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PODCAST: Inspecting Permanent Wood Foundations (with George Ury)

One of Structure Tech’s most experienced instructors, George Ury, joins the show to talk about wood foundations. 

Geoge discusses the preservatives used in wood foundations-these are an integral part of the wood foundation that needs to be protected. 

He shares his experiences in inspecting wood foundations. They discuss the common reasons why wood foundations fail and the importance of water management. Then they talk about recommendations on how to prevent moisture and mold from damaging the foundation. 




The following is a transcription from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it may be slightly incomplete or contain minor inaccuracies due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.


Reuben Saltzman: Welcome to my house. Welcome to the Structure Talk podcast, a production of Structure Tech Home Inspections. My name is Reuben Saltzman. I’m your host, alongside building science geek, Tessa Murray. We help home inspectors up their game through education, and we help homeowners to be better stewards of their houses. We’ve been keeping it real on this podcast since 2019, and we are also the number one home inspection podcast in the world, according to my mom. Welcome back to the Structure Talk podcast. It’s been a minute. Tessa, good to see you again. How’s everything? 

Tessa Murray: Hey, Reuben. Good to see you too. It has been a little while. We’ve had busy summers, but I’m happy to be back and recording with you. And we have a special guest on today. I am super excited about it. Do you wanna introduce them? 

RS: Woo-hoo. Yes. Thank you. We’ve got Gorgeous George Ury on the show. Repeat guest, one of the most senior inspectors on my team. When I say senior, I’m not talking about oldest, of course. We’re talking about one of the most experienced home inspectors on our team. He has been with us just about longer than everybody on the team. Gorgeous George Ury. How’s it going, George? 

George Ury: It’s going well. Thank you. Glad to be here.

TM: George, how many years have you been with Structure Tech? 

GU: Since 2011.

RS: Wow.

TM: 12 years? 

GU: Yeah, 12 years.

TM: Oh, my gosh. Wow. Congrats.

RS: Inspecting the heck out of houses one at a time since 2011 for Structure Tech.

GU: Yes, pointing and criticizing for 12 years. This is the best job in the world.


TM: You know what? I remember George told me one thing in training that stuck with me. I thought it was… It summarizes you, just in a nutshell, George. You said, “This is the best job ever because every four hours I get a new audience.” That was when our inspections took four hours and we had our client show up at the beginning to walk them through.

GU: That is true. Yeah, boy, that is a good line. That should be in a text somewhere.

TM: Yeah. No, George, in all honesty, you are a terrific inspector and you know your stuff. You are an expert in many ways and I learned so much from you.

GU: Thank you. Appreciate that.

TM: And you have a great sense of humor.

GU: Oh, thanks.

TM: One of the best I know.

GU: Well, here’s the thing. It’s all about the audience, because the more you would laugh at our inspections, it’s like, “I’m gonna keep doing this if you keep laughing.”

TM: I’m like the laugh track in the background. Cue Tessa.

GU: Cue Tessa. We didn’t have to cue you, Tessa. It was just like, it’s just always there.

TM: You’re welcome.

GU: Thanks.

TM: Well, yeah. But we’re here to talk about… What are we here to talk about, Reuben? Permanent wood foundations? 

RS: We will cover permanent wood foundations today. And we’re talking about this ’cause we’ve had a number of people ask us to cover this on the podcast. And I have written about it. I’ve done a couple of blog posts. I got a YouTube video out there, just kind of highlighting some of the stuff. And way back in the day, I attended a seminar put on by this guy, his name was Roscoe Clark, and he did an all day seminar for us. I think he spent eight hours teaching on permanent wood foundations and it was eye-opening. I learned so much after that and I realized we need to start offering some specialized inspections. We can’t just do a regular home inspection and look at a permanent wood foundation as part of it. There’s needs to be some special procedures done when we have these extra services, a special inspection that people can hire us to do.

