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New house foundation question


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Honest, it's not the end of the world here (well, there actually...).

It's just stupid.

And, I'm not sure how a structural engineer can say something is fine when it lacks things (keyways, rubber gaskets, etc.) that clearly make it not fine.

Functional, maybe, meeting minimum code, yes, but not fine. Call him and ask him about keyways in the footings; if he dithers, he's a creep.

So you know, keyways are not required in the IRC Section 403 describing footings. Neither are the little rubber gaskets I"m talking about. But, eliminating them is a doofus minimalist approach. Folks here are talking best practice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would get a structural engineer that will come out. Even if you have to pay it will give you peice of mind. Also talk with your local code officials they can help. I am not familiar at all with building codes in your area since I am from NC, but I think that they are your best options

I think hiring a good home inspector or architect is a better option. The structural engineer is limiting and will not be very helpful when it comes to other issues that may come up during the construction (electrical, plumbing, etc..). A footing inspection is not too complicated and should be within the ability of the home inspector or architect. You should find someone that can help your throughout the whole process. Perhaps even a munical inspector from another town that does not have a relationship with the town where you are having your home built.

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A structural engineer would be very helpful for the footer/foundation of the home. In NC most homeowners have the contractor and the local code officials to ensure that there house is built to code. Home inspectors are not utilized very often in this area of NC.

I would get a structural engineer that will come out. Even if you have to pay it will give you peice of mind. Also talk with your local code officials they can help. I am not familiar at all with building codes in your area since I am from NC, but I think that they are your best options

I think hiring a good home inspector or architect is a better option. The structural engineer is limiting and will not be very helpful when it comes to other issues that may come up during the construction (electrical, plumbing, etc..). A footing inspection is not too complicated and should be within the ability of the home inspector or architect. You should find someone that can help your throughout the whole process. Perhaps even a munical inspector from another town that does not have a relationship with the town where you are having your home built.

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A structural engineer would be very helpful for the footer/foundation of the home. In NC most homeowners have the contractor and the local code officials to ensure that there house is built to code. Home inspectors are not utilized very often in this area of NC.

I would get a structural engineer that will come out. Even if you have to pay it will give you peice of mind. Also talk with your local code officials they can help. I am not familiar at all with building codes in your area since I am from NC, but I think that they are your best options

I think hiring a good home inspector or architect is a better option. The structural engineer is limiting and will not be very helpful when it comes to other issues that may come up during the construction (electrical, plumbing, etc..). A footing inspection is not too complicated and should be within the ability of the home inspector or architect. You should find someone that can help your throughout the whole process. Perhaps even a munical inspector from another town that does not have a relationship with the town where you are having your home built.

It is very different around here. Most people in our real estate market would not be happy with construction that uses code as the gauge for the quality that they expect. Code minimum works for life safety but when it comes good craftsmanship, the code officials and engineers usually don't get involved.

The building contractor is looking to make a profit, especially in today's environment. A smart consumer understands the problem with relying on the contractor to look out for their best interest.

One of the reasons we get hired as construction consultants is that we explain the differences beteween a code inspectior, the contractor, and a construction consultant.

Getting back to the issues of the footings in the photos, the code officials around here would not allow them as shown.

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Steven

I agree with you that the code is only the minimum. I am also glad to here that your code officials would not allow the footing as it is now. During plan review if I see that a contractor is trying to use the very bare minimum I try to get them to do a little better, although it doesn't always work. Unfortunately if they do go with the bare minimum necessary to satisfy code I can't stop them. Sometimes the lowest bidder is not always the best.

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Steven

I agree with you that the code is only the minimum. I am also glad to here that your code officials would not allow the footing as it is now. During plan review if I see that a contractor is trying to use the very bare minimum I try to get them to do a little better, although it doesn't always work. Unfortunately if they do go with the bare minimum necessary to satisfy code I can't stop them. Sometimes the lowest bidder is not always the best.

Assuming that the future owner hired you, and you are involved from the start of plan review, it is the time to discuss how to improve the end product. Why do you care what the contractor wants?

If your client has the information, even if they are contracted for code minimum, maybe they would be willing to pay for an upgrade.

Maybe they can use your input to negotiate upgrades for free?

A lot of workmanship issues are not even related to money, Just having an extra eye on the job can result in less shortcuts.

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The owner doesn't hire me. I am governed by the state Dept. of Insurance. It does not matter to me what the contractor wants, but if the work is to code, even if just to the minimum code I have to pass it. If the homeowner asks for my advice then I tell them, but alot of times I don't meet with the HO, b/c the work is put in the hands of the GC. I am always involved from the very start, b/c no permit gets issued unless I issue it.

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The owner doesn't hire me. I am governed by the state Dept. of Insurance. It does not matter to me what the contractor wants, but if the work is to code, even if just to the minimum code I have to pass it. If the homeowner asks for my advice then I tell them, but alot of times I don't meet with the HO, b/c the work is put in the hands of the GC. I am always involved from the very start, b/c no permit gets issued unless I issue it.

I misunderstood what your function was. I thought you were working for the buyer as a home inspectior/construction consultant. I did not realize that you were doing insurance inspections that is supervised by the state department of insurance. Are there special inspection standards for this type of inspection or do they follow home inspector standards for your state?

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We inspect by the NC Residential, Plumbing, Mechanical, and Fire Code. They are all in accordance with the International Codes. All codes now are 2009 with the NEC being the exception and that is the 2008. I am on this sight as kind of an outsider, but I hope to get some inspection tips from everyone here, some I can use and some I probably can't. Thanks for the help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Your contractor adding that much water to a 9 cy load, which is 70% of a typical mixer drum volume, will reduce the strength well below 3000 psi on a 28 day break. The aggregate will segregate to the bottom of the forms because it will be at a 8-9" slump (if that is possible to measure). Air entrainment, time in the drum and allowable revolutions of the drum are effected by this practice also. That mix is essentially flow-fill, of not much structural integrity.

Not for nothing... the concrete that formed those "footings" was so wet that it didn't have a slump. Self leveling concrete for footings is not a reassuring sign.

I went to school for stamped/ stained concrete alogn with other decorative concrete work, and what I was taught was that water shrinks. Shrinks make cracks, not pretty in finish work. Heres a few things I learned:

The more water you have the less PSI strength the concrete has.

The more water added the more shrinkage.

Multi size gravel/rocks means less voids(rocks are a lot harder than cement).

When in need of low slump concrete, (I dont know any reasons you would need it) SuperCizer5 is a powder reagent that reacts with cement to make it wet, there are more chemicals if its to wet and you want it dryer. SuperCizer5 can be mized with dry concrete mix, with Zero water added to make it wet, you woudl never know that no water was in the mix when working it.

I think the place i went to was in Oklahoma City. The stamp store. is the place. First name of the owner is Doug, im sorry Doug, i cannot recall your last name as it has been a number of years.

In Texas every footing I have seen is monolithic pour with the slab itself, right after moving to Oklahoma I have seen this method in action.

What the contractor told me was he orders 5,000 PSI mix and dumps 40-60 gallons water on top of the 2" slump already in truck, and says the strength is relative to 3-3.5k psi mix.

The troweled the top of the footings and left no rebar sticking up, I would think if you are not leavign rebar sticking up to tie into, it would atleast benefit to leave it rough top to give it a little bit of gripping surface area atleast.

Very interesting construction method though, easiest footers I ever seen to pour, no floating forms etc =P

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