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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
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    2,303

    Default What about the neighbor?

    Inspected a 1930 built duplex on Friday. The old house has the typical sagging in the hardwood floors with a little more near the center shared wall than I was comfortable with.

    When I inspected the basement/crawl, the first thing I saw was steel support jacks, holding up a twisted drop girder. Repairs have been made to damaged doubled joist in the not too distant past. All of this beneath the area of sag, but on the neighbors side of the shared wall. The half of the duplex my customer, who is in his late 20's early 30's, wants to buy, is vacant. The neighbor is living in the other half of the duplex which I know nothing about.

    I have no problem pointing out the support problems (and there are more), and recommending a licensed structural engineer further evaluate the foundation. This will be an added expense that may be wasted if my young client has not thought very far ahead. The SE may simply give a report of all repairs necessary to bring the building back to square, and sound enough to build a sky-scrapper on. (Typical CYA report) Or he may point out the problems of moving parts of one side will effect the other?

    IMHO buying a half of a duplex is like getting half married, but not my call.
    My concern is how do I, or should I, bring these concerns to the attention of my client without stepping on someone’s toes? If I point out the problem of cracking your neighbor’s walls and tile, am I stepping over the line of engineering? If I bring up the problems of having a neighbor attached at the hip, I am kicking around in the young real estate agents sandbox.

    I don't like being in this position! Any thoughts?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: What about the neighbor?

    Step on Toes and protect your client. The broker should be researching common area access allowances for proper inspection of the structure and should have made access available to you. If they got access I would go back at no charge if possible to protect my client.
    IS that the Main beam or an added support to reduce bounce?
    Or did they have to add support to take on the weight of all the knob and tube wiring you found in that home?
    Protect your client!!!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: What about the neighbor?

    Very little of the knob and tube left. None found that was still in use, I could see both ends of all I saw.

    The support beam in the picture is now supporting the end of repair mentioned. Plus the original construction looks like it was over spanned, not unusual for the period of the build. There is no question as to if the beam and supports need attention of a SE. I had access to much of the crawl area at the perimiter but limited by stored items and debris.

    The question is, how do I inform without being an alarmest, SE or realestate agent?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: What about the neighbor?

    Here is what I have come up with,

    "There are 2 important areas supported by inadequate metal screw jacks/posts. The most important area is in the area of a joist repair, on the neighbors side of the shared wall. The beam, supported by the metal jacks, has twisted out of column. The second area is under the family room near the stair. One of the masonry piers near the furnace area is leaning. Several masonry piers have inadequate shimming to the floor framing they support. Recommend all areas be further evaluated by a licensed structural engineer. Careful consideration should be given to any corrections or adjustments, as movement and cracking may be seen in the neighboring duplex."

    Any thoughts are appreciated.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: What about the neighbor?

    I have commented on how I would report.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vern Heiler View Post
    Here is what I have come up with,

    "There are 2 important areas supported by inadequate metal screw jacks/posts. The most important area is in the area of a joist repair, on the neighbors side of the shared wall.
    This is not bad, you are describing what you see.

    The beam, supported by the metal jacks, has twisted out of column.
    This sentence has a problem. What does "out of column" mean? Get rid of the inspectorspeak and simply say that the "main support beam has twisted".

    The second area is under the family room near the stair. One of the masonry piers near the furnace area is leaning. Several masonry piers have inadequate shimming to the floor framing they support.
    This will work, a little wordy for me but it is OK.

    Recommend all areas be further evaluated by a licensed structural engineer.
    I would say something like this; "A qualified engineer who specializes in residental construction will need to consult and design the needed repairs and corrections."

    Careful consideration should be given to any corrections or adjustments, as movement and cracking may be seen in the neighboring duplex."

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
    This part works for me.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: What about the neighbor?

    Thanks Scott.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Alexandria, KY
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: What about the neighbor?

    Vern,

    Call it as you see it, you will sleep better. Personally I would refrain form commenting much abaut the neighbor.

    Michael P.


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