RS: And I developed a method for inspecting these. To the best of my knowledge, there is no industry standard practice for doing this. But I came up with one, did it on maybe a dozen different houses, kind of got it dialed in. And since then, I’ve passed the torch onto George. And I did that over a period of about a year, but George has been our go-to guy for doing these for the last eight years maybe. And he is done probably hundreds of them, I mean, way more than I’ve ever done, and he surely knows more about them than anybody else on our team. So I thought, what better person to get on the show to talk about permanent wood foundations. Well, George, if it’s okay, I just want us to be able to ask you some questions and we’ll shut up and listen. Is that clear? 

TM: Yeah.

GU: Sure. Well, it’s just like, it seems like every inspector has just story after story. I’ve received phone calls from North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Georgia regarding permanent wood foundation. That’s just because of the website. So I’ve talked to a ton of people, and permanent wood foundations, they had their beginning at the late ’70s, early ’80s. And just by inspecting a lot of them, that’s kind of the best teacher. That’s probably why there isn’t a book on it. But Reuben, I think you remember one, there was, at an ASHE conference, someone was talking about foundations and he said, “Here we do this.” He was talking about this type, this type, this type, and wood foundations, those don’t really exist. Something like that, like, they always fail.

RS: Yes.

GU: And it’s like, you and I are looking at each other, “Well, they kind of exist, man. I don’t know why he’s just blowing it over.” But I think he’s from the East Coast, so everything is 1200 years old over there, yeah.

RS: Yeah, that’s what you get in a national conference, you get people who don’t appreciate regional differences.

GU: Right, exactly. So I think we tend to get these calls in a panic manner by the buyer. And it was like, “Oh my God. I had no idea that there was a wood foundation” So there is a couple vendors. So far, there’s only been a couple of them, but a number of them have had buyers that didn’t know it was wood foundation. The agent didn’t know it was a wood foundation, and the current owners didn’t know or forgot that it was wood foundation. I don’t believe the forgot part.

TM: What? 

GU: But I do believe that they just, like just the agent, it’s because with the permanent wood foundation, everything is finished, in some homes, completely finished. There’s a concrete floor, everything is drywalled and you can’t see anything. So I never dinged the agents for not getting it because it’s like, “Well, seems like cinder block would be the best way to go.” Concrete block is what this foundation is. So they just select concrete block. But then we get the panic calls, because we all just discovered this is wood foundation. They went online and, unfortunately Google permanent wood foundations, it’s like gonna WebMD. And then it’s like, “I got a dengue fever.” That’s what the problem is, and everybody’s panicking.

TM: My house is dying. Yeah.

GU: So, honestly, I kind of think that the first job of inspecting a wood foundation is to calm everybody down, just to let them know that this isn’t an uncommon type of foundation. These were the benefits. And it’s really difficult to have a permanent wood foundation completely fail. The preservative that they use in the wood is a marine grade preservative that’s meant to be underground. So they use this preservative for piers in the ocean and lakes, rivers, stuff like that. So it’s not the treated lumber that you find at Home Depot. But there are things that we always look for. There’s a kind of this, they call it a, someone call it a grade board, that you’ve got the grade that comes up to the house, and you want that 6-inch gap. Just like any other home, you want a 6-inch gap between the grade and the siding, right? 

RS: Okay. Yep.

GU: Yep. So in that space, sometimes you’ll see wood, treated wood, but it’s not really the same treated wood as the foundation. That’s to protect the plastic sheathing that goes from the footing all the way up the wall and over the top plate of the wood foundation. If you imagine, these came out in the late ’70s, early ’80s, that’s when the weed eater came out. So they wanted to protect it both from UV and from complete destruction by a weed eater that someone decided to try out. But that board is one of the better indicators that you have at a wood foundation. So sometimes it’s difficult to see from the inside.

TM: George, have you ever seen a permanent wood foundation where it doesn’t have that wood panel covering on the exterior? It’s something else? 

