Seattle Home Inspector's Blog


Simple is as Simple does!


It is one thing to modify framing so that you can install plumbing pipes, but why not make compensatory repairs to the damage when it is easy to do so?

I see compromised framing all the time.  The following picture shows the section of floor joist that was cut away to make way for the pipe for the toilet.


What is not so easy to see in the picture, is that the pipe does not protrude past the face of the joist on the camera view side.  What this means is that it would have been VERY easy to run another joist along the side of the compromised joist, nail all the boards together and be done with it.  Instead it has been this way for several years and the floor is starting to sag.

With no wires or anything else in the way, it will still be relatively easy for someone to crawl under the home and double up this cut joist.

Seems like a good idea to me.


Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Comment balloon 18 commentsCharles Buell • December 17 2013 06:24AM


Hi Charles,

This should have been framed out or "Boxed out". I see this a lot. Even when a heat pump is installed on a roof. they cut the rafters and never box them or re frame them. they just leave them hanging there.

Have a great day in the Seattle area my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) over 5 years ago

That looks almost like it should have been "common sense" or at least one of those "V8 moments" you see on commercials!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 5 years ago

Clint, I think what stood out for me the most with this one, is that it was SO simple to fix.  Sometimes these cut joists are not so easy to fix.

Gary, one would think so

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

Awe Shucks!  Why not just install a neat little "gusset" to connect the two???

It works when the trousers get too tight.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Sounds like a great idea too...better to be safe than sorry...and Yes, Kerrie emailed that I had some bad html (even though I couldn't see it in my profile/blog)...she thought it carried over from the last big change...Thanks again!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) over 5 years ago

Lenn, like I said---repairs are too simple

Kristin, glad you got your HTML all straightened out--you are welcome

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

Charles looks like a no brainer - just don't do that - to me.  Amazing where people's heads go....

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) over 5 years ago

Had a few homes where we had to put angle iron across and bolt into place.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 5 years ago

Anna, short sighted that is for sure

Than, sometimes these cut joists do require more complicated repairs--lots of considerations.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

If the floor is sagging the people should wake up and not let really heavy folks use that toilet.

There, problem solved.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 5 years ago

Poor planning never becomes apparent right away. It usually becomes a problem as the years go by....

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) over 5 years ago

Jay, sounds like a plan

Paul, time is not the friend of compromised framing sometimes

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

Wow, it amazes me what people will do and the corners they will cut. 

Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor. (Century 21 M&M - 209-404-0816) over 5 years ago

Jim, give a plumber a sawzall and you never know what will happen

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

Charles - that is what we call politicians work. That is because they are usually the only people that can be the cause of the problem and then come back and try to get elected by fixing the problem they caused. If you have time to do it, then do it right the first time because you will not have the time nor money to fix it the second.

Posted by Jeff Fritzson: Frisco Real Estate Pro, Your Success is My Focus! (Jeff Fritzson Real Estate, Ebby Halliday Realtors) over 5 years ago

Charles, this is interesting and something I didn't know.  We certainly don't want to act like our politicians who say the many things to get elected , after the arrive at the white house, it usually doesn't happen that way.

The slogan was "hope and change " and they were 100% right, it did change but in the way we had hoped.


Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) over 5 years ago

Yes Forrest, plumbers can do stupid and lazy things. Good thing you found that  

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 5 years ago

Jeff, in this case I hope it is not the plumber that gets called back to make the fix

Barbara, I don't think there is typically much real change regardless---certainly not the paradigm shift we need--but very few would vote for that.  Instead we get either this mediocrity or that mediocrity.

Jim, Forrest can see the forest for the trees.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago