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New Construction Inspection - Bath Tubs Need Support Too

I need support - you need support - we all need support - and on a new construction inspection - bath tubs need support too.

Support is one of those basic needs.  And while inanimate, a bath tub especially needs support!

It gets heavy!  Water is heavy and when people get in the tub, things can get really heavy!

Bath tubs can get really big these days.  And on new construction I always look underneath to see if there is enough support.

Under one side of this tub one edge had support.  This builder used a large glop of mortar to secure this tub.  It's a common practice.  They add more than they need, set the tub into it, squish it to form around and be supportive of the tub bottom, and let it dry.

But in this case, while one edge of one side was resting in the mortar, the remainder of the tub was not.  And one end was supported only by the plumbing drain!

I was reluctant to stand in it for fear of breaking the bottom of the fiberglass tub, or the plumbing that supported it.

Laying beside the tub, in two different places, I was able to see the underside clearly.  And when I told my client about the support issue, she got down on the floor with me, held the flashlight and looked all around!  When we got up she was as dusty as I!

My  recommendation:  sometimes you have to roll around in the dust to see what's going on!  And on new construction, pre-drywall, this is the only time this area would be visible.  A pre-drywall inspection is essential to the building process!  There can't be enough eyes on a project, and particularly experienced eyes that are looking to see!

 

 

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 14 commentsJay Markanich • April 11 2015 03:13AM

Comments

I always love reading your posts - they teach me something every time! Thanks! 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 4 years ago

Thank you Ma'am!  Want to get down there on the dusty floor with me?  We'll have a look under the tub together.

I was really impressed that my client would do that.  Then she said her father is a builder and would want her to do it!  She also said she has three boys and is used to mud and dirt...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jay, some interesting thoughts. Out of curiosity I checked on the weight of water--a little over 8 pounds per gallon. When you think of all that water in a tub plus a 200 lb. person, that's a whole lot of weight over a relatively small area. Definitely something to be concerned about if the tub's not supported properly.

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) over 4 years ago

Of course, once the bathroom is finish, drywall, flooring, etc., no one would be any wiser in the pre-settlement walk-through.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 4 years ago

Another lesson learned Jay.  Before it's over I'll learn more than I had ever imagined about things to look for while I'm showing a home

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 4 years ago

Jay, proof positive you need a home inspection! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 4 years ago

If you're not dirty you haven't done anything.... good job!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 4 years ago

Tom - if I remember my junior high school science, a gallon weighs 8.16 pounds.  I always point that out to my clients.  And sometimes two people!

Lenn - this is the only time to see this!  As you know...

That's the idea James!  I like learning too.  And I come to AR for a lot of that.

Wayne - that is why we do them!  We find out stuff.

Fred - and my client got down there in the mud with me!  She thought that was fun I think.  See my comment #2.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

That could show a lot of things the buildeer may be trying topass off.  I know of a builder I would do this with.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 4 years ago

And when it's covered up with drywall and tile, William, no one would be the wiser.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

The combination of water weight and people weight make for a heavy subject that requires support....what was the contractor not thinkng ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 4 years ago

Apparently that he only needed to make a pile and not check out how it squished thereafter, S&D!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

Thanks Jay, guess I'm going to pull the access panels on the tub tonight for a look see.  As if my list wasn't long enough already!

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 4 years ago

At this point that would be the only way to see it Stephen!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 4 years ago

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