|Homesafe Inspections Rod MacNeil Incompetent, lazy, dishonest & unaccountable home inspector. Ladysmith, British Columbia |
|22nd of Jan, 2013 by User825951 |
|My complaint stems from a home inspection completed by Rod MacNeil of Homesafe Inspections in the summer of 2010. I have decided to come forward after learning of and speaking to another individual that has been completely screwed over emotionally & financially due to the incompetent and dishonest nature of this home inspector. I am here to offer support and hope to bring others who have been victimized by this person out of the shadows to share their experiences and hold this person accountable. I come from a new home construction/renovation background. I know how houses are built from the ground up and have hands on experience in a number of areas of construction. That said, when we decided to make the move from Alberta to the Island in 2010, we seeked out a reliable home inspector to give the house we chose a good look over, as I could not be there in person to be part of the inspection process, which is normal for me. I was provided Rod MacNeil's name and number from my buying agent (first mistake) and was assured that he was the right man for the job, so I went ahead and contacted him to do the inspection. He was friendly enough, made some jokes, share some laughs and geniunely made me feel comfortable in my decision to go with him. The inspection results themselves were detailed in a printable report that covered off all areas of the home in a fairly generic fashion, but ensured that all critical areas were viewed and deficiences noted as reach portion of the house was inspected. Rod called me and discussed the concerns detailed in his report, which were mostly cosmetic items (older cabinetry, worn counter tops, etc) inside and a couple of concerns with exterior items, such as the rear deck and detached work shop. Overall, he said, the house was well built, solid construction and in good condition. He also stated, to my surprise, that if I had paid anything under $275K for the house, it was a great deal. Not sure who told him what I paid for it, but I didn't think that was appropriate. His job is to inspect the house, not give an opinion on the sale price or how great of a deal I was getting. At that point, based on his report, I waived my home inspection condition and we bought the house. We moved into the home at the end of September, 2010. It was not long before we started to find issues in the house. First item that came up, I noticed that there was some seriously poor patchwork and caulking right next to the bathtub. I chalked it up as a poor handyman's patch attempt, but within a couple weeks it was obvious there was a problem. The baseboard near the tub was moist and changing color. I went to pry the baseboard off and it completely peeled off in my hand and so did all the drywall next to the tub, including tiles. It was completely soaked. The 2x4 framing behind was completely black and so badly rotted that I could shove a pen through the wood. I also noted that the windows in the house started to have a lot of condensation and the frames were dripping wet with water. We are regular users of bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans given I understand the importance of proper humidity levels in a house, so it was not due to a lack of ventilation when cooking or showering. The moisture problem on the windows was so bad that every morning I would awake to windows half way covered in condensation and pools of water on the window sills, in some places this water ran down the walls. It would take one-two large towels to go around and sop up the water from every window. I decided to investigate, thinking perhaps there was an issue with the exhaust ducting in the attic, but my own inspection revealed nothing, all was properly functional and correctly installed. It was at that point that I slipped down into the crawlspace and immediately noticed efflorescence stains on many parts of the basement floor and a few areas that were visibly damp. It was at that point that I called Rod back to have a look at the crawlspace as it was obvious that there was a problem with either the perimeter drains or the lot drainage itself that was allowing water to come up and penetrate the crawlspace skim coat. He was quick to come over, but refused to actually go back down into the crawlspace, stating that "it was summer" that he was down there and there was no moisture present. Unfortunately, he was wrong as the presence of the white chalky efflorescence demonstrated clearly that water penetration had occurred and this should have been noted. His diagnosis? Remove the downspouts from PVC pipes around the lot and put extensions on to drain the eavestroughs on to the lot and away from the house. The downspouts are tied into the weeping tile and it is getting overloaded. I thought this was strange, but in Alberta we did not bury downspout drains in the ground like out here on the west coast, we just put extensions on the ground and drained it away using lot grading, which is standard in many places. I figured maybe he has seen this before and it was an actual problem, so I pulled the extensions and ran them above ground. This changed nothing, of course, even though he assured me that it was the proper solution. After that, we had a repeated 'mystery odor' appear in our young daughter's bedroom. I had wondered if perhaps the previous owner or tenant had stored boxes or something in that room and the carpet got smelly as a result, because it did have an odor to it. Deciding it was inadequate