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gjw 11-08-2010 11:19 AM

Potential buyer of my house withdrew interest-no bsmt floating walls
I am trying to sell my 1977 Littleton CO house and the home we are hoping to buy is also in Littleton, built in 1968. Problem: a very interested buyer of my home discovered that our bsmt walls are not floating. I have completed many home improvement projects but nothing along these lines. I had never even heard of floating walls. After doing research, I thought asking advice here would be helpful.

My bsmt floor shows one sign of heaving in one location. It's not noticeable. It was there when I purchased this house and at the time no one involved in the inspection thought this concerning. There has been no movement in my 8 years of living here. Should I go the route of having the walls floated?

Further, I doubt the house we hope to buy has floating walls either. All the homes in Littleton are older. Wouldn't houses experience their movement by now? Would any of you purchase a home knowing the bsmt walls are not floating? Thanks for any help!!

Daniel Holzman 11-08-2010 11:37 AM

Floating basement walls is a technique only used in areas of expansive soil. Colorado has many areas with expansive soil, hence the technique is common in Colorado. There have been other threads on this site discussing this issue, use the search function to check them out.

What you need to do to sell your house is a local issue, and often has nothing to do with engineering reality. For example, in the northeast people sometimes want radon protection installed, whether the house has a radon problem or not. Similarly, in parts of the country with arsenic in the water, people may want filters. So your buyer wants a floating basement wall system, you have some choices.

One, you agree with them on a price for them to either do the work themselves, or you do the work first. The cost comes out of the house price.

Two, you wait for a buyer who does not care if the basement walls are floating. You can always hire an engineer to write a report stating that the foundation of your house is fine the way it is, then show that to potential buyers who are concerned. Of course, if the engineer tells you it is a problem, you then need to decide if you are going to fix it or not.

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