In this month's home inspection picture, we see a window that is unusually close to the ground. This can look noce in some style homes, but can be a real safety concern for young children and pets. Consider putting up protective gates if you have young children.
Collar ties are an important framing member in a rafter type roof system. Many times on a home inspection I see this particular member missing (often just to create more head room).
So what is a collar tie (the technical term is actually collar beam) and why is it so important?
First, look at the diagram to the left here. See that short, horizontal framing member at the top? That is a collar tie. It looks pretty unassuming at first. In fact, it looks relatively unimportant. But that little framing member carries a lot of stress and movement on its shoulders. When collar ties are removed, a gradual sag and unevenness in the roof occurs. At first it is not too bad, but eventually can become a serious issue (albeit many, many years down the road typically). To be safe, make sure you have collar ties if you have a rafter roof system.
Tony Melandro, Certified Professional Home Inspector