This is a row townhouse and this is the shared wall with his neighbour, who incidentally had the same problems and complained that when they moved in, the roof leaked, but only once. He said that the builder brought in his roofer and they couldn’t find the problem. I inspected the attic and also could not see any reason for it. I suspect that the shared wall settled just enough to open a flashing and let the rain in, as it was a particularly heavy rain and high wind.
Well, let me tell you what I did about this situation:
As I mentioned, this was a new home warranty inspection (11 month) and when I do my HI’s, I start in the basement after the exterior. When I saw this, I immediately pointed it out to the home owner and told him that this is an incorrect installation. In my report, I wrote it up something like this,
“the installation of the floor joists is improper as the joists should not be levelled by using pieces of lumber and shims (these are not very visible in this picture) the wood will shrink with drying and the placement of lumber on its’ face will crush under the weight of the house. I recommend that a structural Engineer should be called in (at the builders expense) to investigate and offer any recommendations for repair.”
The joists are not sitting on the foundation wall, but on the 2x6’s under them. It looks to me as though the foundation wall was poured too low and the framers had to lift the joists to level by putting the lumber under them, instead of adding a cold pour on top (lazy or what?) The gap between the joists was filled in with cement to make it look better. The other side of the foundation has pieces of drywall screwed over the gaps, so I wasn’t able to see the installation clearly. Anyway, I suspect that the builder will have some choice words for his foundation contractor.
The homeowner contacted me by email and said the builder was very concerned by my comments and is bringing in his Engineer to look at it and could I meet them at his house? I had to decline because I have other committments, but I replied, with additional larger pictures of the joist-foundation set up, the gaps below the baseboards in the bathroom, livingroom and the stair trim- all on that side of the house. They show obvious gaps from the floors dropping.
Funny enough, I have been asked to inspect another one of this builders homes in 2 months; PDI, 30 day and 1 Yr inspections. The ladies (mom & daughter) that are buying the house have agreed for a reduction to allow me to place a yard sign in the front of their house advertising my Company & New home warranty services. They are the third house on the principle street of about 40 “high end” (to be determined by…ME) Townhomes.
He’s going to hate me soon, if he doesn’t already!\:D/
Thanks for your comments