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.