Home Inspection/Structural Issues


We bought our first home (1960  split ranch)   and are now finding some signs which I would like some opinions about --

1) There are some cracks on internal walls and ceiling.  The cracks are mostly a little more than hairline but nothing major except for a long crack on ceiling (one end to other) perpendicular to the main beam.  Two hairline cracks are at corner of doors

2) Tile floor in fairly new bathroom are cracked

3) The floor is uneven .  It is most elevated at center of house than slopes a bit on both sides and then again slopes up a bit towards the end of house.  The deflection is never more than half-inch

4) A few doors along the main beam are a bit out of plumb .  Again,  it is less than half-inch .  This is for doors in upper level as well as lower level/basement.   Doors along the permimeter (foundation wall)  shows no issue.  

5) One brick (brick veener) above the garage door is vertically cracked ... almost hairline.   

I know it is difficult to judge anything based on internet posts and I have plans to consult a structural engineer.  However,  is it worth consulting now  OR after monitoring the conditions for a few months.  Since we are new owners,  we do not know any history.  The previous owner lived for 13 years and says all these existed when he bought the house but I think I should take his words with a grain of salt.  

I had a caprentar working in home and he said these are settlement issues and can be left as is.  

Obviously , my inspector did not catch any of these (and I am not happy)

We are in NEw England area , if that helps (I know weather and soil quality matters)

Hi Krish,
Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you.  I was out of town for a while.
I am not sure how much help I am going to be, but I will give it a shot.
#1 Hairline cracks in a 60's house are certainly normal and sometimes even seasonal (get worse or better seasonally).  If you thoroughly patch them and they return, even that may be normal.  Some minor cracks in some types of homes are difficult to stop entirely---there is always going to be expansion and contraction.  Better construction creates ways to deal with this expansion contraction so that cracks don't show.  60's houses were notorious for not doing this.
#2 sounds like an installation issue and without knowing more about how it was installed I could not guess what is going on.
#3 uneven floors are very common and causes are numerous.  I would recommend you contact a good local home inspector in your area to figure out this one.
#4 doors out of plumb can be a settlement issue or even an original installation issue---again consult with a local home inspector.  If you need help with names I can probably come up with some depending on where you are.
#5  cracks, especially hairline and above garage doors is very common.  Probably not an issue if that is all there is since the 60's.

While you might not have any history with the house---the house does.  If what you are seeing is the result of 50 plus years it is likely not an issue.  If there are all kinds of signs of patching then maybe there is reason for concern.  I tend to think your carpenter is correct---but I am not there, I am here :)  Again, a good area home inspector can do a lot to alleviate your fears or give you further input on why an engineer might be warranted.
Hope this helps and feel free to contact me off forum if that helps.

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Charles Buell


I can answer most questions about homes and home inspections, especially as related to the NE and NW regions of the country. I can answer many questions related to plumbing, electrical, roofing, structural, HVAC, insulation & ventilation (especially as applicable to energy efficient homes) and wood destroying organisms. Licensed Structural Pest Inspector #67488 Licensed Home Inspector #220


I had been a design/build general contractor for over 33 yrs prior to my current 5 yrs as a home inspector. I also teach the Electrical, Plumbing, and Insulation/Ventilation portions of the Residential Home Inspection Course at Bellingham Technical College, Bellingham, Washington. As a builder, I specialized in Super Insulated, Energy Efficient Homes. I specialized in Pressure Treated Wood Foundations.

ASHI---American Society of Home Inspectors.

ActiveRain Real Estate Network

BA from SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY

Awards and Honors
1979 NY State ERDA Award---$10,000 (Design of an energy efficient home)

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