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Old 12-18-2006, 01:02 AM   #1
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Basement Question- Link to pics!


Hi everyone,

My husband and I are trying to buy a house. We saw one that we REALLY liked today but the only thing that concerned us was the basement. Between the wall and the floor, there is a small gap which runs along at least two of the walls. It appears that there might be dirt in between this gap. The house was built in 1924.

Was does this mean? Is it something that needs to be fixed? Does this indicate severe structural damage?

Also, the pipes in one picture are all tapped up. This most likely has to be fixed too I would assume. If you look at the walls, they appear discolored in places. Is this mold? Dirt?

Thank you for any feedback on this!! Here is the link. Clicking on the slideshow button will take you through all the pictures.

http://new.photos.yahoo.com/russandr...60762376544896

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Old 12-18-2006, 03:58 AM   #2
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Basement Question- Link to pics!


This pic looks like there have been some pretty good cracks that have been patched.

http://f7.yahoofs.com/users/XX6FUqYB..._sr_/d594.jpg?

This looks to be a concern too, because it kind of looks to me like there could be abestos under the tape.



I would be pretty careful here it looks like there could be some real problems.

I am not a pro buy any means, but have spent a few years in the construction field.

You really need a good inspector in there, and walk through the whole hose with him.

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Last edited by Hiapo; 12-18-2006 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 12-18-2006, 05:04 AM   #3
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Basement Question- Link to pics!


Leikela,
Buy a house with a good foundation, and a dry basement. It's a LOT cheaper in the long run.
Best regards,
Michael

Last edited by mikesewell; 12-18-2006 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 12-18-2006, 09:03 AM   #4
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If you are just looking around and have found a house you really like and there is one specific question (structural, electrical, roof, etc.) you have a specialist look at it before making an offer.

If you are making an offer on a house, include a provision in the offer for a pre-purchase home inspection from a certified, insured home inspector. If he sees something major, he should point it out and suggest a specialist for that item.

The home inspection is a general inspection that is limited to visual items and conditions. Specialized inspections can be costly, but can be worth it on major cost items that you are worried about. A general pre-purchase home inspection is $250 - $400. A specialized inspection one just one area can cost the same or more, depending on the details.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. I just have one question. Does the separation between the wall and floor indicate a weak foundation??

Also, we do plan on having a home inspector but in NJ they are costly. We spent $750 on one for the last house we were going to buy. That was a house of horrors! We want to avoid having to shell out that money again to find that the house is not worth buying. That's why I posted up these pictures. The rest of the house is in excellent condition with a brand new kitchen and bathrooms.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:58 PM   #6
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The gap does not indicate a structural problem. The floor and the walls are buit as two separate sections.

The cost of a home inspection is usually is dictated by the home value, age, square footage and possibly by roof heights. Also, the cost of the required insuarance in some areas can raise the cost.

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Old 12-18-2006, 01:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leikela View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I just have one question. Does the separation between the wall and floor indicate a weak foundation??

Also, we do plan on having a home inspector but in NJ they are costly. We spent $750 on one for the last house we were going to buy. That was a house of horrors! We want to avoid having to shell out that money again to find that the house is not worth buying. That's why I posted up these pictures. The rest of the house is in excellent condition with a brand new kitchen and bathrooms.
While it could be shrinkage/settlement cracks, it looks like the slab was poured after the walls were built and for whatever reason they didn't pour it tight to the walls. I would imagine that the floor was originally just soil and someone added the slab later. Notice the defined edge of the slab and the jagged/rough edge of the walls. Regardless, it definately looks like theres been some water in that basement at one time. I would find out why.
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Old 12-18-2006, 01:15 PM   #8
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Im not a foundation guy, just your average homeowner and diy'er with an opinion. Do yourself a favor and follow your gut instinct and keep looking for a better house. The question becomes; are you willing to make the financial sacrifice to fix that foundation?,how much do you want to spend?, is 10k enough to fix it?, can you negoiate that much out of the seller?, probably, is it enough to fix the foundation?, probably not, what about 30k, maybe,too many unknowns. That gap between slab and wall is trouble and you know it, thats why you are asking. Don't forget, if you buy, your basement will have moisture problems, how can it not?. More importantly, think of the grief you will go thru trying to sell your house in the future if you buy now and do not fix. Its a buyers real estate market, and its the buyers time of year, keep looking.
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:05 PM   #9
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I agree, I will go for another house to have a peace of mind...
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:49 PM   #10
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Thanks again for the feedback. You guys rock!!

