In which disaster is averted

Yesterday was house inspection time. Although it’s a brand-new house, we opted to pay to have an experienced independent inspector spend the afternoon looking at it with us.

The short summary: If you ever buy a house, even a new house, you must get it inspected. If you’re buying a house in Austin TX, I would highly recommend contacting Brent Hays.

The construction has some major structural defects. For instance, someone decided it would be a good idea to build the decks with no gaps between the boards and the boards sandwiched into load-bearing columns. The worst thing, though, is that the foundations are a disaster waiting to happen—the builders had used narrow wooden shims instead of steel plates, so eventually the breezeblocks underneath would have cracked and the entire house would have started to subside.

The garage is also a disaster. The entire thing needs to be 8″ higher, apparently. Right now, rain trickles down the garden, piles up along the garage wall, and forms a small pond. Oh, and the roof isn’t actually fixed properly to the rest of the garage.

Supposedly the house stuff is fixable, so we’re going to get a structural engineer to put together a plan and costing, and then approach the sellers with that. The garage ought to be torn down and rebuild properly, but could possibly be patched up with quite lot of work. The question is whether we want to wait around for the fixes, or whether there’s something else out there.