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Old 03-25-2012, 10:19 PM   #1
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foundation and rot repair


Bought this house a year ago. We got a home inspector and he didnt find any of the promblems that I've found. I noticed siding buckling on an addition that was built after the original house and got to looking closer and discovered that the sill plate and band joist are rotted out. Mostly due to grading and drainage promblems. I started digging out to repair rot and drainage and grading issues and noticed that the about 10 feet of the addition was built directly on top of an old concrete patio. The old patio is 6 inches thick with no footer and its hollow under the pad. The dirt came up over half way on band board thats rotted. My question is how would I ever repair this or how would I go about fixing the addition... The rotted part is 10 ft by 16 ft. All the floor joists on that section are rotted. I am at a loss, cant afford to have it fixed unless insurance covers it, and I doubt they will. Inspectors contract covers the inspector with being at fault. I was going to jack it up and replace the rot and was able to afford that, but there is nothing to jack up that's solid and not rotted untill i get 10 ft back and I dont think that would work. Anyone have any advice to give? thanks alot

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Old 03-25-2012, 10:56 PM   #2
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foundation and rot repair


I hate to suggest this route, but I will this time. I would start w/ my building department, and ask them the extent to which inspectors can be held liable, what your inspectors are required to inspect, and to what extent they inspect them. Just a visual? Digging in? I can not imagine a thorough inspection missing this much. Once you know the legal details, procede to talk this over w/ the inspector and/or his/her/your attorneys. Once it is decided who is paying the bills, procede on the building. You have a large job ahead of you, so getting assistance with the bills may prove worthwhile.

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Old 03-26-2012, 02:32 AM   #3
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foundation and rot repair


Very common problum with DIY build enclosed porches.
Post some pictures of the outside for some suggestions.

I would not count on anyone paying for this repair.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:31 AM   #4
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foundation and rot repair


Couple of points. You paid this inspector what, a couple hundred dollars? Now you are thinking about suing the guy to cover $20,000 to totally rebuild the addition? Think this through really carefully, does your contract with the inspector really make him liable for REPAIR costs for things you think he missed, that you think he should have noticed? I really doubt it, but this is America, go sue if you must, I bet your attorney will want his money up front.

As to insurance covering this, well if it is a covered peril under your policy, you might collect, but from your description this was long term damage due to defective construction. Not much happening there.

If you are actually interested in discussing how to fix the problem, post pictures, and there may be some good ideas about how to perform the necessary work. If you are interested in legal advice on how to sue the inspector, or advice on how to collect insurance, count me out.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:05 AM   #5
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Daniel Holzman wrote: “Couple of points. You paid this inspector what, a couple hundred dollars? Now you are thinking about suing the guy to cover $20,000 to totally rebuild the addition? Think this through really carefully, does your contract with the inspector really make him liable for REPAIR costs for things you think he missed, that you think he should have noticed? I really doubt it, but this is America, go sue if you must, I bet your attorney will want his money up front.”

You don’t need an attorney to file suit in small claims court. If you think the home inspector did not do what he was paid for, go for it.


Writer’s information is for discussion purpose only and should be confirmed by an independent source.
I am not an expert and don’t claim to be, these are just my views and opinions.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:21 AM   #6
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foundation and rot repair


Dan: "...but this is America, go sue if you must,..." I think from the tone of your post, you are missing my point. I am the one who suggested legal action, and I stand by it. IF the inspector is required by law to do a thorough inspection and point out serious damage like this, then he/she may well not have done their job. My bother-in-law and sister bought a house that was "inspected and checked off", as per the law, and have spent in excess of $30,000 repairing a bunch of stuff that should have not passed inspection. If you are paid to prevent home owners from buying nightmares, then you have a legal and moral obligation to do that. WTF is the point of paying an inspector to verify that a house is not a wreck if, in fact, it IS a wreck? "Here is a gun to protect you from grizzlies on your trek, but I ain't gonna load it. It is the warm feeling that is important, right?" It matters not how much the cat got paid; it matters only that he or she did what the law requires to protect the homeowner. If the inspector was not required to see this kind of thing, then so be it.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:20 PM   #7
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foundation and rot repair


The inspector is required to do exactly what is in their contract, no more, no less. Since none of us have seen the contract, we can only speculate about what duty the inspector owed to the prospective homeowner. We do not even know if the homeowner hired the inspector, for all we know the inspector was hired by a third party.

