Is There More Wind Than There Used To Be?

As a home inspector, I am always looking at the exterior of the home with regards to how the home has weathered over the years since being constructed and whether the exterior shell is providing the proper protection for the interior elements.

My wife hasn’t noticed any difference, but living where we do on top of a small mountain (the top of my driveway is 978 feet above sea level and we are located at the base of a valley)., I have certainly noticed over the six years since we have been here that it has gotten noticeably windier.

In fact, two years ago, a strong gust of wind ripped part of my cedar siding off our house and propelled a piece of the siding through the rear window of my brand new car like a spear. I had to argue with my insurance company about paying the claim on my car – but that’s another story.
Continue reading “Is There More Wind Than There Used To Be?”

What is the purpose of a Cupola?

Still on the theme of uncommon architectural features on homes and barns, I was driving past a house the other day with a cupola on top and matching cupola on the barn, and I started to wonder about the origin of the cupola.

So after some research, it turns out that cupolas are not just for show. They were invented with a practical purpose in mind. In fact it seems several purposes…

So the origin of the word “cupola,” is from Latin meaning little dome. And although most people believe that it is a decorative feature and nothing more, many would be surprised to realize that there are several reasons for the addition of the feature to both homes and barns. Continue reading “What is the purpose of a Cupola?”

What is a Canadian Dormer?

Canadian Dormers are an architectural feature that is common around many parts of New Hampshire. Interestingly enough, if you “Google” them, you don’t find any information on them. But talking to many builders around New Hampshire, the name is appropriate and does apply to the feature.

And as home inspectors, we don’t necessarily have to know what many features are actually called, but in my opinion, it’s nice to know the correct name. We could just call them dormers and that would be appropriate enough, but considering that we have so many unique architectural features here in New England (such as Beverly Jogs – see my blog on those…), it’s great to be that much more knowledgeable for our clients, especially those not native to New England. Continue reading “What is a Canadian Dormer?”

What Exactly Is a Beverly Jog?

As home inspectors, we are often confronted with architectural peculiarities on homes. Often times we are left wondering what we are looking at.

So today we came across a feature on a house in Francestown, New Hampshire known as “Beverly Jog.” I would describe the portion of the home as simply an addition to the original home with a shed roof. But upon researching the house, which is listed on the historic registry, I came to discover that the structure has a name.

A “Beverly Jog” as it is known, is pretty much as I described it. It’s an addition to a home. Usually for the purpose of providing a new interior staircase to an upper level floor. Often times, the structure is designed to have a similar roof and outer appearance to the rest of the home. But it undoubtedly juts out from the home, hence being called a “jog.”

Note that if the house has a Gambrel roof, it is sometimes referred to as a “jut-by.” Continue reading “What Exactly Is a Beverly Jog?”

Cellar Vs Basement

Cellar versus Basement

Which term correctly describes the space? Is there a difference between the two terms?

There is actually a huge debate raging over this topic as there seems to be no actual standard definition used universally throughout the country.

And depending on what region of the country you’re from, it can be called either a basement or a cellar. And in many areas, people often use both terms interchangeably, despite the fact that they are most likely intended to convey a different meaning. Continue reading “Cellar Vs Basement”