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Old 10-09-2008, 01:15 PM   #1
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Unleveled Floor


I am looking a potentially buying a one story home has a 6'x8' open air atrium in the middle. The 3' width of tile that surrounds it seems to be unleveled - like it is sunken in and almost wavy at some points. What would cause this? Is this a foundation problem? The house was built in 1978.

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Old 10-09-2008, 02:54 PM   #2
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I am looking a potentially buying a one story home has a 6'x8' open air atrium in the middle. The 3' width of tile that surrounds it seems to be unleveled - like it is sunken in and almost wavy at some points. What would cause this? Is this a foundation problem? The house was built in 1978.
Time to crawl underneath the house and see what it looks like.

Foundation would be the first place to look as this would be the most costly to fix.

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Old 10-09-2008, 02:57 PM   #3
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Could foundation be the only reason?
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:11 PM   #4
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Could foundation be the only reason?
No.

It could be as simple as they did a poor job of tiling and the tile has slid down. Or maybe they did it that way on purpose.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:57 PM   #5
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I guess I would have to get an inspector in there to be certain what the problem is then.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-10-2008, 08:17 AM   #6
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If it's open to the elements it might be that way to allow for proper drainage. Do you have a photo of it?
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Old 10-10-2008, 10:16 AM   #7
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Here is a pic the realtor supplies of the atrium. I am not sure if this is a view that can help you understand its structure though.

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Old 10-10-2008, 11:25 AM   #8
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Here is a pic the realtor supplies of the atrium. I am not sure if this is a view that can help you understand its structure though.
From this view it looks like it is open to the elements and I would say that the backing for the tile is rotten and that is why the tile is all screwed up.

If this is the case the fix is not a major deal. Just a lot of work and some good choices in materials to prevent this from happening again and some correct construction methods to keep moisture from getting behind the materials.

On the other hand if this is not open to the element then there is probably a leak somewhere.

Take a level and make sure that all the framing is level and square. If this is the case then I would be comfortable ruling out a caving foundation.

If it is open to the elements it would be nice to know where the rain goes. Make sure it is drained from under the house.
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:13 PM   #9
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It is completely open to the elements - just a blue sky when you stand in there and look up.

Also, if you look in the bottom right-hand corner of the atrium, you will see a small drain hole - I would assume 8"x15" - surrounded by rock. That is where it is supposed to drain from. (Not a great view of it, but you can kinda see its location.)
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Old 10-11-2008, 10:20 AM   #10
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Also there is a pretty thick crack on the cement in the garage. It starts very heavy from the outermost part of the garage, as it makes its way to the door leading to the house the crack starts to get thinner but not completely gone....
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:01 AM   #11
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There are a lot of mature trees in the yard. I think this might be the cause of it. I am hoping to remove them completely to prevent any future problems.
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Old 10-11-2008, 03:13 PM   #12
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Aside from being an endless money-pit what is it about this particular property that appeals to you? You may think about looking at something else to buy. Something of a more conservative design that isn't full of flaws.
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Old 10-11-2008, 03:15 PM   #13
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It has some perks:
Location (close to every where I want to be); lot size (14500 sq ft); open kitchen and yes, I love the atrium.
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Old 10-11-2008, 05:19 PM   #14
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It has some perks:
Location (close to every where I want to be); lot size (14500 sq ft); open kitchen and yes, I love the atrium.
All desirable reasons to what to get it. I love the atrium and showed my wife the pictures. We want to build something like that one of these days.

Just don't let emotions overrule common sense and if you do buy it do it with your eyes wide open.

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