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MICHAEL'S NEWSFLASHES & MEMORIES!!!

Capturing the events and memories that make up our lives!

SCAMMERS - Search Engine Rankings

SCAMMERS - Search Engine Rankings
SCAMMER ALERT   Fellow real estate professionals. Watch out if you get a call from (323) 271-4533 This number is from professional scammers. It took me a few minutes to reveal them for what they are, but I am glad I took the time.I hope that you can learn from their tactics. It is really sad because there are legitimate firms doing this work, but this was NOT one of them. Ring ring ring.... “It’s a great day, this is Michael!” Long pause of silence... “Hello, Hello this is Michael” , I say again and then a small click and “Hello is this Michael Leavitt?” “Why yes it is, how can I be of help?” “Michael, this is Neil, and we are looking for a real estate agent in your area” /// To which I immediately cut him off and say, “Well I am a hom...
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5241 Hits
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Firestop Collars on Garage Fire Separation Penetrations

Firestop Collars on Garage Fire Separation Penetrations
On January 21st of this year I composed a lengthy blog entry regarding a question that Sacramento, California Home Inspector Ken Ives had regarding garage fire separation wall penetrations’ Ken asked... “Maybe I was on Maui for too long (if that is even possible), but I saw this today and it looked odd. PVC exhaust piping thru the ceiling of a garage.  Is this a fire wall compromise issue?” Ken Ives - Sacramento, CA - www.KenIves.com I did a lot of research and thought I had come up with all of the right answers, until today. So flash forward 10 months and I received a call from another good friend and fellow Utah Home Inspector, Kurt Salomon. Kurt is one of the busiest radon mitigation contractors in Utah and he ran this scenario by m...
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11-year old boy dies in accidental hanging

11-year old boy dies in accidental hanging
It is with great reverence that I share the following news story from a home accident that ultimately took the life of an 11 year old boy. My online news alert system notified me of the headline from 6 days ago and I quickly read the story and sat back with shock, thinking of the horrible nature of the accident. As a Home Inspector I inspect a lot of homes in the Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain area. Since all of the homes are newer, many of them have unfinished basements that get turned into adventurous indoor play areas, especially when the weather turns cold and outside play diminishes. I searched the various accounts and none really shared very many details about how it actually happened, so I am left to my imagination by rememberin...
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Water Heater Fire Leaves 6 Homeless

Water Heater Fire Leaves 6 Homeless
As a Northern Utah Home Inspector, only a small percentage of my home inspections involve mobile homes. Most of our housing stock includes houses with basements. This means that the water heater is usually located on solid concrete, so when they leak the floor does not rot out. However, mobile homes, multi-story condos, and houses with crawl spaces usually have their water heaters positioned on a raised wood floor. When the units leak, then the wood subflooring gets wet, rots, and turns into “Was Wood”. Water heaters usually have a minimum of 40 gallons of water at about 8 pounds per gallon. That means 320 pounds, plus the weight of the water heater concentrated onto a 24”x24” area. When the wood floor gives way, the unit shifts. This can c...
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2029 Hits
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Tommy Conquers The Dinosaurs

Tommy Conquers The Dinosaurs
It was so much fun watching Tommy climb up and conquer the dinosaur that resides less than 30 feet outside his front door. To say that he is the master of his domain is an understatement. Love ya, Kido!!!
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1594 Hits
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Who’s Driving This Crazy Train?

Who’s Driving This Crazy Train?
There is nothing funnier than placing Rolf & Poppy in the control seat of a kiddy train. From the moment they enter the battle for control ensues. Don’t think Rolf is a pushover to Poppy’s assertiveness. Quite the contrary. He may not be as vocal, but Rolf definitely has desires to take control. In the meantime the train continues to speed down the tracks. All I could think of was Ozzy shrieking... “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train!” LOCATION: Mama Shelly wanted to take the twins to see Monster University at the Water Gardens in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
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1856 Hits
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Giant Stucco Eating Snails - Watch Out Florida!!!

