Dangerously Racking (Tilting) Beams And Insufficient Support

Reblogger Peter Pfann @ Fair Realty Victoria, BC, Canada. Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
Real Estate Sales Representative with Fair Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com
Are Dangerously Racking (Tilting) Beams And Insufficient Supports in Historic Greater Victoria Homes an Issue?

Our Friendly Active Rain Inspection Expert "Jay" shares results from an inspection that should be noted by those home buyers thinking about buying one of our Greater Victoria Historic Beauties...

So many of our Local Historic Homes certainly have the potential to show issues like the ones Jay shared with us in his recent blog post.

With many of our Greater Victoria Historic Homes build on Rock and Boulder Foundations, with limited additional supports it should be noted it may in fact be harder to gain access to these crawl spaces in local homes. As locally most of our historic homes have very limited space to manouver around if any, adding to the ability to resolve and complications.

Original content by Jay Markanich 3380-000723

When an older house is remodeled and shored up, you don't want to see dangerously racking (tilting) beams and insufficient support as the result.  This house is so old it's considered to be an "historic" home.

Unknown when this racking happened (perhaps during the earthquake) this built-up beam has dangerously moved.

It is also merely resting on top of a support column.

It is similarly unknown how deep the column is sunk for support, or what the column is resting on.

But this is not good support.

Right above this location is a load-bearing wall separating the dining room from the hallway.

The floor there looks like it is sinking, and dramatically, towards the wall.

The beam to the right is resting on a column simply formed of stone and mortar.  That beam is leaning as well, as the top stone, not properly sized, is sitting an an angle.

Further, other beams are seamed like the one on the right.  The three beams merely abut.  The should instead interlock.

At least they set the seam onto a support column!

But, that is not a permanent support column and the two things are not connected in any way.

The column should be attached to the beam and the beam should be resting on something that is very permanent.

If not the house will sink.  AND THIS HOUSE WAS SINKING IN SPOTS ALL OVER!

My client had restored other old houses and was as frightened as I.  These were not the only deficiencies!

The sellers and agent were similarly shocked as they got my report.  Seldom do I grade a foundation as "Poor."  This house "racked up" as poor!

Why were they shocked?  Because two years ago, when they bought this house, in the same condition it is in now, the home inspection said everything was in "perfect" shape.  Alrighty then!

My recommendation:  have a long look at historic properties.  They have always been changed, restored, shored up, or whatever.  And what was done is essential to how much longer they will last and remain historic!  Historic homes have to be treated with care and by professionals.  If not, more issues will follow than likely were "fixed" by the remodeling.

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Topic:
Home Improvement
Location:
British Columbia Capital Area Victoria Greater Victoria
Tags:
victoria
renovatio tips

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Ambassador
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Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Peter, this is interesting to know.  We hardly have any homes with crawl spaces in our area. 

Feb 04, 2014 10:26 AM #1
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Peter Pfann @ Fair Realty Victoria, BC, Canada. Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
Fair Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com - Victoria, BC
Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

HI Silvia,

Thanks for visiting, Jay wrote a very descriptive piece and in our area, it is very common to have low crawl spaces.

Feb 04, 2014 09:49 PM #2
Rainmaker
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Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Peter - this could easily have been the description of an old century home we once owned. When it was originally built it had a rubble-stone foundation and the support beams were not under the bearing walls in the centre of the home. At the top of the stairs you could see the results ..... The floor dropped three inches in four feet, it gave you the feeling of being launched down the steps when you stood at the top.

Feb 08, 2014 04:53 AM #3
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Peter Pfann @ Fair Realty Victoria, BC, Canada. Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
Fair Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com - Victoria, BC
Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

HI Kathy,

We have a fair number of the type of homes you describe in Greater Victoria, and many of them have their own charm (read issues)...

Coming from Holland and having owned a home that was 600 years old, these are just an average day in home ownership...

Feb 09, 2014 06:17 AM #4
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

This is a good choice for a re-blog. I follow Jay's blogs.

Have a most productive week. Be sure to have your camera in hand to capture the special moments you will want to share.

Feb 09, 2014 11:06 PM #5
Rainmaker
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Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

There are many similar issues in New England, especially with all the OLD homes that are around.

Make it a great week!

Feb 10, 2014 12:35 AM #6
Rainmaker
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Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

Good re-blog! I have a 1980's home and we recently discovered in the home inspection we had issues with beams and insufficient support. Needless to say it was the first thing we had fixed when we moved in!

Feb 10, 2014 01:48 AM #7
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Peter Pfann @ Fair Realty Victoria, BC, Canada. Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986.
Fair Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com - Victoria, BC
Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490

Thank you all for your feed back and comments, Jay is a great source for important Home condition and Inspection issues.

Feb 10, 2014 09:59 PM #8
Rainmaker
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Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

hey there, havent seen your post on AR in along time.  Just checking up on the blogs I follow to see if you are still around.

May 23, 2016 02:25 PM #9
Rainmaker
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Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

i am just cleaning up my subscribed blogs list and dont want to delete anyone accidentally who is just temporarily inactive, so just shoot me a message and I wont delete you.

May 23, 2016 02:28 PM #10
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