Every now and then I see what some "contractor" thinks are magical load-bearing glass doors.
How can that be, you ask?
Well, it can't. Just because the NEW WAVE of contractors to flood the repair market think doors are magically load bearing, they are not.
Removing walls and structure to "open up" a room is very popular these days! But structural rules have to be met.
Mother Nature is the cruelest and most impudent enforcer of her own codes than any government or agency.
My post yesterday inspired this post today. We'll see what happens over there.
Well I can show you what happened here.
The photo is taken from the far wall in a recently finished porch.
The former deck was converted into a new room, complete with heating and air conditioning, and insulation in the ceiling, walls and floor.
It was very pretty as far as rooms go, with a full and wonderful glass view of the woods behind the house.
The room is not very old!
The former sliding glass doors which opened to the deck were replaced with larger doors, with a transom, that span the entire opening.
The problem here is that there is a bedroom above that wall, and a roof above that.
This span, from side to side, is 14' wide.
As soon as I walked into the room to set my things down I noticed the problem.
Can you see it?
I demonstrated the VERY BIG problem to my clients by trying to slide those doors closed. They would not move. Thus begun the home inspection.
Can you see the sag in the very center of the door? It is about 1" of a sag.
No header was placed over that 14' span. Given the roof height and structure there is NO room for a header! Doors alone cannot hold that load, never mind with a transom!
THIS SAGGING IS JUST GETTING STARTED! IT WILL CONTINUE. GRAVITY WORKS EVERY TIME. EVENTUALLY THE GLASS WILL CRACK AND BREAK, FOLLOWED BY A CATASTROPHIC COLLAPSE. THIS WAS NOT THOUGHT OUT PROFESSIONALLY.
There is only one thing that can be done at this point. The sellers, who obviously know the doors do not close, will not be interested in its repair as this will be a huge expense, requiring a structural-engineering plan and a complete re-do. The buyers will not want to inherit what they know is a problem to come.
So, what to do?
My recommendation: it is not likely that buyers will notice something like this on their own. Their google eyes only saw the beautiful room, and it is beautiful! The experienced home inspector noticed this within seconds of entering the kitchen. THAT is why a home inspection is so very necessary. Alright, it may not be the only reason, but experience is the meat and potatoes of why you employed him! And the rest you get along with that experience? Gravy!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560