Historic home with jack posts

This home built in 1921 has A LOT of jack posts under it and the installation seem quite questionable. The way the ends of the beams are sitting on some of the jacks, not even scabbed together cannot be right. I don’t get a lot of homes with crawl spaces down here in FL. I would say 70% of this home is on jack posts. Is there a limit for the number of jack post to be used without repairing or building new piers and footers?

Please weigh in!!

The floor structure appears to have been modified such as added beams and adjustable jacks. Much of the work appears to be substandard with suspect materials and improper load points. Further damage, settlement or failure may occur. Recommend further evaluation by a qualified structural engineer and any prescribed repairs to be performed by a qualified contractor.

yes all the beams above the jacks are not original. I have recommended just as you said but want to get an idea of just how bad this is. There are vast areas that are unsupported. And those that are don’t seem very well supported. Thanks so much.

Not sure how to describe how bad it is. In my narrative, I mentioned several possible consequences. I did not make them up, they are real. Damage, settlement or failure are all possibilities. I consider this “writing hard”.

A structural engineer needs to make the calculations. Sometimes in sagging areas it is not a big deal. But this caught my eye. It does not appear the beam is bearing upon the pier at all.

And this. Weight is not bearing down the center of gravity, but rather on the flanges.

What kind of footings were below the jacks?

Yes, several original piers were not supporting anything. I could not tell what the jacks were supported with but I would assume just dirt as I saw ZERO signs of any fish concrete spillage in there. The vapor barrier was covering the bottom of all the jacks so I would have had to go intrusive to see that area. could not tell by feel aside from the steel case of the jack.

1 Like

In my narrative I would certainly direct the buyer back to the homeowner for further information such as why the need for the repairs, scope of work, invoices, permits and applicable warranty information.

The crawl appears to be encapsulated or some hybrid sort. Was there ventilation or condition air source? Just another thing to consider for you since you don’t have the opportunity to visit many crawls.

1 Like

I had to pull permits for the 4-point and wind mit and I saw a permit for all this foundation work… $11,000. There is all new barrier in there except over one vent and a dehumidifier has been installed with a small pump to pump the condensate out. This work was done 09/2021

1 Like

Write hard grasshopper!

These are first time home buyers but I have worked with this realtor before so she will inquire about all of that. Sometimes you just want to tell a buyer to RUN. The place has a lot of other issues. $430k is a lot of $ to throw away on this place.

Then do so. There are many ways to do so, some are more subtle and some more direct. If you are concerned about the realtor, don’t be. He/she is not concerned about you and possibly not even the client.

I always tell my clients they can call with any questions. Some do some don’t. If they call and ask I would but I rather not jump the gun. Just because I would run does not mean they are not willing to do or have the work done. Being a historic home, some people are just dead set on living in one or in that area here. They will overlook A LOT.

1 Like

The way I handled it in the past was to state to them:
“Well to be honest with you, I would not feel comfortable with my daughter living in this home.”
That was a safe way for me to say run without actually saying run.


Yep. I have said that myself. Or, “you guy’s will need deep pockets for this one” :smile:


The funny thing was that the agents I worked most frequently with would ask me if I would let my daughter live here if they didn’t like the way the inspection was going. Those were the agents I enjoyed working with, they cared about their clients more than writing a contract.


The only realtors that aren’t concerned about their clients, were/are the thousands that advise/d their clients to forego a home inspection for a potential “better” offer.


The good agents will hang on to you. Over time the used house salesmen fade away and your stable of realtors are actually good people that you would actually refer.

1 Like

Many if not all of those jack posts are structural defects. As such they pose a dangerous hazard of structural collapse, that needs immediate evaluation by a licensed Structural Engineer.

Should be enough to open their eyes.


As already mentioned.

Temporary screw type jacks were viewed being used as support, supports lacked footings under them, improper installation with inadequate end bearing was viewed to beams, etc. etc.

Further evaluation is recomended by a Structural Engineer.

When you find a turd like this and write hard, good REAs will appreciate you doing your job the right way, writing hard when needed, and taking care of their clients, good REAs will be back, those that don’t care won’t.

1 Like

That’s my sentiment and my recommendation for you. Just stick to the facts and don’t try and determine if the home is “good” for your client. The moment you tell your client to run, they will reference your words in their explanation to the agents/seller on why they are backing out. Then watch the shit hit the fan, lol.

Stick to the mantra…“A home inspection is not pass or fail. It is simply a fact-finding effort”


Yup, just going to supply the facts. I will be happy to explain them further as so many people just have zero knowledge of these things but I try to keep what I would do out of it. At the end of the day my report shows a lot of major issues. If they decide to buy and later realize it was a mistake the report itself is the “I told you so”

1 Like