GU: Yeah. So what people will do is they’ll put landscaping, landscape fabric or landscape, just basically is polyethylene, and they’ll wrap it up and tack it to that. I have seen where that… I’ve seen wood foundations where that is removed and the comment is always, “You need to put it back.” The polyethylene sheeting is an integral part of a wood foundation, so it needs to be protected at all costs.

TM: Okay. So you never wanna see the polyethylene on the side of a foundation? 

GU: No.

TM: It should always be covered.

GU: No. But you don’t wanna panic if you see that, because it might just be, if you tug at, it’s like, “Oh, this is the landscape fabric.” So they just tacked it up to it.

TM: Sure. Yeah. Wow.

GU: Go ahead.

RS: Well, and what else do we see that conceals the fact that it’s a wood foundation, ’cause I know there’s a bigger list? 

GU: That conceals a wood foundation? 

RS: Yeah.

GU: Like what? Maybe I’m not following you.

RS: Well, I’m thinking they’ll put other panels over it. Instead of using the traditional pressure treated plywood, they’ll put all kinds of decorative stuff on the outside. They might even use exterior insulation just like they would on a concrete foundation, and you don’t get to see anything.

TM: That is my worst nightmare as a home inspector, is like missing that queue. So what do you do, George? When you’re inspecting houses and you don’t know if it’s a permanent wood foundation, are you always trying to like peel back the insulation or peel back the protective covering on the above grade exposed foundation to just verify and make sure it’s not permanent wood? 

GU: Yeah, they will cover with other things. I guess I haven’t experienced where they’ve done that absolutely everywhere. Then there’s also… There are just also some, I’m gonna sound dumb. You get this feeling, like why is this so finished down here? This is oddly finished. Even in the mechanical room and behind the washer dryer, it’s like, “That’s not normal.” Those rooms are usually left open. Yeah, there are other tells. But you’re right, Reuben, I have seen them wrapped with that fiberglass that they use for new construction at the base. So I saw one wrapped with rolled aluminum. I guess, that’s cool. That’s great. They know enough that it’s protecting the sheathing. So, because these are built in the ’70s and ’80s, there are plenty of people now that are selling these homes.

GU: And there are a couple builders that were building them at the time. One builder in Minneapolis, St. Paul, continues to, and that’s Pratt. And I keep meaning to. COVID hit, and I meant to just like, “Oh, I got to just visit them, pick their brains, tour their… ” I’m talking about rumors. You’re gonna edit this out. But I’d had heard that Pratt purchased the permanent wood foundation company, or the people that make permanent wood panels in Prescott, Wisconsin. Either they’re owners or part owners, however it is. But Pratt builds, for at least three decades, has built, I’ll call them executive level homes. The homes that are now selling for seven or $800,000. There was one in Afton, wood foundation, that was like $1.8 million, and it was only four years old. So they’re still doing it.

TM: Really? Wow.

GU: But then really what I tell people at the inspection, it’s a couple of things. One, we’re probably gonna find some sort of moisture at the bottom plate, which is where we always go, and it varies. It could be 20%, that’s not bad, 50%, whatever it is, or I could reach my hand in there and be splashing in water. Regardless of what happens, it’s all about grading and drainage. So you treat a wood foundation just like you would treat a concrete foundation, concrete block foundation. So there’s just…

TM: Keep the water away, yeah.

GU: Exactly. Exactly. There’ve been a couple of heavy size behind me or the panicked phone call when the sellar is there of reaching in, grabbing the insulation, pulling some of it out and ringing it out in my hands. So that’s how much water could get there, but it’s just about drainage.

TM: Now, George, when you say you’re ringing out the installation with water, how are you getting to that insulation? Because aren’t most of these basements completely finished? 

GU: Right, so, good point. We’ll peel back the baseboard at somewhere where it’s sort of neutral or we can put it back on. Honestly, and I’ll admit, if it’s 8-inch cherry, it’s like, “No, I’m not gonna do anything with that. There are other ways to do this,” but I’ll peel back the baseboard and…

RS: No, wait. George, before you proceed anymore, I know we’ll have agents, homeowners, home inspectors listening to this going, “Wait a minute. You’re doing a home inspection and you’re peeling back the baseboard?” Back up one step and qualify this for me, George.

