I am a first time homebuyer in the due diligence phase with this house. We identified in the crawlspace that a few of the I-joists had been cut, looks like with a reciprocating saw, for unknown reasons. Directly above this point, the fireplace has begun to separate from the wall (1/4-3/8th inch on one side). Our home inspection report acknowledges the issue, and we have asked the sellers to hire an engineer to approve or fix this before we will proceed.
- Any idea why the builders would have done this?
- Does this strike you as a significant risk to us in the short or long term?
- What would it require (and cost) to fix three of these permanently, assuming the sellers are unwilling to work with us?
- What's worst case scenario?
There are three joists like this in a row, one is pictured below. The home was built in 2013. It's in North Carolina, if climate is of concern.