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gmvshort 02-20-2011 02:01 PM

House settling issues
Hello Experts,

How do I determine what will fix issues with doors not latching and floor cabinets pulling from walls?

The house is 6 years old and built on SAND (Outer Banks, NC). It has a cinder block wall on foundation with cinder block pillars under the girders.

When we bought the house 4 years ago all doors latched. I went to each bathroom and caulked the baseboard to the floor and around the counter tops and down the sides of each cabinet to the wall. I did the same to the kitchen cabinets and island.

Well a year later the upstairs bedroom door would not latch and the bathroom and closet doors would not latch in the master bedroom below. I placed a 1/4in shim between the girder and pillar in that location and that fixed the issues. Thank God!

Now the next year other doors (actually all interior doors started having latching issues. Two other bathrooms and bedrooms and the laundry room doors. I did not try any adjustments or fixes.

Now last year I noticed the caulk that I put between the cabinet-end by the kitchen sink and exterior wall showed separation of about 1/4in or so. I also noticed the caulk that I put between the master bathrooms sinks cabinet face to exterior showed separation of about 1/8in or so at the top.

Last week I decided it was time to do something and I checked each of the doors with latch problems. Checking latch on the door to the strike plate on the jam I found the latch was hitting the strike plate too high on two doors and too low on two other doors. I then checked where the pillars were located and believe that shimming would not fix the issue, as location of pillars, girders, floor joists to doors with issues.

If you have any suggestions or thoughts as to what I can do to fix these issues or if you need any other information, please let me know...

Thanks in Advance,

MBatson 02-20-2011 02:10 PM

Your best bet would be to get a structural engineer to look at your house and to have a soil load test done on your foundation. This will help to determine how your house is settling and if you need modifications to your foundation for the load of your house.

jklingel 02-22-2011 01:00 AM

I'd do what Batson said. Somebody bypassed this step, or screwed it up, and now you have a huge problem. You need to have a qualified person determine how much load your soil will take, and then recommend the appropriate bearing member (usually a footer). This is not DIY stuff. Good luck, and sorry to hear.

Just Bill 02-22-2011 06:26 AM

What they said. Houses in that area need to be built on pilings. There is no way to put a foundation for a block wall in that stuff. It will just keep sinking.

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