GU: Oh, Reuben, I’m glad you’re here because we just gloss over so many things. Yeah, you need backflow prevention at the faucets. What? That doesn’t even… Okay, so we’re just saying things. So yes, we’ll peel it back all the way, but I will return it. My goal is to make it look like I was never there. And also, the buyer has to get permission from the seller. This is intrusive testing, just like Stucco, Stucco account.

RS: Yeah, this is a specialized inspection we’re doing. This is not part of a home inspection. We would never be pulling back trim on a home inspection. This is a permanent wood foundation inspection. This is a whole procedure that we have created ourselves and we send out a list to the seller ahead of time saying exactly what it is we’re gonna be doing. We’re gonna be peeling back trim, we’re gonna be doing this, that, and the other, and they need to agree to it. We are very specific. We don’t pull any punches on what we’re telling them we’re gonna do. So they have a very clear understanding. If they don’t like it, they don’t let us in. That’s it. Right, George? 

GU: Correct. If they say no, it’s like, “Good luck to everybody.” But it’s pretty rare that they don’t. But I will say this, because, people that built these in the ’80s and ’90s, there are a couple of different types of sellers. And I consider this all part of a permanent wood foundation inspection. And that is, if it’s the original owner, they will more than likely bring out the photo album that details every step of the way. They’re very proud of it. They’re very proud of the house and proud of the fact that they decided to get a permanent wood foundation installed. So those have been great because you get a really good idea of what’s going on.

GU: So, I mean, I’ll kind of like I’m want to do. I just sort of go everywhere as I come up with thoughts. But like I said, the biggest thing that I wanna do is calm everybody down. It’s like, “Let’s just take a look at it.” It’s pretty rare, very rare for a permanent wood foundation to fail. The structure doesn’t fail. I’ve seen it a handful of times, that’s it. But what happens is there might be enough soil pressure to slightly bow the wall. So the construction is that of almost like a deck that’s placed vertically, in that you’re gonna have joist hangers at the top of the wall and that is because I’ve got a force coming in from the soil, that lateral needs to be taken up by something. And then they have other techniques for doing it. That would be on walls that are perpendicular to the joists and walls that are parallel to the joists, have a different way of being supported.

GU: And even if the construction ideas and the ways to construct these had changed over time in the ’80s and ’90s, to where they realized that, you know what, we need a gap at the bottom plate of the wall in order that, there’s going to be moisture there. We know that’s going to happen. So they will leave a gap at the drywall, at the bottom. They’ll leave enough of a gap in the baseboard and also won’t have the insulation going completely down to the bottom plate, which I think has helped quite a bit. There have been a couple wood foundations where it’s like, you know exactly where to go because we always look at the exterior first and we find out where the water’s going.

GU: And you’ll be able to say, “I need to really look at that corner.” And you could go into a house, you go to the basement, they’re typically all or mostly finished. You go to that one area, you pull the baseboard back, when you walk into the basement, there’s nothing you can see, there’s nothing you can smell, there’s no humidity, there’s nothing. It’s not like a concrete block foundation, which you can kind of feel that there’s humidity or moisture getting in. But you’ll peel back the baseboard and all you do is get a waft of an earthy smell. So you know that there’s water down there. And it’s creating mold on the back of the baseboard.

TM: Sheetrock.

GU: Yeah, exactly, and the sheetrock. But because of that gap, sometimes I don’t have to pull back the baseboard, which is nice. I pull back the carpet and I can get my probes in the very bottom. That’s really where I want to go ’cause water always goes to the bottom. Sometimes it can come from the bottom up, but it’s very unpredictable. And nine times out of 10, an owner will say, “Well, we’ve never noticed water in the basement at all. It’s never gotten in.” Because it can’t. It’s impossible. When they put in the floor, which is typically concrete, I’ve inspected a few that are wood, those don’t seem to be successful.

