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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Charleston, WV
    Posts
    77

    Default Block Pier Construction

    Very often, I enter a crawl space only to see where someone has installed supporting piers in various locations to support a sagging floor structure or a poorly supported main house beam. In my area, most crawl spaces have very little head room so you know is must be very difficult to work in. Typically when I see these add on block piers (cmu's) they are dry laid and generally resting on the soil (no footer). In addition, they are usually not anchored to the floor strucutre. Typically it is a block pier with wood or metal shims. Likewise, I will often see additional beams installed to support several sagging floor joists. Again, beams, piers, and joists are not anchored together. My question is: Should one expect to see footers beneath piers, and beams and joists anchored together. Again, a lot of the spaces are very difficult to get into much less excavate an area to place a footer beneath a new pier. I am just curious as to what other people are seeing and how far to go when suggesting repairs. I am posting a few pictures as an example.

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    Greg Jenkins

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    Greg - There's no way that I, a generalist home inspector, am going to sign off on anything that looks remotely like your photos, regardless of how hard it may be to work in there, so I advise the buyer that there's non-professional and improper structural supports and a competent contractor or engineer needs to be called in.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
    Posts
    1,741

    Cool Re: Block Pier Construction

    John is correct, report what you see then defer the condition to a qualified source. Your job has been done.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    Greg,

    Yours looked pretty good compared to last weeks. My redneck engineers couldn't even afford a whole cinderblock!

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    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  5. #5
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    No only that, they turned them the wrong way...

    RR


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    This was one of my favorites.



    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Thom Walker; 07-31-2007 at 04:51 PM. Reason: easier
    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,314

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    Thom,

    It's easier to view photo if you just upload the photo and not make it into a pdf file.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    613

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    You're retired. How easy does it have to get? Double click. Ouch! The pain!

    The photo is no longer in jpeg. It's part of a WORD doc. pdf was the logical choice.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,314

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Thom Walker View Post
    You're retired. How easy does it have to get? Double click. Ouch! The pain!
    Enough of a pain to not always look at those in pdf format.

    The photo is no longer in jpeg. It's part of a WORD doc. pdf was the logical choice.
    To me, the logical choice is to click on the photo and copy it to its own file. *I* would *never* not keep my photos separate from the report. I keep my photos in their own folders by client name, and insert *copies* into the reports.

    I'm retired, but I'm not a slave to opening multiple files just to see a photo. Usually I just don't bother with them.

    Your choice.

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,332

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    As much as I hate to admit it - I agree with Jerry on this one.

    I single clicked the pdf file, my computer then had to open Adobe Reader to open the file, after viewing the photo, I had to close out of Reader, close another window and get back to InspectionNews. More than a couple steps.

    Maybe I'm just lazy.

    To the question at hand. While I see many dry stacked blocks, I always call them out as an issue. Every engineer's design for repairs has called out for a footer uder the added piers or posts.
    JF


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    Thom,

    Why not just save your HI inspection photos in a file so you'll have them for future reference or when posting on the board here.

    We save all of our photos in a file labeled with the property address along with the HI report. Save all your photos, not just the ones you put on the report.


  12. #12
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    And now from a home built in ~1929.

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,217

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    "They sure don't build houses like they used to."

    "No, sir. They won't let us."

    Last edited by Bruce Breedlove; 08-01-2007 at 10:23 PM.
    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    Nolan,

    Let me guess, the east side of McKinney.


  15. #15
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    Rick,

    Nope. On Live Oak just East of North Central and not far from Swiss Avenue homes.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Block Pier Construction

    Oh yes, the Historic area.

    As the realtors say, Homes with Southern Charm.


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