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Old 12-11-2015, 08:38 PM   #1
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Building New House - Foundation Issues?


We are building a large home, and had another builder come in and look at the home and he said we may have foundation issues. There are some cracks in the foundation here and there (I don't know if that's bad or not, you can't see the cracks in the video), but I noticed that when you stomp on the floor in certain areas, the concrete "bounces" a bit. I don't think this is normal - at least logically it doesn't.

I uploaded a video of it on youtube:
(notice around 10 seconds in, he stomps on the concrete, and the bouncing becomes apparent. Probably need to full-screen it because it's in portrait video mode).

It's a short video, I couldn't get it uploaded in high def so the cracks are a little hard to see. But if you full-screen it the bouncing is very easily noticeable. I'll try to get some high - res pictures of the cracks if I need.

Planning on getting an inspection done soon, but am interested if I'm blowing this out of proportion?
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:50 PM   #2
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Something is way wrong----that slab should be 4 " thick---how can 4" thick concrete do that?

We have some masons and concrete guys here----let's see what one of them says.
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Old 12-11-2015, 08:53 PM   #3
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I agree 100% and why that rough finish?
Should have been smooth as a baby bum.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:18 PM   #4
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I agree looks like a amateur job. But the concrete still looks a little green . Even if it cures a bit and strengthens its still a lousy job
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:32 PM   #5
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That would be a huge red flag to me.
What else did they mess up on.
Messed up foundation and the whole house suffers.
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Old 12-11-2015, 09:34 PM   #6
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Looks/sounds like a wood floor with concrete floor leveler on it.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:33 PM   #7
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Looks/sounds like a wood floor with concrete floor leveler on it.
Hopefully not, as its the basement floor / foundation.

I will run down to the site tomorrow and get a better video of it that's higher quality.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
I agree 100% and why that rough finish?
Should have been smooth as a baby bum.
It's a lower quality video, but I think you may be referring to the sawdust / small woodchips? It's been swept up recently so I will get a better video of it.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:47 PM   #9
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I've been pouring concrete for a long time, and I've never seen anything like that. It appears from the video that there's quite a bit of random cracking concentrated in that small area. Even so, unless the concrete is sitting directly on gelatonous soil, it shouldn't move that easily.

As for the foundation walls, it's not uncommon for them to crack vertically every 20-30' of length. The most common places to see cracks are starting at window openings, grade changes, and adjacent to the steel wall ties. Very few wall contractors install cast control joints, or even sawn after stripping the forms, and I have no idea why they don't. If they did, they'd probably eliminate 95% of their callbacks.

Lastly, the floor finish looks fine to me, it's obvious there's just sawdust sittign on top of it. But, you're going to need some further investigation into the floor before you move ahead with the build IMPO.........
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:54 PM   #10
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Drill a hole in it. That will tell you how thick it is.
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Old 12-11-2015, 11:19 PM   #11
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How long ago was that floor poured? It almost sounds hollow when he stomps over near that crack and you can definitely see both sides of the crack move independent from each other. That's certainly a problem now will become worse over time.
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Old 12-12-2015, 12:21 AM   #12
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How long ago was that floor poured? It almost sounds hollow when he stomps over near that crack and you can definitely see both sides of the crack move independent from each other. That's certainly a problem now will become worse over time.
The house isn't even finished yet - so maybe 3-4 months ago? Definitely not that long ago.
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Old 12-12-2015, 05:36 AM   #13
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I hope you didn't tell your builder that you had another contractor critique his work. That tends to make builders mad, and could result in a lot more problems for you. But if that concrete work is as bad as the pros seem to say it is, I'd fire your builder immediately and forbid him to set foot on my property again. A friend and neighbor of mine actually did that years ago when the builder he hired to construct his custom log home turned out to be a hack who must've gotten his GC license from a box of Cracker Jacks.
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Old 12-12-2015, 01:47 PM   #14
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I hope you didn't tell your builder that you had another contractor critique his work. That tends to make builders mad, and could result in a lot more problems for you. But if that concrete work is as bad as the pros seem to say it is, I'd fire your builder immediately and forbid him to set foot on my property again. A friend and neighbor of mine actually did that years ago when the builder he hired to construct his custom log home turned out to be a hack who must've gotten his GC license from a box of Cracker Jacks.
We didn't tell him yet - we just found this out. I don't plan on telling him that another builder discovered it (it was done more as a favor of a friend than a real inspection). Although I'm curious as to why it would create more problems? If it were me as the builder, it would motivate me to do a better job and/or keep a better eye on the homes I was building. If nothing else, it would be embarrassing and I would try to remedy it as quick as possible. Do builders operate under a different set of rules / ethics? (not a snide comment, I'm actually curious).

Also, the builder is a very well-known guy who has built several homes in the $1M-$3M range. He had great reviews, and his references checked out (I have no idea how, because this has been a nightmare). I wish we could fire him, as we've had SO MANY other issues. But we've already give him our construction deposit (non-refundable), so we'd be walking away from a large chunk of change (about $85k).

It's the weekend, so we will notify the contractor first thing on Monday. I hope this can be remedied - but I have a feeling that's not going to be our only foundational issue

I'm going to be running down there today to take better pictures, if nothing else but to document their sizes. I'll post them up later.

Last edited by daudi81; 12-12-2015 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:51 PM   #15
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The builder(general contractor) may not be aware. It could be the concrete sub who is at fault.
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