IR it’s not X-ray vision but sometimes its close

IR it’s not X-ray vision but sometimes its close

I was called to inspect an older home on a lake. Often these small homes start out as a small camp and owners throughout time add additions to them. With many of these homes the construction is substandard and anything goes. This is a foreclosed home with no information on the property available. Therefore, the was buyer directed to contact the down building inspector inquiring if permits were issued, none on file.

Thermal imaging photo above shows a bowed wall that has not been framed in correctly, out almost 1”.

Normal home inspection reporting that it’s bowed out is enough. With IR we can see why.


The advantage with IR we can see the framing members or bones of the wall. Viewing the framing diagram above we can see how it should be constructed.

Using Flir software I enhanced the IR photo of the framing members for better viewing. 

Building flaws:

1. Missing header above both windows and King studs which should run from bottom plate to top plate. Top and bottom cripples also missing.

2. Wall studs not running from bottom plate to top plate

I can not stress enough the importance of using the town building inspector for help making sure the repairs or additions are up to current standards. Many home owners hire a contractor or do the work themselves and no building permits get issued. 

If a contractor tells you a permit is not needed double check with the town building inspector. For the contractor this is great, no one who knows anything about construction will question the work they are performing. For the home owner this type of contractor just gave you what I refer to as a “tail light warranty”. As long as you can see their taillights your covered.

It’s not uncommon to find older homes with substandard framing issues. However, my client and any contractor they use will have my report with photos giving them all the information they need to quote the repair.

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Submitted by StephenGaudet