Custom Home Pre-drywall Inspection - And A Steel Beam That's Too Short

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

This is a custom home pre-drywall inspection - and a steel beam that's too short.

How does a home inspector know that a steel beam is too short?  By looking at it. 

This is what you can see.

It is a large bump out, bay window style.

The span is 16', supporting a load-bearing wall above.

A steel beam was necessary.

It was designed by an architect.

It was installed by a bona fide and well-known custom builder.

The framing is up and ready for drywall, scheduled to be installed soon.

And a home inspector comes along.

This home inspector always looks thoroughly.  Here is what he saw.

Looking at the left location a proper shelf for the beam was created in the foundation wall.  The beam is shimmed and resting 4" into the shelf created.  Perfect!

But on the right, and this was not easy to see, my camera shows that the beam is resting barely 1" into the shelf provided.  The end of the beam is just over that red dot.  And the shelf is cracked on the left side right at that dot!

THAT IS NOT PERFECT!

It should also be a solid 4" into the shelf provided.  I have no alternative but to point this out.  I did contact an engineer with my photos.  His response was simple, "That is not good."

Who am I to question what was drawn up and done by other professionals?

I am a professional home inspector.  I am objective.  I am hired by someone who simply wants a second set of eyes to follow up on things. 

This is an exceptional house!  Other than this there were only a couple of minor things to mention.

But this beam is not minor!  When we showed it to the supervisor he said they could screw some additional support into the foundation wall.

I have never heard that and never seen that.  So of course I want to see it.  Not to question it but to learn.  And on my report I suggested that when completed the buyer have them provide a stamped  engineer's report which states that the fix is properly done.

My recommendation:  even if it's a custom builder it is always wise to have another set of eyes follow up.  People ask me what the most common things found on a pre-drywall inspection are.  There are not "most common" things.  Every house presents something different.  But without a professional home inspection a buyer would never know.

 

 

Posted by

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


close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Dedicated Bloggers
Professional Home Inspectors
Addicted to Active Rain
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
Best Practices
Tags:
insufficient support
steel beams
steel beam support

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
536,269
Jon Quist
REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE - Tucson, AZ
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

Oh boy. A steel beam that is too short? What could possibly go wrong with that scenario? Yikes.

Aug 17, 2014 05:06 PM #23
Rainmaker
804,846
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Listing Agent

You can never under estimate the need for inspections with new product.  I always tell my clients that new doesn't mean perfect.  Great catch. You  literally were a life saver.

Aug 17, 2014 08:01 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,426,397
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

That's why inspections should always be done, whether new or old buildings, whether well known or first time builders.  Great catch.

Aug 17, 2014 08:55 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Bill.  The latest of a million reasons.

Stephen - I have been doing them for about 20 years.  The need has gotten more and more as professionalism has gotten less and less.  Pre-drywall is the only time you can see the house in a skeletal condition.

Joan - that is a catastrophe waiting to happen!

Evelyn - I only recommend two inspections on new construction - pre-drywall and final.

William - yes, everyone who saw that knew it was wrong.  And they framed around it!  Once the drywall goes up it is hidden.  Everyone knows that too!  We'll see what the engineer suggests as a fix.  I am interested in finding out.

 

 

Aug 17, 2014 09:00 PM #26
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Laura - so many seem to move toward the half-hearted side of things.  It is ashame.

Jon - oh... not much.

Chris - it's hard to know!  But certainly these things have to be searched out and looked at.

Thanks Kat.  The pre-drywall is a very important inspection.

Aug 17, 2014 09:09 PM #27
Rainer
220,151
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

When it comes to home building, it's certainly wise to get another pair of eyes on the project. Whether intentional or not, we all make mistakes. 

Aug 17, 2014 10:27 PM #28
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Suzanne - an engineer I know has asked me to follow him and do structural inspections, not because I know more than he does but because he, as you say, "wants another pair of eyes."

Aug 17, 2014 10:31 PM #29
Rainmaker
589,049
Sharon Kowitz
CRS-SRES-ABR-GRI-E-Pro-CREN Fonville Morisey Cary, NC - Cary, NC
Cary, NC Relocation Specialist ~ Buying or Selling

This is scary! Glad you caught it for the client and future sale of this home.

Aug 17, 2014 10:37 PM #30
Ambassador
1,726,157
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Oh wow,

The scene is set for a catastrophic failure at some point in the future. As you correctly indicated, the entire weight of the walls, floor systems and roof fall onto that beam, which in turn is useless if IT has insufficient support.

Good catch!

Aug 17, 2014 11:01 PM #31
Rainmaker
446,111
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Sagging floors, cracked tile, windows and doors that won't open or close the right way, all because a litle bitty beam wasn't able to hold up 8 tons of house. Jay saves the day again. Way to go. 

Aug 17, 2014 11:02 PM #32
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Sharon - no to mention the time my client will be living there!

Richard - and that would be a big deal!  We are three years this month from a 6.1 earthquake.  Will another happen?  Likely...

Scott - this is a huge deal.  I followed up three times with my client over the weekend, doing further research for him.  He emailed me this morning, somewhat impressed that I would do that unasked!     ; >)

Aug 17, 2014 11:59 PM #33
Rainmaker
754,170
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Always reccomend buyers of new construction have inspections done during the building process. Township inspectors can be sloppy and distracted when on site. A good reminder that having your own professional inspector look things over is worth the investment.

Aug 18, 2014 12:10 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Even with custom builders, like this one, N&T.  An objective inspection is essential.

Aug 18, 2014 12:23 AM #35
Rainmaker
908,388
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Home buyers need to perform a home inspection by a quality home inspector, such as yourself, Jay.

Aug 18, 2014 01:02 AM #36
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Pamela.  The pre-drywall is an essential inspection.  People are slowly beginning to realize that.

Aug 18, 2014 01:25 AM #37
Rainmaker
1,026,166
Christopher Lotte
Red 1 Realty - Lithopolis, OH
Central Ohio Realtor, 614-390-9243

Hey  

geez! inspections first before anything else... that could be something though :)

have a great day!

Aug 18, 2014 05:00 AM #38
Rainmaker
1,513,377
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

It is amazing the things that are obviously never known because pre-drywall inspections are not done. Interesting and great catch.

Aug 18, 2014 05:01 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Christopher.  These inspections are definitely essential.

Gary - as they say, drywall covers a multitude of sins.  This is the only time to see the house in a skeletal state.

Aug 18, 2014 06:27 AM #40
Rainer
247,800
Gerard Gilbers
Higher Authority Markeing - Asheboro, NC
Your Marketing Master

From your description it sounds like the best fix is to install a steel beam that is at least three inches longer instead of rigging it. 

Aug 19, 2014 12:44 PM #41
Rainmaker
1,843,015
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Gerard - if it was my house I would prefer the longer beam.  But if an engineer approves the fix the buyer would probably feel satisfied.

Aug 19, 2014 06:50 PM #42
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
1,843,015

Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
You may contact me anytime...
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Additional Information