Giant Stucco Eating Snails - Watch Out Florida!!!
As a Utah Home Inspector, there are few things as scary as the thought of giant African snails, as large as a football, showing up in the U.S.A., and loving traditional stucco homes upon which to feast. I heard about this phenomena and shivers immediately went up and down my spine. Relief only came as I considered the great distance between Orem, Utah and the shores of Cocoa Beach, Utah where I spent part of my youth. Luckily these destructive slimey and overgrown snails only prefer the tropical portions of our great land and they could not make a go of it here in the high desert of Northern Utah... Huge sighs of relief!!! As I investigated the recent news stories and videos I became that much more thankful that I am not inspecting homes in...
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4565 Hits
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Wildfire Damage Prevention

Wildfire Damage Prevention
The summer heat is here and wildfire season is in full gear. I have inspected lots of hillside home along the Wasatch Front and cabins in the local mountains that are anything but prepared for a wildfire. Once news of the fire is announced, then the chance for preparation has passed. I have spent many hours watching the victims on CNN as they return to what is left of the home they had to flee. I find it amazing when I see cars burned to the ground and possessions smouldering in the rubble after the homeowners were given very little notice. The time to prepare is now and although this article may not apply to you, we all know someone with a home set in the mountains that do need the reminder. Follow the story links learn... I was most intri...
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2106 Hits
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Father's Day 2013 - Thanks Dad!

Father's Day 2013 - Thanks Dad!
It is my 52nd year here in mortality and I am left to ponder how I have become the man that I am. What factors contributed to my character and whose prayers were answered on my behalf hundreds of time that has allowed me to still be enjoying life as I know it? At age 25 I spent Father’s Day in the LDS Missionary Training Center preparing to head to Brazil as a Mormon Missionary. Prior to my entry my Dad told me I was a fool for that decision and wasting my life. He reasoned that there was so much more I could accomplish by staying and applying my focus to higher education and employment. This advice came as he expressed his disgust in my progress here in mortality just before the funeral of his only sibling, Uncle Harley. Then he drove off ...
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1878 Hits
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Over 24 Injured in Miami Heat Deck Collapse

Over 24 Injured in Miami Heat Deck Collapse
It is always sad to report another deck failure that causes injury. Last night’s warm Southern Florida weather brought a huge crowd to the Shucker’s Bar in Miami, Florida to watch their home town Miami Heat baseketball team play the San Antonia Spurs in the fourth game of the NBA Finals. Just before halftime, as the Heat were on a run, the deck over the bay gave way in the middle, folded in a V, and the inebriated patrons went into the drink. 15 had to be transported to local hospitals and many more were treated on the scene. This collapse was complicated by the need to rescue the fallen victims from water and the fact that nobody knew exactly how many people they were searching for. This is far different than a backyard party where you kno...
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James Hardie Kickout Flashing - Stop the water entry!!!

James Hardie Kickout Flashing - Stop the water entry!!!
All of North America is coming to know James Hardie as one of the premier cemetitious sidings for residential and commercial structures. We are finally starting to see more of it than vinyl siding on newer construction. I love James Hardie and HardiePlank because they have such good installation specs for their products. When an installation is done wrong, then I find it is very easy to research their website and find the correct detail and installation description. Their information has long been a great resource for several of my specialty websites, one of which is www.Kickout.info . Kickout.info is not a site devoted to 50 ways to kick your children out of your house. Instead, it is a website devoted to one piece of flashing that is crit...
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Top 10 List to Avoid Deck Failures

Top 10 List to Avoid Deck Failures
I spend many dozens of hours each year scouring the internet for deck failure related information and articles. The way I see it, if my compiling this information saves even one life from the prevention of a deck collapse, then my efforts are worth the time invested. I want your next family BBQ to be filled with fun and laughter, and not with screams and ambulances carrying your friends and loved ones off to the local hospital. I was impressed with this well written article from the Gaudette Insurance Agency in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. NOTE: I have a specialty website, www.DeckFailure.com, that has the news accounts of the major collapse of decks and balconies archived for research and educational purposes. Top 10 Tips to Avoid Balcony,...
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This Zinsco Panel Needs To Be Replaced!

