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Old 01-30-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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Well..builder screwed me again!


I am living in a tract house built in 1975...I bought it from the orig
owner in 1987. We had a home inspection done and it passed with
flying colors...now that we have lived in this house for the past
25 years...we can officially call it the house from hell. It is a 240
sq ft french colonial with a mansard roof and has been keeping
me busy trying to correct all the builder's mistakes all of those
25 years. First of all there is not a square corner or level floor in
the whole house. The roof is poorly framed and underbuilt...I spent
one season just redoing the roof from the rafters up. Side walls are
not plumb, which cause havoc when renewing the doors and windows
I had to actually reframe the walls near all the doors so I could hang
them plumb.
Now I want to do some major interior renovations, but I found that
the floor was like a big bowl...all sagging toward the middle. This is
a wide house measure 30x40 in the main section...so there are two
main support beams in the middle of the basement...they are thre
stacked 2x10's supported by steel columns about every 10 feet.
I felt this was underengineered...so I purchased 5x5 3/8 steel
angle steel to place under the beams to stiffen them. Meanwhile
I will be adding extra support via extra lally columns. You can really
see the sag along the whole length of these beams...\\

Anyway...I retrofitted the steel and started to jack up the beams
gradually via large bottle jacks sitting on stout 4x6 stands I made.
No problem...the beams went up easily...I started to shim under
the existing columns with 3/8 steel plates. Well when I lower the
load onto these existing columns...they just started to sink...
Guess what...this __hole builder did not even put footings
under the columns...they were just sitting on a thin crust of
basement concrete as thin as 1/4 inch in spots...so now I have
to support around each column while I remove it and dig a proper
footing. I am so pissed!

It borders on criminal negligence...definitely not up to code...is there
anything I can do to get this builder after all these years? Probably
the same thing going on in every house he built...there are about
500 in the development. THis would be a good story for Mike Holmes.

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Old 01-30-2011, 03:33 PM   #2
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Well..builder screwed me again!


Wait a minute. How long did you state that you have lived there? Now, after a quarter of a Century, you want repercussions against the original builder.

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Old 01-30-2011, 03:54 PM   #3
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Proper footings will probably eliminate the need for the extra steel and columns.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:04 PM   #4
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Your house is 35 trs old. Building techniqes have change a ton since then. Are you sure there arnt footings there? Did the owner before you possibly add a post (the one your jacking up) to reduce deflection and just put it on the slab? Id look at the other columns and see if they have footings.

As far as the roof being under built what told you this?

Out of plumb and square are nothing new in a 35 yr old house. Houses move as does the ground beneath them. To stop all these problems from hopefully even occuring construction cost would be on par with commercial. Your house would be 3 times as much, which most people would never go for. Im sure you bought your house partially because you thought it was a good value. You cant blame a builder 35 yrs ago for normal building life.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:12 PM   #5
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Well..builder screwed me again!


I sure hope I don't find that when I do mine, the main beam in this place sags 1-3/4" across 28 ft.

I believe when they built this place the beam was in, they clipped the posts to the beam and poured concrete under them.

In other words, they didn't level the beam first and its sagging under the load imposed on it, I figure about 1170#/ft.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:14 PM   #6
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Well..builder screwed me again!


How far off where your walls?
I've hung doors on walls that were out of plumb by an inch over the height of the door.

Had to get out the planer and be creative with the trim, paint and caulk.

I'd say all the stuff you are experiancing is about standard.
Holmes goes way overboard, if you bought a home build by him expect do pay at least double than the home next door.

You wouldn't pay it and that's why builders don't build like that.
Market dictates.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelcherr View Post
Holmes goes way overboard, if you bought a home build by him expect do pay at least double than the home next door.

You wouldn't pay it and that's why builders don't build like that.
Market dictates.
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Old 01-30-2011, 04:56 PM   #8
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I feel your pain... bought my fixer upper 7yrs ago, every little project and upgrade I do turns ends up being a horrible fight to correct. Don't know if I could take leagal action or not but frankly I'd rather stick with the fantasy of hunting down the backward a$$ f*!#ing hillbilly that did all "fixin" on this place and stomp a mudd hole in his... lol ... well at least the thought keeps me going
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:18 PM   #9
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Well..builder screwed me again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by MyEvilBanana View Post
I feel your pain... bought my fixer upper 7yrs ago, every little project and upgrade I do turns ends up being a horrible fight to correct. Don't know if I could take leagal action or not but frankly I'd rather stick with the fantasy of hunting down the backward a$$ f*!#ing hillbilly that did all "fixin" on this place and stomp a mudd hole in his... lol ... well at least the thought keeps me going
Hmmmmm, just what is your definition of a backward hillbilly, is it a person from a certain location in the USA, or just a state of mind?
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:41 PM   #10
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I'm sorry...there is no excuse for violating building codes....no footings
under posts IS inexcusable...the roofing joists were 4x6 when they
clearly should have been at least 4x8..roof sheating a half inch instead
of 5/8. When you walk on a roof and it feels like you are going to fall
thru...its a good indication of theivery. Many block foundations in this
develpment actually caved in. I avoided this malady by inserting rebar
and concrete into the blocks every 6 ft. I have seen many home builders
in this town that are decent and their houses have withstood the test
of time. The Europeans have it right...don't overdevelop and build residences that can last 800+ years...sure they cost more, but look
at the value...the problem with Americas economy that is surfacing now
is the lack of forward thinking and longevity...a disposable economy.

