Remodeling can cause a whole host of troubles. Be sure to plan for the unexpected because once the project starts sometimes there is no way back.
A couple has decided to put in new flooring because one of them has severe allergies; they decided on hardwood in all in the bedrooms and the flight of stairs leading to the second floor.
The flooring company that they hired did warn them that they like to do things right and fix (at extra cost) problems as they arise.
The couple chose to pull up the original carpeting themselves and discovered that the stairs had cracks on the risers and was made out of pressed particle board. The flooring company confirmed that this staircase was a safety hazard that needed to be fixed. Fearing for the safety and well being of their family, they decided to go ahead with the reconstruction of their stairs.
The family thought ahead and knew their were risks involved in remodeling by exposing skeletons in the closet; but, never expected something like this to be such a safety hazard. Who is to blame? Did they not receive a home inspection?
Yes, 10 years ago. And the stairs were covered by the carpet so no one could actually see the issue until the carpet was taken off.
In my opinion, the blame is on the builder of this house who did the work 20+ years ago. One would think that the materials and the construction had been inspected for safety and quality; however, homes go up so quickly that sometimes short cuts are made on materials and on structure.
What can you do?
If you are building a home, have an independent home inspector periodically check your builder's progress. You need an independent party's professional opinion on the build of your home.
If you are buying or own a resale home, fix it. It is a vital structural issue and a safety hazard. It is so hard to prove that the previous owner knew the problem or issue. On top of that, it may be years down the line before you discover this situation.
Moral of the story?
There are always unexpected surprises to home ownership. Are you ready?