This Zinsco Panel Needs To Be Replaced!
Long time Sacramento, California home inspector Ken Ives sent along some great Zinsco electrical panel pics. Ken shares with his clients... “It would be best to have this panel further evaluated by a licensed electrician and if there are any evidences of charring at the breaker to bus bar connections, then you should upgrade the panel.” Ken Ives Sacramento, Ca.   That is the very least that a good home inspector should be recommending when they encounter a Zinsco panel. Why? Because they are prone to poor connections that can escalate to a fire in the home. But what happens when we make that recommendation to our clients? Do they actually call in an electrician?   Read the full blog entry at our newest MLC specialty website www.El...
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Zinsco Panel Hazards - www.ElectricalFire.info

Zinsco Panel Hazards - www.ElectricalFire.info
I have been having an incredible time researching and formatting information and photos for my latest specialty website www.ElectricalFire.info . The site deals with electrical risks inside the homes that I inspect here in Northern Utah, but the same issues are widespread all across North America. The current project has been my compiling and organizing information regarding antiquated Zinsco electrical panels. These older electrical panels are proving themselves hazardous and the source of many electrical fires.  Do you know what brand electrical panels you have in your home? You might find one brand outside and different brands of interior subpanels. If your electrical panels were installed between 1950 and 1985, then you better take...
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3774 Hits
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Tommy’s Birthday - Rubber Ducky

Tommy’s Birthday - Rubber Ducky
What a great day today is. The only way it could be better was if I was in Cape Cod in person to celebrate my Grandson Tommy’s birthday. Skype is good, but I want to eat one of those delicious cupcakes baked and decorated by Jessica. As a special request I was asked to prepare an MP3 file featuring various versions of Rubber Ducky.  The final mix is an entertaining and mixes Ernie, Adam, Little Richard, and others doing various versions including and Israeli version and a German Techno-pop version. It ends with Ernie losing his Rubber Ducky, but you can then start the 23 minute audio all over again. Make it a great day and enjoy “Rubber Ducky!” RUBBER DUCKY - MP3 Make it a great day! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector....
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1729 Hits
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Happy Mother’s Day 2013

Happy Mother’s Day 2013
Happy Mother’s Day! I don’t know if my Mom is like the others in the world, I only know that I love her dearly and her loving way has helped nurture me into the man I am today. Yes I am full of imperfections and warts, but there are some really great qualities that I can directly attribute to her loving care. I want everyone to know that I love her for her ability to always love me, in spite of what I was doing, as well as during those times I made it easy for her to stand back and beam with pride. I am really fortunate to still have her here in mortality to share my latest success and failures. She is currently back at my sister’s, so I don’t get to give here a loving kiss and hug in person this year on this special tribute day. Instead, I...
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1740 Hits
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Rain Gutter Guards - Do they work?

Rain Gutter Guards - Do they work?
I have been getting spam wanting me to be a dealer/installer for gutter guard protectors. I am not tempted to take them up on their “Special Offer” but they made me stop and think about the few that I have encountered over the years while inspecting homes along the Wasatch Front of Utah. What is you experience? Do these things really work? As a home inspector here in Orem, Utah when I see a tree I know it was planted by man. That is just the nature of living in a high desert area. In mature neighborhoods we do have tall trees and do have issues with leaves and debris. In the newer neighborhoods it will be another 10 years before their trees are tall enough to be an issue. In the local mountains they can’t have gutters because of the heavy s...
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Veins Bleed and Arteries Spurt

Veins Bleed and Arteries Spurt
I count myself as blessed to be able to sit here and relate the second time in my life where I learned that "Veins bleed and Arteries spurt!"   FIRST TIME I LEARNED THIS LESSON Two days before 5th grade was to start, I found myself playing at the Greens’ home, just two doors down from our house on Jessica Drive in Highland Park, California. I was chasing 10-year-old Kelly Green in anger and she ran into her house and slammed the front door shut, hoping to keep me out and escape my retaliation. I tried to come to a screeching halt but instead tripped over the welcome mat and this is where everything slowed down to slooooow motion as my right arm went through a lower French door window pane and shattered the glass on the way in. I instin...
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5233 Hits
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Hey Dad, I’m Ready To Go!

Hey Dad, I’m Ready To Go!
Really Son... Howzabout another sock, shoes, and oh yes, tie up your shorts. CAPTION: Adam acting as a deer in the headlights! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com - Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.
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2080 Hits
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Polybutylene Pipe - What’s The Big Deal???