for my child to sleep in that room, I ripped out all of the carpet & underlay, bleached the subfloor, fan dried it completely and then covered it in 2 coats of premium Kilz floor sealer. From there, underlay and new laminate flooring was placed over top, new baseboards tacked on and the whole room was freshly repainted. The morning after she had moved back in, we noticed the smell was back. I was dismayed. Could not believe it. From there, took the baseboard heater apart and cleaned it out. Same issue. It was at that point I believed the problem was within the wall itself and started to investigate further. A quick look at the window itself revealed two holes drilled into the base of the window track, obviously done by someone to drain the excess moisture from the track, but of course, where does that water go? Inside the wall! Rod's report on that bedroom window stated it was in good condition. I called Rod and advised him of my new findings and he was quick to come over to have a look. His first remark was that the bedroom odor was just 'residual' and lingering around because the house had been closed up and vacant for so long. "This house had a real odor when I came in" he revealed, though of course this was not in his report or verbal review of the inspection. That was what I was smelling: lingering, stale, old house smells. Oh, and the holes drilled in the window track? "Those would not let enough moisture through to hurt anything," he assured, even though it was obvious a problem was lurking within the wall. We moved on to the bathroom and upon seeing the issue with the rotted 2x4, told me that he could see a couple of hairline cracks in the shower tile grout, this due to the house being vacant for a long time, and that water was getting through these cracks. This, he said, was due to us showering in there since we moved in. Really? A 2x4 can turn black and rot to the point of being penetrable within a few weeks? I couldn't believe his answers, but he absolutely would not admit that he missed any of the items. Absolutely no accountability on his part. He offered up no solutions at all and no explanation for why any of the problems were not found. It simply was not his fault. Unfortunately, here is the reality of the problems we faced in this house:|
- the visible efflorescence in the crawl space is due to the fact the crawlspace floor is lower than the perimeter footings in many places. This means that water will seep through the crawlspace floor because there are areas where the floor is lower than the weeping tile. I conducted this analysis myself based on my knowledge of foundation construction and had this diagnosis confirmed by a foundation expert, who also concluded the issue lies with the finishing of the crawlspace floor. The resolution involves raising the crawlspace floor with sand/pea gravel, installation of a sealer vapour barrier and then a final cement coating over top of the entire floor & footings. - the bathroom rot issue was due to a terrible caulk seal at the shower doors and base of the tile surround, which let water pour in behind the tub for who knows how long. This moisture rotted out the framing behind the tub. I had to have the whole tub/shower unit completely torn out, framing and other materials removed and then completely rebuilt, which cost a couple thousand dollars, not including my own time to lay flooring, paint, etc. - the bedroom wall had to be opened up, framing & insulation removed, then rebuilt. Fortunately, we did not have a significant mold issue in the wall, but the 2x6 sill plate was so badly rotted that over two thirds of could be removed with your fingers. Crumbled into nothing. The cost itself to repair this was low, but that was due to the fact I did it myself and have the ability to do so. At the end of the day, I have never received an ounce of anything from Rod MacNeil. Complaints to my buying agent and also to the listing agent fell on deaf ears. No one is responsible for anything. In fact, my buying agent actually defended this man and his business as being reputable, even after my complaints. It is obvious there is a serious conflict of interest here based on the fact Rod himself admits he was a realtor for a long time prior to becoming a home inspector. It would seem that if a realtor needs a deal closed, just call on Rod for the inspection as it will pass with flying colors! Even the simplest of gestures, the tip of the iceberg, my request for a refund of the payment for this ridiculous inspection, was ignored. That, in my opinion, was the LEAST he could do! Since then, I have worked to remediate the issues, mostly on my own, using my own expertise, time and money. I have also had the opportunity to encounter others who had less than stellar home inspections completed by Rod MacNeil & Homesafe Inspections. Unfortunately, the victims in all of this are us, the hard working people who just want a safe and happy home for our loved ones to enjoy. We are the ones who pay when someone who is supposed to qualified performs poorly and is not accountable for his failures. I recently spoke with another gentleman who is facing serious financial implications for an inspection that did not find a number of very significant, health hazard issues, far more serious than my own. It was during this revelation that I decided to offer up my support, reach out to others who may have fallen victim to Rod MacNeil's shoddy inspection business & practices and want to share their story. He must be held accountable, period If you have been a victim of a bad home inspection, please comment and share. Thank you.
