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I am trying like heck to word this post and pillar style home I inspected this evening. There were no issues but am trying to get away from the checklist type report. Anyone have a canned report wording for these beauties that you would be willing to share? Home built in 1917, floor joists insulated, untreated wood skirting. I am just drawing a blank. Thanks. Rob

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Robert,

I'm having trouble understanding what it is that you want. Canned report wording to describe what exactly?

It's a 90 year old home in Washington State and you say that there weren't any issues? Forgive my skepticism, but I'm having a hard time believing that a 90 year old home hasn't got anything to report.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Mike I was just referring to the actual post and pillar structure in the crawl not having any issues. The home itself had plenty. I use the 3-D report system(no info really) and wanted to offer these first time buyers a little more info about the post and pillar foundation. So I was basically trying to get an idea of how others would describe this type of foundation. Again plenty of other items to report on concerning the home it was just the crawl that was remarkably "clean". Thanks Mike.

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Hi,

I'd describe it as a "post-on-pier" foundation - not post and pillar. They're not hard to describe. They're essentially the same as a conventional crawlspace foundation, except that instead of a concrete stemwall at the perimeter you have a series of posts that rest on piers to support the platform framing above, which have a skirt nailed to them. Before concrete became relatively cheap, they were the most common type of foundation there was out here. Hell, about 90% of the "temporary" buildings erected on military bases during WWII while the military was ramping up are post on pier and most of those still exist today.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Originally posted by bootsan

Thanks Mike. I have inspected a bunch of them down here in Tacoma over the years, but for some reason just was drawing blank as to what I wanted to put on paper. I am trying to offer more of a narrative style as compared to a checklist style with my reporting. Thanks for your time.

Rob

Rob, here are a couple of points you might want to stress to your customers.

1. This house has no perimeter foundation. It's built on "stilts." Some insurance companies don't like this.

2. Post and pier foundations don't do well in earthquakes. If we have a decent earthquake, you may find afterward that the house has moved a couple of feet to the left or right and is a couple of feet shorter.

3. With this kind of foundation, it's nearly impossible to keep rodents out from under the house. Expect mice, rats, chipmunks, voles, shrews, etc, etc.

4. The individual posts frequently settle at different rates. This results in uneven floors, sticking doors & windows, etc, etc.

5. It's possible to add a concrete perimeter foundation to this house. If you're interested in this, hire an engineer who's done it before and hire a contractor who's done it before. Be sure to install a footing, not just a stemwall and avoid using blocks; they never seem to work well.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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  • 1 month later...

"With this kind of foundation, it's nearly impossible to keep rodents out from under the house. Expect mice, rats, chipmunks, voles, shrews, etc, etc." AND, even a RE agent or two? [:-party]

Jim is right, post and pier support systems went out with the Studebaker. You'll need to be in overdrive during your inspection and then you'll be a hero to your client and pond scum to the agents.

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