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Old 04-23-2012, 11:42 AM   #1
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Bowed Garage Wall


I am Trying to buy my first house. Did the home inspection yesterday and noticed a rather large bow in the back wall of the garage. It is attached to the house but the bow ends before it reaches the house, which makes us believe it is the garage foundation. The concrete foundation is very cracked in te corner farthest from the house. We are very handy and both work in the construction industry but we are looking for second opinions. We dot want to get in over our heads. We live in Ontario and can do all the labour ourselves (complete tear down and re-build) but aren't sure if it is worth tackling.
Opinions?
Cost estimates?
Will we have to Pay an engineer when we get a permit?
Should we just run?
Should we buy it?
Have to decide by Friday.
It's a huge house (2000 square feet) for the price and we are buying it for 40 000 less than the same (but updated) house sold for down the street.

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Old 04-23-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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Bowed Garage Wall


I have a picture but can't upload it from my iPhone

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Old 04-23-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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Bowed Garage Wall


we gotta see pics.

i just bought a house. the houses i looked at before this one, they had block wall basements. all of them were so bowed in that i thought they were going to collapse.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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Bowed Garage Wall


I can email a picture... Can I email it to someone and they post it? I can't figure put another way to get it off my iPhone. I don't have a computer.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:25 PM   #5
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Bowed Garage Wall


Ok got it. Here's a link. http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/y...7/6db032d3.jpg
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:29 PM   #6
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Bowed Garage Wall


Imposable to tell anything from that picture.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:35 PM   #7
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Bowed Garage Wall


Assuming the picture is not distorted by the camera....it looks to me that the bow is inward....in other words, the foundation is level...but the wall is not straight....bows in....

If that is the case...it looks like it was built that way....
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:47 PM   #8
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Bowed Garage Wall


If you have a straight 2x4 lying around, press it up against the wall (the 1.5" edge touching the wall) and press a level next to it. Then take a picture of that. You may need someone to help you. That will give us a clear indication of how much the bow is.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:27 PM   #9
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Bowed Garage Wall


Bowed walls are a pretty common concern, I personally have inspected about half a dozen houses in the last two years that have this problem. No inspector is going to tell you anything useful about a bowed wall for the typical fee you pay them, besides it usually violates all the terms of their contract for them to offer a structural opinion on something as serious as a bowed wall.

My recommendation is to get additional time from the seller, hire a local structural engineer to examine the wall, write a report, and prepare a cost estimate to fix the problem. This is not going to be free, you need a professional engineer, not a low cost inspector, to do this. Once you have the estimate, pad it generously, and deduct the repair cost from your offer. If the seller is unwilling to go along with this, walk away.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
Bowed walls are a pretty common concern, I personally have inspected about half a dozen houses in the last two years that have this problem. No inspector is going to tell you anything useful about a bowed wall for the typical fee you pay them, besides it usually violates all the terms of their contract for them to offer a structural opinion on something as serious as a bowed wall.

My recommendation is to get additional time from the seller, hire a local structural engineer to examine the wall, write a report, and prepare a cost estimate to fix the problem. This is not going to be free, you need a professional engineer, not a low cost inspector, to do this. Once you have the estimate, pad it generously, and deduct the repair cost from your offer. If the seller is unwilling to go along with this, walk away.
I'm having a case of Dejavu here, but I feel the story has flipped.

In an earlier, unrelated thread, the OP's wording was "I've had my house inspected" and I was basically ridiculed for assuming that inspector was not qualified in providing a structural assessment. In this case, the OP has said "Did the home inspection yesterday" and it's being stated without a doubt that the inspector was not qualified, willing or allowed to make a structural assessment.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:55 PM   #11
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Bowed Garage Wall


Home inspectors are NOT qualified to make a structural determination that is why Dan said a "Qualified Engineer"
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenworks View Post
Home inspectors are NOT qualified to make a structural determination that is why Dan said a "Qualified Engineer"
Interesting. See
Self Leveling Concrete, Or Replace Sub Floor
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:49 PM   #13
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Bowed Garage Wall


Answers above are solid in my opinion. There are too many good properties sitting out here at very low prices to buy headaches. jmo

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