Polybutylene Pipe - What’s The Big Deal???
POLYBUTYLENE PIPE As a Master Home Inspector inspecting in Northern Utah, part of my responsibility inspecting homes is to identify the types of piping used to supply water throughout the home. The piping that always draws the most attention is polybutylene. Have you ever wondered why home inspectors always make such a big deal about polybutylene piping? Is there really anything to worry about if you have it in your home? When polybutylene piping is identified during an inspection the inspector should always include a recommendation for further evaluation by a qualified plumber. It is that recommendation that always gets the client, the seller and the agents asking the same questions. What is polybutylene pipe? What causes the pipes to...
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9970 Hits
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Roof Repair Needed ASAP - Is it spam?

Roof Repair Needed ASAP - Is it spam?
Email is an amazing tool that definitely is key in gaining me business. I am always flattered when somebody finds one of my websites and contacts me for more information. More often than not they live outside my geographic region, so an on site visit to earn revenue is not possible. I often take time to respond and help to whatever extent is possible. But then there are those dark individuals that have exploited this tool to extract money from the bank accounts of the unsuspecting. And then there are those emails that fall somewhere in the middle. Are they a real request that will ultimately generate business, or are they just trying to exploit for their own personal gain.  This brings to light the email that came into my inbox not les...
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2463 Hits
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Wow... Boston Marathon Explosion

Wow... Boston Marathon Explosion
Sorry about the levity of the last “Mister Fog” post in the midst of the Boston Marathon explosion chaos. Shelly called me in and said, “Your not going to believe this!” And with that we have been glued to the TV. What a shame! My heart goes out to those affected by this tragedy. 2 have been reported dead with over 20 injured. By the looks of it I expect those numbers to increase. I hope that it stops there and that this is NOT part of some greater nefarious attack. What an awful shame! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com - Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.
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Mister Fog Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Mister Fog Made Me Laugh Out Loud
Thanks to my Mother, who followed in the footsteps of my Grandmother, there has always seemed to be a Reader’s Digest magazine laying around the house. I have read only a handful of the articles over the recent years, but I always seem to search through each issue for the little quips and stories at the end of most of the articles. Occasionally I even find myself laughing out loud when a humorous story catches me off guard. This past Saturday I had the pleasure of taking my son Adam to the local Dollar Cuts for what LDS folks refer to as a Missionary haircut. While they were shaving Adam down to the skin on the back of his neck I picked up the latest Reader’s Digest and started my search... And then I stumbled upon this beauty...   Bew...
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3240 Hits
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Jack & Corona - Does this influence your inspection?

Jack & Corona - Does this influence your inspection?
When you walk around the property and find dozens of broken bottles in the poorly maintained yard, does this influence your inspection? Or better stated, does it put you “under the influence” and cause you to be biased? If so, then what do you find yourself being more harsh upon? As I inspect the housing stock in Northern Utah it is rarer for me to inspect the visible party houses. Most people trying to sell the home for the highest value see this as a negative and they take the time to clean the yard first. But this particular home is a true sign of our sellers market where the owner knew he would have multiple offers within hours of the listing hitting the MLS. The home was foreclosed and sold on the steps of the courthouse and then quick...
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Stockton To Malone - Aaron Needs Good Role Models

Stockton To Malone - Aaron Needs Good Role Models
Earlier this basketball season Aaron and I got nosebleed tickets to see the Oklahome Thunder come to town to play the Utah Jazz. It was fun to watch the Jazz pummel the Thunder, but it was even more enjoyable getting to the arena early and spending some time with Aaron. Taking the pictures of Aaron wearing shorts in the cold freezing rain is a classic reminder of Aaron’s 9th grade year. If you can’t see his lower legs, then Aaron must be going to church. Otherwise, Aaron wears shorts to nearly everything. That’s right, whether it is shoveling snow, running to school, or going to any non-formal activity, then you can bet that Aaron will be doing everything possible to wear shorts. While at the Jazz game it was fun trying to explain to Aaron ...
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1879 Hits
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Spanish Moss Cave - A Great Trip

