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Advice on home inspection results


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We are buying a 1963 Single Family Raised Ranch.

Inspection was done . Here are the problems which he cited but did not list any of these as major concern.

1) The upper level Ceiling is cracked in more than one place. The cracks are from one wall of house to other . Also, there are some horizontal cracks on walls (drywall) . House was recently painted (to hide issues I believe ?) . Is this a structural issue ? Attic is not very accessible (through a closet and has no floor to walk on). The house had a new roof if that helps

2) The floor tiles of upper level bath are cracked . I am handy enough to replace tiles but wondering if it is a structural problem .

3) Lower level bathroom door frame and some trim has water stains and high moisture.

Seller says his children were playing with water . But even 3 days after he stopped using that bath, I found very high moisture using my moisture meter. No other area shows moisture but I would add that all trim are newly replaced. Wondering if it is just a drain pipe leaking or water from ground.

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Thanks!

These are not exact words. My inspector gives a Checklist showing one words against each item . Against ceiling, wall, floor he wrote Cracked.

Against lower level Bath, he wrote Water

There is another section which says "Areas of Concern" . Under this he wrote "Water Wicking up thru wood at Basement Bath Door " . But the cracks does not figure under Areas of Concern.

I in fact asked him about these cracks and he brushed off saying "you are not buying a brand new house" . All I am trying to figure out is what might be causing these cracks and might those cracks (ceiling, Wall and Floor) be related

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Drywall cracks may or may not indicate concerns. Could be poor cosmetics or could be indication of movement in the structure. To know either way, I would need to see them myself, or, at least see some good pictures.

If you are coming out of this process with unanswered questions, it's clear the inspector did a poor job of communicating with you.

I know for sure that describing things in an inspection report with single words is way below par.

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In my opinion if a home inspector thinks something is worth mentioning in the report then he or she should explain why it is mentioned. If they do not know, then they should call for further evaluation. Telling a client something is cracked or wet and then not following up on that does not do much good.

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The cracked floor tile appears to be just that, a cracked floor tile. Almost looks as if something dropped on it. If that is marble, and not installed correctly, it will crack.

I can't tell much from the drywall pics.

The pic of the wood trim. It's tough but, it looks as if water has wicked up quite a ways. It looks darket to me from the floor to about 8". If the inspector was getting a high moisture reading(did he/she use a moisture meter?), I would pull the wood trim to make sure it's not anything serious behind there.

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Thanks for all the replies. I agree I made a mistake selecting inspector (based on tall claims on his website)

Find your next inspector by reading sample reports. Many inspector websites have them. Its the same way good authors are found...by reading their works.

If a prospective inspector doesn't have a sample report on his site, call and ask him for one. If he doesn't have one, scratch his name off of your list.

Marc

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Thanks for all the replies. I agree I made a mistake selecting inspector (based on tall claims on his website)

Find your next inspector by reading sample reports. Many inspector websites have them. Its the same way good authors are found...by reading their works.

If a prospective inspector doesn't have a sample report on his site, call and ask him for one. If he doesn't have one, scratch his name off of your list.

Marc

One more item to be careful of regarding 'sample reports' is that many inspectors have been known to "manufacture" a sample report to look sexy and grab the reader's attention in a way to sell their services.

I've seen many reports with all sorts of combined comments with failures of a pier & beam foundation when the actual home was a slab on grade and had those comments in the report as well with JPGs of both.

Problem being is that the potential consumer will seldom ever catch such things.

So sad to see.

Best of luck with your efforts. Glad you are asking questions.

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The ceiling crack may be the result of the truss/rafter/joist design and how the drywall was installed, flexing and moving. If that is the case unless you make design alterations it will always have a crack. Not a structural integrity issue just a cosmetic issue.

If only a tile or two, most likely failed from installation or something hitting it.

The water on trim. Seller would never lie to yo would they? From pict it looks like it is not a one time event. Therefore potential concern.

Your HI and a check list report only makes for a bad report. Fewer words will protect the HI. All the HI has to say ; see it noted a potential problem. More words, narrative report with meaningful explanations, would be better for the client yet it would dig a hole for the HI if they were not competent. In your case it seems that you were short changed.

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It would help a great deal if you were to edit your comment and do something to differentiate your words from the inspectors.

All drywall eventually cracks at the taped joints and if the drywaller wasn't really skilled it can happen all through a house instead of at a few places. That house is half a century old and probably should have had the joints gone over and refeathered several times by now. That probably didn't happen. If he didn't mark it as an issue he probably needs to find a way to show in his report that he considers it to be a cosmetic issue that really isn't his purview - same with the cracked tiles.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Thanks for all the answers.

I am planning to use a 4 feet Carpenter's level to check all door/window frames, floor and wall (inside and outside). Do you think it is a good check to rule out foundation problems ? Anything else that you would suggest ?

If you do that, you'll be back here with approximately 5,384,276 more questions about every crooked measurement that you find. Gathering data is pointless unless you know how to interpret it.

Save your time and money and hire a good home inspector to give the whole house a thorough once over. Your last one was a dope.

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Thanks for all the answers.

I am planning to use a 4 feet Carpenter's level to check all door/window frames, floor and wall (inside and outside). Do you think it is a good check to rule out foundation problems ? Anything else that you would suggest ?

I think your concern should be the history of flooding in the basement.

If there is any suspicion that it could happen again, then you should investigate possible causes of the flooding, and determine what it will cost to repair the problem. It was not just kids splashing in the bathroom. Check for water stains.

You say some stucco is coming loose off the foundation. That sounds like a concrete block wall that was parged to cover the mortar joints? In that case the 4 foot level can help as a straight edge to find basement walls that are bowed in. Find out if the basement work was done under permit. No permit, more likelihood of substandard work. Good luck.

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