|"Certified Inspectors" should, at the very least, be accountable in a way that impacts THEM as the inspector, in a monetary way if they screw up or falsify an inspection. They should stand behind what they say. They should have to. |
I had a similar experience. My house burned down December, 2010. I was very (overly) upset by the incident. One of my dear family members died in the fire and I was crushed by his loss. It was my sweet baby Seymoure, a tom cat I had grown to love. (Sorry). Suffice to say that I was not in a state of mind to project manage the rebuild of my home at the time. Big mistake. My insurance company sent out this insurance restoration company and at the time, they seemed like a dream come true. I didn't have to go back over to the house and dig through the rubble or feel the hurt of seeing all my stuff destroyed. The insurance restoration company (Five Star Restoration) would handle everything for me. All I had to do was pick out specific things that I wanted for the rebuild. It all seemed like a great idea. They came to my rented house and had me sign over insurance checks and answer questions and everything seemed great. They were very nice people. When the rubber hit the road was when I took a look at the actual paperwork which showed how much they were getting paid for each detail as opposed to how much allowance they (Five Star) were giving me to spend on each of these details. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE. There was a spreadsheet which clearly showed how much my insurance company was paying for each screw, nut, bolt, light fixture, painted surface, tile, cabinet, ...you name it. Then, there was a spreadsheet which showed how much ALLOWANCE Five Star was giving me to spend on each of these details. Now, please understand that I was only given input on the items that needed to be hand selected. Things such as carpet, laminate flooring, tile, appliances, sinks, faucets, light fixtures, etc. I was never allowed any input on things such as drywall, plumbing, construction stuff that goes on behind the surface stuff. When I saw the difference between what Five Star was paid and what they were allowing me to spend, I nearly lost it. All I could think of was, "PREDATORS". Most things they took from 60% to 80% profit on. For example, my insurance company paid them $9.50 per square foot for laminate flooring but when we went to pick out the flooring, we were only allowed $2.21 per square foot to spend. That is a 68% profit on the laminate flooring alone. Am I off base here thinking that is a fairly huge profit, especially for victims of a fire where you life has just been devastated? Is this deemed reasonable? But by this point in time, I had already signed a contract with Five Star and had some modifications done to the home and was under contractual obligation. Did I want a law suit at this point? My insurance was only going to pay for 1 year of rent at another residence and we were sitting at month 9. My only recourse seemed to be to shut up and go with it. I did complain and they did make a few small adjustments for me such as $100 extra for my range and $15 extra for my light fixtures. But not anything comparable to the profit they would eventually take. I am okay with them making a profit, but Goodness Sakes it seemed extreme. Now when the laminate flooring is not holding up, due to the cheaper floor I was forced to purchase because of their allowance, they hire a "Certified Floor Inspector" to write them a report blaming the problems with the floor entirely on me and they refuse to replace it with one that is of equal quality to the one I had prior to the fire. The floor inspectors report was so poorly written I almost felt sorry for him. I emailed him with my questions and concerns and he refused to answer me, citing that Five Star had paid for and owned the report and he was not allowed to speak to me about it. WHAT? Then why did you give me your business card and act like everything was on the level when you came to my house? I have a feeling I am going to get screwed on this one. It's going to arbitration with the BBB. 12/17/13
|I forgot to tell that they only returned junk from my garage and all my antiques and anything else of worth was "never found". They charged my insurance company over $7000 for the cleaning and restoration of salvageable items from the fire and I will admit that they did a great job on all my pictures. But besides that, everything else they returned to me was basically junk. Broken plastic laundry baskets, shoes, flashlights, just crap you would find at any garage sale. Anything and everything of worth was, according to them, "not restorable" or "not found". I should mention here that while they had security on my burned home, a brand new 5' above ground swimming pool and all my potted plants were stolen from my back yard and they did not even know until we brought it to their attention 2 months later. How does this happen? My jewelry chest, which was quite large, say 1' x 3', disappeared altogether even though the area it was in was only smoke damaged. All my pots and pans mysteriously disappeared even though the fire was contained to the back part of the house and didn't go into the kitchen. My house was basically ransacked after the fire and my insurance company was present the following morning of the fire. By the way, one of my cats did survive the fire because she was so smart, she went into the garage and the firemen never saw her. Poor Seymoure did not survive. I loved him so. My kids came by the house on the following morning after the fire and saw my kitty, Chewy running around inside the house. I though i lost her. I still have her to this day. OK. Sorry for going off track. The insurance restoration company did not come through with anything of real value, besides my pictures and my washing machine. I was stunned but they make you sign a consent form allowing them to remove everything and discard it and if you are not there for this process, you risk losing salvageable items. My husband saved our Dyson vacuum and I can't even tell you all the things that were clearly salvageable that we never saw again. Antiques. Jewelry, Limoges, Franklin Mint figurines, and I could go on and on. But if you don't tell them specifically each thing you want, you are out of luck. Be careful and be thoughtful in your process after a fire. Seek assistance from somebody who has been through it if you can. Otherwise I'm sure, somebody will take advantage. Sad but so true for the most part. The Red Cross was a dream. Be suspect of everybody else.|
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