Damaged Structural Wall | Sechelt

Abstract: Sechelt Home Inspector notes on how to identify when a structural wall has been damaged without adequate support. Serious deflection consequences may result.

Photo: The 2×6 exterior wall studs are exposed at the base of the window frame. 

Structural Attack

So the seller needed more light in two rooms on the north side of his house. Simple. Just cut through the wall and make two exterior openings.

Handyman Special

The studs in the exterior wall were just cut out where the windows were placed. Obviously there was no understanding what had to be done.

Carpenters are trained to know that whenever a structural wall is modified with an opening, then the opening has specific buiding code requirements to redistribute the load. Typically a new beam is installed over the opening to transfer the load to the sides. The sides are also strengthened to take on the additional load that they now will have to carry.

Thankfully Visible

The good news was that the seller had not finished the renovation around the windows so that the opening was still exposed, for the inspector to note. 

However it does make us ponder how many other home improvement renovations have been done with less than stellar undertanding of how structural elements work.

Buyer Cautioned

The inspection report made note of this serious defect. 

Further it brought to the buyer’s attention that more of the same could be expected during any renovation on this house.  The buyer should budget accordingly for the surprise factor.

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