One thing I can thank this builder for...I have learned an awful lot
about construction.
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by echelonphoto View Post
I'm sorry...there is no excuse for violating building codes...
I thought you said it had passed all the building inspections "with flying colors". If it violated existing building codes when constructed that should have been caught.

Sorry, just reread your post. it was a home inspector not a building inspector. Were there building permits required in 1975? Do you know what the codes were back then? I can guarantee you they are not the same ones we use today.

Last edited by fungku; 01-30-2011 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #12
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Well..builder screwed me again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by echelonphoto View Post
The Europeans have it right...don't overdevelop and build residences that can last 800+ years...sure they cost more, but look
at the value...the problem with Americas economy that is surfacing now
is the lack of forward thinking and longevity...a disposable economy.

One thing I can thank this builder for...I have learned an awful lot
about construction.
Everyone here wants large homes that they can't afford to build properly for the long-term. They don't want small, well-built homes (that would likely cost the same as their large home with fancy kitchens, master bathrooms, etc...)

The middle class want to feel like upper class. Their homes and toys reflect that and so does their credit.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:43 PM   #13
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Well..builder screwed me again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by echelonphoto View Post
I'm sorry...there is no excuse for violating building codes....no footings
under posts IS inexcusable...the roofing joists were 4x6 when they
clearly should have been at least 4x8..roof sheating a half inch instead
of 5/8. When you walk on a roof and it feels like you are going to fall
thru...its a good indication of theivery. Many block foundations in this
develpment actually caved in. I avoided this malady by inserting rebar
and concrete into the blocks every 6 ft. I have seen many home builders
in this town that are decent and their houses have withstood the test
of time. The Europeans have it right...don't overdevelop and build residences that can last 800+ years...sure they cost more, but look
at the value...the problem with Americas economy that is surfacing now
is the lack of forward thinking and longevity...a disposable economy.

One thing I can thank this builder for...I have learned an awful lot
about construction.
How long is the span on the 4x6 and whats the on center spacing? Ive built many many houses with 1/2 sheathing theres nothing wrong with it. Sure 5/8 is better and thats what we use on the large custom homes. 5/8 still deflects when you walk on it.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echelonphoto View Post

It borders on criminal negligence...definitely not up to code...is there
anything I can do to get this builder after all these years? Probably
the same thing going on in every house he built...there are about
500 in the development. THis would be a good story for Mike Holmes.
First of all, let me state that I'm not trying to lead you into any legal advice.

I will tell you this though. Many years ago we rebuilt a faulty chimney chase (flues had no block backing around them) on a house approximately the same age. It was built by a fairly large builder, who's still around to this day. The chimney was not built to code at the time, and the HO followed up and was awarded monetary damages 25+ years later because of it. Obviously, the home warranty & statute of limitiations were both long past due, but the fact that it clearly wasn't built to code in the first place still held water.

At this point, you're best bet would be to do some research on building code for that time period, and possibly seek professional legal help.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:15 AM   #15
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Well..builder screwed me again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by echelonphoto View Post
I am living in a tract house built in 1975...I bought it from the orig
owner in 1987. We had a home inspection done and it passed with
flying colors...now that we have lived in this house for the past
25 years...we can officially call it the house from hell. It is a 240
sq ft french colonial with a mansard roof and has been keeping
me busy trying to correct all the builder's mistakes all of those
25 years. First of all there is not a square corner or level floor in
the whole house. The roof is poorly framed and underbuilt...I spent
one season just redoing the roof from the rafters up. Side walls are
not plumb, which cause havoc when renewing the doors and windows
I had to actually reframe the walls near all the doors so I could hang
them plumb.
Now I want to do some major interior renovations, but I found that
the floor was like a big bowl...all sagging toward the middle. This is
a wide house measure 30x40 in the main section...so there are two
main support beams in the middle of the basement...they are thre
stacked 2x10's supported by steel columns about every 10 feet.
I felt this was underengineered...so I purchased 5x5 3/8 steel
angle steel to place under the beams to stiffen them. Meanwhile
I will be adding extra support via extra lally columns. You can really
see the sag along the whole length of these beams...\\

Anyway...I retrofitted the steel and started to jack up the beams
gradually via large bottle jacks sitting on stout 4x6 stands I made.
No problem...the beams went up easily...I started to shim under
the existing columns with 3/8 steel plates. Well when I lower the
load onto these existing columns...they just started to sink...
Guess what...this __hole builder did not even put footings
under the columns...they were just sitting on a thin crust of
basement concrete as thin as 1/4 inch in spots...so now I have
to support around each column while I remove it and dig a proper
footing. I am so pissed!

It borders on criminal negligence...definitely not up to code...is there
anything I can do to get this builder after all these years? Probably
the same thing going on in every house he built...there are about
500 in the development. THis would be a good story for Mike Holmes.
I have the same story but with a garage 1 side of it started to sink the idiots didn't do it right! i have a good lawyer and i'm going to court soon, i ended up using cdickie.com they did a good job, but it wasn't cheep when i saw what was involved i understood why.
lesson learned for me never go with the cheapest guy

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