Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Building & Construction

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-29-2012, 07:39 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Leander, TX
Posts: 18
Rewards Points: 0
Share |
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


I'm looking at buying my first house and I think I've found the one. The house was built in 1984. Everything is perfect (new counters, floors, appliances, size) except there are some foundation problems. There is an estimate of $13,800 for 23 steel piers under the slab foundation perimeter load beams and 8 steel piers under the foundation interior load beams. I've done research on the company and they are very reputable with many good reviews. I'm considering asking the current owner to split this cost with me. Does anyone have any advice?

rkwerchan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 07:58 AM   #2
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 7,589
Rewards Points: 112
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


No splitting the owner pays it all or reduces the cost of the house so you can do it after purchase. I have no idea if the fix is actually correct however.

__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to joed For This Useful Post:
woodworkbykirk (01-29-2012)
Old 01-29-2012, 08:16 AM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Leander, TX
Posts: 18
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


They have discounted the house the full price of the repairs, but it's still a little more than I want to pay.
rkwerchan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 08:43 AM   #4
Framing Contractor
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Caldwell, NJ
Posts: 1,758
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by rkwerchan
They have discounted the house the full price of the repairs, but it's still a little more than I want to pay.
So then why are you asking to split the repair cost if they are taking it off the price if the house. Doesn't make sense.

Is it because you have to pay the full amount of the repair? Your final number was discussed...good luck trying to change that.

You better find out what caused these problems. Foundation problems aren't something you want to buy into.
__________________
Joe Carola

Last edited by Joe Carola; 01-29-2012 at 11:23 AM.
Joe Carola is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Joe Carola For This Useful Post:
woodworkbykirk (01-29-2012)
Old 01-29-2012, 08:50 AM   #5
Framing Contractor
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Caldwell, NJ
Posts: 1,758
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


Who came up with the solution to the foundation problems?
__________________
Joe Carola
Joe Carola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 09:40 AM   #6
Lic. Builder/GC/Remodeler
 
AtlanticWBConst.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 7,556
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


If you have not done so already: You could get an independent engineer or firm to do "your own" inspection and review of the proposed corrections - before you commit to anything.

Its like getting a home inspection. Make sure that there isn't more going on in/under the home, and that the proposed corrections are adaquate.
AtlanticWBConst. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 09:49 AM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Leander, TX
Posts: 18
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Carola View Post
So then why are you asking to split the repair cost if they are taking it off the price if the house. Doesn't make sense.

Is because you have to pay the full amount if the repair? Your final number was discussed...good luck trying to change that.

You better find out what caused these problems. Foundation problems aren't something you want to buy into.
I haven't spoken with the seller, yet. I'm going in tomorrow to speak with the company that will be handling the repairs, to see if they can tell me anything about the current state of the foundation and the likelihood of damage caused by the repairs.
The sellers original price of the house, before the markdown for the foundation, is too high. So I would like to settle on a number a little higher than the current, discounted price, and have the repairs performed before I move in.
I am planning on going over the repairs with a qualified 3rd party, I just wasn't sure if anyone here has had similar repairs with good/bad results.
rkwerchan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 09:56 AM   #8
Framing Contractor
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Caldwell, NJ
Posts: 1,758
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by rkwerchan
I haven't spoken with the seller, yet. I'm going in tomorrow to speak with the company that will be handling the repairs, to see if they can tell me anything about the current state of the foundation and the likelihood of damage caused by the repairs.
The sellers original price of the house, before the markdown for the foundation, is too high. So I would like to settle on a number a little higher than the current, discounted price, and have the repairs performed before I move in.
I am planning on going over the repairs with a qualified 3rd party, I just wasn't sure if anyone here has had similar repairs with good/bad results.
Has an architect or engineer looked at it or was it just a contractor?
__________________
Joe Carola
Joe Carola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 10:30 AM   #9
Civil Engineer
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 4,209
Rewards Points: 14
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


I am assuming that the repair plan was developed by the current owner, not by your contractor, since you do not own the house and therefore would not be in a position to sign a binding agreement with the contractor who is to perform the work. This puts you in a very awkward position.

First off, since you are not paying the contractor, you have no contractual right to their plans, which could have been developed by their engineer, or the contractor might have developed the plans themselves. As such, you are not in a good position to evaluate whether the project will be successful, which after all is the critical question.

When I purchased my house 20 years ago, it had a failed septic system, which was under reconstruction at the expense of the homeowner. In my case, there were approved plans by the Town, construction was underway, and had good reason to believe that the newly installed septic system would function adequately. I bid on the house based on the agreement that the septic system would be installed and functional prior to closing. In my case, the plans were publicly available, and there was an unambiguous way to determine if the installation met the plans, as the Town inspects the installation, and signs off on it. No sign off, no deal on the house.

