What I'm Seeing Now

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Bouncy, Bouncy Wall Support

It probably isn't a good sign to go into a master bedroom and experience bouncy, bouncy wall support.

Entering the bedroom, from the windows, I noticed that the bathroom door was not squarely in its surround!  Interestingly, the door itself was level, the wall was not!  And under the door was a bit of a sag.  Well, a lot of a sag!

Well, somebody had been living with this because they moved the strike plate on the door down to accommodate the new position of the door against the wall!  Putty and all!

And, to top it off, when I walked over and stood in the doorway, the floor bounced.

And I mean it bounced!

I could make it bounce with not much effort and the bounce was accompanied by a very loud squeal!

As it bounced, the bathroom cabinet anchored against that wall bounced too.

Previous residents had been living with that too, because they had caulked this cabinet many times.  MANY TIMES!  The most recent time was probably just before they moved out (house was vacant) and put the house on the market.

I guess they caulked it so nobody would notice the bounce?

The wall housing the door framing was not the load-bearing wall.  That was inside the bathroom about 3'.  I emailed these photos to an engineer friend who said that in this era (house built in 1990) they did not frame properly for the span from exterior wall to interior load-bearing wall, which also had to hold up another intermediate wall.  Hence the bounce.

So homeowners have been living with this for 22 years as it got progressively worse and worse!

What can be done now?  My friend said they would have to go inside the ceiling from below to see.  Well, that isn't likely going to happen while a house is on the market!

My recommendation:  floors don't bounce and walls don't sag without a reason!  And it's best to have it checked out before, that is BEFORE, you move in!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 54 commentsJay Markanich • February 26 2012 03:58AM

Comments

Absolutely- check out the bounces and the squeaks

Posted by Janice Roosevelt, OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker ( Keller Williams Brandywine Valley ) almost 7 years ago

Jay, wow, and the house is only 22 years old? It sounds like this one will be vacant for some time to come. Unless of course the next buyer decides to forgo a home inspection? (making the assumption your client ran far and fast)

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) almost 7 years ago

I did Janice and it was a lot of fun!  With great musical accompaniment!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

They haven't gotten back to me Andrea.  Don't know what came of this.  I put them in touch with the engineer, but again, haven't heard!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I purchased a house at the end of last week, you might have been describing in your post. Same type of deal. By the time we're done with our renovations, there will be not bouncing or crackes. You have to start from the basement.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) almost 7 years ago

Maybe Joe.  This is the third level and in the living room below there is no evidence of movement above.  I think the load-bearing wall is alright, and the framing of the floor in this room the problem.

But, as you know, one has to see inside to be able to fix it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I hope the listing agent rated the condition of this house as poor.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) almost 7 years ago

Like any other house...quirk, ailment, defect, best to go to the source...professionally...rather than apply a DIY fix !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 7 years ago

Don't know Ken!  Haven't had any involvement with the listing agent, just my clients.  But maybe they have!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

S&D - this is definitely structural and not a DIY fix!  Gotta call in a pro.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Great blog and great job. Keep up the good work and good luck to you this year. Thanks

Posted by JOSH EVANS *JoshEvansHomes 516-655-5000 (Village Properties of Mineola, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Good morning, Jay. Follow the bouncing home inspector. Better than the bouncing ball, eh?

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Thanks Josh!  Again!

Michael - have to say, it was a lot of fun bouncing.  Not so much fun for the buyers to see and hear it though.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay, A house is like a checking account- You don't want either to bounce! Hope it has a happy ending for the buyers!

Posted by Leslie Godbold, Motivation Speaker, Radio host "Positively Living" (WZGM AM1350 Independent Asheville Radio) almost 7 years ago

I haven't heard Leslie.  But we did discuss the fact that the problem was probably stuctural and some of that very unknown.  Maybe they backed off.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay, I am a big guy and inspecting a home with me illuminates issues like that... but a have a short list of home inspectors I have complete faith to check out a home in ways that only a good home inspector does.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 7 years ago

Simple as far as the inspection. Recommend an engineer and let the client decide if the repairs are something they want to accept. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Jay, You have it all wrong this was a engineering feature of the home. A built in trampoline. This way the owner save on gym fees.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Wow, another one of those mystery scenarios.  And, I thought duct tape and caulk could fix everything.  There goes my business.  Oy!

