Friday, 15 December 2017

More Home Inspection Surprises

When checking the house, ordinary doors can surprise you. Several doors led to the room, several doors causing a darkness, and some of the strangely locked doors. Sometimes you get all three.

I was checking out a big holiday house north of Cashier, North Carolina, on a fast-running river. It's full of big boulders, twists and turns, and waterfalls. The trip to the house was narrow and steep, leading to a heavy gate. The remote agent gave me work, and the gate slowly opened on the complaining hinge.

The house was beautifully built on the edge of granite, with stunning floor-to-ceiling windows. Although the house has a small footprint - maybe 1500 square feet - two stories soar up, utilizing a very steep field. The house has been confiscated, and it is now empty.

The first part of the inspection on the first floor shows no anomalies. I climbed the stairs to move up and saw the cupboard door with the latch lock. When you see something like this, the owner usually tries to protect something. Usually I noted in the report that I can not access the closet or the room, but in this case the bank is the owner and I doubt that they know anything about this locked door.

I quickly contacted the real estate agent.

"I'll call the bank," he said.

Three minutes later the phone rang.

"Nobody has a door lock, if we say go in and report what you found Can you take it?"

"I'm not a locksmith.No problem, I'll put it in my report," I said and hung up.

But I'm curious.

I wiped my hand at the top of the door trim where I "hid" the key. My fingers found an object with Velcro stuck to the trim. Key! I put the key in the lock and tried to rotate it. This works! Leaving the key in the glass, I turned the knob and opened the door.

A black void.

I took out my flashlight and aimed it at the area. A black metal circular ladder began to appear. Now I feel like Nancy Drew. I started slowly down the narrow stairs and started hearing the sound of water. Upon reaching the base, my feet were on an uneven stone floor and I was in a room about six by six feet with two more doors on the wall. I'm looking for a switch. I found it on the opposite wall. I flipped the switch and the lights filled the room. I was amazed to see the wall carved on the cliff.

One cupboard is a small space with an electric box. The other door is locked with a conveyor belt like upstairs.

"Oh, I left the key upstairs," I told myself. "Shoot, I have to go back and get it."

I went back up the spiral staircase to take it back. I went back down the stairs to the locked door. The key worked, and I opened the door. I was in a very narrow hallway. The walls are sturdy and I can see the furrows where the blasting caps are used. I feel a bit claustrophobic. Should I keep going?

The sound of the water grew stronger as I moved slowly down the cave path. After traveling 12 feet, I was suddenly outside! The waterfall visible from inside the house was directly in front of me.

What a surprise! Never underestimate what might be behind a locked door.

Lisa is a North Carolina licensed general contractor and home inspector, and a home improvement columnist for Clay County Advancement. He has designed and built several innovative homes with low maintenance and simplicity. Lisa founded Your Inspection Expert, Inc., a residential inspection company, in 2008. The experience gained from hundreds of inspections is the basis for suggestions in the article.

No comments:

Post a Comment