What I'm Seeing Now

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New Construction Afterthoughts

I run into all kinds of things on pre-drywall inspections - many things we could call New Construction Afterthoughts.

Interestingly, they created the walls for the rear stair well.

But they only cut a regular door opening.

The buyer was the one who noticed it!

They cut this opening a few days prior to our pre-drywall inspection.

Above this opening is a tall, cathedral-ceiling wall and lots of weight.

The double 2x6 spanning that opening is certainly not the end of this.

They will have to provide a header.

The opening there now is just large enough for a regular sliding glass door.

However, just looking at it, the opening will need a sizable header because of the weight above and span created.  The door cannot provide support!

They may be getting a sliding glass door, but it might be smaller than anticipated!

My recommendation:  a pre-drywall inspection points out things even after the "many" inspections by the supervisor and his understanding of the plans that are supposed to be followed.  The buyer found this oversight!  It will be interesting to see how they span this and still accommodate a sliding glass door!

 

 

 

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 58 commentsJay Markanich • September 01 2013 05:13AM

Comments

Weight is always greater than imagined...whether is is of the snow on the roof or the span in the doorway....beware with a competent home inspector of this very important fact !

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

Weight transference is the most important thing I look for on pre-drywall inspections S&D.  Some things are easy to find, others not so!

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

Interesting that there is OSB there rather than plywood  Is that normal?

Posted by Women of Westchester Working Together, Women helping Women get ahead (Women of Westchester Working Together) about 7 years ago

Well WWW, plywood has not been used around here in new construction for well over a decade!

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

Oh my goodness!  This door must have been added to the original basement floorplan that did NOT include a basement exit. 

I'd love to see the original plans for that basement.  Either it included no outside exit, or the exit was missed when the concrete was poured. 

 

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

Interestingly, Lenn, the buyers want to finish the basement themselves, and the floor plan they chose has a rear basement walk out.  The side walls for the staircase were put in, but the builder forgot to pour for the door!  That is all according to the buyer.

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

I hate to beat the same old drum, but it first sounds like corruption between the good old government and private enterprise. It all started from the top of the good old boy federal government and works its way down. NOW the finger pointing starts.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) about 7 years ago

where is a competent builder ???

have a good one

Rob

Posted by Rob Thomas, Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro (Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954) about 7 years ago

Jay.  I see the photo and that is NOT a "walk out" basement.  Technically, it's an "outside exit".  Technically, a "walk out" basement is a level exit, no steps.  It's worth a few thousand in market value. 

I see many problems in that photo.  The header, of course, for the doorway.  The exit/steps, etc. which were clearly an afterthought, builder or buyer. 

Oh well. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 7 years ago
Looks like steel is going to be in order. The question is how much and what type. Let us know what the engineer determines.
Posted by Bill and MaryAnn Wagner, Jersey Shore and South Jersey Real Estate (Wagner Real Estate Group) about 7 years ago

Well, in the end the buyers should get what they wanted Jimmy!

Rob - and there are other models exactly like this one!

Right Lenn.  I guess that would be called a "walk-up basement?"  I have a walk-out basement on my house.  What I didn't understand was how the framing for the foundation would accommodate those two perpendicular walls, and yet the supervisor did not see that there should be a large door there.

Bill - I might not see this until the final inspection!

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

This sure does show that making changes can effect many different aspects of the project Jay. Rarely can you just make a change without correcting or building up somewhere else.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) about 7 years ago

Tom - that is why most changes require work orders!  That way they can send the desired change up the line to see if it is appropriate.

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

Jay, stuff like this makes one wonder if the house will outlast its 30-year fixed mortgage!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 7 years ago

I am always amused and a bit befuddled when people tell me you don't need to do inspections on new homes because, well, they are new. I always explain the definition of "man made".

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 7 years ago

Or the 10 year structural warranty Pat!

Joe - the builder's reasoning is that the house has already had "hundreds" of inspections prior to any private one.

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

They just need to put a sign by the door that says "You must be this short to exit this door". Everybody esle? Go upstairs.

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) about 7 years ago

Suzanne - am I hearing that song, "Short People..."?

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

I encourage a pre-drywall inspection. Some buyers actually listen to me. We always find a number of errors and omissions.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES ARIZONA TERRITORY) about 7 years ago

It is smart Jon.  There are a lot of specs to meet and things slip between cup and lip.

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

Hi Jay,

So what is the end result for the header that's not there? In many cases thy try and cover it up before you can get back there and tell you it was replaced with a full header. Yes they will lie to you.

Have a great day and Holiday in Bristow.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) about 7 years ago

It's already sagging Clint!  They could not simply drywall over it without my noticing at the final inspection.  Then the county would get involved in a big way!

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

In new construction I see interesting things all the time, yet i think you may be on to something. Not only could a buyer hire an inspector right before settlment but for during the construciton process. Don't know of any inspectors offering that service here, it would take some marketing but that could really change how the inspection industry operates.

Posted by Stephen Turner, The BIG Guy of NEW HOME SALES (Burkentine Realty Group (Burkentien Builders)) about 7 years ago

Jay, with all the inherent problems with OSB and moisture, plywood is actually having a revival in this area.  Just drove by a 6 story condo building this morning---not a piece of OSB in the thing.

Also in your picture it would actually be fairly simple to cut back the joists and put an adequate header sitting on the foundation and then hang the joists on the beam---happens all the time.  We also sometimes would put the beam in the wall above the floor if necessary.  Lots of options if there is not room below the top of the foundation.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 7 years ago

Lucky this was identified now at not, yet further into the construction process!