Posted by Mike Cooper, Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 7 years ago

Chris - this one was found by me, and my 250 pounds (all muscle...).  Everyone else could make it squeak, but I could make it squeal!

It was Jim.  The problem is the engineer would only be able to give opinion as certainly nothing can be opened up to investigate.

I was thinking, Don, that it was made so that nobody could sneak out of the room at night!

Mike - hadn't thought about it, but some duct tape straps on the ceiling below might help a lot!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Have to agree 100% with your suggestion.

Posted by Carl Winters almost 7 years ago

Thanks Carl.  Just common sense, to us anyway!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I recall a home in PG County in a luxury community that had a lot of "bounce" throughout.

The homes were build in a community with extreme water problems.  Many of the homes had 2 sump pumps in the basement. 

It was a combination of circumstances.   Richmond American was the builder / developer and OSB was just becoming popular with builders.  This house had OSB sub-flooring. 

Sadly, the house was foreclosed and sat empty for months.  During that time, the elec. was cut off and the basement flooded.  Well, all that moisture got to the OSB and it softened and became spongy.  It did, indeed, bounce. 

Eventually, the carpet, sub-flooring was all removed and replaced. 

There were homes in that community built by Ferguson & Flynn with plywood sub-flooring that also had flooding problems.  No bounce.  No problems.  I sold 3 of the Ferguson & Flynn homes but wouldn't sell any of the Richmond American homes.

I fought that OSB subflooring for a few years, but finally had to give up.  Eventually, most builders learned how to use it.

Oh well.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Not sure how I missed this post.  This sounds like the same builder came to Briarcliff, NY.  We saw a house on the market (offer fell through) w/ a bouncy wood floor.  It was built around ths same time.  Stubborn homeowner..."if it was god enough for me when I bought it, it should be good enough for the buyer.  In his case, it appear thet the beam was causing an issue and popping up and only 1/2 plywood was removed.  He opted not to do the work and he fired the real estate agent.  I'm not sure if it ever sold or not but if an inspector were to really look, he (or she) would realize there is an issue w/ the whole 2nd floor of this rather home which is in the 1 million dollar range and to rip eveything up and redo would be rather costly.

BTW, this floor bounced a lot when I walked on it...and last I checked, I weigh less than you.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 7 years ago

And now, Lenn, OSB is the "standard!"  I don't know what the sub floor was here, but when I said where it was and the year 1990, the engineer came to an initial conclusion as to the size of the beams.  So they must have had experience with the package!

Debbie - could be he did!  The problem with this stuff is that the problem and solution is an unknown.  Most buyers don't want to shoot craps with these things.  And it seems to me that you and all your humongity comes to about 71 pounds...  You could live inside me like that little pretzel inside that M&M!

This floor did bounce under the weight of the wife of the buying couple, but not as much as I could make it.  And it wasn't like I was trying to cause problems, it just bounced!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago
 

I did't relize they make real bouncy house :)

Posted by Eric Salonga, Your Key to the Central Valley (The Salonga Brothers at Reed Realty) almost 7 years ago

At time, Eric, at times!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

When there is a problem the first thing people reach for is some sort of goop. Out of sigh out of mind.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) almost 7 years ago

The sellers should have been using structural caulk.  Didn't I see Billy Jays advertising that product at some point?  If not, he should.

Posted by Reuben Saltzman, Delivering the Unbiased Truth. (Structure Tech Home Inspections) almost 7 years ago

Want to see some really bouncing homes?  Come to Chicago.  Rehabbed homes where the floor joists are only 2 x 6 and the span is 18' and yet they get away with it.  I wouldn't touch that home within a mile unless I opened it up, the whole way and I bet there is a real mess behind the bouncy, bouncy.

Posted by Maggie Finegan (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) almost 7 years ago

Jay...

Youi gotta feel for these homeowners who may be stuck with a lot bigger problem than a door that will not latch.

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 7 years ago

Jay - This is exactly while I love it when my clients use one of the experienced home inspectors in our area...  you guys are worth every penny.

Posted by AJ Heidmann ~ CRS, YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert (McEnearney Associates, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

That strike plate is quite sight. What were they thinking?!

Posted by Vanessa Saunders, From Manhattan to the Catskills of New York (Global Property Systems Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Rob - sticking that cabinet securely into the corner will certainly stop that floor from bouncing!

