DATELINE: Northern Virginia – the purchaser of a new home was frantic to find a home inspector to try to evaluate why a floor in his home under construction moves up and down. The dining room floor bounces. And not a little bit!
Looking on the Internet, this purchaser was able to find a local home inspector. His popular website offered just the relief this purchaser needed. He determined to get in touch with the website’s principle inspector. Well, it’s only inspector!
Forensic Detective, aka Home Inspector, Jay Markanich, was called to the scene. The home’s purchaser noticed what he thought was a real give to the floor in question. He had brought it up to the supervisor who dismissed it as “normal.” The builder was scheduled to install drywall the next day, which prompted this purchaser to make an emergency call to the Detective.
Detective Markanich came as soon as he was able. And just in time!
Arriving at the scene, Jay was able to prove, to himself and to his client, that this floor was indeed the jumping experience! Detective Jay called it Trampo-Floor, an area almost 3’ wide, and at one end of the room. And it was right in front of a large hole in the dining room wall, about 2’ square, and rimmed entirely with metal. The detective was able to confidently answer his client’s question as to what this hole was intended to be. One of the main level’s HVAC returns!
Not a fan of a return low on the wall in a dining room (Jay’s opinion is that such a placement inhibits the ability to place furniture where desired and can add annoying background noise to dinner conversation), Detective Markanich pointed out that the wall housing the opening was a load-bearing wall, and likely right on top of a steel beam.
Having not been to the basement yet, the Detective determined to see if what he suspected was in fact the case. It was a quick trip to the basement. With his client in tow Detective Markanich turned the corner and made his way to the underside of the dining room.
This is what he found!
Just as suspected! While perhaps not the work of Hammerman, this was certainly the work of Sawman. HVAC guys have a tendency to, um, move things out of the way of duct work they want to install! This case was no exception. This is NOT "normal."
This floor was bouncing because the end of a floor joist was cut! And bouncing right on top of a gas line! Yikes!
And the next day the underside of the dining room would have been covered over completely with drywall!
After that it would have been very difficult to determine why such a bounce was present. And much harder to fix!
No wonder the builder did not give this purchaser much notice before announcing the drywall installation!
This reporter’s recommendation: Get a pre-drywall inspection! It is the only time you will have to inspect a house while skeletal! Home inspectors do not have X-ray vision! They may have a good sense of construction and location of things in a home, but the more experienced they are the less they are able to see inside walls. Take the hint…
Oh, Detective Markanich was able to find a bunch of other things which he suspects put off drywall installation a couple of days. The purchaser was, shall we say, grateful! As to the drywall installation? Well, curses, foiled again!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560