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Ethical Foundation Repair Question


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I am in the process of having my foundation replaced and have been running into problems.  First off, my house is over 100 years old and built on a sloping hill.  I was quoted a very high price (nearly $100,000) for the job but went ahead with this company because they had excellent reviews. Now after digging trenches and a crawl space around the house, I was told that my house would require leveling and that would cost an additional $9,000. There were other added costs but this is the one that concerned me. They took measurements for weeks before beginning work and never mentioned that the house needed to be leveled. 

Then I was given a choice of them finishing the foundation without leveling the house so everything is crooked and off kilter, or pay the money to have them level the house so everything is straight.

Doesn't replacing a foundation require a house that is level? 

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well there is a problem with your question.  Was it level before?  Was the replacement supposed to make it level?  were there permits required and were they  gotten?  what was the initial fee supposed to be for;  task, result, correction etc.   in other words no one can answer that question without the contract specification. 

 

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Go around the house with a level, or on hardwood floors, a big marble. Set the marble of window sills, countertops, shelves etc. Normal for an old house on a slope to need leveling. That is why you hire someone to repair the foundation. The new foundation must be level when completed, otherwise the contractor has not done the job that was expected. So for him to suggest otherwise seems like a threat. Possibly they have encountered an unforeseen issue below the house, a rock outcrop, rot in the structure, something that will delay the repair, etc. Get more info or get someone you trust to inspect what they've done so far. Get a lawyer to look over your contract.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 4/19/2023 at 1:55 AM, Sonia said:

I am in the process of having my foundation replaced and have been running into problems.  First off, my house is over 100 years old and built on a sloping hill.  I was quoted a very high price (nearly $100,000) for the job but went ahead with this company because they had excellent reviews. Now after digging trenches and a crawl space around the house, I was told that my house would require leveling and that would cost an additional $9,000. There were other added costs but this is the one that concerned me. They took measurements for weeks before beginning work and never mentioned that the house needed to be leveled. 

Then I was given a choice of them finishing the foundation without leveling the house so everything is crooked and off kilter, or pay the money to have them level the house so everything is straight.

Doesn't replacing a foundation require a house that is level? 

Yes, replacing a foundation typically requires a level house as a starting point. It is concerning that the need for house leveling was not mentioned during the initial assessment or quoting phase. Generally, when replacing a foundation, it is crucial to ensure that the structure is properly leveled to maintain structural integrity and prevent future issues. Leveling a house involves adjusting the foundation and structure to make it even and straight. This process may involve lifting or shoring up certain areas of the house, depending on the specific requirements. It is essential for the new foundation to be aligned correctly with the rest of the structure to avoid problems with doors, windows, floors, and overall stability. Given that your house is over 100 years old and built on a sloping hill, it is not uncommon for houses of that age and location to require some level of leveling work. However, it is concerning that this additional cost was not disclosed earlier. It's important to communicate your concerns with the company and ask for an explanation regarding why this requirement was not mentioned beforehand. Consider discussing the situation with the company and requesting a detailed explanation of why leveling is necessary now and why it wasn't identified earlier. You may also want to consult with another reputable foundation specialist or structural engineer to get a second opinion and to evaluate the situation thoroughly. Ensure that any additional costs, such as leveling, are clearly outlined and documented in the contract or agreement with the company. It's essential to have open communication and a clear understanding of the work being done and the associated costs to avoid any further surprises during the project. If you have concerns about the company's approach or pricing, it may be worth exploring other options or seeking professional advice to ensure the best outcome for your house's foundation replacement.

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Hello,

I'm sorry to hear about the problems you're facing with your foundation replacement. It can indeed be frustrating when unexpected costs arise during a construction project. Based on your description, it seems like the situation is complicated due to the age of your house and its location on a sloping hill.

Regarding your concern about the house needing to be leveled, it's generally recommended to have a level foundation before proceeding with a replacement. A level foundation provides a solid base for the new foundation and helps ensure the structural integrity of the house. It's surprising that the company didn't mention the need for leveling during the measurement phase, as this information is crucial for planning and budgeting purposes.

Given the options presented to you, it seems that you have to make a decision between two less-than-ideal outcomes. If you choose to proceed without leveling the house, it's important to understand the potential consequences. A crooked and off-kilter foundation could lead to various structural issues in the future, including uneven settling and potential damage to the house.

On the other hand, if you decide to pay the additional $9,000 to have the house leveled, you may achieve a more stable and structurally sound result. However, this additional cost can be burdensome, especially considering the already high price you were quoted for the foundation replacement.

In this situation, it might be worth seeking a professional opinion from another reputable contractor or even consulting with a structural engineer. They can assess the condition of your house and provide expert advice on the best course of action. Additionally, you may want to reach out to the company you hired and express your concerns about the lack of prior communication regarding the leveling requirement. They might be willing to negotiate a solution or address the issue in a way that alleviates some of the financial burden.

 

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