Expand Your Education with These Courses from
A Consumer Advocate Approach to Real Estate: Course 1.
The Psychology of Consultative Selling: Skills for Sales Success: Part Four.
Accredited Buyer's Representative.
BPOs: The Agent's Role in the Valuation Process.
Bundle 2: CIPS Elective Courses (US Version).

Your Place: Hire Someone Else to Fix Leaning Garage

Have a comment on this article? Share on Facebook!

By Alan J. Heavens

detached_garage(MCT)—Question: I have a 75-year-old, one-car, detached wooden garage that has started to lean. What do I need to do to straighten it up? I am really handy and would like to do it myself if I could, but I have nowhere to even start.

Answer: Your e-mail arrived as I was watching an episode of “Emergency,” in which Engine 51 rescued a man trapped by a beam that fell when he and a friend were attempting to do to his hillside house what you are asking about.

In his case, well, it’s Los Angeles, and that stuff happens all the time. In your case, there are several reasons the garage could be starting to lean, including rot, termite damage, shifting soil from heavy rains, or this winter’s freeze-thaw cycle.

There also is an element of danger involved in simply looking for the cause. You could be lying on the ground and start pulling at some wood and bring the whole thing down on you. Start with a structural engineer or a carpenter or a contractor with structural expertise.

I remember hiring a carpenter to replace some rotted fascia on our front porch. When his awl penetrated the fascia and the beam behind it, he found that the previous owner had mortised a pressure-treated beam and an original one, and the result was increasingly noticeable and dangerous sagging. He suggested that I hire a local firm that had the expertise to replace the beam without bringing the whole porch down.

The owner of that firm was no stranger to such issues, having replaced a lot of porch structures in my neighborhood.

Danger aside, do you have any carpentry skills? Would the repair work require a municipal permit and, therefore, an inspection after the job was done that would pass the municipality’s standards?

Do you have the time to do the work? Often, what is not a very complex job takes do-it-yourselfers longer than professionals, and ends up costing more than if you hired someone.

I am all in favor of do-it-yourself, but the jobs you take on should be ones that you know from the start will result in a major improvement or be personally satisfying—woodworking or a paver patio or a nice paint job.

If you have to ask me how to begin, you should hire someone to do it.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Have a comment on this article? Share on Facebook!

Join RISMedia on Twitter and Facebook to connect with us and share your thoughts on this and other topics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Copyright© 2016 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.

Content on this website is copyrighted and may not be redistributed without express written permission from RISMedia. Access to RISMedia archives and thousands of articles like this, as well as consumer real estate videos, are available through RISMedia's REsource Licensed Content Solutions. Offering the industry’s most comprehensive and affordable content packages. Click here to learn more! http://resource.rismedia.com

Our Latest News >>