I can see what ncgrogan is saying about the slab being poured later, hence the gap. I feel better about that now. The house was built in 1924 so I can see the original basement just being soil.

My husband and I can buy up to $315K max. That's not much here in Northern, NJ so we're going to find faults in something. It's a matter of what we're willing to settle with. Other than the basement, the house really is immaculate. We're getting the Seller's Disclosure today so hopefully that will shed more light. I'll keep you guys updated!

Thanks again and keep the opinions coming!
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:01 PM   #11
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The house purchase is up to you depending on the location and condition.

The stupid idea that there is a problem that it is bad that the slab was poured after after the walls is just simple sign of ignorance.The slab is intended to be poured after the walls are built and is usually sitting on the footings. In some old homes with unusual conditions the slab may be designed to be between the footings (I owned one), but is always poured after the walls.

There will always be a joint or crack between the floor and the wall, no matter how close you pour the slab. Concrete shricks and will always pull away to some degree. In some situtations, it is intended that there be an open gap to collect water and allow it to drain down to permeable soil or drain tile.

Choose whether you want to buy the house, but do not let the decision rely on an erroneous opinion regarding a normal construction practice.
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
The house purchase is up to you depending on the location and condition.

The stupid idea that there is a problem that it is bad that the slab was poured after after the walls is just simple sign of ignorance.The slab is intended to be poured after the walls are built and is usually sitting on the footings. In some old homes with unusual conditions the slab may be designed to be between the footings (I owned one), but is always poured after the walls.

There will always be a joint or crack between the floor and the wall, no matter how close you pour the slab. Concrete shricks and will always pull away to some degree. In some situtations, it is intended that there be an open gap to collect water and allow it to drain down to permeable soil or drain tile.

Choose whether you want to buy the house, but do not let the decision rely on an erroneous opinion regarding a normal construction practice.
don't look at me, I didnt say it.
Any crack between foundation and slab is a potential avenue for moisture. That is a given, you don't need a pro to tell you that. (not a pro-full disclosure)
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mikedks View Post
don't look at me, I didnt say it.
Any crack between foundation and slab is a potential avenue for moisture. That is a given, you don't need a pro to tell you that. (not a pro-full disclosure)
This is true. However, the gap between the foundation wall and the concrete floor seems to be a "unique" feature of the house and intentionally poured that way. Or are you referring to other cracks that you saw in the picture?
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:54 PM   #14
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I was talking about gap between foundation and slab, but same can be said for cracks in foundation wall.

Sounds like you really want this house, so here's what you do...
-make an offer
-pay for home inspection and bring in an expert to evaluate basement seperately. You have to do it, no question, be there if possible and bring a list of questions.
-see if seller will pick up part of the cost, probably not but you never know.
Good Luck
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
The house purchase is up to you depending on the location and condition.

The stupid idea that there is a problem that it is bad that the slab was poured after after the walls is just simple sign of ignorance.The slab is intended to be poured after the walls are built and is usually sitting on the footings. In some old homes with unusual conditions the slab may be designed to be between the footings (I owned one), but is always poured after the walls.

There will always be a joint or crack between the floor and the wall, no matter how close you pour the slab. Concrete shricks and will always pull away to some degree. In some situtations, it is intended that there be an open gap to collect water and allow it to drain down to permeable soil or drain tile.

Choose whether you want to buy the house, but do not let the decision rely on an erroneous opinion regarding a normal construction practice.
No one ever said there was a problem or it was a bad idea to pour the slab afterwards. What I was getting at it that it was probably an upgrade, add-on, renovation, whatever you wanna call it. And yes we all know most concrete shrinks but before you call someone ignorant, you should take ignorant statements out of your post. Not all concrete shrinks, type k concrete expands.
From the pictures it doesn't look like a "crack" it looks like an inch or so gap which appears to be equal all the way around the slab. And like I said they did that for whatever reason, drainage, incompetence, whatever. The point is its more than likely not a settlement crack, which is what she was asking jack

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