Realtor insists nothing is wrong

Realtor says been this way 30 years. Im looking for something in writing to show this is not correct.

Any help is appreciated.


For one, the blocks are not stacked correctly. The ‘hollow’ should be going up and down, not front to back. That should get you started.

anyone have IRC stating this is wrong?

NACHI education course covers it well.I believe the structural course. It has been a good reference guide for me. And it’s included in membership. : )

There are so many things you could put but simply advise your client that the piers (and possibly the footings) were not constructed in regards to acceptable building practices and possibly local / state codes, ie. (insert improper or lack of footings, improper installation of C.M.U.'s, no mortar to give structural stability, etc) Recommend that a licensed General Contractor do a detailed inspection of the foundation and make necessary corrections.


PS. You do not need to cite code and unless you are also a GC or Engineer, I would not even go that route.


If I get a chance, I will be glad to send you some pictures of a home I inspected today as a GC to offer up an estimate for my clients…their foundation also was built similar (dry stack, improper installation of CMU’s, no footer, improper girder sizes, etc)…yet they will be forking about over $10,000 for me to come fix it.

Unfortunately they never had a home inspection prior to purchasing the home… your clients were wise enough to call you… dont be intimidated by an over zealous agent wanting a commission.


forget code they are not installed to the manufactures specs. Recommend a structural engineer to devlope a scope of work for repairs

Thanks guys. This realtor is a know it all guy who insists he sees this all the time and I am being nit picky.

Thanks for the input.

Typical response from some realtors. It may have been this way for 30 yrs and so far no noticeable deflection in the intermediate floor components. This does not change the fact that defects were discovered with the structural supporting columns and they should be evaluated by a structural engineer who may require repairs and discover further defects because it is a non-typical installation.

I would defer to an engineer for further evaluation and course of action. A contractor created this mess in the first place and might think it is just fine.

In CA this is an easy call - tear it out and start over.

For those of you in the more boring states (;)) that don’t shake occasionally, start with IRC 606.5.

You don’t need an engineer, just a qualified contractor.

IRC 2003 606.5 When used to support beams or girders…where hollow, masonry units are solidly filled with concrete or Type M, S or N mortar.

A qualified contractor in my area would be Bubba with a shovel and some ready mix concrete.
Sad but true.

Structural engineer. We call those temporary supports here.

"Well Ms. used house salesperson, you have my written report saying it’s improper. If you disagree, you can crawl under there, take pictures and write a report of your own and put your Home Inspector’s license number on it.

Remember when the Mississippi River bridge collapsed in Minnesota a few years ago? That bridge had stood that way for forty years before it collapsed and killed people. The fact that something hasn’t failed yet is no guarantee that it won’t and is completely irrelevant in assessing whether it is done properly or not."

Actually, you have been given good references in prior posts. I wouldn’t respond this way except to shut-up the most egregious boundary over-steppers.

Steve, it’s not a code issue, it’s a framing quality issue. It’s a matter of what was acceptable framing practices when this home was built. This was never acceptable framing practice.

The realtor is probably right. It could easily have been this way for 30 years and might hold up for another 30… or maybe not, but the realtor is wrong… it’s not “OK”. It’s an unacceptable framing practice and may fail catastrophically. Recommend correction by a qualified contractor designed by an SE if you think appropriate and move on.

There are 2 ways of reporting this:

  1. Soft report (for future referrals from your realtor)- defer to a contractor who will make repairs according to local practices/standards.
  2. Thorough report- defer to an engineer who is educated and trained in these matters and who will design plans for a contractor to make acceptable repairs.
    It’s that simple.:wink:

A GC would be practical since they are going to have to give an estimate anyway and its a way to compare pricing and solution to the problem.

An engineer would work but he is not going to give an estimate (most likely not) which now means your client is going to have to call a GC anyway and get prices based upon the strict requirements that your SE wrote up…SE’s do not always use the most practical method to correct an issues…they often apply overkill to any project.

Sorry to disagree Linas.

A “harsher” recommendation does not make your report more thorough, in fact, it makes your report less accurate.

The design standards for common footings and dimensional lumber have already been engineered, and simply need to be implemented.

Would you recommend an electrical engineer to “evaluate” a panel that needs replacement? I would hope not, but based on your comment it appears you would consider it more thorough to do so.

Just ask the RE if he/she wants to buy and live in the home themselves. How do they want to inform “their” client? Do they want them as a customer in the future? No brainer here.