Building Inspector


As is typical, one repair often leads to another. When we were fixing the steps at Eleanor’s house, we noticed some rusted joist hangers underneath the entry deck. So today, we replaced the old joist hangers with new ones.

Ryan, who lives two doors away from Eleanor, came to inspect our work. Ryan is 8 years old. He is a builder and an engineer and has an interest in architecture. That may seem like an impressive resume for an 8 year old, but kids these days are very advanced.


John and I told Ryan what we were trying to accomplish. I showed Ryan one of the rusted fasteners, and told him I was having a hard time removing it. He quickly assessed the situation and offered some good advice. By employing a step ladder and rubber mallet, per Ryan’s suggestions, I was able to get a better angle on the situation, and drive a tool underneath the rusted metal, and pry the old hangers and nails loose.

John and I notice that we speak to Ryan like an adult. If we talked to him as if he were an 8 year old, it would feel like we were toning down the conversation. We don’t want Ryan to tone down his conversation with us; we value his insight and advice.

A few weeks ago, Ryan and his mom came to inspect our construction site. I showed him the drawings I made for the project and my sketch of how it will look when finished. After looking around, he asked only one question. Ryan does not waste words.

He asked about the location of the new opening from the kitchen to the stair landing. John had mentioned that the previous owners, Ray and Harriet, told us this was an original feature of the house that was closed off when the kitchen was renovated. Our plan is to put the opening back when we renovate and expand the kitchen.

We look forward to the day when the back corner of our kitchen will once again get daylight from the window on the stair.

I showed Ryan where the opening in the stair wall once was and will be. I described how we will step down from the landing into the kitchen.

I told Ryan we are also going to put a new doorway in the dining room wall, so that we will be able to look across the kitchen, and through the opening on the stair, and out the window, and across the side yard, and up the hill… creating a new distant view from the dining room.

Ryan seemed satisfied. I was thrilled! I was as excited about our new kitchen openings as an 8 year old with a new Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster! (or in Ryan’s case, a new 50 ft. tape measure and spirit level)!!

I’m looking forward to Inspector Ryan’s next visit.

live. enjoy. repeat.


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