Post Out of Plumb - Your Opinions, Please
My husband and I are in the process of purchasing a 50-year-old, one-story, ranch style house. The previous owner was an inept Mr. Fix-It who either didn't know about/understand/care about home maintenance and improvements.
As a result, our building inspector's report is a Russian novel's worth of problems that need to be addressed before we will close the deal.
Two of the biggest problems (from our point of view, at least) is the out-of-plumb post shown here and, in another Old House Forum posting I'm making today, some dry rot.
Here's what the building inspector's report said: "Post out of plumb under front bedroom in crawlspace. Adjust the post, so that it's level and plumb under the beam."
I did speak with a structural engineer via phone who didn't have the opportunity to see the picture I'm posting here nor go to the house to see for himself. He said he suspected the post was INSTALLED out-of-plumb and has been that way for the past 50 years. Further, he told me that the jagged dark lines on the post are called "check marks" and are NOT necessarily indicative of the wood's having cracked. He didn't think this was earthquake damage (the house is in the Willamette Valley in Oregon) because the building inspector would have made note that SEVERAL posts were out-of-plumb.
He went on to say that a handyman with a big mallet and a decent jack could raise the house up just enough to take pressure off the post and easily whack it back into place. Or we could spend around $600 to have it replaced by a contractor. He didn't tell me what to expect a handyman to charge us for just whacking it back into place.
It's not possible for either my husband nor myself to crawl under there and fix it by jacking the house up a teensy bit with our hydraulic car jack.
Frankly, my husband isn't as worried about this as he is about the dry rot (please see my other Old House Forum posting I did today...12/1/12).
Have any of you come up against this sort of issue? If so, how dangerous did you think it was and how much did it cost you to have it repaired?
I would very much appreciate any information or advice you can offer.
Thanks so much for your help!