Foundation Problems Need Help Fast - Concrete, Stone & Masonry - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Concrete, Stone & Masonry

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-12-2013, 12:47 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Unhappy

foundation problems need help fast


I am purchasing a new home that I absolutely love. It has some foundation problems that I am ok with. Nothing that can't be repair and grants are offered in my area to fix the problem. The home has a cider block foundation and there are many cracks in there.

My home inspector and his supervisor are telling that it isn't anything serious and all it needs is some patch work and filling. When I was told this, I contacted a couple of contractors for estimates and they both told me that the house foundation needs major repairs, such as some kind of rod put into the blocks.

The home owner patched the inside, so it made it very difficult for the inspector to see the cracks on the inside, but they were visible, but barely.

All I want to know is what is the best way to repair the foundation. I don't want to pay for a major repair if it isn't necessary, but I also, just don't want to do a patch job every year.

I asked the home inspector if I should bring in a structural engineer and he is telling me that it isn't necessary, but the contractors are telling me that it is.

I don't know who to believe. I don't get the feeling that the contractor is trying to rip me off, but I don't think the inspector is incompetent either. When I bring up my dilemma, all everyone does is yell at me and tell me to back out of the deal, which I don't want to.

I just want to know who is right so that I can have the foundation fix correctly the first time. I am so frustrated and confused on what I am supposed to do. I try to do some research so that I could understand what they were explaining to me and that came back saying the same thing that both of them were telling me, so I don't know how to fix the foundation or what to do about it.

Sorry for such a long post.

Advertisement


Last edited by oh'mike; 02-12-2013 at 08:49 PM. Reason: spaces
frustratehome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 12:59 PM   #2
Member
 
Trucon01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 655
Rewards Points: 500
Default

foundation problems need help fast


First -- I know very little about foundations.

Second -- You probably need to add some pictures so the experts on here can get a better look (inside, outside, etc). Do you have any bowing or just cracking?

Third -- It never hurts to have a S.E. look at your issue. If anything, its piece of mind.

Advertisement

__________________
Basement Demo started Jan 2012: View my basement progression!!!

Bathroom demo started Feb 2013: View my bathroom progression!!!
Trucon01 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Trucon01 For This Useful Post:
oh'mike (02-12-2013)
Old 02-12-2013, 01:02 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: MA
Posts: 762
Rewards Points: 588
Default

foundation problems need help fast


Hi Frustrate,

A home inspector is NOT an authority. Most don't fully comprehend all applicable building codes and in some places, no certification is necessary.

Have you ever seen "Holmes on Homes" just as an example???

You brought in experienced contractors. If you don't trust them then get a structural engineer to evaluate the foundation. You want someone that has seen these problems before.

It may not even be possible to evaluate the foundation without removing the "patch" or even a block or two. Be very suspicious of the repair if the homeowner did it.

Your house is only as good as it's foundation.

Spend the money on the engineer or back out of the deal. It's a simple matter.
AandPDan is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to AandPDan For This Useful Post:
Old 02-12-2013, 01:34 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: atl & hilton head
Posts: 3,447
Rewards Points: 2,476
Default

foundation problems need help fast


CONGRATS on calling in some experienc'd contractors & also doubting your ' home inspector ',,, there are many good h/i's but also many who just buy word processing programs & base most opinions on their ' wanna-be contractor ' dreams.

1st, cinder block walls have little lateral strength by themselves due to mortar jnts,,, as exterior soils compact over the years ( due to rains, mostly ), lateral soil pressure increases leading to bowing, step cracks, horizontal crks thru the mortar lines, etc,,, there could also be a foundation crk usually manifested visually by a large crk running fairly strt up the wall even splitting blocks,,, certainly would help if you'd post'd some pics but doubt that'll change the previous 2 responders' advice

' patch & fill ' is, largely, cosmetic,,, ' rod ' method ( aka wall pins ) are usually a 2 x 3 box or i beam inside the bsmt against the wall - a clean sign to future buyers you gots troubles,,, concealed ' wall pins ' are rebar run up thru the cells & tied to the rebars running down the cells,,, cells are then fill'd w/non-shrink grout thereby strengthening the wall,,, in EXTREME cases, exterior excavation & wall alignment is necessary,,,the more needs to be done = more $$$.

the only guys not worried about annually patchin' & fixin' are sleazy sellers hoping to hook an unsuspecting buyer,,, my advice ? do it once, do it right, & buy yourself a new recliner

ps - NEVER use all these words in the same sentence: ' don't think the inspector is incompetent ' as you'll be the guy eating them it ain't their house,,, hell, they can't even SEE your house from their house !

