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Hello gentlemen,

I'm curious, I inspected a 4 year old house, 2 story with an unfinished basement, when I get to the basement I can see that the stairs were outsourced to a stair and spindle "factory" the landing was not supported by cripple studs. Just one or two nails through framing of the landing into wall studs. I'm thinking that the stair installer expected the framers to finish supporting the stairway and the framers figured it was the installers job. I point this out to my client and then tell him I also have suspicions about the stairway to the upstairs. Now I'm wondering if I should mention "suspicions"?

Leighton

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Hello gentlemen,

I'm curious, I inspected a 4 year old house, 2 story with an unfinished basement, when I get to the basement I can see that the stairs were outsourced to a stair and spindle "factory" the landing was not supported by cripple studs. Just one or two nails through framing of the landing into wall studs. I'm thinking that the stair installer expected the framers to finish supporting the stairway and the framers figured it was the installers job. I point this out to my client and then tell him I also have suspicions about the stairway to the upstairs. Now I'm wondering if I should mention "suspicions"?

Leighton

Unless I see something to make me suspicious at the actual stairway, I don't speculate about things like that. In my area, the basement stairs are rarely built to the same standards as the 2nd-floor stairs. It seems like there's an unwritten rule that says it's ok to skimp on stairs to an unfinished basement.

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Depends on the basis of your "suspicions."

Do they have a basis in fact or just the hair on the back of your neck?

When I see crap electrical work, I point out that from what I CAN see it makes me worry about what I CANNOT see... but that is based on the fact that the electrician did not do good work so it follows that there may be more hidden faults.

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I often 'raise suspicions' about framing in finished areas based on what I've seen in unfinished areas where the framing is exposed. It's fair game but a risky one. There's a threshold that must be passed before I venture there and should the threshold be passed, I tend to record those observations that led there just in case things start to go south.

Marc

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To bolster my point, I offer this poem by one of my favorite poets, Walter Hard, who wrote about life in the small village of Manchester, Vermont, in the early part of the last century.

A Stair Builder

After working along for some years as a carpenter

Henry found himself unexpectedly expanded.

He had become the village's first contractor.

For the first time a house was being built

According to blueprints from an architect's plans

The dignity of the city planner might have suffered

If he'd known what most of the people called him.

They spoke of him as "that fool city architaker."

Hiram had once had some blueprint-reading experience

and he managed to get the new house going.

He was driven to despair by this employer

Who insisted on being on the job, right in the way,

An was forever changing the plans

Involving tearing down and rebuilding.

She also tried to hurry things in spite of the fact

That there were only a few men to be hired in the village

And materials had to be sent for out of town.

One hot summer day when she had been most trying

A stranger came along and offered his services.

He said he was a carpenter but his kit hadn't been shipped.

Anxious to get things done, Henry opened his own tool chest

And told the stranger to pick out what he'd need

To build some stairs to the cellar.

Assuring Henry that he was good at stairs,

The new man disappeared down below.

Henry was too busy to think of him again

Until an hour before quitting time he appeared.

Henry was surprised to find he was almost done with the stairs.

"Got one thing I want t' ask ye.

Do you wan two little bits o' steps to the top

Er do you want one old heller?"

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Depends on the basis of your "suspicions."

Do they have a basis in fact or just the hair on the back of your neck?

When I see crap electrical work, I point out that from what I CAN see it makes me worry about what I CANNOT see... but that is based on the fact that the electrician did not do good work so it follows that there may be more hidden faults.

The basis of my suspicions was the unsupported stairway to the basement, therefore thinking the same practice was used on the upstairs stairway.

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