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sheribaby 04-14-2010 01:56 PM

Foundation or Load Bearing Wall Issue?
We had a home renovation about 4 years ago where a wall was removed and about 730 sq ft added. A steel support beam was placed in the attic space where the wall had been removed. Along the longest side of the new new addition, foundation piers were placed. the short side of the addition, where it joined to the old foundation, measured about 25' and did not have piers. Our roof line was also modified in the process.

Recently, we noticed that where one end of the steel beam terminates....where the wall meets the ceiling....the wall appears to be crushed down a couple of inches.... in the shape of the beam. On the outside of the house, where old meets new....and on the side where we did not have piers, we are noticing our hardiplank buckling up where the ends meet. We have also noticed that the old roof line is quite noticably sunken on the original part of the home, starting about where the old and new foundations joined. Typical foundation issues -- cracks in walls, etc., are not apparent.

We had a foundation company come out and they assessed the worst location was a 1" variance in an exterior room that abuts the new construction. My remodelling contractor has come out as well. No final response from them -- and I'm not out to get them.

I'm looking for feedback on thoughts as to which came first.....If the beam slipped, could it have put enough pressure on the rest of the house to cause the other issues, or.... Or, could a 1" drop in the foundation cause the beam to slip?

Just looking for thoughts.

joed 04-14-2010 02:56 PM

Without actually seeng no way tell if foundation sank or beam support buckled or something else. I would suggest independant report from a structural engineer not assosiated with the builder.

concretemasonry 04-14-2010 04:59 PM

Was this a permitted construction with a professional design?

If so, you could try to contact the contractor/designer.


Daniel Holzman 04-14-2010 05:07 PM

Realistically, you are asking for opinions on a potentially complex subject. The only way to determine if the foundation settled is to perform an accurate survey, to tolerances of better than 1/8 inch, around the entire foundation and inside the house. The same survey would address the beam, specifically is the beam level, are the supports plumb, etc. This type of work is normally done by a professional engineer, and as it could potentially form the basis of litigation, it must be done carefully, professionally, and should be stamped, which means it won't be inexpensive.

No one on this board can possibly know what happened to your property without performing a detailed investigation, and any opinions offered should be treated with a great deal of skepticism. My recommendation is to hire a professional, draw up a written contract, and request a written, stamped opnion as to cause and origin of the apparent damage.

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