whether the ' buy ' is a good deal is your call as all problems can be repaired properly,,, whether or not its financially justified by the attractiveness & appeal of the house is another factor,,, i always figured out what was a fair offer IF the house was in good condition ( not pristine or museum-grade ) then deduct'd cost of nec repairs,,, of course, when my bride, nagzilla, liked something, her desires often overrode my pocketbook

ps - possibly your insurance agent could recommend a good resource; not all pe's are familiar w/foundation repair methods/materials; in the end, they all go home & YOU have to live there,,, let us know what you decide - GOOD LUCK !
stadry is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to stadry For This Useful Post:
drtbk4ever (02-12-2013)
Old 02-12-2013, 01:55 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

foundation problems need help fast


Thank you for the advice. I didn't take any pictures, but the contractor said he would send them to me. I think I will follow your advice and get the engineer in there to look at it. I will post the pictures when I receive them.
frustratehome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 02:03 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: atl & hilton head
Posts: 3,447
Rewards Points: 2,476
Default

foundation problems need help fast


friend of mine loved saying ' it takes a good man to learn from his mistakes & a better man to learn from others' mistakes !
stadry is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 02:51 PM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

foundation problems need help fast


I have another question. Would it be better to find my on structural engineer or go with the recommended one from the contractor?
frustratehome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 03:18 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: MA
Posts: 762
Rewards Points: 588
Default

foundation problems need help fast


Quote:
Originally Posted by frustratehome View Post
I have another question. Would it be better to find my on structural engineer or go with the recommended one from the contractor?
The contractor probably has someone in mind that he's worked with before. If you want a truly independent opinion, get your own. I don't believe that there would be any issues however.

Structural engineers are a licensed profession. Check their certifications.
AandPDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 06:57 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sarasota,Florida
Posts: 1,633
Rewards Points: 1,164
Default

foundation problems need help fast


Hire the structual engineer of YOUR CHOICE,not the contractor,and you can rest easy.
Canarywood1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 08:36 PM   #10
Civil Engineer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 4,309
Rewards Points: 2,196
Default

foundation problems need help fast


You have not indicated where you live, or where the house you are looking at is located. Assuming you are in the United States, not every state licenses structural engineers specifically, in many states they are licensed as civil engineers. Regardless, it is often quite difficult to find a competent structural engineer to do a residential inspection, for one thing most homeowners don't care to pay what most engineer's think they are worth (speaking personally), so the vast majority of "structural" inspections are performed by individuals who are not specifically trained as structural engineers.

This can make it difficult for the average homeowner, or prospective homeowner, to determine how much stock to put in the report. In your case, you presumably paid a home inspector to look at the place, so you are probably not anxious to pay for yet another inspection. I get that. However, you should be aware that no competent home inspector would offer an opinion on the structural significance of cracks in a foundation, since they were almost certainly not paid to offer such an opinion, and if they had the training and skills to evaluate foundation cracking, they probably would not be inspecting homes for a few hundred dollars a pop.

My suggestion is to find a contractor who you know for a fact has experience repairing foundations, based on references that you can verify by visiting the foundation repair they made. Once you are convinced they have bona fide foundation repair experience, I would pay them to prepare a written report on your prospective house, and prepare an estimate to repair. This does not obligate you to use them to do the repair, but it would give you a pretty good indication how much less than your best offer you should make on the house. Unfortunately most engineers who are able to determine the cause of foundation failure will be unable to estimate the repair cost, so in this case a contractor would seem to be a better choice.
Daniel Holzman is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Daniel Holzman For This Useful Post:
AandPDan (02-13-2013), Fix'n it (02-12-2013), oh'mike (02-12-2013)
Old 02-13-2013, 05:32 AM   #11
Newbie
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 4
Rewards Points: 10
Default

foundation problems need help fast


Once again I would like to thank everyone for all the wonderful help. Believe me it is much much appreciated. As promise, the foundation problem has been resolved. It turns out that there is a problem with the foundation, but nothing major that can't be fixed in stages. The homeowners put an illegal addition to the home that is causing the cracks in the foundation. It will have to be supported and than we can repair the cracks.

So now, I just have to get quotes on supporting the addition and getting it permitted. I live in Elkridge, Md. The addition was built way over 20 years before all of the codes that were required for additions here.

I'm glad that has been resolved and I can get some sleep. Now onto the next crisis.
frustratehome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 07:57 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: WV
Posts: 3,026
Rewards Points: 2,232
Default

foundation problems need help fast


Be prepared. If the addition is indeed illegal, you could be made to tear it down. It happens.

Advertisement

md2lgyk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Conduit Attached to Exterior Foundation rjschwar Electrical 0 07-14-2012 03:14 PM
Increasing height of Steel Bulkhead Concrete Foundation ulrichfolkers Concrete, Stone & Masonry 5 06-18-2012 10:40 AM
How to stub off an old stone and mortar foundation beautah Concrete, Stone & Masonry 0 04-25-2012 10:43 AM
Concrete Repair Help / Contractor Problems thp Building & Construction 12 09-24-2009 02:01 PM
How to add footing and foundation to existing foundation? ptcamaro Building & Construction 6 06-22-2009 11:22 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts