Torpedo Level

Inspected a 50 year old home the other day that had numerous items hidden by the home owner, the reason he hid them was because of a failed sale from a previous home inspector. Come to find out none of the doors would close due to some signifigant settlement or foundation failure. He then took it upon himself to cut the doors at an angle to fit the jambs, I only caught it because the tops of the doors looked a little jagged. I then put my torpedo level on them and noted headers were out of level by 3/8" in some areas…

Recommndation: Several door jambs out of square, this condition indicates movement and warrants further evaluation by a licesned structural engineer.

Sounds like the house settled quite a bit.

What did you find in the basement or crawlspace?
Did the foundation condition look fine?
Were the floor joists properly supporting on sill area and center load carrying beam?
Were there plenty of support posts/footings throughout?

I can go on…

That was the big let down for me on this house, there was only 8" of clearence between the floor joists and the ground could not enter crawlspace…

The seller actually said they would have gained adequate clearences by next week? How I dont know…

I guarantee that there are major isues in that crawlspace.

Sounds like the seller needs to change the listing to “AS IS”. And I would agree with David, about the issues in the crawl

A 50 year old house shouldn’t settle that drastically–there is definitely some issues here.

I see doors trimmed to fit frequently, but that would be in houses closer to a hundred years old.


Tim, was that 3/8" out of level withing the Length of the torpedo level or distance of probably the door width?

Marcel :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

Door width Marcyl… That is an aproximate with my pede, It could be mre but no less than 3/8"

I would suggest that 3/8" in 3’ is significant. That translates to 1" in 8’. Something very serious going on here.

It’s probably just too much paint on the door. Did the doors look repainted? Was it a sloppy paint over paint job? In my 50 year old house, two doors stuck for this very reason. It was nothing a bit of sanding did not fix.

Even this should be called out (for safety reasons, my HI did) but I hope you are sure of the cause.

This indicates uneven or signifigant movement in my opinion, and thats how I called it out…

I hope I get a chance to go back to the property so I can inspect the crawlspace…

Cracking off doors and window corners? Wall repairs in these areas? New paint? If the house is moving that much there should be visible evidence in the int. and ext. wall coverings. Got to have access to that crawlspace!

I,d recommend a qualified foundation repair contractor, then if correction requires design needing calculations, an engineer. Otherwise the client has to pay both for sure, since an engineer’s not going to fix anything.