A front staircase disaster. Lean to the left. Lean to the right.
Just looking at it from the car pulling up I knew I was in for some interesting work.
And looking around the neighborhood I could see this house wasn't alone. Some houses had similar schlock work (apparently builder done) and others had really good staircases that were newer and really well done!
Since my X-ray vision has not improved with age I am left to wonder what is going on here.
The three columns on the right side certainly have sunken.
Is it a footer problem underground?
Is it a rot problem underground?
They have all sunken about the same amount. And again, looking around the neighborhood this is a problem many are faced with.
But beyond that I went up the stairs to find them exceptionally bouncy.
I don't like bouncy stairs!
They just seemed to groan under my all-muscle 225 pounds.
Actually that isn't a lot of weight! They should not be straining at all!
Why so weak?
The answer is underneath!
The stair stringers were all connected oh so well!
A rusty toe nail here. Another there.
That puppy is done! Hey, good job guys! Whatcha say we get some lunch?
The center stringer was separated about 1/2".
The other two were similar.
That will make for a bouncy experience, up and down!
Can you imagine having your friends over and whoomp!
Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!
When my clients arrived I would not let people go up the stairs except one at a time. The realtor said they all went up before. I told him I didn't care. And that I would prefer that they use the back door. He said don't be silly. We'll use the front stairs.
Alrighty then! About all I can do it hoist the red flag. If people choose not to care, so be it!
This is my client's first house. When I showed him the stairs later, he, and his father, both had wide eyes. It appears I was right. When we left they all went one at a time!
My recommendation: if you can see the problem pulling up to the house you know it will be a fun ride. It's important that people understand that home inspectors are not looking to make obvious problems worse, or say things to give them something juicy for the report. Sometimes things truly are safety issues and should be viewed in that light. This is a safety issue of the first order. This was identified on the report as a dangerous safety issue of prime importance and immediate concern. And seeing the same problem replayed over and over around the neighborhood is pathetic.
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560