I get your point, you hire a guy to inspect your house, you anticipate a thorough inspection. That said, I have a lot of experience reviewing inspection reports, always because they missed something. The sorry little secret about the inspection business is that it is totally cut throat, the average fee is less than $300 in my part of the world, yet the expectations are very high by the homeowner. Few read their contract, until they find a problem that they believe the inspector should have caught. I have a lot of empathy for the inspectors, they have to drive to the site, inspect the property, write up the report, discuss with the homeowner, for under $300. Then of course they have to worry that they will be sued if they missed something, which of course they always do, because there is always something wrong that may be hidden or obvious. This by the way is why I never do inspections, too little money, too much liability, too many expectations. This is also why most professional engineers will not touch an inspection.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:44 PM   #8
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My inspector missed what has currently amounted to over $25,000.00 in work; including a brand new HVAC system. It wasn't his job to find this stuff though; his job was to do a visual inspection.

Unless you want to bring in Holmes who will tear the house apart to "inspect" it; then you can't be sure the inspector will find everything.

Moving beyond the politics. In my case; I started by getting a permit and tearing down the addition. It turned out the addition was hiding that a main beam was below grade and touching dirt. I didn't have as big a rot problem as you are describing. I repaired the area and I've moved on to the water/grading problems.

I would call your insurance, home warranty; and inspector. You could consider legal action; possibly call the same lawyer you had review the closing materials/etc on the house.

The extent of the damage here may make it a different case than the norm; if the homes support is compromised or it should have been seen during a visual inspection, go after it. I understand and commend the defense of home inspectors on this forum; but there is a line to draw and it is at missing things that should have been found in the visual inspection.

All that said; we can't tell you anything. You'll have to out-of-pocket a bit and talk to your lawyer. May involve another inspection and the review of the inspection you were given. This all assumes you had a contractual guarantee of some kind.
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jklingel View Post
Dan: "...but this is America, go sue if you must,..." I think from the tone of your post, you are missing my point. I am the one who suggested legal action, and I stand by it. IF the inspector is required by law to do a thorough inspection and point out serious damage like this, then he/she may well not have done their job. My bother-in-law and sister bought a house that was "inspected and checked off", as per the law, and have spent in excess of $30,000 repairing a bunch of stuff that should have not passed inspection. If you are paid to prevent home owners from buying nightmares, then you have a legal and moral obligation to do that. WTF is the point of paying an inspector to verify that a house is not a wreck if, in fact, it IS a wreck? "Here is a gun to protect you from grizzlies on your trek, but I ain't gonna load it. It is the warm feeling that is important, right?" It matters not how much the cat got paid; it matters only that he or she did what the law requires to protect the homeowner. If the inspector was not required to see this kind of thing, then so be it.

Well said!
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Old 03-26-2012, 01:41 PM   #10
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foundation and rot repair


Dan: Got it, and that is why I said "IF". No inspector should be held accountable for not having xray vision, and I have no idea for what inspectors ARE held accountable, if anything. I would hope that "fairly obvious" things, like a wall plate being buried in wet dirt, or a beam sagging and cracked vertically,etc, would be on the list of "things an inspector should see". I am certain that few people would want any risk w/ a $300 paycheck, and I assume the contracts are written accordingly. I was on a jury for a similar case one time, and it is truly a mess trying to figure out who should have said what to whom, or noticed what. On a similar note, we sold my wife's house when she moved in here, and it was working fine. Six months later (summer) when it was purchased, the new owner called and asked why I had not told him the sewer line was plugged. I asked if he'd run water and flushed toilets like I told him to do when he looked at it, and he said yes, and all was fine. What had happened is the line (50 yrs old) likely had a slight sag in it and the "water" at that point froze, eventually, as no new, warmer water was replacing it. So, stink happens even after the inspection. Good luck to the OP, however it turns out.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:22 PM   #11
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foundation and rot repair


Thanks for reply. Called insurance, they will not cover it. Called inspector, I have to email him some pictures and he said we would go from there. Im not trying to sue him for anything he may have missed I was only trying to get opinions or answers on who & how to go about fixing the problem or if there is any fixing it at all. He was only hired by me, he was payed 350 with military discount. I know he wouldnt see all the damage I saw from digging up foundation and pulling siding off and a little plywood. But there was more then enough clues to something was wrong that were in plain view. I took pictures tonight and I'll try to upload them when I get them on computer. I will dig out my contract with inspector and try and get it on here. Maybe someone else can explain it to me better. Thanks for the help>
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:57 PM   #12
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ok I looked at inspectors report again and he had just enough in report to cover him but he let on like there were only minor problems. Here are some of the pictures from the report. The first one is of the corner, where the problem is you can see the grading issues and siding buckling. The third one is of the promblem and he only told me to consult a contractor for repairs, but that was it and he never told me about it and I dont remember reading it. My fault there. I will load some pictures of what I seen from just being under there.
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Last edited by a.griggs77; 03-26-2012 at 08:09 PM.
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