We are planning to buy a house and the inspector found following
"All steel support posts in basement are not secured to concrete floor
as required. This should have been done by builder and should be
"Two of the laminate main beams in basement are not supported properly
on ends in box cutin foundation. These areas should be shimmed and
Ratings are "B service/repair". Since it's a relocation and the house
is in another state, we didn't get to see how did they look like. The
inspector and agent told us that these are minor issues, and seems the
sellers plan to repair themselves. However, another person told me
these are serious problems.
So my questionis how serious are those, are they deal breakers?
As Pop says, the issues appear from your description as minor.
If these conditions haven't caused floors to be out of level, drywall
to buckle, doors or windows to stick, you have no immediate problems.
I'd ask the realtor to get an estimate for the fixes, then negotiate.
IMO only: They are rather minor, but ... since you
can't get an eyeball on them, I'd ask what if any
faults had been caused by the support issues. I don't
think it's anything structural, but I'm no expert in
that area. More likely something's just not perfectly
level above, but the question for me would be how much
out of level? How much of a perfectionist are you?
I can see myself handling t hose problems if they were
mine, and they would't worry me, but I would have to
lay eyeballs on them AND the fixes, just to be sure
they met "my" requirements.
Are the fixes going to be reinspected and will you
get those results?
Not a big deal. The supports should be attached, but unless you bump into
them with a forklift truck or something, they will continue to take the load
and push down. There are many ways of securing them.
I don't know about the shimming of the laminated beams because I can't see
them. If it is to stop sifting, it is not a serious problem either.
The inspector is correct. This should have been done by the
builder, it is a minor problem. However, if they were not secured
as required ... how certain can you be 1) that they are on the
footings required and 2) that ALL the support posts requred are
installed. (If the builder would shortcut on something like this,
what other corners have been cut.)
Again, this is not a major problem. But it may be indicative of the
quality of construction, in areas which neither you and the inspector
Only you can decide that. If they are the ONLY problems, they are
oversights which can easily be remedied. If they are indicative of
shortcuts and a sloppy attitude towards construction, they are indeed
dealbreakers. (If, for example, those steel support posts rest on
the four inch thick concrete floor rather than the 12 or 18 inch thick
footing ... there will be problems.)
If its a twenty year old house and there are no signs of sagging
floors, cracking walls, etc, I'd be more comfortable than if it's
only two or three years old.
In your place, I'd be cautious... particularly if there are other
attractive homes as options.
On Wed, 10 Aug 2005 02:44:18 GMT, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The house was built in 1994 and there is no sign of other problems.
The inspector told us the build quality is above average and the house
is in good condition.
I agree with you. My major concern is about cutting corners in places
that cannot be seen.
Those are very important points, but item 2 is something that the
inspector should have reported on if it is a problem as it can be easily
determined by looking at and measuring visible indications and checking
a span table or two.
Item 1 is what really worries me as the real issue is hidden. Support
posts are not simply added on a whim. They are supposed to be determied
when the house is designed. Posts must sit on footings and be in place
early in the framing process. The concrete floor is poured AFTER the posts
are there, so the floor secures the posts in place, so to speak.
When we built our home, we used larger than usual steel beams in order to
reduce the number of needed posts. With 6" steel beams (one 30' and another
20'), three posts would be needed at 10' intervals. We used 10" steel and
this allowed a 20' spacing between posts. Thus, no post was needed for the
20' beam, and the 30' beam needed a single post 2/3 across its span. This
post needed to support a load of approximately 22,000 lbs and could not be
an adjustable post (they only support about 8,600 lbs). The footing beneath
the post had to be 4' x 4' and 21" thick!
This is pretty extreme, but it demonstrates that the post is not simply
sitting on a 3" or 4" thick concrete floor!
"Never ascribe to malice what can equally be explained by incompetence."
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