Reuben - Billy has so many products at this point (truly he has hijacked my site) that I can't keep them all straight.  If he doesn't you probably just gave him the idea...  thanks.

Maggie - and you have the whole family over for an event and whoosh, everyone ends up in the laundry room?

Richard - it latched perfectly!  They had moved the plate down about 3/4"!

AJ - I think so too, but there are always those who call and want me to cut my price to what I charged in 1982.

Vanessa - that they wanted the door to latch during showers?  It is cute though.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

About 1990 was when I first started to see OSB in subflooring in new homes.  Also, it was often 3/4-1/2 inch OSB and it was nailed, not screwed. 

My new home buyers could usually upgrade for about $1,000 to plywood.  Later in the late 1990s, builders stopped agreeing to that option.  Bad public relations to have an option for an upgraded sub-flooring. 

I remember looking at a Winchester new home model where the flooring was so spongy, it bounced.  When I walked through the house prior to drywall, it appeared that almost all of the home was some type of manufactured component. 

I laughingly referred to them as "not stick built" but "sawdust built".

 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Good morning Jay,

A "Bounce House" is supposed to bet set up outside for the children's party, not be a part of the home for year-round indoor entertainment.  LOL   I can't imagine the number of caulk tubes that were emptied on this problem!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 7 years ago

Jay, shoring up the floor from the ceiling below sounds like a pretty expensive job. If left the way it is I think it will scare off a lot of buyers.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 7 years ago

I'm just wondering why you entered the bedroom from the window?  :-)

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) almost 7 years ago

I'm feeling a new song, "Floors don't Bounce and Walls don't Sag".

Unfortunately I am on my first cup of coffee still so will need to get back to you with lyrics. Unless of course you beat me to them.

 

Posted by Kate Kate almost 7 years ago

It is amazing what people will try to ignore and pass on to a new owner.  It would be interesting to find out if this was a rental or owner occupied.  What was on the disclosure?  Nothing , I bet.

Posted by Ric Mills, Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge (Keller Williams Southern Az) almost 7 years ago

LOL, caulk fixes floor bounce now?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 7 years ago

Lenn - "upgrading" to plywood is a chintzy way of getting people to pay more money!  Some of that stuff is exactly that, sawdust!

Lisa - I love the Moon Bounce Room!  Although I am a big large for it...

Mike - and no way will that be done while people are trying to figure out if they want to buy the house!

Joetta - my usual Spiderman entrance!  Makes a splash, or, in this case, a bounce!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I'll wait for you Nana!  I wrote a song last week to some roof tar!

I don't know Ric, but apparently people had been living with it because there were many times that cabinet got caulked!

Lyn - every time!  Until, that is, it is walked on again.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

I seriously missed the roof tar hunting through your posts but thoroughly enjoyed the images of your family. Your daughter is growing up and your wife, well... she's a saint for letting you post her thermal image. Tell her I hope she is feeling well. I noted that Billy Jays is selling strong.

Posted by Kate Kate almost 7 years ago

Well, Nana, na, na, na, na - daughter is in high school, going on 29 years of age.  Wanda is very fragile, but hanging in there.  Billy is kicking butt and I am pretty much the same!

http://activerain.com/blogsview/2846913/how-not-to-flash-a-chimney-or-a-roof

Hey, hey, gooood bye...!

Until next time.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Always great stories! Very interesting, it is amazing to me how many sellers do these "sketchy" fixes over time to mask an underlying issue and then are surprised when it comes up in a home inspection. it is always best to correct it before it gets worse, if possible.

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) almost 7 years ago

Thanks Sylvie.  These things are pretty common, but this was not the fault of the sellers.  I think these guys knew all about it though!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Did the listing mention the free trampoline?

Posted by Marshall Brown, BSEE, CHI (Mid America Inspection Services, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Marshall - in my world, woulda, shoulda, coulda reigns!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

Hi Jay, you inspectors get to see all the good stuff! We Realtors just see a "lovely home".  lol

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) almost 7 years ago

Problems like that could be a deal Killer.  I suspect someone saved money on the framing.  

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

They can be a lot of fun Bob!  As you know, as a regular reader!

Gene - and if this house is like this, all the other ones were framed the same way!  This is a townhouse.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 7 years ago

It makes you wonder how many other parts of the house were skimped on.

Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) about 6 years ago

I wonder if that caulk will glue the house together Wayne!  And keep it from settling more...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

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