So my partner and I were looking at this property in Philadelphia. Everything looks good, but we did notice on the outside a set of those star-shaped bolts. Should this be a huge concern/is this a red flag?
I know a great deal of row homes in Philadelphia have these, and I never really thought it was a huge concern, but I'm interested to know what other investors or potential buyers might think of it.
Thanks in advance!
As long as the bulge isn’t too bad (or worsening with the stars/bolts). Lots of homes have them due to being 100 or more years old. More common then you think
In my neck of the woods the star bolts were built in with the property 100 years ago, they aren't anything to be concerned about, just there for additional support. It sounds like yours are relatively new? If they're new(ish) and meant to stop the bricks from bowing out I would just contact a local mason or structural engineer to confirm that the building sides aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
It really depends on the degree of the bulge. I have had to address a lot of these walls, by either replacing or using dryvit/stucco. Unfortunately it is very difficult to determine over pictures so it is best to get someone qualified to take a look.
We have a lot of houses in Baltimore city with those. As everyone else has stated, it’s fairly common on these old houses. I don’t get concerned unless I see a lot of repoint Work has been done around the areas or the bulge is quite noticeable.
I suggest having a structural engineer look at it no matter what. I've had them come out for houses that appeared (at least to my uneducated eye) to have significant bulges, but the engineer told me it was well braced and not going anywhere. Conversely I've had them look at seemingly fine walls and tell me that its unsound.
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