Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)

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No View Underneath The Home

In this state, accessible is defined as having 12" clearance under beams and 18" under joists. This crawl space did not cut it. Post and block construction, no foundation around the perimeter of the home, is still quite common in my area. Now, I would not call it real common but maybe it is the case in 5% of houses -- all older ones.

 

A problem, I am finding with this construction, often has less to do with the state of the crawl space but more to do with lack of access to determine the condition of the crawl space. While some post and block foundations have aqmple access, the photo below is par for the course. Pulling these sticks of firewood back, reveals a small hole that a person can "peak" inside. Even if the hole was bigger, clearances are so low an inspector still could not crawl the area.

  

Again, in this state, accessible is defined as having 12" clearance under beams and 18" under joists. This crawl space did not even come close. All an inspector can do, in such a case, is to gtive it a valiant try. That entails putting the camera down there and doing a panorama of photos.

  

While not even approaching a real inspection, the photos reveal many problems -- no vapor barrier on soil, scrap lumber left all through the crawl space and wood to earth contact. An inspector then knows that there are a number of problems. In this state, despite knowing that basic information, the law says that the inspector must warn the client that lack of access impedes the inspection, is conducive to attracting or concealing wood destroying organisms, and that the crawl space should be made accessible and then given a real inspection by a qualified party.

 Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections

Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 8 commentsSteven L. Smith • August 26 2008 09:37AM

Comments

Steve, you just need to grease up the green suit and slide on in there:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 10 years ago

Charlie,

It would help to be half snake.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago

If all homes were built the right way What would the Termites eat?

Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) over 10 years ago

Robert,

I ask an even more scarey question. If alll homes were built right, who would need inspectors?

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago

You guys have my admiration for climbing under those houses!  This one looks awful!  Betcha killed the deal on it.  LOL

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) over 10 years ago

Hey Steve,

Maybe you should hire an "Intern" from one of the local high schools who is REAL skinny and have that be their job to enter the "hard to get areas".

Sean Allen

Posted by Sean Allen, International Financing Solutions (International Financing Solutions ) over 10 years ago

Sean,

Did something a bit like that today. Blog forthcoming.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Steve, Occasionally, I run into some older houses that have post and beam construction that i cannot get into. I just take as many pictures as I can and write what I can write...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 10 years ago

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