Spanish Moss Cave - A Great Trip
TRIP REPORT: We had a very successful trip to Spanish Moss Cave. TRIP DATE: April 4, 2013 LEFT TRAILHEAD: 3 PM RETURNED: 10 PM TRIP LEADER: Michael Leavitt PARTICIPANTS: Dave Allison, Matt, Josh, Robert, Keaton, and Aaron Leavitt. For 5 of the participants this was there very first experience in a wild cave. We stopped by Roadside Cave just to pique their interest. Hiking up to the locked gate is always a challenge, but these young men were up to the task. CONDITIONS INSIDE: The cave was extremely dry. I had never seen the upper room flowstone completely dried up. The lower chamber ceiling water feature was also 98% dried up. In fact, only about 5% of the features were wet and glistening. ACCIDENTS: The only near injury occurred as I was be...
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2226 Hits
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Google Nose - The Bleeding Cutting Edge

Google Nose - The Bleeding Cutting Edge
Fellow Inspectors, Family, and Friends: I have been having an incredible time playing with the newest beta from Google called Google Nose. It is free and quite an incredible feature. My kids are raving about it and I was feeling like such an out of the loop old fuddy dud. This email will help get any of you feeling the same back on top of technology’she cutting edge. I look forward to your feedback. It works with laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones. bleeding cutting edge. DIRECT LINK: http://www.google.com/landing/nose/index.html YOUTUBE VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFbYadm_mrw Make it a great day! Michael Leavitt – Orem, Utah – www.TheHomeInspector.com – Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.
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1989 Hits
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Rolf & Poppy - Lion King Dancing

Rolf & Poppy - Lion King Dancing
Just watching Rolf and Poppy this morning makes me miss them so much. They are getting so big and it is difficult having them living all the way across the USA. I am glad to hear that they are appreciating The Lion King, as our kids always loved that movie. So even though the video is very short, it is incredible how big they are getting. Make it a great day! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com - Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.
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1555 Hits
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Haily Plays Lacrosse

Haily Plays Lacrosse
It was great fun yesterday watching Haily play lacrosse. Haily is one of the team captains for the Timpanogos JV Lacrosse team and she also plays on the Varsity team. Since Shelly wasn’t feeling well I became one of the official drivers for the team and I transported the girls north to play against Juan Diego. Juan Diego is a private Catholic school in Draper, Utah and they have really good teams with lots of fan support. I was told that I could not write anything to embarrass Haily, so I will let the photos do the talking. haily was aggressive, yet kept her spirits high even though they came out on the losing end. Haily played goalie for the first half of the game because the JV goalie was brought up to fill a vacancy on the Varsity team. ...
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2024 Hits
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Buying Used - Appliance Exchange of Utah

Buying Used - Appliance Exchange of Utah
Buying new major appliances seems to always be expensive because it usually is a non-planned purchase. You find yourself in the middle of a big clothes washing day and the unit all of the sudden won’t spin out the water. It seemed to work fine yesterday. I know it was working fine last week. In fact, I haven’t thought about it for years. But all of the sudden doing a load of laundry is impossible as I look into the fully loaded wash chamber completely filled with water. It fills, it churns, but it will not spin out the water... I’m hosed!!! When this happened to us recently I decided to roll the dice and buy used instead of new. $700 just was not in the budget and I didn’t want to buy a new unit and have a non-matching dryer to go with the ...
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5176 Hits
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Poppy’s Wedding - I Wish We Could have Been There!

Poppy’s Wedding - I Wish We Could have Been There!
Being a Grandpa or three, it is fun to receive messages about my Grandkids and the high points in their lives. I was going back through my emails and had forgotten about Poppy’s wedding that took place back in January. This is the bad part about them living in Massachusetts; I wish that I could have attended the event. I know that Poppy is just two years old, but receiving this notice was a lot of fun to read...   Today Popy woke up and decided today was the day she was going to get married in the temple. She found her big white skirt, was disappointed she couldn't find a white shirt and so she picked the cute pink flower shirt as an alternative. She found nice white flowers and a "hat" for her hair. Then she informed me that at her we...
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2488 Hits
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North Carolina 6 Year Code Cycle Change - BAD IDEA!!!

