This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Arlington resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!
Question: We’re looking for a house that needs to be completely remodeled, but want to make sure it has good bones. Do you have any tips on things to look for?
Answer: When I’m looking for a house with “good bones” I’m looking for a structurally sound house that offers a good canvass for updating to today’s standards. I’m cheating a bit this week and using a recent article written by Stephanie Dickens of BOWA, a local design-build firm that specializes in luxury renovations from kitchens to whole-home remodels.
Below are some of the best tips from BOWA as well as some of my own:
A nice, level floor indicates good structural support. If you look up to where the ceiling and the wall meet, the corner crease should be fairly straight. If it looks wavy or dips down in the middle, the floor joists above are sagging and may need reinforcement.
You can also check for sagging or tilting by measuring the ceiling height at various points in the room. Some variation is normal, but it should not be off by more than 1″ at any point.
Jump Around! (Jump Up, Jump Up, And Get Down!)
Now that you have House of Pain stuck in your head… Stand on your tiptoes then drop down hard on your heels. Do this at various points in the house to test the deflection in different areas. All wood framed floors are going to have some deflection, but you don’t want it to feel like your jumping on a trampoline. Too much bounce is an indicator of insufficient structural support.
Know Your Cracks
Sometimes structural issues reveal themselves in unexpected ways. Something as small as a crack in the drywall could be sign of larger structural issues. Straight, hairline cracks above openings or at joints, like the one pictured below to the left, are nothing to be alarmed about.
If you see jagged, diagonal cracks that are wider than 1/8″, like the one below to the right, the house may have settlement issues or insufficient framing.
Water is a home’s worst enemy and poor water management can lead to water pooling against a home and getting into the cracks of the foundation, which can lead to structural deterioration over time. A musty smelling basement is a sign of poor water management. Look at where gutters drain — I often find that they’re dropping water right next to the house instead of sending it away.
Look at the grading (slope of the yard) and if water is running towards the house, look for drainage systems. Sump pumps are nice, but they should be connected to a battery back-up in case power goes out.
Young At Heart
A house with newer core systems is not just a sign of good maintenance, but it’s a huge money-saver in renovations. Check on the age of the windows, roof, HVAC, water heater, plumbing, electrical and main sewer/water lines. Any of these systems that are in the first half of their expected useful lifespan add tremendous value.
If you’re looking for a home with good bones that offers an efficient remodeling opportunity, feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] to schedule some time to speak with me. Once you’ve found that home, or if you’d like to make updates to your current home, reach out to BOWA’s Caroline Goree at [email protected] if you’re looking for high-end design and remodeling services.
If you’d like a question answered in my weekly column or to set-up an in-person meeting to discuss local real estate, please send an email to [email protected]. To read any of my older posts, visit the blog section of my website at www.EliResidential.com. Call me directly at (703) 539-2529.
Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
A former ABC News producer whose Columbia Pike apartment was raided by the FBI last year has been sentenced. James Gordon Meek, 53, pleaded guilty in July to transportation and…
Metrorail service was suspended on the Blue and Yellow lines today after a train derailed.
4 bedroom 3 bath 2 car garage 1/4 acre Jamestown Williamsburg Yorktown pyramid
At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!
At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.
If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit https://www.generationhope.org/volunteer to learn more.
Join us for Arlington’s biggest civil rights & social justice event of the year. The banquet is back in person at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University.
Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.
Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.
Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting an online workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” Wednesday, October 4 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Every great endeavor begins with a great plan. This workshop will give you the tools