhey in The Fountainhead. Remember where those experts came from.


  51. #51
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Your area may differ......but crawl spaces was a dumb idea from the getgo
    Hear, hear!


  52. #52
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by archivoyeur View Post
    Ted - I just had a flashback to a book I read once. Aaron you sound alot like Peter Keating under the tutleage of Ellsworth Touhey in The Fountainhead. Remember where those experts came from.
    Arch Vouyer: Ayn was such a mislead girl, but much like Blavatsky, was surrounded by lively characters.


  53. #53
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Arch Vouyer: Ayn was such a mislead girl, but much like Blavatsky, was surrounded by lively characters.
    Lotta that goin' 'round


  54. #54
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Arch Vouyer: Ayn was such a mislead girl, but much like Blavatsky, was surrounded by lively characters.
    I do agree, and so have recently replaced my copy of The Secret Doctrine with the much more pertinent Gospel of the FSM. Which incidently takes up much less room on the shelf.
    Avast, Matey! Arr arr. I'm hankerin' t' send 'em all to Davey Jones locker!


  55. #55
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Ted might actually have a job today because he hasn't replied yet....

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  56. #56
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Ted might actually have a job today because he hasn't replied yet....
    MS: Yes, he may be gasping for air - or even drowning - in some dank and nasty crawl space over in Cow Town, even as we write.


  57. #57
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by archivoyeur View Post
    I do agree, and so have recently replaced my copy of The Secret Doctrine with the much more pertinent Gospel of the FSM. Which incidently takes up much less room on the shelf.
    Avast, Matey! Arr arr. I'm hankerin' t' send 'em all to Davey Jones locker!
    AV: Careful, lest ye offend the resident intelligent designers.


  58. #58
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Aaron,

    Just for comparison:

    May 15, 2009 at 1:25 pm EST

    Dallas:
    83 degrees / feels like 86 / 57% humidity / dew point 67 / mostly cloudy

    Ormond Beach:
    82 degrees / feels like 85 / 62% humidity / dew point 68 / partly cloudy



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  59. #59
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Mostly cloudy 78 degrees and 68% Humidity.
    Couple of weeks it will be 90+%

    Oh I'm not A.D Sorry Jerry didn't mean to but in on your fellowship

    Mike Schulz License 393
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  60. #60
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    Just for comparison:

    May 15, 2009 at 1:25 pm EST

    Dallas:
    83 degrees / feels like 86 / 57% humidity / dew point 67 / mostly cloudy

    Ormond Beach:
    82 degrees / feels like 85 / 62% humidity / dew point 68 / partly cloudy

    Did you account for the time difference?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  61. #61
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Did you account for the time difference?
    Yes, that is why I specified EST.

    The time here was EST, the time there was CT, so instead of giving to different times, i.e., 1:25 pm EST / 12:25 pm CT, I simply stated it as 1:25 pm EST and let you do the math. In California it would be PT and 3 hours earlier.

    Now if you are asking about the difference being hotter later in the day, that is covered here:

    May 15, 2009 at
    12:25 pm CT
    Dallas:
    83 degrees / feels like 86 / 57% humidity / dew point 67 / mostly cloudy

    2:02 pm CT
    Dallas:
    86 degrees / feels like 87 / 50% humidity / dew point 65 / mostly cloudy

    Not much difference, is it?

    I posted that because, on a recent post Aaron tried to make me believe it was 200 degrees there at 150% humidity, and I wasn't buying it, or that it was that much different there than here (at least at this time of year - maybe later in the summer ??? ).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  62. #62
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Just a quick note about Mark's comment regarding the recommendation of reliable, reasonably priced contractors. I no longer make recommendations after a client called me repeatedly to complain about a contractor whose number I had given him. I don't need to be tied to the quality of workmanship, punctuality or service standards of anyone else. Just one more way to reduce headaches...let them choose their OWN contractors.


  63. #63
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    MS: Yes, he may be gasping for air - or even drowning - in some dank and nasty crawl space over in Cow Town, even as we write.

    Actuall I had 2 in Dall Ass today and with the 2 tomorrow will be number 7 and 8. Anyway, no crawls. Very, very fortunately I do fewer and fewer crawls over the years. Don't hurt my feeling. Those dank, smelly, wet, humid, no ventilation crawls can be left to someone else. Maybe you!!! You can test out your theories on all of them.

    Oh yeah, one of them tomorrow almost makes it to Dall Ass but stopped short in Irving. The invasion of the cow town boy into Dallas County. I actuall did a three story and then a two story Town Home, brand new shiny no crawl do nothing inspections today in Dall Ass and actually got more money than the other inspector from Dall Ass that was also doing 2. Whats up with that. You boys always get more money than we Tarrant County folks. He must be one of those desperate Dallas County Inspectors.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 05-15-2009 at 03:15 PM.

  64. #64
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    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Yes, that is why I specified EST.

    The time here was EST, the time there was CT, so instead of giving to different times, i.e., 1:25 pm EST / 12:25 pm CT, I simply stated it as 1:25 pm EST and let you do the math. In California it would be PT and 3 hours earlier.

    Now if you are asking about the difference being hotter later in the day, that is covered here:

    May 15, 2009 at
    12:25 pm CT
    Dallas:
    83 degrees / feels like 86 / 57% humidity / dew point 67 / mostly cloudy

    2:02 pm CT
    Dallas:
    86 degrees / feels like 87 / 50% humidity / dew point 65 / mostly cloudy

    Not much difference, is it?

    I posted that because, on a recent post Aaron tried to make me believe it was 200 degrees there at 150% humidity, and I wasn't buying it, or that it was that much different there than here (at least at this time of year - maybe later in the summer ??? ).

    Actually Jerry. Unfortunately it does tend to get a little humid here from time to time. Never on the never ending scale that that extension of Cuba (Miami) gets all year round . Yesterday was not 150% humidity, only 125%.


  65. #65
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Light Over Stairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Aaron,

    Just for comparison:

    May 15, 2009 at 1:25 pm EST

    Dallas:
    83 degrees / feels like 86 / 57% humidity / dew point 67 / mostly cloudy

    Ormond Beach:
    82 degrees / feels like 85 / 62% humidity / dew point 68 / partly cloudy

    JP: Yes, but - let me look at my watch - it is merely May. Call me in August and let's compare notes then.


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