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Foundation Inspection Rec for Garage - Advice?


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Hi there! I'm new to this forum - just found it on Google - so forgive me for being a noob.

I'm in contract to buy a home. We had an inspection done and our inspector recommended we get a separate foundation inspection because a crack in the garage was abnormal.

We haven't been able to proceed with the foundation inspection yet because we're waiting on some minor repairs to be done before we throw more money into the house. Needless to say, the listing agent and seller move at a snail's pace and I'm anxious to find out what is going on with the foundation. It's potentially the make or break point for us.

I've linked the picture (the only picture we have) from our home inspection of the crack our inspector said was abnormal.

Any ideas on how troublesome this could potentially be for us?

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Hi there! I'm new to this forum - just found it on Google - so forgive me for being a noob.

I'm in contract to buy a home. We had an inspection done and our inspector recommended we get a separate foundation inspection because a crack in the garage was abnormal.

We haven't been able to proceed with the foundation inspection yet because we're waiting on some minor repairs to be done before we throw more money into the house. Needless to say, the listing agent and seller move at a snail's pace and I'm anxious to find out what is going on with the foundation. It's potentially the make or break point for us.

I've linked the picture (the only picture we have) from our home inspection of the crack our inspector said was abnormal.

Any ideas on how troublesome this could potentially be for us?

Click to Enlarge
tn_2012512134112_photo.jpg

36.7?KB

Who did your inspector tell you to make that recommendation to?

Picture doesn't show much, but what I can see looks quite innocuous; almost more of a cold-joint.

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Thanks guys!

Hmm, I might see if I can at least get a better picture of the crack. That was the only one we saw and the only one the inspector said was abnormal.

He gave the recommendation to me (the buyer) as well as my agent for the additional foundation inspection. He gave us a rec for someone he knows. Idk if that makes a difference?

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If your inspector is good, he wouldn't have sent you to an engineer without a good reason.

If he's a dope who only cares about covering his own sorry ass, then he might easily spend several hundred of your dollars on a wasted engineering consulation.

It's impossible for us to tell you much of anything useful based on your description and on that picture. I can see how it might be totally unimportant, or a really expensive problem, or anything in between. I'd have to see the house to tell.

If I were in your position, I'd call the inspector and ask him, "Do you think this could really be a serious problem or is your recommendation just there to cover your sorry ass?"

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He gave the recommendation to me (the buyer) as well as my agent for the additional foundation inspection. He gave us a rec for someone he knows. Idk if that makes a difference?

No, he's telling you to recommend evaluation. I'm just curious why he want's you to make a recommendation, and to whom.

(Sorry; I deplore inspector-speak.)

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He gave the recommendation to me (the buyer) as well as my agent for the additional foundation inspection. He gave us a rec for someone he knows. Idk if that makes a difference?

No, he's telling you to recommend evaluation. I'm just curious why he want's you to make a recommendation, and to whom.

(Sorry; I deplore inspector-speak.)

Close the door.

Make the bed.

Fold the laundry.

Recommend an engineer.

Repent now.

These are examples of the imperative form. It's a great way to write recommendations because it makes for direct, concise, and understandable instructions.

This inspector, like most other inspectors on the planet is misusing this structure. He means to say, "I recommend evaluation by a qualified blah, blah, blah." What he wrote is not what he means. That's bad report writing. He didn't do it because he's too lazy to hit shift & I. He did it because, deep inside, he's afraid to use the word, "I". He's afraid to take ownership of the recommendation.

See? A complete psychoanalysis from one sentence.

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Any ideas on how troublesome this could potentially be for us?

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tn_2012512134112_photo.jpg

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You didn't say how old the house is. The crack looks like a lunchtime pour. (cold seam. where everyone breaks for lunch then continues). A more clear photo would help but if this is an older, (15 or more years home) I would think the crack is a non-issue. You may try calling another inspector in your area, not recommended by a realtor, and pay him/her just to look at the crack without palming it off on someone else.

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The house was built in 1963. So pushing 50 years old.

It's possible to pay an inspector to JUST come look at the crack?

We've been quoted at $250 (sound about right for the SF Bay Area?) for the foundation inspection so if it's cheaper than that I would certainly consider it an option.

