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Old 07-15-2012, 10:31 PM   #1
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Basement ceiling height


My home is being constructed and had gone for a walk though yesterday. When we went to basement, I felt it is very low height. I have measured with tape and it 7' feet. It is supposed to be 8'feet. My CAD plan shows that basement wall height is 8.4' feet and basement flooring is 4".

We are very close to the closing date. I have spent lot of time and efforts in selecting this house and through out the construction process.

I am not sure what options I would have at this stage for this mistake by the builder.

Any suggestions on how to approach this issue and possible recourse

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Old 07-15-2012, 10:51 PM   #2
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Basement ceiling height


Talk to your builder and show him the plans

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Old 07-16-2012, 12:21 AM   #3
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Basement ceiling height


mae-ling is correct, talk with your builder and have him measure and compare
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Old 07-16-2012, 12:28 AM   #4
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Basement ceiling height


Probably won't get anywhere without taking him to court. If that's the plan that you intend to take, be careful what you say around him "what you say can be used against you in the court of law"
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:28 PM   #5
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tell him you are paying for 8' ceiling basement. and this house does not have that. so your not buying it.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:29 PM   #6
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oh. low ceilings lower the value of a house.
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Old 07-16-2012, 11:02 PM   #7
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Thank you all for your replies. I see that future value of the house is going to be less since this is the only house in subdivision with less than 8' basement. The basement is around 1500 Sq.ft size and house size is around 3000 sq.ft. Current market value of these houses are 450K in this area.

Since the builder has spent only for 7' basement and potential loss of market value for this property, what should be a reasonable amount builder should compensate for?
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:32 AM   #8
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that's more of a question for a local property appraiser, what's reasonable to you may not be reasonable to the builder. having someone knowledgeable in assessing the value of local homes can help determine that.

good luck!
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by paru View Post
Thank you all for your replies. I see that future value of the house is going to be less since this is the only house in subdivision with less than 8' basement. The basement is around 1500 Sq.ft size and house size is around 3000 sq.ft. Current market value of these houses are 450K in this area.

Since the builder has spent only for 7' basement and potential loss of market value for this property, what should be a reasonable amount builder should compensate for?
That is a question for the court. I can almost guarantee he isn't going to just drop 20,000 off the price or whatever without taking him to court. Best of luck, but I don't see this getting settled easily. Keep us updated because I'm interested
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:22 PM   #10
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Basement ceiling height


and going to court will cost some money for attorneys, and the contractor can always file bankruptcy. If they have no assets in their name you may not get anything. I'd suggest working with the builder to see what can be done, and what they are willing to give in return.

Is this a normal basement or is it a finished basement? If a normal basement I do not see much decrease in value, but that is why I suggested a local property appraiser, they would know.

I do not know how far along the project is or whether they can do anything to raise the height of the floor assembly. If that cannot be accomplished may be they would be willing to do an upgrade on finishes. Working together beats fighting in court, in my humble opinion.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:08 PM   #11
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Basement ceiling height


Some areas have a minumum code on ceiling height for a living space, if there is then you could never get a permit to finish out this basement.
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:27 PM   #12
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Good point Joe, and if that is the case in this area, then the lower ceiling height is even more of an issue.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:24 PM   #13
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how much money have you given out for this house, so far ?

i don't see court costing much of anything, for you. you signed a contract for 8" ceilings. the house has 7' ceilings. how in the world (except for the corrupt county of COOK IL) would a judge even consider hearing the builders side of the story = he didn't abid by the contrat = you are completely off the hook.

as far as him lowering the price to compensate. you should get appraisels. but i think $20g is laughable in a 450g house. i would say something like $100,000 and probably more. your going from a potential 4500sf house, to only a 3000sf house. that is 1/3 right there, do the math. consider in the land.

what i see, is him playing you for a fool. or, he already has a lot of your money, and has you over a barrel.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:12 PM   #14
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Dig the hole a foot deeper.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:27 PM   #15
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It would be a good idea to sit down with the contractor immediately to compare the plans you have versus the plans he has. Either he is working off different plans than you, or one of you does not understand what is on the plans. I can't tell you how many jobs I have worked on where various parties had different versions of the plans, sometimes due to revisions, sometimes due to poor communication, or other bizarre reasons. You may need a professional intermediary to determine who has the correct plans, certainly it is a bit unusual to have 7 foot ceilings in a new house, but this was pretty common years a go (my house has seven foot ceilings in the basement, lower where the main beam is).

Point is there is no way anyone on this forum can offer advice until it is crystal clear what the plans called for, and not necessarily the plans you have, but the plans the contractor is obligated to follow.

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