Wood Foundation Inspection Assistance

Hi There,

We are hoping to buy a new home but it happens to have a wood foundation which is rare for the area. The area is very close to the lake and has a high water table. So we are concerned about the wood foundation for these reasons and also because we are unfamiliar with wood foundations in general.

The house is 20 years old and the basement is unfinished.

We had a building inspector miss some pretty major issues electrically on our current home and are nervous about trusting another one for this new home and the wood foundation inspection.

I am hopeful you may be able to provide me with some tips/ideas/questions I should ensure my home inspector this time looks for when inspecting this wood foundation for us. I would feel better if I knew what exactly the home inspector should be doing to ensure I am given a fair evaluation on the state of the foundation:)

Thanks so much!!

[Here’s a link to a construction guide](InterNACHI®️ Forum - InterNACHI®️ Forum - A community for home inspectors Wood Foundation Design and Construction Guide). These systems MUST be built by people who are familiar with the special methods required for this type of construction, and these must be followed carefully.

Inspection should be performed by someone familiar with the special construction method requirements, and probing of the subterranean foundation exterior- usually with a 6-foot steel probe- should be done.

Qualified inspectors may be difficult to find and you should ask about the qualifications of any inspector you hire.

Kenton Two homes very comparable side by side .
Same price one wood and one concrete basements .
Considering you will likely sell in 6 years from now what home would you buy .

Me for sure it would not be the wood one .

That’s the real concern. Not that the foundation will or could have issues, but that so many people would not consider it BECAUSE of the wood foundation.
I have inspected around a dozen wood foundations and not one had any concerns due to the wood foundation. Site drainage and prep to the ground are the keys to longevity of a wood foundation and any signs of excessive moisture or foundation sinking are too much. but like I have said, all the ones I have inspected were in great shape. Some over 20 yrs old with no signs of problems

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Irrelevant to the purpose of a home inspection, and the reason for the OP’s post.

This is of no concern to anyone but the potential purchaser. Personal taste and opinion. I would never look to purchase a home that was painted with pink and purple polka dots. Who the fruck cares? BFD!

I have only inspected one here in CO, and it was a disaster. The top of the foundation wall had buckled in a foot. I disclaimed it and would disclaim any I was asked to do unless they were willing to pay a good price and I had access to construction photos, could see it from the inside, and could do representative excavations to visibly inspect portions of the exterior.