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In graduate business school they taught us about "paradigm shifts." A paradigm is a typical pattern or model, or way of thinking about something. Paradigm shifts are very important in business, being into some pattern of thinking before it hits, or seeing the wave and catching it early. I think the paradigm should shift so that people think to HIRE A HOME INSPECTOR AFTER REMODELING OR REPAIRS.
On a recent post I rattled about a poorly REconstructed deck. I did not get into the reason for that reconstruction.
It seems water was getting into the crawl space of this house. The homeowner was informed about it when the water heater died and her plumber told her it was damaged by water and should be moved to the other side. The well equipment could go any time, so she decided to move both appliances. Smart move.
The crawl space under the house has two sides - one side has a concrete wall and floor and houses the furnace, water heater, well equipment, and such. The other is all mud and muck, has something of a plastic vapor retarder over some of the soil, and houses three concrete block columns holding up THE MAIN BUILT-UP WOOD BEAM UNDER THE CENTER OF THE HOUSE!
That side also reflects the fact that the house was built on a sloped hill. It was somewhat "terraced" initially, but no retaining wall was placed to hold back that terrace.
This is a big problem from the start. But that's how they built the house.
In my opinion the foundation has an inherent flaw with a wide indent leading back to a second door.
The property sloped toward the foundation under that door, with that slope literally funneling water toward the foundation. Where can that water go? To the most convenient spot.
The contractor's plan was this:
1. Remove the deck and regrade under it. 2. Put in a French drain to carry that water out from the indentation. This would keep the crawl space dry. 3. Shore up the terrace in the crawl space, covering the soil with plastic to control moisture exuding up from the soil. 4. Provide a way for any subsurface water to get out. 5. Rebuild a beautiful new deck.
This was a good plan in theory. BUT THEORIES AND PLANS ARE GREAT ONLY IF THERE IS THE PROPER EXPERIENCE TO BRING THE PLAN TO PASS.
Here is how things were left by the contractor. Read yesterday's post to see how well the deck was finished off.
Yep, the soil was regraded so no water would rush toward the house! Good thing they tarred that foundation wall.
Love the level beam under that deck!
Sorry it's a bit blurry (soft soil!) but this is the GREAT French drain! That tubing goes NOWHERE! And that post is the excellent support under the end of the beam under the deck! This is all at the bottom of a 45 degree slope! I don't know what that is, but it is NOT a French drain. Look how high the water level gets!
The new "terrace" is surely holding back that soil. This support column is near to catastrophic failure. Notice the old water heater and well equipment left orphaned in the crawl. They were supposed to remove those things.
The homeowner was told the opening between the two spaces was too small to get them out. Well, I got in and out, with room to spare. Trust me, there's room to remove those two things.
Yep, no more water collecting in the crawl space!
It seems to me that the mission was NOT accomplished.
It seems to me that these guys knew they did not have anyone following them to check their work.
Had this homeowner understood that a home inspector is an independent soul and NOT bound to report for or against certain remodeling, but simply to OBSERVE AND REPORT WHAT IS, she would have been really, really served well to have called one.
As such, she was left with a mess! This is truly a mess.
My recommendation: don't catch the wave, BE the wave. HIRE A HOME INSPECTOR AFTER REMODELING OR REPAIRS.
And BEFORE you pay the contractor. You will be served very, very well.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.