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Old 06-12-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
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Help about front porch and basement

I'm going to buy a 1920s old house, and we did a home inspection yesterday and mostly just minor wear and tear, but there's a big issue I'm really concerned.

In the basement, there's a wall with 2 small windows, and when you look out from those windows, it's a dark room filled with some concrete but not finished. The inspector said it's the basement part under the front porch. And there seems to be some termites in that "room". I really hate the idea of a somewhat blocked unfinished dark space in the basement (I watched too many horror movies).

This may be my first-home.
Should I just remove the front porch and the basement underneath the porch? or
Should I just seal the basement underneath the porch completely with concrete and remove those small windows as if that "room" never existed?


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Old 06-12-2011, 11:39 AM   #2
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I did an inspection Saturday in a house built in 1860, and it had a hidden basement room. Creepy at first, but I saw potential for storage space. I had to get in there, though, cobwebs and all. Same deal, lots of insect damage. I have insect bites all over me, too.

If your inspector suspects termite damage, you should get a treatment company in there to treat and mitigate. If he suspects the damage was structural, he probably recommended that an engineer look at it. The engineer will tell you what can stay and what needs to be replaced, and also let you know what blocking in the windows will do to ventilation, etc.

It's impossible for me to say whether the porch needs to come down without looking at it. But I've had some real doosies, and I haven't recommended demolition yet.

Your best bet is to have an engineer come in to identify what's damaged and what has to get replaced. This is why it's such a good idea to get the engineer to do the home inspection in the first place. The standard of care is greater, and his or her recommendations will be part of the home inspection report. You won't have to hire someone to come out and look at it again.


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