Peter's Blog

head_left_image

Dangerously Racking (Tilting) Beams And Insufficient Support

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.

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


 

 

 

Peter Pfann,

CPCA, ABR, SRES, E-Pro, IMSD, Master ASA, C-CREC, Associate Broker.

Text or Talk To Peter @: (1) 250 - 213 - 9490  

peterpfann@gmail.com  www.pfanntastic.com

Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, BC, Canada, @ Fair  Realty Since 1986.

Regional office: 1540 Fort St Victoria, BC V8S 5J2

 

Comments

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

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) almost 5 years ago

HI Silvia,

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

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com) almost 5 years ago

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.

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) almost 5 years ago

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...

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com) almost 5 years ago

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.

Posted by Roy Kelley, Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs (Realty Group Referrals) almost 5 years ago

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

Make it a great week!

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) almost 5 years ago

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!

Posted by Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker, RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity. (RVA Home Team) almost 5 years ago

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

Posted by Peter Pfann @ eXp Realty Pfanntastic Properties in Victoria, Since 1986., Talk To or Text Peter 250-213-9490 (eXp Realty, Victoria BC www.pfanntastic.com) almost 5 years ago

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.

Posted by Robert May, Real estate consulting (Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate) over 2 years ago

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.

Posted by Robert May, Real estate consulting (Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Participate