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  1. #1
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    Default Moving stuff on counter tops

    I had a discussion with another inspector about this, and was curious what others are doing.
    Kitchen counter, and/or sink. What do you move to get a look at the counter top, or inside of the sink? If you don't move anything, the reason. If you do move things, where do you draw the line?

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  2. #2
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    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    If I feel there is reason to, I will move something out of the way.
    Under the sink same thing.
    I don't even attempt to move furniture, except maybe something easy and light. No stuffed chairs, couches, curios, beds...

    Once found the breaker panel inside the kitchen cabinets. Left it as I found it.
    I'm not unloading the cabinet.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    ...I'm not unloading the cabinet.
    Me neither. That's a job for the buyer's agent, assuming she/he is present.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    I move enough stuff on the counter to put my little computer and my tool bag and that is about it. I do not unload the sink, dishwasher, etc... If I can't see it I note it and take a picture.

    Last week I had an oven that was full of Tupperware, I bet that it had 50+ pieces of tops and bowls in it. I did not unload it so that I could turn on the oven. I took a picture and moved on to the item.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Anacortes, Washington
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    395

    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    I don't move stuff unless I'm suspicious. If there are mats close to a stove and the countertops are Formica I may look under because thats where the burn marks are going to be.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  6. #6
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    Mar 2011
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    Sparks,NV
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    My state prohibits it but even if it didn't I wouldn't move anything. Maybe slide something far enough out to plug in the tester. I would disclose anything I couldn't get to in my report and I always take pictures.

    Nevada IOS#1730
    Nevada Energy Auditor #30
    775-342-4767 www.homecsi.com

  7. #7
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    Mar 2007
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    Chandler, AZ
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    Scott, I am with you on this one. I use my favorite tool, my camera, and document why I am unable to check for evidence of past leaks under a sink stuffed full of "stuff". I recommend that before closing, that the personal items be removed, and a qualified professional further evaluate, as desired. Any problems can be brought to the attention of the seller and repaired/replaced as needed, by a qualified professional.
    Otherwise, we would be there all day! Not required.

    Dave Hill
    Buyers & Sellers Property Inspections LLC
    WWW.BuyersSellersPi.Com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    Robert,
    I'm curious about the wording in the law where your State prohibits you moving stuff.
    I know we are not "required" to move things, but that is a far cry from being prohibited.

    I just looked at the Nevada SOP and couldn't seem to find anything that would keep an inspector from moving things on a counter top or sink.
    Not trying to pick a fight or anything, but to be misinformed about what one can or can't do on an inspection can come back to bite one's backside some day.

    Last edited by Jack Feldmann; 04-27-2012 at 03:52 PM. Reason: looked at NV SOP

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Ernst View Post
    My state prohibits it ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I'm curious about the wording in the law where your State prohibits you moving stuff.
    I know we are not "required" to move things, but that is a far cry from being prohibited.
    Same thing I was wondering ... what wording "prohibits" you from moving stuff?

    As Jack said, there is a huge difference between 'not being required to' and 'being prohibited from' moving things.

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

  10. #10
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    I move lots of stuff if it's just placed on the counter, such as the toaster parked right on the diagonal seam, I look under it. I always check the seam for delamination.
    I take crap out if it's blocking important stuff like an electrical panel. My clients need to know now, not some other time or after they've bought. Do you look under rugs and carpets? Of course you do. I'll run water into a pot or a bucket sometimes if there's crap in the tub or the shower. I will climb over stuff and crouch on top of boxes of storage to get at the electrical panel.

    I will look under a cutting board on the counter, if it's a decent house, but if the house is a dump, one more blemish won't make any difference. Dishes in the sink, I run some water and check the drain. An inspector I know was clearing a spot for his report by pushing crap aside, and pushed a goldfish bowl with the fish in it right off the end of the counter.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 04-27-2012 at 09:31 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  11. #11
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    I usually look at it as "is the knowledge worth the effort ?" For a counter top it usually is. for a garage crammed full of stuff, usually not. My advice is if you are not going to move stuff, take lots of pictures of the crap you didn't move. when they find that charred counter top you couldn't see you can show why you couldn't see it.


  12. #12
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    I moved a cutting board leaning up against a back splash recently to reach and test the outlet... finished in the kitchen and moved around to the familiy room. When closing the sliding door the thump caused the cutting to fall forward and crash into a blender which shattered into a million pieces all over the floor.

    I Fed-Ex-ed the seller a replacement right away ($100 - ouch) but it was a funny chance to think back. In 12 years that's the only thing of any real value I've ever broken....

    As for the original question, it's a case by case thing... I'm certainly not clearing out sinks or cabinets below unless I'm super suspicious or see some problems. Basically, it's a never ending road to move everthing in a house that might be hiding something.


  13. #13
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    St. George, UT
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    There is a limit to how much stuff I move. There is also the consideration of breaking things. One thing I always move is a mat or carpet remnant that is "innocently" placed over a tile entryway.

    An occupied home normally gets 3-4 times the amount of interior pictures taken than an empty house.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Ernst View Post
    My state prohibits it but even if it didn't I wouldn't move anything. Maybe slide something far enough out to plug in the tester. I would disclose anything I couldn't get to in my report and I always take pictures.
    Not piling on, but I am also interested in the "...state prohibits it...". How and where is it worded that way?


  15. #15
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
    mathew stouffer Guest

    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    I keep telling myself I will no longer move anything, then last week I tried to move a container under a sink. It spilled and it was filled with clorox No more moving anything!!


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    I keep telling myself I will no longer move anything, then last week I tried to move a container under a sink. It spilled and it was filled with clorox No more moving anything!!
    As Forest would say, "clumsy is as clumsy does".


  17. #17
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    I've noticed that over the last few years agents have become a *lot* more willing to move stuff... they want to get the property SOLD.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  18. #18
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    Mar 2007
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    Ingleside Illinois
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    Default Re: Moving stuff on counter tops

    Like most I will move objects within reason. Under cabinets I'll move soaps and whatever blocks my view of the shut offs and drains. I always look at the cabinet base for signs of leakage. I rarely move objects on counters but do look carefully and take photos. If I can't see because something is covering an area I always make a note in the report for the buyer.


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