 

Posted by CHRIS PAHL, Attorney at Law (Georgia Title & Escrow Company) about 7 years ago

Jay, can you imagine if the builder didn't put a header in? I'd be interested in seeing the solution to this problem.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 7 years ago

Steve - I have been doing pre-drywall inspections for about 15 years.  They have become an essential component of the buying process.

It is inherently weak Charlie.  As to that span, because of the height of the wall above an engineer might spec steel, but I bet a double microlam would do it.

Chris - that's the objective of the pre-drywall process.  But, interestingly, the buyer pointed this out before it got too difficult to remedy.

I might be able to have a follow-up post when I do the final walk through Tammie.

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

I agree with Lenn's comments.  I could a get a few thousand for it.

Posted by Jay & Michelle Lieberman, Creating Calm in the Buying and Selling Chaos (Keller Williams World Class) about 7 years ago

J&M - around here the basement without some exit is not permitted any longer!

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

Awesome timing for me since I'm closing on one next week.  Sold New Homes for 5 years and ALWAYS told my people to do their walkthroughs and inspections!!  Thanks.

Posted by Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN, I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN! (HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578) about 7 years ago

Kimberley - I recommend a pre-drywall inspection and then one just prior to closing.  They both reveal things!

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

If it is on the plans , you wonder how many other mistakes the builder may of made in this house.

Posted by Chuck Mixon, Cutler Bay Specialist, GRI, CDPE, BPOR (The Keyes Company) about 7 years ago

We were looking Chuck!  I don't know what the plans would say, but the buyer did.

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

Sold a new construction home this weekend. Like the idea of a pre drywall inspection. Hate surprise like the door issue you found.

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max By The Sea) about 7 years ago

What Bill?  You don't like surprises?  The older I get the more I like surprises, like at Christmas! 

But not so much with new construction...

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

Another great post here, Jay.  (Boy, if I had a nickel for each time I said that!)  I love the information you provide, your clients should feel lucky to have found you!

Posted by Matt Kombrink, Your #1 Source For Real Estate (RE/MAX All Pro) about 7 years ago

Thank you Matt!  These people found me because their future neighbors across the street used me for both the pre-drywall and final inspections and recommended me to them!

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

Many builders will not allow an inspection and even if they do, they don't agree to fix things or let he buyer out of the contract.  It is a very challenging situation.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 7 years ago

You have said that before Joan.  What happens when there are serious problems?

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

Yes, it's important to have a header over that door opening.  The photo says it all.  Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Andrew Payne Realtor® Richmond VA Homes For Sale~804-938-5257~, Richmond, VA, Real Estate, SRES®, NAR Green (Piedmont Real Estate) about 7 years ago

Good drywall is alwsays worth some quality time put in. Believe me. :)

 

Love and light,

Laura

 

 

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 7 years ago

Jay -- that was a glaring oversight, if even the buyer picked up on it!  As others have said it will be interesting to see how they deal with this.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) about 7 years ago

Andrew - let's see what they come up with.

Laura - even good drywall sags without support!  But we'll wait to see what they do here.

Steven - they just saw that no door was provided!  I don't know how you miss that when you are supervising construction!

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

Good morning, Jay. Silly boy! Haven't you heard of load bearing glass? Maybe the concept has not made it to your neck of the woods yet...

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

Interestingly, Michael, I was considering posting something today about load-bearing glass!  I think I might.

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

Well Jay I think its one of those if I knew I should have but now it's going to cost me more afterthoughts. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 7 years ago

That's why you hire the home inspector James!  See my post today!

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

Sag happens, when not properly supported for sure!

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 7 years ago

And it happens to all of us with age Andrew, but that's another story altogether...

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

I would think an LVL or equivalent type of engineered beam would be the only option since the floor is constructed of engineered joists. 

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

I have seen the builder dig down and then have interior steps back up into the residence!   I can't believe some of the things I see sometimes.   I remember seeing a leak under the stairs and they said, "oh, that is nothing".  I said, "hey let's open up that wall and check"....they said they can't do that....I said, "well look at this drywall repair, someone did before".   They opened it, fixed the leak, and added an access door.

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) about 7 years ago

That would be the solution Jim, at this point.  There is no room underneath that sill plate.  Then there's the drain in that pesky stairwell to deal with...

Yvette - they saw what you saw probably.  And didn't want to open that can of worms.

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

The Buyer found it? ... I thought you were going to say you found it, Jay.

Posted by Raymond Denton, Veteran Friendly Realtor® (Homesmart / Evergreen Realty) about 7 years ago

I'm just a dumm real-a-tater, and even I saw there was gonna be an issue here. Musta been done on a Friday near quitting time...

Posted by Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner, email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846 (Travis Realty) about 7 years ago

Jay, Can we say ooops. Someone did not think that one through. Now someone will get to think on how to fix it ; )

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

Yikes, scary when the homeowner knows more than the builder.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) about 7 years ago

Good Morning and a great spot!! Keep up the good work and good luck with your business,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) about 7 years ago

Raymond - the buyer found that no opening had been cut for the basement door.  The opening was cut just prior to our visit.  I discovered the lack of support!

Travis - hard to know!  But not a bad theory.

Don - not my issue!  I told my clients they want a copy of the engineer's report.

David - the buyer remembered from the plans that it should have a basement door.  The supervisor seemed, um, to have missed that!

Thank you E&T.  Stop by again!

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

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