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Old 06-28-2010, 12:39 PM   #1
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Any advice on buying an antique home

Besides the obvious pest, mold, rot damage and electrical, plumbing, heating system inspections, is there anything else I should be specifically looking at when viewing properties from this era? I'm concerned the most about structural issues. This paticular house built in 1850 has an old fieldstone foundation, and over the past 160 years of water infiltration into the dirt basement, several major structural components have deteriorated. They sistered up every single joist with 1 or 2 new 2x6's depending on the condition of that particular joist and then added dozens of additional support columns and horizontal headers in the basement to re-support different structural components or areas of the house, basically taking loads that was once on 4 large columns that are rotted away, then transfered the load to about 24 different PT 4x4's wrapping the interior side of the foundation wall. They basically build a new structure under the existing structure using pressure treated 4x6 headers and 4x4 columns set at some unknown depth into the dirt floor. The joists on the first floor that used to rest on the stone wall must've been severly rotted at one point, they cut the joists back about a foot, re-build the entire sill plate on top of the stone wall, then re-supported the first floor with new PT columns in the basement. I'm concerned about these "bandaids" that have been put on the structure over the years. The PT 4x4's are just sitting in the dirt, will these rot away in a few years and i'll have to address the entire structure again in a short time? Is this something you would be concerned about? Everything looks solid, it just looks like a giant bandaid.

Any advice?



Last edited by The Engineer; 06-28-2010 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:12 PM   #2
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Have someone qualified look at the house.


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Old 06-28-2010, 05:23 PM   #3
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I second that---Have a foundation specialist or a structural engineer size it up.

If your town has a historic commission drop by and have a chat, Some of those guys (and gals)
Will give you the heads up as to who's good. Typically they are not supposed to recommend any one-

However ,if you meet face to face (and nobody else is listening) you should get the info you seek.

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Old 06-28-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
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lead paint is really an issue
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tomstruble View Post
lead paint is really an issue
It can cost you a lot of money, but it's just like the asbestos scare, way overblown.
The ads in my post are there without my permission. I do not endorse any of the products.
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Installing since 1973
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:46 PM   #6
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And once you have figured out how much it will cost to make repairs, double it and this will give you a ball park figure of the total cost!
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:45 PM   #7
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Be way careful of a money pit and huge time consumer.


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