Pull down ladder in a fire ceiling

Our garage has a drop-down ladder in the ceiling, providing access to a storage area in the attic. When we bought the house, our home inspector informed us that this was a violation of the firewall between the garage and the house. Is there a reasonable way to correct this problem and still retain storage access from the garage? —Gene

Dear Gene,

Attic Access in a firewall

My home is about 25 years old, and the attached garage is separated from the house with a brick wall and a steel entry door. However, the brick wall does not extend to the roofline, leaving the garage open to the house attic. The home inspector never mentioned this condition when I bought the property and it was apparently approved by the city inspector when the house was built. I am concerned about this incomplete partition wall and would like to know if it is a fire safety violation. - Jack

Orphaned Chimney

We just had an inspection and the inspector called out an orphaned chimney but nobody can seem to explain this to us



Dear Dennis,

Sellers Inspection, sometimes called a pre-listing inspection

We are going to put our house up for sale and wondering if having a home inspection before putting it on the market is a good idea?

Carly & Joe


Dear Carly & Joe,

Attending the inspection

Dear Scott,

I just spoke with your company and then found your blog. The person I spoke with on the phone encouraged me to attend the inspection in its entirety. Is that really necessary?

Mary Ann


Dear Mary Ann,