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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Backyard Boulders

    When some of you come across houses that have boulders like these stacked up in close proximity to the house, what do you say in your report about them, if anything? I think some verbiage is warranted but I'm not sure what to say. Any suggestions?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: Backyard Boulders

    Those look like they were placed by someone other than the almighty! It is common for me to see rocks like that around homes and on hillsides in my area. Many times they are placed to keep the hill from eroding or to keep smaller rocks from falling.

    I don't think I would say much if anything about them.

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Chicago, IL
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    Default Re: Backyard Boulders

    Perhaps something like:

    “Large rocks (boulders) at west side of house have the potential to roll down onto patio or into the house. This could damage the structure or injure the occupants. Assessing the stability of the boulders and the hillside on which they rest is beyond the scope of this inspection”… and a recommendation for whatever additional investigation you feel is appropriate, if any.


  4. #4
    Joseph P. Hagarty's Avatar
    Joseph P. Hagarty Guest

    Default Re: Backyard Boulders

    Nick,

    I have generic comments related to landscape, grading and rain water runoff conditions.

    I generally inspect the areas of the Retaining walls for erosion and note conditions accordingly if detected.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    Default Re: Backyard Boulders

    Thanks guys. Here is what I came up with and put in the report:

    "stone boulder retaining wall noted in rear behind house and patio (surface water may drain through boulders and towards house - due to varying shapes and sizes of boulders, adequacy of installation and stability of boulders could not be determined and is therefore beyond the scope of this inspection)"


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Default Re: Backyard Boulders

    1 - Is that really a retaining wall or just placed boulders?

    2 - I exclude retaining walls from my inspection and report (although I do mention obvious, serious problems, e.g., leaning wall, large cracks, etc.).

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
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    1,363

    Default Re: Backyard Boulders

    I wouldn't call it a retaining wall, there's no stacking of the stone. I also would not want to give the client the impression that the stones were keeping water (retaining) from running down the hill. From the photo, the rocks look stable. The only comment I would make is that the grade slopes towards the home which is also evident along the patio slab.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
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    2,286

    Default Re: Backyard Boulders

    NIck,

    I don't have a problem with your comment.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
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    4,517

    Default Re: Backyard Boulders

    Rattlesnake playground was not inspected. Beyond the scope of this inspection.

    rick


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    25,317

    Default Re: Backyard Boulders

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    "stone boulder retaining wall noted in rear behind house and patio (surface water may drain through boulders and towards house - due to varying shapes and sizes of boulders, adequacy of installation and stability of boulders could not be determined and is therefore beyond the scope of this inspection)"
    I think this would be better:
    "boulders noted on upward slope beyond rear behind house and patio (surface water may drain through boulders and toward house - due to varying shapes and sizes of boulders, adequacy of installation and stability of boulders could not be determined and is therefore beyond the scope of this inspection)"

    As others have said, calling it a "retaining wall" could get you into actually having to pay for a "retaining wall" when one is not present.

    Just say what it is: 'boulders on upward slope' and where it is: 'beyond rear of house'. Then go ahead and add to it with what you think is needed, like you did.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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