TM: Wood floors? 

GU: Yeah, wood floors. So some of the original designs, it was all wood.

TM: Oh my gosh.

GU: And you might have access at the sump basket, you can see underneath it. It’s like, “Oh, this is just polyethylene and the floor.” But with those, there’s always just this conversation of like, “You really need to consider putting in concrete. That’ll kind of… ” ‘Cause it does feel weird to not be on concrete in the basement. And I would say 90% of them are built that way, with concrete. But because they put the wood foundation, you can imagine a wall with the top and the bottom plate, the bottom plate is going to sit on pea gravel. So when they excavate, they’re just gonna cover it with, I guess, 18-24 inches of pea gravel. In that, in one spot in that gravel, they’re going to have a sump basket that may not have a sump pump yet, but a sump pump and or a sump basket, that also is an integral part of a wood foundation. You need to have one.

GU: So, if you can imagine that the water coming in would just… There’s no real drain tile. The entire pea gravel bed is the drain tile. So whatever level you see in the sump basket, that’s probably the level beneath the whole house. So you need to keep that drain. Some, there’ll be absolutely nothing in the sump basket because they have sandy soil and it drains just fine, and everything’s just perfect about it. Reuben, did you have a question? 

TM: Yeah.

GU: Okay. So, even if there is even the splashing water, the most you would probably have to do, and the recommendation that I always make is to treat it like, I’m not saying that there’s mold, but there’s a good chance there is, treat it like a mold remediation. Cut the bottom 2 feet of all the drywall, let everything absolutely dry out. Make sure the drainage at the exterior is good, and also make sure that if there is water in the sump pump, that that’s taken care of. If there’s no pump, you need a pump, just like a normal concrete. I shouldn’t say normal, but just like a concrete foundation, concrete block or straight up concrete.

TM: So, can I ask a question? George, when you’re finding like that earthy smell and there’s moisture in the wall cavity, has that caused any structural damage to the actual wood foundation at that point? 

GU: No, it hasn’t. All you need to do…

TM: It’s just a moisture mold problem at that point? 

GU: Exactly. I’ve added some lines to the standard, a few that I’ve created and a few that… I think the one in our report, I think I added that it’s more of an indoor air quality issue that it could become rather than, “Oh, my foundation has failed.” It’s like, you’ll not know that this is really happening. There’s just really no way sometimes to know, because everything breathes well enough and the moisture isn’t enough. But it can be, if there’s enough moisture down there for a while, it’s first take care of the outside first, then focus on the inside, let everything dry out, and it will likely take care of almost everything.

GU: The durability, when they first started offering wood foundations, you would see this, they’d put like a metal sticker with the serial number on the electrical panel saying, “Wood foundation or permanent wood foundation, 75-year warrant.” And it’s like, well, that’s easy enough to do because this is wood that’s kind of meant to be wet, and if it’s only damp, it’ll probably last a long time. But the biggest issue that I see with failures is bowing. So, oddly enough, just this last week, I did a wood foundation inspection on a house built in 1990, I believe. And the back wall in the basement, the one that face the backyard, it was slightly bowing. And there was one spot where there was a ton of moisture. So this wood foundation was completely beat up.

GU: And the reason, I’m saying it’s the reason, and I think most would agree with me, they had a pool, and the pool has a concrete apron. And next to the concrete apron, there were concrete pavers that went to a concrete pad outside of the garage. So there was no space between the pool and the wood foundation. All it did was put pressure. And they also had a poured concrete aggregate patio next to that. And this is where it was bowing. So there’s just a ton of soil pressure. And it was bowing and it was kicking out at the top. The joist hangers were completely rusted. And the wall in the living room, in the family room, you could see it was bowing. But yeah, this is… But, here’s the thing, it’s a wood foundation, so wood bends and you could push on it, but if you just relieve the pressure, let it sit…

TM: It’ll go back.

