Recommended inspectors for old properties, sloping floors

7 Replies

Hi all! 

I'm a fairly new investor in the Twin Cities. I just had an offer accepted on a duplex built in the 1900s. (My first house hack, hopefully!)

I've never owned or managed a property built before 2000, so I feel out of my depth. It seems well maintained, but there was some settling and sloping of the floors. No major cracking or other warning signs that I could see, there are tenants safely living in the house, and the TISH was pretty clean (although it did mention the sloping floors).  I rented a house with sloping floors in college, and had no issues with it, but then again I didn't own the property!

Does anyone have any recommendations for inspectors who are experienced with old houses, particularly sloping floors?  Anything you recommend that I watch out for?

Thanks so much for your help!

Updated almost 3 years ago

I have done some research regarding sloping floors, and have seen advice ranging from "run away now" to "not a big deal for old houses."

I can refer you to a good structural engineer who inspects that sort of thing for me.

Every house that’s over 100 years with have some floors that are not perfectly level- so own over a dozen.  All homes have a little settling.  Remember this is 1900 technology/ building methods- good but not perfect.  As long as it’s not sinking into a corner or off the foundations, it’s typically ok -an experienced inspector will tell yo if there is a problem- I use pro-home inspections- Mark Felion out of St Paul

I'd consult a Structural Engineer if your normal home inspector thinks there is a problem. Some home inspectors flip over settling, so don't let it scare you too much.

Like @Bruce Runn said most homes this old have some settling going on. It's not the end of the world and the house isn't just going to cave in. After all it's been up since the early 1900's.

I’v also corrected floors that sag/ have bad skewing with micro lam -lvl’s in the basement/1st floor and/or reshimmed entire floors in a room that was sagging during a full renovation.  - nothing is impossible with some $.  I’ve encountered properties where a do it yourself we had removed a wall and didn’t engineer it but rather used 2-2x4’s to support it so it obviously caused sag and we open it back up and correct it.

Thanks all! Unfortunately, the settlement wasn't the only problem with property (voids beneath slab, issues with plumbing, "interesting" repair techniques, and a whole of lot of other things that added up to a "no" for me at the price and my current experience level).  Back on the hunt! 

During my search, I put together a spreadsheet of inspectors various people recommended to me - hopefully this will be helpful for the next person who searches for something similar.  (I hope it's all right to post that here - if not, let me know and I'll remove it.)

@Bruce Runn -  I love your attitude of "nothing is impossible with some $."  I still a beginner but I hope to get to that level of knowledge and confidence one day! 

@Emily Chen

 I've done enough renovations to literally see just about everything under the sun.  You really only know what the issues are once you begin opening up walls/floors.   Leave enough room for all of those incidentals/ unforeseen issues to be taken care of in your calculations.  I buy the 1-4 unit properties that scare most people since I know what has to be done and how much it's going to cost.  I have the luxury of waiting until everyone else takes a pass  .  I currently have an offer on a place that's had no interest/offers up to now but I building a large contingency to account for everything seen and unseen