Basement I Beam in a New Home

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  #1  
Old 08-16-12, 11:34 AM
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Basement I Beam in a New Home

Hey guys. It's been a long time since I posted on these forums. My question today regards a basement I beam for a house I may purchase. I met with the builder to go over a few things and this kinda jumped out at me. The foundation is block and has notches on both sides to accept an I beam. However, only one side is installed in that fashion. The other side is supported by what appears to be 6-8 2x4s laminated into a column. In the center of this spam is a loli column. New house... never lived in. I asked the builder why he didn't just extend the beam another 2 foot to the other foundation notch. He said "oh, we just decided to cut it off here." Hrm. If I do purchase, I will most definitely get an inspection... but I'm just wondering if anyone has ever seen one side of a beam supported by the foundation and the other not. Disclaimer: I'm no pro so this may be a dumb question.

Thanks in advance guys.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 11:37 AM
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I don't like the sound of this or the builder's answer. What else did he 'decide' to do in similar fashion?
 
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Old 08-16-12, 11:49 AM
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That's the only structural thing that jumped out. There is, however, a pipe buried below the back yard that begins at the streets storm water basin and exits on the vacant property beside mine. According to him, there neighborhood doesn't have enough lots sold/developed yet to tie into it's storm water system. Seemed extremely fishy to me. I contacted the township and I'm waiting for their response. Shame... hope both of these issues are on the "up and up." I really like the home.

I'll try to snag a pic of the beam in question.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 02:36 PM
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I'll wait on pix, but what is this massive post sitting on? Surely they cut out the floor and dug down for a footing below grade and poured it for support. Just sitting a beam like that on the concrete floor of the house is not acceptable. It appears the builder has more quick answers than I'd like to hear. A pipe that goes nowhere?? Let us know what the township says, 'cause I am sure they would want to know about it.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 02:51 PM
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I'm almost positive they didn't dig and its sitting directly on the slab. Damn. I liked this house. How can that crap pass inspection?
 
  #6  
Old 08-16-12, 02:58 PM
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I bet this clown ordered too short of a beam and then just made a make shift post outta 2x4. Ugh.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 03:01 PM
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Maybe it was not thoroughly inspected. Permitting and inspection is not an income source for many municipalities because of the cost of overhead, time, cars/mileage needed for a good inspections as a project proceeds. Some people building from scratch hire their own inspector.

Dick
 
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Old 08-16-12, 04:54 PM
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I bet this clown ordered too short of a beam
Probably On new construction the 'footer' in the middle of the slab would have been dug before the concrete floor was poured. Does the column go into the concrete? Of course that's assuming they knew there was going to be support placed at that location. When you get an inspector [and not one affiliated with the seller/real estate] be sure to point out these concerns to him.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 06:30 PM
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Probably On new construction the 'footer' in the middle of the slab would have been dug before the concrete floor was poured. Does the column go into the concrete? Of course that's assuming they knew there was going to be support placed at that location. When you get an inspector [and not one affiliated with the seller/real estate] be sure to point out these concerns to him.
The 2x4 laminated column just rests on top of the concrete. It does seem substantial but not in comparison to what you guys are describing. Really bummed... this seems like a show stopper and one that can't be fixed.

So, I guess another really important question... Can I trust MY agent to pick out the inspector? He doesn't seem to be partial or motivated to push me toward this specific house, but who knows.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 06:41 PM
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Well if the seller were willing to knock off enough on the price a good welder with guidance from a structural engineer could fix the problem by adding on to the beam. Problem is heaven knows what else is screwed up.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 07:05 PM
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Well if the seller were willing to knock off enough on the price a good welder with guidance from a structural engineer could fix the problem by adding on to the beam. Problem is heaven knows what else is screwed up.
So I'm hearing run away from this as fast as possible, lol. Damn.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 07:15 PM
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I certainly can't advise buying this - I'm afraid of the corners he cut that you don't (yet) know about
 
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Old 08-17-12, 03:45 AM
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You haven't looked at the plumbing, drains, electrical and other parts of the infrastructure that you can't "see", so there's no telling what corners were cut by subs knowing it would be covered up. This just stands out as a big sign saying "RUN". Keep in mind, you haven't posted pix yet, so we really can't see what is there, either.
 
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Old 08-17-12, 04:00 AM
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Keep in mind, you haven't posted pix yet, so we really can't see what is there, either.
I'll try to swing by tonight and get some pix.
 
