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Old 04-05-2006, 08:25 AM   #16
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new construction no Brick ledge


Can't the contractor cut a shelf into the concrete?

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Old 04-09-2006, 10:44 AM   #17
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new construction no Brick ledge


Okay, I dont think I explained myself very well.
We are having a 1701 sqft one story house built. The house was supposed to be brick. The builder has an in house architect to draw the plans(blueprints). The architect drew the plan for the concrete man. When the architect drew the plan he put the deminsions in for the brick ledge but he forgot to put the actual brick ledge in the drawing. When the concrete man poured the slab he did not know it was to have a brick ledge. Thus now our square footage is larger (atleast this is what the builder said the reason is) 1728 square feet. I noticed this after the framing of the house was done. The bolts that hold the framing down are placed about an inch in from the edge of the slab. I told the builder that I did not think there was a brick ledge. I went to other construction sites to see what a brick ledge looked like. I am now positive there in no brick ledge. In fact at some points the framing hangs over the edge of the slab 1 to 1 1/2 inches. The builder first offered to pour an additional 1 and 1/2 inches of concrete on top of the existing slab and add the brick ledge onto the sides that way. After speaking with many cancrete and slab people I told the builder no. I asked him if stone would work without a brick ledge and he said that Cultured stone (manufactured stone) would work. I do not know anything about this product. I am in the process of trying to find out about it. I hired an inspector to come out and he found multiple things wrong. He also told me that the stone would be sticking out from the house abour 3 inches or so. I am now also aware that the slab was not inspected by the loan people like it was supposed to be. The builder was supposed to be making draws from the loan that way the loan people could inspect prior to giving any money. The builder used his own funds. I am now faced with, are we splitting hairs or should I make them bulldoze it?
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:45 AM   #18
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new construction no Brick ledge


The builder is using fiberbrace and is not putting anything over it, like tyvec.
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Old 04-09-2006, 11:55 AM   #19
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new construction no Brick ledge


It sounds like big trouble but it's too complicated for me to offer any certain advice. I would get an architect — this is what they do for a living. It is inconceivable to me that someone would spend enough money to build house and let a contractor control everything. You will never learn enough to make an intelligent decision. Hire an architect to review the drawings, look at the construction and give you a written report with recommendations for appropriate action. This is not a do-it-yourself kind of thing.

As for fiber brace, it appears to be a dirt cheap substitute for plywood or OSB sheathing. I assume it goes behind the brick with an inch or more air space. Even if the builder can somehow provide enough lateral bracing for the building the joints are unprotected. This is not aceptable practice in my experience. I would ask for #30 (not the thin stuff) asphalt saturated building felt (building paper) installed over the board or that the joints be sealed with something compatible with the asphalt fiberboard.

If you want professional advice you will need to hire a professional or at least draw a detail or post photographs so others can understand what has been built.

I'll bet the contractor's "architect" was not really an architect. I love the oxymoron, "unregistered architect"
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:25 PM   #20
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new construction no Brick ledge


Here are a few pictures of the house. The front view, a view of where the house overhangs, a view of the rear of the house with the hardiplank, and a view of where the slab has chipped off, and one of the drain pipe showing through the side of the slab.


As for letting the contractor control everything, we are not really sure of what we do and do not have control over. We have never built a house before and we do not have money to go hire who ever we feel like highering to fix the problem that the builder has created. We are trying to find out what our options are. When I went out and told the construction crew to go home after I had already told the builder to stop the day before, the builder jumped my butt for it and threatend me with, (1st) your house could take a long time to build (until I told him I have been renting all my life, I cant rent some more!) to (2nd) my loan company is going to charge me with going over the dates of when the house is supposed to be finished, because we are not using a convential loan company.
Anyway, I talked to the loan company and they said that was not true, but the point is he tried to threaten me.
We are young with three children and I do not work so really we don't have many options when it comes to highering people. That is why I research everyting on the internet.
Thank you for any help you can give me. All of your advice is great.
If you need more pictures let me know of what you want a picture of.
Thanks
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Old 04-10-2006, 01:29 PM   #21
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new construction no Brick ledge


2pics of overhang
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new construction no Brick ledge-mvc-010s1.jpg   new construction no Brick ledge-mvc-021s.jpg  
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Old 04-10-2006, 02:39 PM   #22
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new construction no Brick ledge


I can see all the photos except the first one. Is this actually your house? Has the contractor given up on brick and installed siding instead? Are there still places where you hope to have brick? I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to do.

Some suggestions:
Make sure the flashing at the window heads goes as high as possible, even up to the top of the wall so that water can't get behind it. Of course, if the flashing is UNDER the fiberboard at the window head it will be ok. I just can't tell from the photograph. I've never seen construction without underlaymnet (building paper or Tyvek, etc) under the siding to cover the joints in the sheathing and overlap the window flashing.

Covering the sheathing with building paper or Tyvek is standard construction most places and required by code in many places. The cost is small but the benefit could be enormous. I can't imagine someone would be so uninformed or cheap as to omit this kind of weather protection.

There should be no gaps or openings in the fiberboard sheathing — no daylight showing.

Is there a building code in your town? Building inspectors?

What state are you in?

Are there specifications or drawings and a contract that you approved?

I've been a registered architect in Boston for 36 years with experience in every kind of building type. I have 4 houses in construction right now. And I hate to see anyone taken advantage of.

From what you said about the contractor's comments, he thinks he can intimidate you. That's unfortunate and his personality may prove to be the biggest problem you face. It may take a higher authority like a lawyer or the building department to change his attitude.

If you were near Boston I would enjoy helping you to hammer this guy into the ground.

Last edited by mighty anvil; 04-10-2006 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:17 PM   #23
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1.Is this actually your house?

Yes this is our house.

2.Has the contractor given up on brick and installed siding instead?

Originally we were doing 60% brick and the rest Hardiplank, now our builder wants to place manufactured stone on the face of the house and waynescoat on the left and right with hardiplank on the rest of the sides and the rear of the house.

We wanted brick, but if it is going to be risky adding a brick ledge then we would rather do stone, but now we found out that the stone is going to protrude 3 to 4 inches past the slab.

3.Make sure the flashing at the window heads goes as high as possible, even up to the top of the wall so that water can't get behind it.

The only "window flashing" being used is "window wrap". We were told that this is flashing. I also asked about the windows being caulked when installed and I was told that this was done when the sheet rock guy came.......

4. Is there a building code in your town? Building inspectors?
What state are you in?

I am in Texas and we are outside the city limits. We do not have a county inspector, but our loan officer said that he is a qualified inspector and he was going to be inspecting every step of the way. When I called him and told him that there was no brick ledge, he thought I was looking at the wrong house because the builder has not made any draws on the loan and has not told the loan officer to inspect anything.

5.Are there specifications or drawings and a contract that you approved?

Yes, we have a contract and a floor plan/house plan. We agreed to the fiberbrace not realizing what it was. We assumed that plywood and tyvec was standard for all housing. That is what we always see on houses being built!

The contractor did tell me yesterday that they did not have time to get the forms for the slab inspected prior to pouring. When we asked the first time they told us that their inspector inspected and that everything was fine.....I asked again yesterday and he admited that it was not inspected. Hence, no brick ledge, and a non squared slab!

We spoke with an attorney today and he said we could either try to agree on a list of requests that we make for the builder and they eat the cost or we can go to court and try to get them to have to bulldoze the slab.

The problem is nothing can fix the slab except bulldozing it.

Thanks:confused:
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:05 AM   #24
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new construction no Brick ledge


I would be more concerned about weather protection than brick or stone, but then I have never liked partial brick houses; the ones designed by contractor’s usually look pretty bad, especially on a small house, but I haven’t seen your design.

I think you could still put brick (don't know why stone would be installed differently) on the house using the detail I gave you (no brick shelf) but it would mean tearing down the walls and setting them back about 5".

If you are willing to have the exterior walls be all siding, perhaps you could get a financial settlement from the contractor for not providing it since it is in the contract. Or perhaps he would let you build another house on another lot with the original design. Or perhaps his errors are great enough to void the contract and get your money back. I would think the loan company would be way ahead of you on this — it's their house too!

Although Texas has adopted the 2000 International Residential Code (IRC), the code must be adopted at the local level prior to enforcement. The Texas Department of Insurance has replaced the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) code with the IRC and IBC. You should call someone at the state or county level and see if the IRC applies to you. It appears that it doesn’t or the contractor wouldn’t even try to build this way. He probably intentionally builds in unregulated communities.

The 2003 IRC Section R703.2 requires minimum 14 lb/100 s.f. asphalt saturated felt (building paper) under the Hardiplank siding. That would be the equivalent of #30 building paper (not #15). Tyvek or Typar would be an acceptable substitute. I can give you the full text if you need it. I am shocked that your lending company did not require the construction to meet the IRC regardless of the local enforcement or that they didn't review the construction documents and apply their own standards.

It appears your contractor is either incompetent, dishonest or both. I would start looking for other people he has hurt and projects that have turned bad. Your house can't be the only one.

Last edited by mighty anvil; 04-11-2006 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 04-11-2006, 09:35 AM   #25
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Two ways I can think of to put brick on your house without taking any thing down.

1). dig down next to the foundation and pour a footing next to the one that is there, drill and epoxy set rebar into the existing to lock it all together. Then brick up from there.

2). Dig down to below grade and bolt a steel angle iron to the existing foundation. The brick would be set on this angle. I would use a galvanized 4"x6" and attach it every 12 to 16 inches.

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Old 11-19-2012, 02:03 PM   #26
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new construction no Brick ledge


So why can't you just put the brick on the footings that are already there? That is how I always saw it done back in Arkansas.

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