I know screw jacks are (fairly) common in log homes, but shouldn’t they be better supported to the posts they supporting? This one, and others, aren’t even bolted to the columns they support and we’re in WA, a seismic zone. It doesn’t seem right.
Also, how would you advise your clients regarding screw jacks in their crawl space? Log home built in 2001. Thanks very much.
“A portion of the floor structure was supported by various make-shift piers. Those floor supports exhibit poor workmanship are thought to be inadequate to provide permanent support to the floors. It is recommended that a competent and licensed general contractor or foundation specialist be consulted to provide a further evaluation of the adequacy of the floor supports and make necessary repairs.”
Tim, many times there are no engineering specs for this type of thing and even if they existed originally, they’re often long gone by the time an inspector arrives.
In log homes, if it looks unsafe, call it out. If you’re wrong, you can explain that without engineering specs on hand to confirm proper installation, you have to err on the safe side. However if you don’t call it out and you’re wrong, it could be a bad scene.
Now the walls of log homes will rise and lower with the moisture content, this is why you have loops in the plumbing and expansion jonts in duct work and dove tails in the cabinets, what would happen with the logs verticle??
Logs are considered green if they have a moisture content greeater than 19%. Logs loose moisture, shrink and settle and, if verticle logs rot at the bottom, they will settle proportionately.
You may enjoy the Log Home course Kenton Shepard put together for much more info:
Horizontal logs settle because log shrink as they dry. They never rise. Rigid building components affected by this settling must use some method to accommodate it or they’ll bend or break.
No cabinet dovetails, never heard of that.
Larry has a good point. End grain of the logs will wick moisture and decay may take place unless some method has been used to prevent it. How will you know? Often, you can’t see it. If logs happen to be dry at the time of the inspection, a moisture meter may not pick up moisture or decay hidden in the logs. Better DISCLAIM IT, Charles. The InterNACHI contract has a clause which covers decay hidden in logs.
How are those logs sealed agains air leakage and moisture intrusion? Check for gaps! Structurally, what provides shear strength for those walls?
Logs shrink much less along their length. Shrinkage and settling will be less of an issue with vertical logs.
It has nothing to do with how much one log shrinks compared to other wall logs. Cabinet attachment is covered in the course, but what do dovetails have to do with it?
Often, you can’t see it. If logs happen to be dry at the time of the inspection, a moisture meter may not pick up moisture or decay hidden in the logs. Better DISCLAIM IT, Charles. The InterNACHI contract has a clause which covers decay hidden in logs. thanx
That’s what you have to discover at the inspection. Charles have you agreed to inspect this home?
Settling will be different for logs installed vertically than for logs installed horizontally because for vertical logs, any settling due to shrinkage will be shrinkage along the *length *of the log.
With horizontal logs, settling due to shrinkage is caused by loss of log diameter.
Logs installed vertically will still shrink in diameter and the problem will be gaps opening up instead of settling, because gravity won’t close the gaps like it does when logs are installed horizontally.
Most of this is covered in the Log Home inspection courseand it’s free. Misses in log homes can be very, very costly. They can put you out of business and wreck your popularity. Allen Insurance (E&O) has had to buy at least three log homes because of inspector misses. Most inspectors don’t even know what they don’t know until they find a good source for information.