Introduction: General Description and Summation:

The building is a 3 story brick Victorian row house with multiple eclectic additions on the rear. This inspection of the property took place on 9/25/00 and was conducted by Joseph Walker and William Walker. Mr. Terry Boyle accompanied us through the house. The building is occupied by students where ever they have been able to carve out a nook for sleeping. There are a number of leaks in the building roofs and plumbing so it was instructive that the inspection took place during a hard rain. The report is organized by area starting with the grounds and finishing with the plaster and finishes. Items marked with a red plus sign (+) in the margin are priorities.

Since the house is occupied by so many people with no apparent particular interest in taking care of it, the residential grade components are suffering, particularly the bathrooms. The building has not had a comprehensive, well planned, renovation in many years. Several specific components have been upgraded, such as the boiler and water heater, two new roofs, and new bathrooms, but a house this old has obsolete technologies in it such as 2 strand cloth wiring, and old fuse boxes and wiring techniques. You need institutional quality materials and methods to withstand the pressure of this heavy use. There is also bowed and loose plaster, ages old termite damage, and structural creep. The roof and plumbing leaks have caused significant plaster damage and probably some hidden framing damage.

The correct approach to this building is to start outside and get all the roofs under control. All the leaking has to be stopped, gutters repaired, cornices repaired, and cornice gutters repaired. Repair the flashings and intersections between the modified bitumen roofs and the porch floor. The gaps in the cornice at the end of the dining room roof need to be waterproofed, and the missing downspout needs to be installed. After the outside is made 100% dry you should go inside and mark all the damaged plaster and have it torn out. In the electric section of the report there is a list of the minimum electrical repairs needed for the short term, but the building really needs a thorough electric modernization. You can execute some of the minimum repairs while the plaster is torn off. Also remove all the non-bearing partitions and finishes in the basement to provide access for renovation of the plumbing and electric. (The basement level air and light quality are not currently fit for sleeping by modern standards of health and safety.) This will expose the framing in the leaking areas and where all the termite damage is hidden so that all the structural issues can be resolved. Have an electrician mark any plaster that he needs taken out to modernize the electric in the rooms.

You will have to make a decision whether you are going to move the bathrooms to the adjacent building or construct bathrooms in this building that can accommodate the number of people using them. Have a commercial architect design the components in the bath from the floor structure through the accessories to accommodate the type of use the building actually receives (think locker room quality). You will probably want some type of basement bathroom /laundry/ maintenance facility, and a main floor powder room. I believe you will ultimately find that the existing bathrooms need to be renovated completely, although some short term fixes and better attention to water by the students can forestall that. During the course of a total renovation of the baths replace all the rernaining galvanized supply pipes and upgrade the size of the water main to accommodate the needed water flow.

Of course a kitchen plan has to be defined as well. If it is to accommodate the residents then it has to be designed with durability and ease of maintenance. (Stainless)

The interior finishes are also very worn and in need of restoration. The finished floor on the main level is very worn. It has been sanded many times and the nails are exposed. You might consider removing it and putting down a new floor. It is not the highly valued heart pine that is common in Georgetown but it does have an aged patina. Plaster needs repair throughout, light fixtures, switches, and outlets are antiquated throughout. Doors need fit and finish work throughout. The windows need a thorough renovation. They have been painted and caulked shut in many areas.

Figure 1. Overview of the front of the house.

Figure 2. East and north sides of the house.




INTRODUCTION [You're already here]

I. Grounds
.....1. Plantings
.....2. Retaining Walls
.....3. Walks
.....4. Grading

II. Roofs, Gutters, Chimneys, and Vents
..... 1. Chimneys
..... 2. Roof #1
..... 3. Roof #2
..... 4. Roof #3
..... 5. Roof #4
..... 6. Roof #5
..... 7. Roof #6
..... 8. Plumbing Vents

III. Exterior Walls
..... 1. Foundations
..... 2. Exterior Walls
..... 3. Windows
..... 4. Doors
..... 5. Porch

IV. Basement
..... 1. General
..... 2. Structure
..... 3. Ventilation

V. Electrical System
..... 1. Summary
..... 2. Service Panels
..... 3. Distribution
..... 4. Wire Condition
..... 5. Workmanship, Fixtures,
........ Switch and Point Condition
..... 6. Modernization
..... 7. Smoke Alarms

VI. Plumbing
..... 1. Water Main
..... 2. Supply Piping
..... 3. Drain Piping
..... 4. Water Heater

VII. Heating
..... 1. Boiler

VIII. Bathrooms and Kitchen
..... 1. 3rd Floor Bathroom
..... 2. 2nd Floor Bathroom
..... 3. Basement Bathroom
..... 4. Kitchen

IX. Attic
..... 1. General

X. General Interior
..... 1. Plaster
..... 2. Active Leaking
..... 3. Doors
..... 4. Floors


To Return to click here