Garage Pulling Away From House: Structural Problem

My house is over 125 years old. My kitchen is in the back of the house. To the left of the kitchen, there are 3 steps that lead to a garage. The house and garage is made of brick. The garage was probably added on to the house after the original construction.

My house is on a corner that has a sidewalk and a busy street. The attached garage has severe separation from the house and the back of the garage the bricks are seperating apart. I'm afraid the side of the garage will collapse a cause danger to parked cars or pedestrans. What would you recommend? Do you think insurance will pay for this?


Dave Schofield

Wilmington, De.


The Money Pit Answer

Dave, there are many things that could cause the building movement but unless this is tied to a covered event (like a major storm), it's not likely to be covered by homeowner insurance.

The conditions you describe sound potentially serious.  This needs to be looked at by a professional home inspector or a structural engineer. I'd advise against having a contractor look at it as they'd have an obvious conflict of interest, and frequently not qualified to issue such structural advice. You can find a competent home inspector by searching for a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors.