We bought a house a couple of years ago. We are now witnessing the add on sunroom detaching itself from the original part of the home. We noticed it a little with the carpet coming away from the wall, but now the ceiling looks like the nails are coming out of the drywall. The add on room also attached to the garage is literally coming apart from the house. What do I do?
By Bobbi from Oxford, MA
I would have a contractor look at it and determine the cost to repair or completely remove it. If you decide to have it repaired get several estimates in writing, signed by you and the contractor but make sure it isn't an actual contract to do the repair. If you would happen to know somebody that is a contractor and you know the person well enough ask him/her to look at it and see what kind of price they can give you.
I wonder if you should find a structural engineer to take a look and give advice. We had our house inspected before we bought it. The first inspector thought it might need some piers, but recommended a structural engineer. He came out, looked around the house (inside and out) and told us (the buyer and the seller) where we needed the piers to be placed. He sent reports to our agents. The seller's agent never forwarded the information to the seller, and she went off of memory when ordering the piers. At our walk-through, we noticed that one spot hadn't been fixed. They were responsible for putting in the pier in the correct place (bummer for them that their agent didn't give them the report).
But the structural engineer could look and tell exactly where the problems were, and what needed to be done to fix them. You'll have to pay him (or her) and you'll still have to find someone to do the repairs. But at least you'll have very educated advice.
I hope you find out what's wrong and get it fixed without too much drama. Good luck!
I'd try to get the engineer out first. A contractor has a vested interest in telling you the best story possible, and there are lots of horror stories about contractors doing unreliable work (ever watch Holmes Inspection?). Hey, there's an idea, write to their show on HGTV and see if they'd be interested in checking your house or giving you ideas for how to proceed?
I agree with all other suggestions regarding an expert casting their eye over the problem, but it appears to me that the supports/foundations are not deep enough to carry the dead load of the building. these will probably have to be redug and the room supported whilst this is going on. This needs quite urgent attention as this add on room could put unnecessary stress on other parts/rooms of the building and your problems may increase.
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