North Carolina 6 Year Code Cycle Change - BAD IDEA!!!
I was shocked to hear about a new proposal in North Carolina that will modify the current 3 year adoption cycle for new building codes and extend it out to 6 years. On the surface this is absurd and I think it is damaging to the end consumer and benefits the pocketbook of the larger builders. I know they have a strong lobby, but we must always keep the end consumer in mind. North Carolina Lawmakers Vote For Six-Year Code Cycle From the Journal of Light Construction The North Carolina House has voted 98-18 for a bill that would change the state’s code adoption cycle to every six years instead of every three, the Charlotte Observer reports (“NC House OKs building code editions to last longer,” by Associated Press). The bill would also prohibi...
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Water Leak Alarms - Water Is The Big Destroyer

Water Leak Alarms - Water Is The Big Destroyer
When it comes to major issues involving houses, with the exceptions of the earth moving and tornadoes, the biggest issue is water. As a Utah Home Inspector, I find that percentage wise, water is the biggest destroyer of homes. Whether it is a flood, a rising water table, a leaking water heater, a leaking roof, or a dishwasher that just refuses to contain all the water inside the wash chamber, water causes major damage to wood structures. With the exception of the breaking of the levy type Hurricane Katrina floods, most water damage goes unnoticed until there is major evidence and damage. It is for that reason that I regularly tell my clients about water leak detectors. Homeowners have come to expect smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms i...
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Aaron Drives, He Scores, But They Came Up Short On The Scoreboard!

Aaron Drives, He Scores, But They Came Up Short On The Scoreboard!
What a thrill it was to watch Aaron compete in the 2013 LDS Young Men’s Cluster Tournament yesterday morning. The team was a bit depleted due to baseball tournaments in St. George, but when 10 AM rolled around Aaron looked at the three other players on his team and they were are ready as they were ever going to be. Unfortunately they were looking at a team of 8 that included four over 16 years of age, and some with a great deal of basketball experience. Aaron took charge of the situation by driving, shooting, and scoring. The highpoint of the game is his shot that put them up 18 to 17 with just over 5 minutes to go in the half.   The game went downhill from there. Up to that point the team was on fire. Gordon hit a couple of threes tha...
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Closed To Occupancy - What Does it Mean? Beware of HUD Homes!!!

Closed To Occupancy - What Does it Mean? Beware of HUD Homes!!!
As a Utah Home Inspector, I found myself walking up to the front door of yet another bank-owned, foreclosed, and vacant property, I was confronted with a sign taped at eye level to the outside of the front door. “CLOSED TO OCCUPANCY by order of the Salt Lake Valley Health Department.” The yellow and black police tape was also a nice touch. If you look close at the sign you will see that I removed the address, but this sign was posted back in September of 2012. What does it mean? Is it safe to enter and evaluate? Am I risking my health to inspect this home for my client? And what were the causes of the sign placement? A little history of the sale process would help put you in my shoes. My client was deemed the “Eternal Optimist” by his Fathe...
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4353 Hits
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Dr. Emmett - The Curious Savage

Dr. Emmett - The Curious Savage
Each of our children has had such a great experience with plays while attending Canyon View Junior High here in Orem, Utah. This has been largely due to the love and care of the drama teacher Ms. Kate O’Reily. Aaron has been the biggest benefactor while in Junior High because he was able to gain lots of stage experience while playing teenie roles in the plays of his older brother and sisters. By the time Aaron hit the stage as a 9th grader he had been in over 14 productions, with experience in ensemble, dance, and even leading roles, so his comfort level under the drama stage lights was very high. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who helped give him the experience thus far. This week ended the run of Seussical The Musical where Aaron pla...
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Aaron: Playing Hard With a Chip on His Shoulder

Aaron: Playing Hard With a Chip on His Shoulder
PROLOGUE - THE CHIP At 15 years of age, Aaron has become quite a basketball player. This year he had the chance to play basketball on both a combined LDS young men's team as well as with my LDS men's team. While he thrived playing with the young men, he shined playing the more mature men’s game. It was interesting to see how he would instill fear in the other teams as they would try to keep up with him for the full 32 minutes of game time. More than once you heard, “He is like the Eveready Bunny!” Well the season drew to an end and his young men’s team made it to the cluster tournament coming up this next week. Aaron’s name was submitted on the roster with his rather inexperienced team that stands very little chance of moving beyond the fir...
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Lacrosse - Haily is Aggressive and Loving It!!!