GU: Yeah. The pool had a bunch of other issues. They may be installing it at the pool. But one repair that someone did after I had inspected the home… Well, no, it was before I had inspected. They knew they had a wood foundation, and one of the walls was bowing. A carpenter came in, and if you imagine taking the drywall off and you have a wall that is kind of bowing slightly toward you at the middle, they’ll take 2 by 8, and they will sister all of the verticals, all of the studs, top to bottom, and just leave it a little bit proud, so that’s your new straight wall. Yeah, now you have a new straight wall, but it’s also beefed up because they’re gonna use a ton of nails to sister all those in.

TM: So that’s an acceptable repair? 

GU: Well, there’s no such thing. It’s like, “Let’s do what we can just to make it look as straight as possible.” But all of this goes back to, it’s grading and drainage. Another story, I’ll try to be quick. It was about, it was one of those daylight sort of houses where the wall came up 4 feet, 3.5 feet. And you look straight out this window and you saw, I think it was a concrete pad that was, I think it was 20 x 20, the whole thing tilted toward the house.

TM: Yikes.

GU: And this is the one spot where the wood foundation failed. And I went back to, I think I inspected this after, kind of for the buyer, and the woman was concerned, but she was great to work with. She was more like, she was at a point in her life was like, “Well, I guess we gotta fix it,” which is great, rather than tears, right? So she had some contractors come out. They just removed the wall and then they had to excavate a bit. They just removed the wall and put in a new wall panel. And it looked fine, because it’s just wood. And if you know where to go and get a permanent wood foundation panel, that’s really all you need to do. It looked great. It was a great fix.

GU: I think that’s all people wanna know, that you have a wood foundation. I’ve told people that your biggest responsibility is just knowing you have a wood foundation. And then if you do, then you’ll be able to… When you sell it, this should be the first line in your marketing text. Welcome to your permanent wood foundation home. Let me explain. Other than that, no one ever says anything about it.

RS: Yeah. The thing that gets people is when they don’t know when it’s a surprise.

GU: Right. Yes.

TM: Yeah.

RS: And it’s just alarm bells and, “Holy cow, what am I getting into?” And also, I wanna come back to your point about sistering the 2 x 8 along the side, the existing ones. Tessa, think about building a whole new foundation right up alongside the first one. It’s like, all right, well now you’ve got two foundations. You’ve just got room to do it without taking up all of that extra space. You’ve essentially made your wall about twice as strong doing this while only losing maybe a couple of inches on the inside. That sounds perfectly fine to me.

GU: Oh, yeah.

RS: Yep. I like it.

GU: It does to me too. Yeah, I love it. And I’m just, I’m trying to think. I don’t even know if you need to use the heavy duty permanent wood foundation, the properly treated. I would just probably just get treated lumber and I think that’d be fine. But, I don’t know if I finished this point, but the reason that you never see it or sense it or feel it or smell it, is because you pour the concrete after the foundation is in, they’ll put a vertical 1 x 2 all the way around the perimeter. So when they pour the concrete, it doesn’t cover the bottom plate of the wall. So there’s about 2 inches of a pocket. So as the water comes in, it would have to fill that pocket, that stud pocket, with 2 inches of water before it hit the concrete on the inside. Oh, Tessa I see you concentrating and visualizing.

TM: Yeah, I’m trying to picture what you’re saying. So there’s like a little gap between the wood framing of the foundation and then the concrete floor? 

GU: Yeah. So the concrete floor is higher than the bottom plate.

TM: Yeah. Okay. And that water would…

GU: Because you put the bottom plate… Yeah, so that’s why you need to let that water out, because there is a good chance of water being in there or moisture. But it just needs to be dried out. And I think I told one person, like, “I don’t know what you plan to do with this place, but this could take a year. It could take a season for you to really know that it’s dried out.”

TM: Now, here’s a question for you, George. If you’ve got someone who like really is not comfortable with having mold in their walls, what would you say to them to do? ‘Cause as soon as you cover that back up with the sheetrock and finish it again, the same thing’s gonna happen, right? 

