Active Rain realtors and inspectors often talk about the problems found at new homes. The topic always revolves around whether or not new construction should be inspected. Periodically, I plan to post some photos of things I have found at newer homes. The photo below was a home that was one year old and had not previously been inspected. It was being sold after a man lived in it for only one year. It is too bad it had not been inspected, prior to closing the first time. It would have saved lots of trouble, and gritty work, by putting the problem back in the builder's lap. Here is the deal. This home had passed all of the city inspections, but then the sneakiness took place: To save on hauling fees, once the city inspector left the scene, they dumped much of the dirt that had been excavated from the crawl space back into the crawl space and then sealed everything up. Actually, they did this so completely that, a year later, to look in the crawl space we had to cut around the carpet just to get the hatch open. When I got down there, all the posts had dirt around them. The piers were buried. This is, by Washington State Law, a conducive condition to attracting wood destroying organisms and it must be cited, whether the wood is damaged or not. Even if it is treated lumber, this is not acceptable in a crawl space. Treated lumber will decay eventually and it is one thing to use it on a deck, yet another to use it to support the home, which was big -- a zero lot line home. That, by the way, brought up an interesting issue -- shared residences. The buyer decided to purchase the place, and get the dirt out before there was rot. However, she rightly so wondered if the unit next door was not in exactly the same condition (almost for sure it would be) and so much of the structure was shared that it made her wonder if she would have problems the result of the deficiency next door.
Thanks for reading,
Steven L. Smith