Lacrosse - Haily is Aggressive and Loving It!!!
MARCH 8, 2013 - Who would have thought Haily would be having so much fun playing Lacrosse? I stood in the freezing cold late afternoon watching her Varsity team play Riverton as the cold rain started to fall and there remained an aggressive smile on her face as she continually checked and defended her opponent. This was weather that only the craziest would continue, but girl's’lacrosse is much like youth soccer and they play on unless lightning is physically threatening. Enjoy the photos. You can click to enlarge, but the larger versions are grainy due to the low light conditions of the late march afternoon and the very dark rain cloud environment. You can most easily track Haily by the #16 and the pink goggles.    
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1681 Hits
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CPSC Disco Light Recall

CPSC Disco Light Recall
As a Utah Home inspector, I need to issue a warning to all of you Saturday Night Fever disco fever types that are still sporting your Angel Flight leisure suits with buttoned down shirts and hair chests. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has just recalled the black style disco lights that probably adorn your bedrooms. Over 19,00 of them are out there in the marketplace and they are currently overheating and posing a shock hazard to all of those nearby the units. On a serious note, these are in many of the teenager bedrooms of the homes Utah Home inspectors are inspecting. If you see one, then contact the manufacturer for a full refund, and oh yes, stop using them immediately. For more information please visit my CPSC Recall page devote...
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Orem High’s Ernest is a Success!!!

Orem High’s Ernest is a Success!!!
It was both fun and odd to go to Orem High School tonight and watch a play that had none of my kids in it. The first time I saw “The Importance Of Being Ernest” my oldest daughter Jessica played the role of Cecily and I was completely overwhelmed with pride and joy. Jessica wowed me and won me over and the play was such fun. Tonight’s show was also fun and I encourage any of you seeking an enjoyable evening to attend one of the last 3 nights. The Little Theater is a wonderful place to watch a close and intimate play like Ernest. Showtime is 7PM in the Orem High School Little Theater. Here are a few pics from the show... Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com - Michael Leavitt & Co Inspections, Inc.
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1783 Hits
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Cheerful Charlie Departs Mortality With A Smile In A Whiteout!

Cheerful Charlie Departs Mortality With A Smile In A Whiteout!
Brrrrrrr! To say it was unexpectedly cold Saturday morning is an understatement. Leaving home in Orem with a light calm snowfall and entering the blizzard country of Northern Highland, Utah was an amazing experience. Just getting to the LDS chapel for my Great Uncle’s funeral by driving on the ice skating rolling hill roads was trechorous for some and was even white knuckling for those of us with 4-wheel-drives.   The family of my Great Uncle Charles had made the arrangements earlier in the week for the funeral and graveside service. They created a nice table at the entry that invited attendees to share their thoughts and feelings about Charles Del Mar Spurrier. The meeting was already underway by the time I made it to Highland. It see...
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Say What? - Mold Smells

Say What? - Mold Smells
It is Saturday night and I am slaving over a report dealing with water entry. I am typing hundreds and hundreds of words identifying reportable conditions, conveying the severity, and providing clear courses of action. The entire time I am frustrated because there are others in my local area who put forth 20% of the effort and collect similar inspection fees. How can this be? Unfortunately many consumers just do not know any better. For example, while I was reviewing some online inspection reports of other local inspectors I found this one report that left me shaking my head wondering who trained this guy and to what inspection Standard of Practice is he preparing his reports. I felt sorry for the paying client when I read the following... ...
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2048 Hits
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Haily's Art - Springville Art Show

Haily's Art - Springville Art Show
What a joy it was to go to the Springville, Utah Art Museum to see Haily’s contribution to the annual High School Art Festival. This included entries from schools all over the state and just to be displayed is an honor. She was thrilled that the young men and young women from our LDS Ward came to see her picture. To say I was proud is an understatement. She works hard to develop her talent... Way-2-Go Haily!!!
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1859 Hits
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Sub $325 Thermal Imager - This is not a joke!

