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Old 03-23-2008, 08:30 PM   #1
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Sill and Joist Question


I am in the process of purchasing a home in Massachusetts. During the home inspection, termite damage was found in some baseboards in the basement and some wood wall paneling.

the issue: The entire basement ceiling is finished so I cannot see the sill or the joists. This is an obvious concern for me as I know there can be a cost associated with damage caused. One thing I can see is that there are steel support beams in the basement.

During my negotiations, what should I be looking at for a worst case cost to replace the sill and joists. I know this is difficult to assess via the net, but I would just like some personal opinions from people before I go out and get contractors to come over and possibly have the seller rip the ceiling down. The house is a 3 story colonial with brick front and vinyl siding on the other three sides. Total house size is roughly 4500 sf and that includes basement and attic. Each level is roughly 1200 square feet.


One note is that during the home inspection, no signs of sagging were found in the house i.e. window/door frames and soggy hardwood floors. Should I feel comfortable that because none of these signs were found that there is no major damage?

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Old 03-24-2008, 03:26 AM   #2
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Sill and Joist Question


Can you obtain (rent?) a snake-camera light? ...and do some inconspicuous inspections of the areas?

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Old 03-24-2008, 07:36 AM   #3
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Sill and Joist Question


I am in the process of trying to find a company that could perform such an inspection. I am amazed because I know the technology is there, but I am not having luck finding a company.


You would think that the large termite companies ie Orkin/Terminex would offer this type of service but it doesnt seem like they do based on their website.

Any recommendations? Outside of a standard home inspection and pest inspection, what else could I do to ease my mind and determine what I should ask the seller for.
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:49 PM   #4
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What part of MA are you (or the potential new house) located in?
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Old 03-24-2008, 12:57 PM   #5
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Sill and Joist Question


Walpole (eastern Ma)
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:18 PM   #6
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Sill and Joist Question


From my own experience; if you know there are termites and do not know exactly how much damage there is I would run away from this house! What you have to do is take a sharp awl and actually jab into the sill and joist to see if there is damage. There may be limitted damage however you are taking a gamble if you cannot see the hidden structure behind the walls.


Last edited by teachtech; 03-26-2008 at 10:05 PM.
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