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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    NoCal
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    237

    Default No level area for the patio? No problem

    All it takes is money and imagination.
    The column is about 30" in diameter, the platform about 15' and 30' off of the ground.
    I'm not an engineer, and this is going to be disclaimed.
    Just though it was an interesting feature.
    I didn't see any cracks at the column, column flare, or any exposed steel.
    Any of you inspectors or engineers have any input or things to be aware of?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: No level area for the patio? No problem

    WOW!!

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: No level area for the patio? No problem

    Biggest concern with that would be corrosion of reinforcing steel. Is that an exposed aggregate surface? It looks like that are some cracks in the surface. I would report what you see, recommend maintenance or repair to cracks, and disclaim that you cannot evaluate the structural integrity.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Re: No level area for the patio? No problem

    I think it needs earthquake straps, no?

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NoCal
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: No level area for the patio? No problem

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I think it needs earthquake straps, no?
    This is certainly located in an area that tends to rock and roll....and its' not always good vibrations.
    When I was on this tower patio, I jumped side to side, back and forth, and could feel a hint of sway (plastic concrete comes to mind). I would not recommend this to too many people at once - running side to side and going for a ride. I'd like to see a system of guy wires attached to a secure metal band at the top of this thing, and secured to an anchoring system in the ground.....but I'm not the homeowner, or engineer - just a lowly home inspector.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    eastpoint fl
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: No level area for the patio? No problem

    I agree with the WOW comment.
    A little sway might not be an issue; even skyscrapers have some sway.
    It's also very possible the thing is built large but totally wrong, and could fall under it's own weight or some unpredictable load at any instant.
    While it might be possible to see some item that screams "this is built wrong" (for instance, if the platform is bolted to the column with incorrect fasteners), it could also be wrong and impossible to see from visual inspection.
    It is for sure impossible to validate it's right just by visual inspection. You'd need the plans, and would need to see writeups of inspections while construction took place (example: compression tests to validate the concrete hardened per spec), and a somewhat specialized engineer to interpret.

    If I was the potential buyer I would want to know who built it. If it was subcontracted to a firm that normally builds large reinforced concrete structures with dynamic loads (bridges) I would realistically assume it was OK. If it was built by a home contractor, I would be worried and ask for construction details. I would suspect such a contractor just built it assuming if you use enough steel and concrete, anything will stand up. This is not right; even assuming the thing was made of one piece of solid steel it could tip over.
    I agree that as a home inspector you should just disclaim any responsibility - you have no way to tell if it will survive WWIII (possible) or fall over in a good rain (also possible!).


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NoCal
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: No level area for the patio? No problem

    Thanks for the input...I got on top to see for myself what it felt like. This is all concrete monolithic placement. No metal plates or bolts exposed. I'm fairly sure though that there is plenty of steel within. The movement when on top is expected, yes, but still unnerviing....considering how much weight in concrete is on the top of this elevated patio structure, and that a single column holds it in place. There were small radiating cracks on top where moisture can be trapped and possibly seep down to the steel rods. You're right though that a recommendation for an engineer review this with the plans (if available). You can see the top of the column has a capital or flare at the top for better support and strength. I wonder what the forms and scaffolding might have looked like for this project.

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