Sub $325 Thermal Imager - This is not a joke!
As a gadget guy I was pleased to come across this soon to be released thermal imager that will retail for just $325. Of course it is not to be compared with $10,000 to $50,000 self contained thermal imaging cameras, but from the specs shared below I would easily compare it with the sub $4,000 models. What’s the catch? Well it is worthless without a phone or tablet since they are the brains and the brawn of the IR process. That’s right, it runs off either an iOS or Android app and plugs into either the phone or tablet via the mini USB port. So why do I think this is a viable solution? Well the resolution is equivalent to the lesser model cameras, but there are future goals of increasing the resolution. But I think this is a gadget that you c...
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3003 Hits
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Cabela’s Recall Furry Friend Flashlights - Beamerzzz

Cabela’s Recall Furry Friend Flashlights - Beamerzzz
Happy Valentine’s Day! On this romantic day it is a bummer for those home inspectors who are used to taking their cuddly stuffed animal friends in the crawlspace with them to both provide protection and light the way. I can think of fellow home inspectors Jim Maass in South Carolina, Mike Campbell in Montana, and Jeff Herboldshimer in Northern California who are all going to be heartbroken. You see, Jim can successfully shoot anything that moves, Mike loves the remote freedoms of Montana living, and Jeff just loves new gadgets. But all three have a fondness for furry stuffed animals, and have since their youth. So how could Cabela’s be so cruel as to sell them trusted stuffed animal friends and then have them recalled immediately without wa...
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4293 Hits
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Murphy’s Other 15 Laws

Murphy’s Other 15 Laws
Fellow Porto Alegre, Brasil LDS Missionary (86-88), Mike Barry passed along the other laws that Murphy wrote, but kept to himself. Several of these I have learned to be true... The hard way! The others just made me giggle. Make it a great day! Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - www.TheHomeInspector.com MURPHY'S OTHER FIFTEEN LAWS 1. Light travels faster than sound.This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 2. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well. 3. He who laughs last thinks slowest. 4. A day without sunshine is like, well... um... night. 5. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. 6. Those that live by the sword get shot by those who don't. 7. Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently u...
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1755 Hits
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Success in the burning ring of frie!

Success in the burning ring of frie!
With just 8 seconds to go, we witnessed the popcorn pop in the fire building contest. The record was reported to be about 2 minutes and 50 seconds. We may not have beat that record, but we did succeed at the task. Alex led the way and he started stacking the wood and placing the kindling. The technique was questionable as they took the first match when the log cabin was just about 2 inches tall when the limit was about 12 inches tall. this mean that if the fire took, then the flames would have to rise up at least a foot before it had any effect on the pie tin placed above. The match lit the tender and after about 10 seconds it went out.... There went the bonus award for getting it going with just one match. A second match produced the same ...
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1703 Hits
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Aaron Gets Voted Off The Island

Aaron Gets Voted Off The Island
In a true Survivor way, Drake cast the final vote and shoved Aaron to his fate as the rest of the Survivors thrust him off the island. Klondike 2013 was a thriving success. The 8-legged race was not so much. “C’mon Team, repeat after me, right, left, fall.... right, left fall.... right, left, fall! The winning time may have been 2:52, but we were impressed with Team/Troop 173 breaking the 13 minute barrier. Go Eagles!!!
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1490 Hits
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The Seussical Water Buffalo

The Seussical Water Buffalo
Coming at the end of February is the stage play Suessical at Canyon View Junior High here in Orem, Utah. We will get to see Aaron in the role as the Mayor of Whosville. Haily’s giraffe will be unveiled once again, and I was called upon to create the water buffalo head piece. So how do you make a water buffalo head piece? That’s what I thought when I received the phone call. I immediately thought of building off a bicycle helmet. So without any specific guidelines I went to the internet and found the image that I think people think of when they think water buffalo. The horns seem to be the key, but how to do it with a Seussical twist. Let’s start with the helmet and some coat hangars... Next came the Styrofoam cups and black electrical tape....
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1814 Hits
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Tamper Resistant Outlets

Tamper Resistant Outlets
Tamper Resistant Receptacle outlets are now the norm on new construction in Utah, but most homeowners have no clue about these new receptacles. You would think that in the baby birthing capitol of America that there would be more awareness, but I guess it is up to us Home Inspectors to help spread the awareness. TAMPER RESISTANT RECEPTACLES - These outlets are designed so that if a child attempts to stick a screwdriver, fork, or other sharp metal item into just one side of an outlet, that entry is prevented and electrocution is avoided. Mothers should be the most aware of these new outlets since they are the most safety conscious in the household and worried Mothers have been the primary purchasers of plastic caps and shuttered safety wall ...
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10650 Hits
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