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  1. #66
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: What would you write?

    Yes Darrel, I'll be nice. Thank you for the reminder.

    First off I make no assumptions. Based on what was said about the wall and property everything I said was factual. I will not go over point by point again.

    Also I find it completely unprofessional to say a home inspectors job description is to not, in professional subtle ways, tell these nice buyers about the future in this home as Like I said Already. I have never had a client that did not show great concern in retaining walls to this magnitude holding in and up their possible future back yard and what are the future concerns that need to be known about and addressed. Yes the wall looks mice and tight at the moment. No I do not and did not hear anything of drainage being found anywhere. Yes, we were told that there is a\t least a 60 degree slope to get the the rear of this wall. No, it will not last as long as a properly done concrete structure in comparison to wood. Note I said done right.

    I ask one more time where you folks got anything that stated what your job description was or is. It is nothing i have ever heard of other than minimum standards.

    If a home inspectors "Job Description" is not to relay all information about the property that you discover at an inspection and also add what ever decades or years of experience you have to it then I guess I have been in the wrong line of work for a few decades.

    Oh no, you must never say this or bring up that or talk of anything other than "oh it is such a pretty home" then I bow out of this business.

    There are ways of informing your clients on everything in the home and immediate property around the home without "scaring them" Killing the deal" "running them off" and all the other code words that say you must be nothing but cream cheese and smiles while you are inspecting and consulting with your client after the inspection.


    Yep, that thar wood hill back yonder looks solid as the day it was built. Dun hav ta worri abaat no draimage becoz all da wata gonna drayn raut thru it.

    All kidding aside Gents. What Ken wrote for his professional response is all well and good if he added a few of the tidbits mentioned that the mass majority mentioned. This is a very strong factor in the home buying process. No, I won't mention it all again.

    To just say check with the seller for plans and permits and if you don't get any talk to so and so just does not cut it in my many decade long experience. If you are informing them nicely "realtor phrases" then there must be a reason for that. How about, it could become a very large concern down the road.

    If there is nothing to it then just say the wall is pretty and holding the dirt back because that is all that amounts to.

    Hey, don't bite into that apple. Huh, why did you say that? Oh, no reason. Really, why did you say that? Well, if you really must know, the last guy that ate an apple from that tree got poisoned and died. Well don't you think I should have known about that? Nah, I never heard of anyone else around here having any concerns with those apples.

    Last edited by Ted Menelly; 12-07-2011 at 06:20 PM.
    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #67
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: What would you write?

    Oh, please..."cream cheese?" I don't think anyone here is saying that you should say the wall is fine and will last forever; it's a legitimate concern.

    But Ted, you ARE making assumptions.

    "No visible drainage and I doubt there is any due to the wood being constanly wet which in turn holds a constant higher moisture content in the soil "

    That doesn't even make sense - the wood is making the soil moist? What, is it exuding water?

    That wood doesn't look wet to me. And if you look at the 2nd photo, where is the moss? It's on the ledges and where the cracks are, where you'd expect moisture to be when it rains. If the moss were there because the wood was constantly wet, it would be all over.

    You wouldn't necessarily see any drainage if it consists of gravel behind and under the wall.

    If the surrounding hill is at a 60% grade, that means it can hold itself at a 60% grade. There is no evidence of erosion to the sides of the wall. The trees are upright. This isn't a sandy soil that will wash away in the next heavy rainfall. There's also no evidence of water washing over the top wall onto the lower area - there's plenty of accumulation of soil and debris. I believe it highly likely that there's drainage behind it.

    I mean, look at the third photo - you can see where the natural hillside is. If the wall goes, they lose 6 feet of garden. Do you really think the foundation will collapse if the edge of the lawn is 14' instead of 20' away? That's still a lot of soil, and the stuff that would slump wouldn't just disappear. Would they have built the house there if there were a chance of that happening? (OK, maybe that's a dumb question, given the conduct of some contractors!)

    I guess I've said more than my fair share about this!

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  3. #68
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: What would you write?

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  4. #69
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: What would you write?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    Doing just fine Mr Bill. Yourself. I backed into an area that I have for years today where even when there was somewhat a rainy season that area was always hard drivable. Funny thing how a good bit of rain over a day or 2 can turn soil into soup over night. My truck sunk to the rear end in a flash. I had to get towed out. Funny how pour drainage can have an affect on property deemed once stable.

    Go figure

    Hey Bill. I was thinking of moving to your area to get more work. What is the outlook on that?


  5. #70
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Memphis TN.
    Posts
    4,311

    Default Re: What would you write?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post

    Hey Bill. I was thinking of moving to your area to get more work.
    .
    What is the outlook on that?
    .
    Property Sales YTD 14273

    Foreclosure YTD 9075

    Building Permits My Guess is 99 plus remodel.
    # it's ugly
    .
    Memphis Daily News
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  6. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,776

    Default Re: What would you write?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Amelin View Post
    Gary,

    What things do you see wrong with the wall? (not the railing - the wall)
    In short, I see wood.

    A little bit longer, a majority of PT wood will last a "long time" (relative term). But it is not permanent. PT has a life span significantly less than the house. Like HVAC equipment it will have to be replaced at some time.

    Partial answer would be 5,000 words at least. Full length answer would be a Masters Thesis.

    Granted, we can not see much. Granted, we do not know much about the age, actual construction including back fill or drainage and much more. Granted, it (on the surface) appears to be sound from the picture. BUT, it still is a PT wood retaining wall with all that comes with that type of building material.

    The major factor is its size (height), compounded by location. No I am not psychic nor do I have x-ray vision. What I have is 40+ yrs building experience that leads me to making rash statements about what things cost to replace and what to expect out of materials.

    Side note.
    It does not mater if the wall is owned by the home owner or is part of the Home Owners Association responsibility for maintenance. The home owners end up with the bill one way or the other.

    Something to ponder on.
    If that wall was built today using CU treated wood it would require using stainless steel spikes to be done right. Hot dipped galvanized will not cut it anymore when using CU treated wood. Thanks to Eco friendly friends.


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