I would love to be able to appeal to “common sense” as the solution to several issues present in the picture below. Of course the picture is of one defect in particular, but also captures several other issues.
I took the picture to document the cutting of the floor joist. It was cut to allow for running the duct from the down draft exhaust fan of the kitchen cook top.
Once again this is “new construction.”
I would like to appeal to the installer’s “common sense,” in terms of the “other” issues present, but I think anyone that would cut the joists like this, without providing additional proper supports, likely would be the wrong person to look to for “common sense.”
It is not likely very hard for you, my readers, to understand what is wrong with cutting this joist like this. Over time this area of the floor will likely suffer from some amount of deflection–especially as there is a very heavy granite covered kitchen island above, and the span is considerable.
Obviously the insulation being out of place and the ductwork not being insulated are other issues but there is also another issue that should be addressed.
The rectangular duct that drops through the floor has a nice end cap on it and the round duct pipe that runs to the exterior is connected into the side of the rectangular duct. The problem I have with this installation is that a sort of “unapproved” grease trap is created at the bottom of the rectangular duct. If all the floor and ductwork was properly insulated nobody would be any the wiser that the condition was even there.
Excessive grease in ductwork is considered a fire hazard and is why ducts need to be properly cleaned every now and then. To create a special place to unintentionally collect large amounts of grease, over time, just seems a little risky.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the “whipped cream” was installed to keep the rats out of the island kitchen cabinets. Well not really, but it might help with that, while it keeps the opening from becoming an improper air intake to the home.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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