GU: Well, not necessarily. Because if you leave an air gap at the bottom of the drywall, that’s kind of pretty critical. And then don’t have the installation going all the way to the bottom plate. You just give that space a little room just to breathe a little bit, you likely will not have…

TM: Heat and airflow.

GU: Yep.

RS: So it can dry to the inside.

GU: Yes.

TM: You’re like, allow that wall cavity to breathe so that there is air flow and it doesn’t get moldy again. That’s the key.

GU: Yep.

TM: And that 1 inch seems to be enough to allow that space to dry out? 

RS: And for goodness sakes…

GU: Oh, yeah, I’ve seem smaller spaces than that.

RS: Manage the moisture at the outside. George, I don’t know about you, but when I was inspecting permanent wood foundations, I’d say at least half of them had some of the worst water management I’ve ever seen at the outside. It’s like people build a house with a permanent wood foundation and they think to themselves, “Okay, I’m building a whole house on a big drain tile system, water management doesn’t matter.” So they don’t put up gutters and they don’t pay any attention to grading, and it’s the worst I’ve ever seen. Do you experience the same George? 

GU: Oh, yes, yes. Especially when I’m splashing. I think the one that I ended up splashing in, it’s like, oh, there’s a complete V-shaped landscaping going directly to this spot. I think they had dug, for whatever reason, I think they had, part of it was a walkout, and that was the problem. Is that, because it was a walkout, the soil was just sloping toward the walkout in the wrong direction. Got caught up on some retaining wall and then just emptied right there. This wall didn’t have a chance. But again, saying that it’s like, just take care of the moisture, you’ll be fine. Take care of the grading and the drainage. And I do, I stress in the inspection, it’s like, you have to treat this like you treat any other foundation. If you do that, it’s gonna be way more successful. Then there’s a lot less to worry about.

GU: So then, when everybody’s calm, then the sale goes through. And I think a tighter market created maybe a little bit more panic because there are only four homes that I get to choose from that are perfect for me, and the perfect one has a wood foundation. It’s like, “Ugh, I don’t have anything to choose from. I’m gonna have to settle for this.” So then it’s big concern, big panic. We get a call, and then I inspect the place.

RS: And many times you calm people down.

GU: Yeah. I really take a pretty calm approach normally to home inspections, because I think you do have to… People do have to kind of maintain their cool, but especially with the permanent wood foundation, it’s critical to not be alarming to anybody. Even if it is horrible, I try to gently kind of ramp them up into the horribleness of it. Honestly, the one last week, she said, “Yeah, we thought that… ” The agent said, “Yeah, we thought there’d be some problems. We had no idea it was this bad.” It’s like, “Yes, it is pretty bad, but there are ways to mitigate it, correct it, but it’s not… ” Even with a bow in it, I mean wood bends, and even with the bow in it, it’s probably going to be, it could be fine.

GU: But you have to make sure that the water doesn’t… Because the water, all of the landscaping tilted right toward the house, and then you had the pressure of the pool that was putting on that. Yeah, there was this chain. Actually, if you go look at the report, I just drew arrows of one thing pushing another thing, pushing another thing. And it’s like, well, tada, there it is, that’s the reason. Don’t need Joe Lstiburek to tell me anything. [laughter] Although his advice is always welcomed. I just wanna put that out there in case he’s listening.

RS: Oh, good stuff. All right. Well, I don’t think we’re gonna do better than that. George, it’s a pleasure to have you on. We got to have you on more and more often.

GU: Thanks. Sure.

RS: Thanks for making time on your day for this. Tessa, good to see you again.

TM: You too, Thanks George.

RS: For any of our listeners, we will be back for the next several weeks. We’ve got a bunch of fantastic guests lined up, so looking forward to seeing you next week. Thanks for tuning in everybody.

GU: Take care, guys.

TM: All right. See you, guys. Bye.

RS: Later.