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Old 09-22-2011, 06:04 PM   #1
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Looking To Buy A 100 Year Old House...Some Problems


Hey guys,

I am brand new to this forum. I have a light construction background (I grew up doing rental maintenance with my dad). My wife (an engineer, but sadly not a structural) and I are buying our first house.

The details: It was built in 1914 and is on a brick.cinder block (not sure if it's concrete block or not) foundation. It's been remodeled, sewer line has been replaced, windows replaced, new roof, copper wiring except the 220 which is stranded aluminum, new paint inside and out.

Our concerns after inspection: The basement has a "sister wall" in it. My assumptions that this was poured to reinforce the block foundation. One corner of the house has been repaired by an engineer (we're still waiting on documentation as to what exactly was done and why.) All we know is there was a couple steel beams inserted into the foundation to stabilize it...We also found one hairline vertical crack in another corner. It does not go all the way through. The more concerning foundation issue is in the crawlspace running across the house. It has a huge crack in it, probably 2 inches across. It has shifted, but looks like it cracked a long time ago. Our BBB accredited inspector says it is still structurally sound and no need of major concern as long as it does not grow. There is no sign inside the house (floors are flat, doors all hang properly, windows are square and slide easily, no cracks in the wall, etc.) We've been told as long as we keep moisture out of the crawlspace and away from the foundation we should be just fine. There is also no access to the attic, though it is vented.

Our Plan of Attack: We plan on regrading the gravel around the house as it is sloping towards the house in a couple spots. I was going to put a french drain around three sides of the foundation and then put a vapor barrier in the crawl space. What are your thoughts and suggestions?

Sorry I do not have pictures of the damage

Thanks!


Last edited by Medic-5150; 09-22-2011 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:30 PM   #2
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Looking To Buy A 100 Year Old House...Some Problems


That is a lot bigger house than it looks from the front. It sounds like you have a plan. I would be cautious with any heavy equipment close to the house as it could cause damage from vibration of the ground. The French drains are a good idea and sloping the ground away from your foundations is good also. I know y'all will enjoy your new home, it is really nice.

I'm not trying to be a smart butt but you may want to remove the link to your property as it has your address and shows your belongings, there are some sorry folks out there.

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Old 09-22-2011, 09:28 PM   #3
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Looking To Buy A 100 Year Old House...Some Problems


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Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
That is a lot bigger house than it looks from the front. It sounds like you have a plan. I would be cautious with any heavy equipment close to the house as it could cause damage from vibration of the ground. The French drains are a good idea and sloping the ground away from your foundations is good also. I know y'all will enjoy your new home, it is really nice.

I'm not trying to be a smart butt but you may want to remove the link to your property as it has your address and shows your belongings, there are some sorry folks out there.

Good point on the link. The stuff is actually all the staging stuff but you're right I should remove the link.

I hadn't planned on any heavy equipment, just a good old shovel and pick if things get tough haha.

thanks for your input!
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:57 PM   #4
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Looking To Buy A 100 Year Old House...Some Problems


i'd wait for the engineering report. sounds like the soil around the house has put pressure on the walls causing weakness, hence the need for a sister wall and metal strengtheners. that is common solution for that sort of problem and can work well when engineered and installed professionally. definitely exterior excavation is in order. pick and a shovel, are you crazy? maybe you never dug a trench before.. pay $1500, have an excavator come in. those mini excavators are good. don't dig lower than your foundation footer (if your house even has one).

crawl space .. dunno. depends if the crack is still getting worse or if its done. i had a 2" gap/crack in my crawl space too.. so i know your situation well

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