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Post 2 or 3 paragraphs from that home inspection report of yours that report the most significant of those issues found on the house.

It might confirm to me that what you need next is another home inspection, this time by someone who really knows what he's doing.

Marc

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EXT/FOUND

"Evidence of efflorescence at foundation and excessive moisture of soil in the crawlspace of the building - this

may be caused by moisture intrusion and should be further evaluated by a drainage specialist to avoid further

moisture intrusion (2)"

The dryer doesn't vent outside but instead into the crawl space (eek?!) but it's something that is supposed to be an easy fix which we would do ASAP after closing.

And then here's just a page from the summary that I took a screen shot of. Includes the sentence on the garage that is the same as the caption on the picture.

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201251217729_Picture%207.png

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The house was built in 1963. So pushing 50 years old.

It's possible to pay an inspector to JUST come look at the crack?

We've been quoted at $250 (sound about right for the SF Bay Area?) for the foundation inspection so if it's cheaper than that I would certainly consider it an option.

$250 is pretty cheap, especially in your area. Does that include a written report?

You can try calling Jay Marlette in Berkeley. ( http://www.houseman.org/ )He'd give you the straight dope, but he might charge more than the engineer.

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Asking us to diagnose structural issues from fuzzy internet pictures is like asking your cardiologist to diagnose your heart by holding the phone up to your chest. Sometimes you just have to be there in person to get the whole picture. Is there no text in the report describing what your inspector thinks is going on???

Any engineer worth his weight in salt wouldn't walk out the front door for less than $250. Many inspectors OTOH don't know the true value of their services and charge far less. Beware of cheap opinions - they're usually worth the price paid.

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EXT/FOUND

"Evidence of efflorescence at foundation and excessive moisture of soil in the crawlspace of the building - this

may be caused by moisture intrusion and should be further evaluated by a drainage specialist to avoid further

moisture intrusion (2)"

The dryer doesn't vent outside but instead into the crawl space (eek?!) but it's something that is supposed to be an easy fix which we would do ASAP after closing.

And then here's just a page from the summary that I took a screen shot of. Includes the sentence on the garage that is the same as the caption on the picture.

Click to Enlarge
201251217729_Picture%207.png

112.52?KB

Simon's going to have a stroke when he sees this.

Hey, Jerry, it's the mother lode . . .

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Asking us to diagnose structural issues from fuzzy internet pictures is like asking your cardiologist to diagnose your heart by holding the phone up to your chest. Sometimes you just have to be there in person to get the whole picture. Is there no text in the report describing what your inspector thinks is going on???

Any engineer worth his weight in salt wouldn't walk out the front door for less than $250. Many inspectors OTOH don't know the true value of their services and charge far less. Beware of cheap opinions - they're usually worth the price paid.

That makes total sense. I'm a first time buyer, clearly know nothing and appreciate everyone taking some time to even comment.

There is no text in the report on what the inspector thinks is going on. =/

I'm starting to get the sense that we totally got a crappy inspector though.

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The house was built in 1963. So pushing 50 years old.

It's possible to pay an inspector to JUST come look at the crack?

We've been quoted at $250 (sound about right for the SF Bay Area?) for the foundation inspection so if it's cheaper than that I would certainly consider it an option.

$250 is pretty cheap, especially in your area. Does that include a written report?

You can try calling Jay Marlette in Berkeley. ( http://www.houseman.org/ )He'd give you the straight dope, but he might charge more than the engineer.

Jim, take a look at his sample report.

Marc

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Yes. It is the rear of the garage wall and the only crack we saw or the inspector saw that was anything like this. I don't know what the likelihood is that someone drove into it? Currently it's flanked by the water heater and the furnace and there's not really room to do that but who knows what was there before?

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I'm starting to get the sense that we totally got a crappy inspector though.

How did you find the inspector you hired?

Our realtor who has used him on occasion before. Not frequently though.

Our realtor is indeed a realtor but has been used by my family for about 8 years so she's a family friend to a certain extent.

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Think the odds are high that it's something serious?

I really want this house and if further inspection finds something costly we're going to have to walk. We don't have the funds to invest and seems like the sellers don't or aren't willing to.

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