had home inspection now i need help


Old 10-21-10, 06:44 PM
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had home inspection now i need help

Ok we put a contract on a house that has a kick out if it does not pass inspection.
There are a couple of little things and one big thing.
2 story House on crawl space first floor is fine.
There is a sagging in the ceiling between dinning room and family room where it looks like some one opened up the wall and did not support the header correctly. The sagging carries into the second floor master bedroom floor. The master bedroom floor has about a one inch drop in the middle of the wall that is above the header below. span is about 15 feet. There is no drywall that is cracked on any wall a couple of spots where you can see that it has been fixed but no cracks right now.
No other rooms in the house are sagging and the crawl space is in great condition and the support beams the are wood running the lenght of the house are straight and in great condition.
Has anyone else had this problem and what kind of fix am i looking at?
What kind of price range to fix?
Should I get the contractor to use wood or steel?

house in Charles Town West Virginia
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Old 10-21-10, 07:14 PM
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Talk to your real estate agent about negotiating the cost of getting a structural engineer involved to examine the cost and extent of this repair. Pass or fail isn't the only contingency that can be written into an offer on a property you have some interest in. This seller is going to deal with this flaw with every potential seller who shows interest so putting it on the table won't put you at a disadvantage. This is major stuff. Fixable. But well beyond cosmetics.

No home inspector is willing or technically qualified to do anything more than recommend a client contact a structural engineer. But did this fella give you any inkling as to how the roof of this property is being effected?
Old 10-21-10, 07:33 PM
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Home inspection

Because the present owner has been made aware of the problem, he will be required to divulge it to future buyers. That is a reason for his to give a credit if you find everything else acceptable.

The home inspector is a generalist that performs a visual inspection and should point out problems that he sees(and he did his job). He may also be able to give you the names of several engineers that work on this type of situation.

Definitely avoid contractors because they just want to sell a job and do it as cheap as possible considering the competition.
Old 10-25-10, 06:56 AM
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This sounds like a situation where it could be a wide range of possibilities based on the limitted info available. Further assessment by a structural engineer would be a recommendation I'd second.

On one end, you may ultimately just decide that you're going to live with it. If it's sag but it's not going to collapse, this is a repair that might be expensive and/or invasive and might be something you'd rather live with. Or it could be a repair that has the potential to cause other problems.

Being in W. Va., what is the age of the home and do you have any kind of historic home type encumberances that would potentially affect the cost of any work? If it's built before 1978 you may at least face costs that would result from EPA's lead paint rules on top of your cost.

Let me tell you about my home which had similar issues. It sounds like my home was in worse shape, the beams under my house were not really adequate and I'm going to be adding beams, to say the least. There's unevenness throughout the house.

In fact, let me also say that both the home inspector and my structural engineer missed relevant information about the extent of the problems and what was needed for the beam placement in the plans. A 10' additon was put on the back of my house without beam support, and because the joists in this addition were perpindicular to the main house joists, the beams to be added needed to run perpindicular in this section. Point is - expect there to be more to the situation than you will discover during the process of purchasing the house.

My house also didn't have obvious drywall damage. Based on its age (built 1917), it was obvious that drywall was not the original construction, it was built with lath and plaster. The drywall was put over the plaster throughout the first floor. The beam through the living room is obviously sagged, and it seems as though the drywall must have actually been cut to fit the sag because it shows no signs of damage. Point is - don't read into the absence of cracks in drywall that there isn't anything to be concerned about it underneath.

Know what you're getting into. In our situation, we got a house in a good neighborhood for a price that was closer to being what you'd buy a new car for than a house, and it's been lots of work but we knew that and we're going to come out of it paid off fast and after all the work, it'll be a marketable house if we ever chose to move again.
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