I have come across a nice '50s house for sale (at top dollar, of course).
Today I had a local extermination company do the home inspection. He found
pre-existing (meaning there is no current activity) termite damage in the
the rear wood sill that sits on the foundation. He he was able to poke thru
the wood with a metal rod. There were three floor joist devices that were
previously put in as a fix, but the inspector was dubious of their value to
helping the damage.
Has anyone here experienced this and had to fix? Should I just run away from
I'm by no means an expert here, but my home, a 1940's wood-frame, had
'pre-existing' termite damage when I bought it 30 yrs ago. It wasn't as
extensive as what you're describing, I guess maybe the previous owner caught
it in time, and treated it correctly. Anyway, I have it checked regularly
and there are no signs of new infestation.
If you are comfortable that it HAS been treated correctly, I'd say make them
an offer with a contingency that they get the damage repaired correctly.
I'd even ask to see the exterminator records for when it was treated, and if
they can't produce them even have it in the contract that they get the
whole house retreated.
I am unclear about the "three floor joist devices that were previously
put in as a fix".
If this means that three floor joists are supported by the damaged
wood, that's serious.
In Charleston, a wood frame, wood sided house with this kind of
problem would have the wall above lifted off the sill; the floor
joists supported; the sill separated from joists and studs; damaged
wood replaced and connected with joists and studs.
If it were my decision, and I knew a competent carpenter, I'd get a
bid on the work and reduce my offer by that amount. It won't be
Get a contractor to look at the damage and the repair...
get an estimate of the needed repairs and add 20% to that
to allocate the repairs. Termite damage has a nasty way of popping up
other places, window sills, etc.
A damaged sill is no small matter. If I were in your shoes I'd want
some estimates on damage and repair costs. You'll especially want this
if you decide to negotiate an offer on the home.
Finding damage is not necessarily a bad thing. You'll want to use it
to leverage a better price.
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