Jump to content

"Activated stress" post beam placement?


jseddy
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm going to check out a house of a girl I just started seeing. She bought it 2 years ago and it was built in the 70's. Conversation came up when I mentioned I was starting a HI business. She had some questions about he inspection that was done for her.

Apparently, the HI reported that a couple "support" beams in the basement were incorrectly installed and needed to be replaced as well as two other walls "braced" with beams. He also mentioned this should be a contingency of the purchase.

Mind you he found no other evidence of cracking or movement. Just that the beams were incorect and the owner needed to get a contractor to fix and add.

That was done. Now she is finding "creases" in the first floor walls and cracking(sounded like lateral displacement) in the foundation walls. She called the HI, he came to take a look, told her everything was fine, set up a plumb bob in the basement with a mark on the floor. "You're ok until the bob get to this point. By the way, I won't charge you for this re-inspect."

Besides all the disregarding of any Standards of Practice, anyone come across this? Additional beams/support structures activating a crack or foundation?

I'll get some pictures when/if I get over there. I'm not sure if I want to tell her what I really think. I suspect she certainly won't want to hear it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

Sounds like you've got some poor drainage or expansive soils going on around that foundation. It's winter there right now and the ground is frozen and expanding next to the foundation.

The basement walls might have been bowing inward and perhaps he prescribed wall bracing for the basement without having the cause fixed outside. If so, and he's not an engineer, he's got his head firmly hidden inside his backside and needs to go back to flipping burgers.

OT - OF!!!

M.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Supposedly he also works as an unlicensed architect. She said the problem started shortly after the purchase and has been persistent since. She's on a tight budget and I'd really hate to break this news to her.

Still, it's hard to tell by hearsay. One thing seems clear though, someone shouldn't be a Home Inspector. She relayed no less than a dozen instances where this guy really laid his liability or opinion on the purchase on the line. She had no idea it was a poor inspection.

Oh well, guess I better get used to being in this spot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Jim Katen

Originally posted by jseddy

Supposedly he also works as an unlicensed architect. She said the problem started shortly after the purchase and has been persistent since. She's on a tight budget and I'd really hate to break this news to her.

Still, it's hard to tell by hearsay. One thing seems clear though, someone shouldn't be a Home Inspector. She relayed no less than a dozen instances where this guy really laid his liability or opinion on the purchase on the line. She had no idea it was a poor inspection.

Oh well, guess I better get used to being in this spot.

Jeff, there's no way you or anyone else can tell anything at all about the problems the house has or whether or not this guy's any good at what he does until you look at the house and his report.

I mean no offense to your girlfriend, but most homeowners haven't got a clue and tend to mangle the information that the inspector gave them to a terrible degree.

(Having said that, I've gotta wonder how a "support" beam is different than any other kind of beam.)

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^^Gotta agree with you there, Jim. It's completely possible the whole thing was just misunderstood.

She's not a girlfriend yet. We just had our second date so it's a touchy situation for me. I've got a date later in the week with a woman who's a realtor and doesn't know I'm becoming a HI yet. That'll be interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Homeowners also misinterpret or amplify conditions when describing them. I wrote a goofy little piece in my column about maintaining stone foundations. Now I get regular mail from folks who have a little flaking to the old mortar coating that are quite sure their 250 y/o stone farmhouse will crash on top of them if they venture into the basement.

The plumb bob thing and "two walls braced with beams" concerns me though. I'm wondering if he is trying to apply the V3 rule to a cracked/bulged/leaning foundation pushing in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by inspecthistoric

Homeowners also misinterpret or amplify conditions when describing them.

No kidding! Kinda frustrating. I verbalize to a client recently that I saw one 'mouse' trap in the crawl space and a small amount of feces. Really not a big deal. When his wife calls him on the cell, he says "Well the inspector says our place is infested with rats".

I think that different personalities will respond different ways. The old cup half empty or half full thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by jseddy

She's not a girlfriend yet. We just had our second date so it's a touchy situation for me.

I'm reminded of an inspection I did about 10 years ago. The buyer was a single gal and the house was a magnificent old beast, but it needed serious wiring and plumbing work. She wanted me to help her prioritize the work so I told her that she could probably put off the plumbing work for a year or so but that the electrical work really ought to be done right away.

Her response, "Looks like I'll have to start dating an electrician now and switch to a plumber next year." She wasn't joking.

Not that this relates to your situation in any way . . .

- Jim in Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...