Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone. We're currently looking to buy a house and one we're considering has had some major crawl space foundation work and I wanted to see what you guys thought about the type of work done and whether it would be red flag. House was built in 1982 and around 1998 they noticed the floor sagging and some separation at one of the walls. So they had some work done to remedy this in the crawl space but apparently the work was not done to code or done very well. So they again noticed some sagging and some high spots in the floor a couple of months ago and are currently getting it addressed as well. I've attached relevant sections of the engineer inspection report they had done a couple months ago and the estimate to remedy the problem. They should be done with the work this week and will get another inspection done then. As you can see in the estimate they are replacing most of the piers and footings so it's extensive work. Let me know what you guys think. Thanks!

Download Attachment: icon_word.gif inspection.doc

17.33 KB

Click to Enlarge
201683165812_estimate.PNG

495.76 KB

Link to post
Share on other sites

With continuing sagging I would be concerned about possible foundation settlement. The idea that secondary beams or girders were installed too high does not make much sense (is is hard enough just to jack a floor back to level).

It seems like the inspector paid more attention to what was wrong with the repairs and not enough to why the repairs were needed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be wiser to ask the seller to advance you the cost to repair so that you can fix it yourself under your own direction and by contractors and inspectors of your own choosing. The seller hasn't near as much interest in doing it right because he knows any consequences of poor or defective workmanship will be your baby and not his once the sale is closed.

Looks like the previous repair was done wrong. Also looks like the inspector who wrote that submitted report hasn't done well either. He seems to know some code but seems to have lost touch with what really matters on existing construction that's already over 30 years old: Is there a problem significant enough to need major repairs? Code is more important when you build the house.

Submit some photos and descriptions that show real-world consequences to those high/low spots in the floor (floor feels like a trampoline, windows/doors won't close, won't open properly, won't latch properly in the closed position or at all) and you might find more help here.

Marc

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't follow an inspectors recommendations for a repair. In my opinion, he overstepped himself by designing a repair. Get an engineer or at least a qualified contractor familiar with the work to investigate the cause of the initial problem and design an appropriate repair. My guess from my computer screen is you have expansive soils and the installation of "supplemental" girders was done wrong by not providing footings at the same depth as the original foundation which can literally cause the house to tear itself apart with seasonal movement.

Bottom line you need more and better information from a qualified expert on site.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The attached report language does not inspire my confidence in the guy that wrote it.

As an English professor once told me, if you cannot say it well you do not know what you are talking about.

I am not a soils expert but I don't think Charlotte, being a coastal piedmont area like the one I live in, has expansive soils. Foundation failures in our area usually result from building on improper fill. I know one house in a subdivision where much of the lot served as a burial pit for construction wastes, and the pit's contents decayed over time causing large sinks to occur. The house is just over thirty yrs old and the sinking process is still ongoing.

I would be very skeptical of this "remedy".

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as an aside and not to hijack this thread:

Am I the only one that finds it peculiar to write about a building in the past tense? I.E. "The foundation was blah, blah blah...It is my style to report on a building in the present tense.

I can understand if you want to say something like "When I was there the basement was full of stored items and blah, blah, blah...

I guess technically if you write the report the next day you can talk about the whole building in the past but I do not do that. Am I wrong?

Grammar expert advice please.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as an aside and not to hijack this thread:

Am I the only one that finds it peculiar to write about a building in the past tense? I.E. "The foundation was blah, blah blah...It is my style to report on a building in the present tense.

I can understand if you want to say something like "When I was there the basement was full of stored items and blah, blah, blah...

I guess technically if you write the report the next day you can talk about the whole building in the past but I do not do that. Am I wrong?

Grammar expert advice please.

Is the building is or is the building was?

Only question here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as an aside and not to hijack this thread:

Am I the only one that finds it peculiar to write about a building in the past tense? I.E. "The foundation was blah, blah blah...It is my style to report on a building in the present tense.

I can understand if you want to say something like "When I was there the basement was full of stored items and blah, blah, blah...

I guess technically if you write the report the next day you can talk about the whole building in the past but I do not do that. Am I wrong?

Grammar expert advice please.

I agree with you. It's jarring for the reader.

Some people out there actually teach this to home inspectors. In their minds writing everything in the past tense reinforces the notion that the inspection occurred at a specific date in the past and might not reflect conditions that have since changed. It's a feeble and pathetic attempt at butt covering.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that the real problem with this home has not yet been identified. Repairs have been performed once and only a few years later additional repairs are needed. That is a real red flag to me.

I realize that inventory in the Charlotte market is tight and finding a good home in a desirable neighborhood is difficult. I believe that it is time for you to seriously consider walking away from this home. There are just to many unknowns.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I reread the original post. I see that they hired the engineer. I suggest that you get a second opinion. The problem you may run into is that there are few engineers who are good at evaluating residential construction problems. I am a structural engineer and think that I am very good at this. The reason for that is that I have also performed over 10,000 home inspections, so I have learned a lot along the way.

If you can find a structural engineer with home inspection or significant residential experience, or a home inspector who has an engineering background and is a P.E. that would probably be best.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Don't follow an inspectors recommendations for a repair. In my opinion, he overstepped himself by designing a repair. Get an engineer or at least a qualified contractor familiar with the work to investigate the cause of the initial problem and design an appropriate repair. My guess from my computer screen is you have expansive soils and the installation of "supplemental" girders was done wrong by not providing footings at the same depth as the original foundation which can literally cause the house to tear itself apart with seasonal movement.

Bottom line you need more and better information from a qualified expert on site.

I totally agree with inspector57 I would never engineer a plan or even discuss or suggest a repairing company that would be the job of the qualified, licensed contractor or engineer sent out to do the further evaluation. The inspector is putting himself at risk there

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't follow an inspectors recommendations for a repair. In my opinion, he overstepped himself by designing a repair. Get an engineer or at least a qualified contractor familiar with the work to investigate the cause of the initial problem and design an appropriate repair. My guess from my computer screen is you have expansive soils and the installation of "supplemental" girders was done wrong by not providing footings at the same depth as the original foundation which can literally cause the house to tear itself apart with seasonal movement.

Bottom line you need more and better information from a qualified expert on site.

I totally agree with inspector57 I would never engineer a plan or even discuss or suggest a repairing company that would be the job of the qualified, licensed contractor or engineer sent out to do the further evaluation. The inspector is putting himself at risk there

As I read the original post, this report *is* from an engineer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...