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Stumped!

     I am not often stumped by things I find at an inspection.  It was particularly distressing to be stumped on a house that was only 432 sq ft! 

     I mean how difficult could it be?

     This cute little structure started out as a fishing cabin in 1921-----and now the structure leaves everyone fishing for answers----lots of answers----to lots of questions.  Aside from needing an all new foundation (because there was none in some areas), new floor structure (due to Anobiid Beetle damage) and a new roof (due to water damage to the roof structures); the home would still qualify as “cute.”

     Can one actually sell “cute” all by itself?

     Most of these issues, while problematic, did not really amount to Rocket Science, so what had me stumped?

If

     You

          Scroll

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                    Down                        

                         You

                               Will

                                     See

                                          Why

 

Stump

 

Charles Buell

 

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Seattle Home Inspector

 

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Comment balloon 27 commentsCharles Buell • March 25 2009 02:18PM

Comments

Are you referring to the tree stomp used as a corner beam, if we dare call it that?

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) over 9 years ago

Hey, that is pretty cute! If that tree starts growing the cabin might qualify as a HI-rise loft.

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) over 9 years ago

Charles, It makes perfect sense. It was built in 1921.

I inspected a home that was a manufactured home from the 1950's, built by an aircraft manufacturer. Structural panels, all integrated -- can't tear out walls to remodel on this one.

BTW, I tried clicking on the emoticons -- nothing

Posted by Andrew Haslett, Heartland of Kentuckynulls, Best Home Inspector (Van Warren Home Inspections, NAHI CRI) over 9 years ago

Suesan---nice tree stump don't you think?

Lizette----that tree has been dead for 78 years:)

Andrew, what is the problem with the emoticons?  they aren't "true" emoticons----just little pictures that are either linked to other places or have hidden messages is all.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Let's hope that termites don't decide to take a liking to the tree stump....

Posted by Jim Dvorovy, REALTOR - Canton Ohio Real Estate (Cutler Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Hey Charles!  I live in a house like this!!!  Well maybe a little better but it has taken work!  Since I'm on a slab I don't have a tree in my crawl space but I propbably have vines in the attic (well if you can call it an attic)!  My fishing cottage was built in 1945 on the weekends with junk the first owner found I think.  But it is an interesting little house and it keeps us from the elements - if you check my blog you will see I live on Timber Lake in Lynchburg, VA surrounded by houses like this that are always an adventure when you are doing work on them!

Thanks for the laugh!

Posted by Kathy Carson, Realtor, Lynchburg, VA, VA Homes - Lynchunberg,Bedford, Campbell (John Stewart Walker, Inc) over 9 years ago

Okay, okay, so you do houseboats and treehouses.  Not all of us get the opportunity.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) over 9 years ago

I guess if you buid it they will come and try to sell it. I think it is cute that some one wanted to have it inspected. Can't imagine why looks like a tear down to me

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros (AllMountainRealty.com) over 9 years ago

Jim, the house was already so bug infested that whatever was wrong with the stump wouldn't matter too much.

Kathy, I will check out your blog

Jack, I actually have seen bigger tree houses----not inspected them though:)

Charlie, that or one heck of a repair.

 

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charles, did you consider the root system as footings? LOL.

Posted by Tad Petersen / Home Inspector, Mpls (Safeguard Home Inspections, Inc.) over 9 years ago

These old cedar stumps can last a really long time---frankly it is probably better support than the crappy block work you see running up to it on both sides:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charlie,

I have inspected several houses where a stump was a post or a log was a beam, resting on bare soil.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 9 years ago

you are quite the little wordsmith, aren't you?  ;:-)

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 9 years ago

Steve, yes---even this one had a cedar log along the other side of the crawl space.

Alan, not like Steve Word Smith, and Alan May be too.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

That's either a tree stump that stumped you or a Nutsy playroom. 

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) over 9 years ago

Barbara, not both?:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charlie - I bet the listig agent considered the tree stump an amenity! 

Posted by Carol Culkin, Overland Park (Reece & Nichols) over 9 years ago

Carol, maybe so----it looked the same on the outside except a giant fern was covering it so it didn't show very much.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Darn trees are always in the wrong place. If you can't beat them, just build around them...

your building consultant for life in Nashville, TN 

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Michael, I suspect originally this was sort of a tree house:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charles - Just looks like some good old fashioned problem solving.  "What?  We measured wrong and the corner of the building intersects with that tree?  Well, I guess we'll just have to improvise."

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) over 9 years ago

Matt, I am quite sure that this was the original foundation for the home.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Photo 20   Log with bark

Photo 21   Stump in framing
 

Charlie, I did a tree house myself last fall.  The pictures I don't show here include a live Douglas Fir (90 feet tall) actually supporting one corner of the house.  My favorite part was the water system.  The house was built near a year round creek with a good deal of drop.  They had a pickup about 200 yards upstream and 70 psi of water pressure (no pumps, just gravity).  They could have produced their own electricity if they wanted.  Incidently, the sale went through.  The buyer was fairly eccentric and just plain loved the place.

Posted by David Helm, Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp (Helm Home Inspections) over 9 years ago

I have seen a stump or two inside a house. Around here we have BIG rocks. I have seen foundations built right onto and around huge boulders.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 9 years ago

David, it is amazing what will kill a deal for some and what won't for others.

James----sure sounds like New England:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

You can't fool me.  That's one of your old coveralls!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay---good eye!

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

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