I have seen just about anything holding up the main beams!

Home Inspector with Jamie Schaefer, Professional Home Inspector Inc. 16000008353


Having been on my hands and knees in these crawlspaces and seeing it all first hand I can tell you for sure that people will use anything they can think of to hold up their house! The amazing part to me is that no plumber, or electrician, or pest control operator, or anybody else who may have been in these crawlspace, has ever alerted the homeowner to the postential problems.  Well, at least that's what the homeowners tell me. If any of you have photos of this type of "MESS" please post them, I would love to see what you have seen.

Comments (28)

Christopher Smith
TREGO REALTY - Cedar Rapids, IA
Jamie, these are scary photos.  I'd not want to be living in these homes!
Nov 02, 2007 03:57 AM
Jamie Schaefer
Jamie Schaefer, Professional Home Inspector Inc. - Rockville Centre, NY
The Right Home Inspection at The Right Price
Lanette, that Thingee is called a screw jack column.  We inspectors don't like to see them because as the name inplies, they are screwed into place and used to "jack" up the framing.  They can be unscrewed also by vibrations.  So whenever I see them I suggest replacement with solid steel columns, in proper footings and attachment to the underside of the main beam.
Nov 02, 2007 06:20 AM
Victor DaGraca
Critical Home Inspections - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Home Inspections


Yepper... did not mean to disparage anyone North of the Mason/Dixon......

We all know that South of the Mason/Dixon all of those "repairs" woulda had some sorta "Duck" tape reinforcement.

Nov 02, 2007 06:58 AM
Erin Stumpf (Attardi)
Coldwell Banker - Sacramento, CA
916-342-1372 / DRE# 01706589 Sacramento, CA
Long before I was an agent, my husband and I were house hunting and and were in contract to purchase a property...the home inspector found that there was a car jack holding up one one corner of the house....needless to say we did not move forward with that purchase.
Nov 02, 2007 08:35 AM
Dana Bostick
True Professionals, Inc. - North Hollywood, CA

Here's a good one for ya!


This is a 200 year old fireplace support.  Guess it works fine! 

Nov 04, 2007 03:36 PM
Bill Duncan
Home Status Inspection Company, LLC - Haymarket, VA

Here's one for you.   This was the least of the worries for this old house but it gives you a glimpse of mentality of at least one of the previous owners...What ever was handy at the time.

Nov 08, 2007 10:10 PM
David Helm
Helm Home Inspections - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp
Dana, at least the fireplace support is artistically done.  Bill, they just wanted to make sure the supports were wide enough since they forgot the beam.
Nov 09, 2007 01:08 AM
Bill Duncan
Home Status Inspection Company, LLC - Haymarket, VA


David, You are probably right.  They may have been more worried about the septic line leak right beside this.  Didn't want to stay under the house as long as it would take to install multiple supports and a beam.

Nov 09, 2007 02:58 AM
Kenneth Miller
Jordan Hill Home Services, LLC - Berkley, MI
Dang, you must have taken photos of my house when my wife bought it.  We had a screw jack, just one, holding up a 25' tall, 3'X4' chimmney.  The jack extended from inside a wall chase through the floor into the crawl where it sat on a pile of dirt.  The main beam was supported by a log on one end and a couple cinderblocks on the other end.  Too bad her inspector didn't find them.  Might have saved us a ton of money repairing the floor and chimney.
Nov 09, 2007 12:54 PM
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Good pics.

You get a goldie Jamie (good job)

Nov 09, 2007 01:46 PM
Darleen McCullen
Raleigh, NC
Broker - Raleigh, NC Real Estate
Jamie, these pictures are are crazy. A car jack to hold up a house? Oh my goodness!
Nov 11, 2007 02:12 PM
Darleen McCullen
Raleigh, NC
Broker - Raleigh, NC Real Estate
Jamie, these pictures are are crazy. A car jack to hold up a house? Oh my goodness!
Nov 11, 2007 02:12 PM
Rod Finch
Pioneer Property Inspectors LLC - La Crosse, WI
OH MY GOD A car jack?  I have seen some funky stiff but never a car jack. Had a tree stump once but the car jack takes the cake. LOL
Nov 16, 2007 07:03 AM
Chris Duphily
A2Z Home Inspections - Stroudsburg, PA
Stroudsburg PA Home Inspector

Jenga!I was going to replace that screw jack, of course I know it's only a temporary support! .... while your here care fora game of Jenga?

Still looking for the "good" pics.  

Nov 17, 2007 01:12 PM
Mark Reusch
A Major Inspection Service & Consulting - Simpsonville, SC
Oh my I guess you would call some of these JACK STUDS huh????
Mar 08, 2008 06:39 AM
Erol Kartal
Schaumburg, IL

Ever notice how inspections are taking longer and longer to do..

Home Inspection Chicago

Apr 28, 2008 04:33 AM
Paul Duffau
Safe@Home Inspections, LLC in SE Washington - Asotin, WA
Caring for People, Educating about Homes

You'd be amazed at how long tree round stumps and the like will last in a dry pest-free environment like I have out here.  I've got houses that are 120-130 years old (not old by East coast standards, but hey...) with all of that and more.  I'll have to dig out some pics...

Love the fireplace support.  How come that hasn't come down in an earthquake already?

Jan 15, 2009 07:45 AM
Dana Bostick
True Professionals, Inc. - North Hollywood, CA

Back in the northeast I believe, no quakes there.


Jan 16, 2009 08:10 AM
Randy King
Prokore Inspections - Mankato, MN
Home. Enclosure. Code.

Wow good post and pictures!

Mar 24, 2009 04:23 AM
Steve Hall
RE/MAX United - San Marcos, CA
Make the Call to Hankins and Hall

Excellent post and added photos.  Most of our houses are built on slabs so we don't get the joy of finding this stuff very often.  Although, every crawl space that I have been in here did have issues.

Mar 24, 2009 07:53 AM