04:11PM | 01/12/05
Member Since: 01/11/05
1 lifetime posts
We are in the process of selling our home. The house is 12 years old. We have had no problems with settling. We have noticed two cracks in the celing downstairs. They are both above doors but are on two different walls. Nothing huge so we just thought it was normal. Well the home inspectors our buyers got said that the load-bearing wall does not have enough support to hold the weight of the upstairs. They say that the house needs to be jacked up and concrete poured and a beam placed under that wall. This house is only 12 years old. How can a builder not put enough support under a load-bearing wall and get away with it? We are about ready to pull our hair out at the thought of this happening to this home. Any suggestions?


01:22AM | 01/13/05
Member Since: 03/05/04
26 lifetime posts
is the home inspector right or are you assuming he/she is? Call your city inspector & explain the situation to them and if need be have them come out to look. If any code etc has changed in last 12 years THEY will know. It doesnt sound right to me but with out seeing the situation then hard to add much more. You are correct No Way the city should have passed-ok`d builders inspection/permit(s)back 12 years ago IF this home inspector is correct.


06:32PM | 01/16/05
Member Since: 01/15/05
2 lifetime posts
This sounds very suspicious, however I havent seen the cracks.

Cracks over a door is common enough, and more often is due to the drywallers allowing a seam where they shouldn't. In a basement they may have opted to use up the wallboard scraps or something. Hard to say. But it seems very shortsighted for an inspector to proclaim all this damage solely because he sees a couple wallboard cracks. That is, unless he has an ulterior motive.

Just because they find something wrong, you are under no obligation to do anything about it. The inspection is done solely at the buyers request, and simply provides a bargaining chip for them. Even Fannie Maes etc. don't force you to fix anything. They just wont loan to the buyer until there a clean inspection. Not your problem.

I guess the next step is to see what the buyers expect. If they want you to drop the price, suspect a scam and send them packing. If they want you to fix it before they buy it, I would heed the inspectors opinion a little more, maybe hire an engineer to look at if you want. Beware of any contractors they want to march through for estimates.


07:32AM | 01/19/05
Member Since: 01/28/01
171 lifetime posts
Are these gaps or hairline cracks?

Hairline cracks would mean more a slight settling of the house over the years. This would only need cosmetic patch and paint.

If the cracks/gaps line up with the doors then I think the header over the door settled rather than the whole house. Whole house would have cracks midway between supports.


07:00AM | 01/25/05
Member Since: 05/03/04
8 lifetime posts
If the cracks are hairline and there is no displacement then it might just be poor quaility taping or no taping at that point where the crack appears. If the crack is a straight line it is likely a seem in the drywall that was not taped. If the house was settling you would likely see the cracks first on the wall radiating from the corners of the doors and windows. Since you said that they are on the ceiling it is probably something else.

Glenn Good

02:49PM | 01/26/05
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
Being a certified home inspector myself, it does sound as though this home inspector has over stepped his authority. It is NOT a home inspector’s job to provide a solution to suspected structural problems. When/if a structural problem is SUSPECTED, or even if one is evident, he should only recommend to the client that a professional engineer be consulted to diagnose the extent of the problem or if there even is one, and to provide the details for any repairs needed.

DIAGONAL cracks over doorways are a common sign of structural settlement. Cracks that are straight horizontal or vertical are more common for poor taping or joints in the drywall. The home inspector was correct in listing a POSSIBLE structural flaw but not in giving a detailed solution for the repair.

Visit my website to read the HOME INSPECTOR STANDARDS OF PRACTICE AND CODE OF ETHICS. The standards of practice were created by ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors), adopted by North Carolina, and is one of the most widely accepted standards of practice guidelines used for home inspections in the United States today.


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Glenn Good

02:54PM | 01/26/05
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
I forgot to add: The only time an inspector should give the particulars for a needed structuaral repair is if he/she is also a licensed structural engineer (which is possible).


Moderator: Construction Systems, Foundations, and Masonry & Stone

For more information about me and/or my qualifications please visit my website at:
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