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Orillia Home Inspector Tips

Providing Valuable Home Owner Resources for Maintenance

Inspecting Century Homes

Poor Foundation Support Footing

Today’s home buyers cannot seem to get enough old fashioned Century Homes. Many times when inspecting a well maintained century home there was multiple offers on property and often a “bidding war”. Century homes can require a lot of time and money to restore to their former splendour. Century homes can sometimes be either a money pit or a beautiful example of restoration, and sometimes it is hard for the home buyer to recognize the difference. Any home that has stood the test of time has most likely had many renovations over the years and at least some of them may have been “do it yourself” projects. It takes a professionally trained eye to spot the differences in workmanship but the end result could make a difference in thousands of dollars in repairs if deficiencies are not identified.

There are some common deficiencies that maybe an issue with century homes and if the seller have not properly dealt with them the new owners will most likely be dismayed to discover the amount of work and costs they could be facing. Some of the more standard issues found are structural, asbestos, knob and tube wiring, 60 amp service and galvanized plumbing. Building materials and construction methods have changed dramatically over the years. Materials once used in normal practice are now considered toxic and may require expensive remediation.

Stone Foundation is Failing

Foundations on a century home were typically different on every home. There were no enforced building codes years ago and everyones home was constructed differently although basic concepts remained the same. Most foundations are supported on rock and cement walls. Most of these old style foundations will still be standing long after we have gone. Water issues can affect the integrity of mortar between rocks and if you have signs of movement you may have to bring in a structural engineer for guidance. If your mortar is failing or deteriorating you can remove loose bits and re-point the stones and even give it a coat of white wash for more appealing look. If your wall is bowing or showing other signs of significant movement there may be an issue with expansive soils causing pressure on your foundation wall. This will require the services of a an experienced foundation contractor and will most likely be an expensive repair. Some foundations may require a sister wall to be poured to strengthen the existing foundation, this also is a job for an experienced contractor. Many older homes have a concrete base poured around the existing foundation to add to stability and prevent movement.

We deliver a narrative style report which includes pictures of every deficiency.  Our report is broken down into individual sections which make it easy to comprehend and digest the detailed information provided.  Industry standard maintenance suggestions are provided for the individual defects noted.  A handy PDF copy of report is also included which maybe emailed to contractors or used in negotiations.

When contemplating the purchase of  an older home, call Roger at 705-795-8255 to Book your Century Home Inspection

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