You need an equivalent arrangement in order to be comfortable, but there are several challenges in your case I did not face. First, you may not be able to review the plans. Second, even if you can, there is no simple way to determine if the project will be successful. Personally, I would never purchase a house under the conditions you describe. I would wait until the repairs had been completed, and prior to purchase I would hire a competent structural engineer to review the installation and offer you an opinion as to whether the house foundation is now adequate. That means you would have to hire the engineer, on a matter this important I would never take the opinion of a third party I had not hired.
Daniel Holzman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 10:51 AM   #10
Member
 
firehawkmph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Near Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 1,584
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


With all the houses for sale out there, why would you want to take a chance on this one, especially considering it's your first house? Without a good foundation, that 'dream home' turns into a money pit. If you haven't seen the movie by the same name, go rent it. Walk on this and go find something a little more predictable.
Mike Hawkins
firehawkmph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 11:28 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 26,426
Rewards Points: 192
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


I also would pass on this one.
The foundation is the most important part of a home. If it's bad there's gong to be on going issues from the ground up for as long as you own that house.
joecaption is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 11:50 AM   #12
Licensed P.E./Home Insp
 
Aggie67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 587
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


The price seems low, even for that quantity of piers. I would have questions, such as how low do the piers go, what's the warranty, etc. It's too easy for an owner to say "hey I received this price for foundation repair, I knocked it off the sale price, but you have to take care of it", and all the while the repair strategy was based on inadequate info (such as assuming a too-shallow refusal depth). It would leave you holding the bag for the balance of the cost if it didn't work or the contractor ran into poor conditions and had to push deeper.

I have been the engineer of record on a number of pier jobs, and I deal with the contractors. When a reputable outfit writes a proposal, they do so in a manner that clearly explains the unknowns (how deep down bedrock or refusal point is), and clearly explains the additional costs if they have to go deeper. (Also, for future reference, there is no "best:most cost effective" method that covers every single situation. The soil strata conditions under you home will dictate which strategy has the best performance:cost relationship. So it is very important to evaluate quotes for different strategies.)

Daniel has suggested the right course of action: get the owner to do it, and then get an engineer to review it. In fact, tell the owner that you're going to have your engineer review it after the work is complete. Personally, I'd want to see the report on every single pier (each pier should have its own field report sheet, listing the refusal dept and refusal pressure) before I bought a house with piers. And if anyone reads this that is looking into piers for their own home, avoid relying on the contractor. If you're going to spend thousands on a repair, it really is penny wise and pound foolish to not spend a couple hundred on an independent structural engineer for an unbiased opinion.
Aggie67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 02:01 PM   #13
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 7,589
Rewards Points: 112
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


Quote:
Originally Posted by rkwerchan View Post
They have discounted the house the full price of the repairs, but it's still a little more than I want to pay.

Make them an offer that is acceptable to you. If they accept then you have a house. If they don't accept then look for another house. Only you can decide what is an acceptable offer. If it is the seller who is providing the estimate then I would also be leery of that. You should have your own engineer inspect and report the conditions.
__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2012, 08:11 PM   #14
journeyman carpenter
 
woodworkbykirk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: nova scotia canada
Posts: 2,690
Rewards Points: 12
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


i have to agree with the other posters regarding skipping on this house. even with having a very reputable contractor brought in to fix the foundation issues , that doesn't mean other issues wont arise.

when they go to do the work, they may have to jack the house up in order to do their work. by doing this you can run into issues such as drywall joints cracking and door frames going out of alignment. both will need to be addressed. i have seen this happen on several homes that have had foundation issues addressed.. if this contractor is only pricing to do the foundation problems i would consult another contractor as to what costs would be to fix the other problems

unless this house is a absolute perfect fit for you i would be looking for another house
woodworkbykirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2012, 08:05 AM   #15
Member
 
firehawkmph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Near Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 1,584
Rewards Points: 0
Default

Looking at a house w/ foundation issues


One other thing to consider also, even if you have the foundation repaired and everything turns out ok, when you go to sell the house, that information has to be disclosed. The potential buyer will be leery and want a price reduction or won't want to pay full value for the house. So your chance for any appreciation, (once houses start to really appreciate again) is quite a bit less than a house without any major problems.
Mike Hawkins

firehawkmph is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cost to lift house and put in new foundation ivanator Building & Construction 36 04-04-2013 03:05 PM
Fire ants coming into house through pipes in foundation -- need advice samalex Pest Control 15 03-22-2011 01:35 PM
putting mobile home on an old house foundation rkr1991 Building & Construction 3 08-19-2010 09:20 AM
House Foundation Painting jwags Painting 3 09-26-2009 12:48 PM
Need advice and assurance on house issues! Leikela General DIY Discussions 3 12-04-2006 10:10 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.