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Old 08-18-12, 08:48 AM
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Ok guys... got pics. Really hoping to get the stamp of approval from everyone... I'm trying to come up with excuses to make an offer Really like the home. This issue is the only remaining thing stopping me. Again, looking at the beam it seems very sturdy. Everyone involved so far is wondering why I'm freaking out about it and I'm hearing it's not a problem. I know I'll get the truth here though. Posting pics of the "good side" that sits on the foundation... and of course the "bad side." Let me know what you think. Thanks.

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Old 08-18-12, 09:41 AM
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Just guessing the builder may have initially thought the stairs wouldn't clear the beam is why he ran it short though obviously it would have just barely cleared the stairs.
 
  #17  
Old 08-18-12, 09:55 AM
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Just guessing the builder may have initially thought the stairs wouldn't clear the beam is why he ran it short though obviously it would have just barely cleared the stairs.
I thought the same thing. What do you think about how they finished the column? Like i said, it seemed sturdy. Should I steer clear? Thought about talking to the township about it.
 
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Old 08-18-12, 02:29 PM
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The builder just made an error in judgment. He figured to run the beam all the way to the receiver block. At least that is what the prints called for, and what would have been right. The stair stringers may have needed a little notching, but they would have been sitting on the beam so no harm done. The lally column needs to be on a footer at least 12" square or round and at least 12" deep.
I would definitely talk to the township regarding it, and let them know they (or their agent) inspected it and apparently issued a CO on it. Is it to their specifications? Let us know the outcome.
 
  #19  
Old 08-21-12, 11:49 AM
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Ok... the township got back to me. They said that at the time this house was inspected, the builder was under the 2006 building codes. Apparently the township adopted the state codes and he mentioned IRC (International Residential Code?) The inspectors are a third party outfit and he said they passed everything and issued a certificate of occupancy in 2009. This is all very strange to me. Either these Pennsylvania state codes aren't stringent enough or someone is greasing someone's pocket... either way, something doesn't add up here. Does any of this make sense to you guys? Should I contact the third party inspectors and ask them WTF they passed this crap?
 
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Old 08-21-12, 12:04 PM
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I'm not much on the structural stuff....but the pic of the breaker panel and the others that show wiring, tells me they didn't even care about obvious stuff people could see. That tells me they would care even less about hidden stuff.

I'm no electrician...but I could probably pick out 6 things wrong just in that pic. Pro's would prob see more in a real inspection.
 
  #21  
Old 08-21-12, 12:16 PM
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I'm not much on the structural stuff....but the pic of the breaker panel and the others that show wiring, tells me they didn't even care about obvious stuff people could see. That tells me they would care even less about hidden stuff.

I'm no electrician...but I could probably pick out 6 things wrong just in that pic. Pro's would prob see more in a real inspection.
Yet it passes inspection. Seriously, wtf?
 
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Old 08-21-12, 01:04 PM
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My opinion has not changed, I cannot advise buying this home.
 
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Old 08-21-12, 02:51 PM
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Vic, this panel wasn't wired by a licensed electrician, IMO. The exit cabling is too haphazardly done. We haven't even seen inside the box, yet. That will tell the tale.
 
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Old 08-21-12, 03:20 PM
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Larry...I agree....or if it was a Pro...someone came in after the inspection and did more work.
 
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Old 08-21-12, 06:30 PM
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If I was in a gambling mood, I might buy such a place. But only after some serious evaluation:

1. Get a good electrician, have him open up the service panel and rewire everything needing it, there and in rest of house that's accessible. Reduce offer amount by his estimate.

2. Extend short beam myself, using bolted web and top/bottom flange splice plates, no welding necessary. Get estimate for doing same from the most expensive ironworker I could find. Reduce offer amount by same, plus materials, plus design engineer's calculations to size the splice plates and bolt configuration.

3. Poke around in attic, estimate cost to correct any screw-ups found there (roof support framing, roof sheathing, insulation, etc.). Reduce offer amount by same, labor and materials.

4. With help of AHJ, determine ramifications of having an active retention pond next door. Get estimates for any future remediation work necessary to correct potential flooding damage. Require builder hold that amount in bonded escrow account, payable to me, or reduce offer amount by same if he refuses.

5. Get estimates for removal/replacement of deficient stairwell framing. Reduce offer amount by same, labor and materials.


And then, hopefully, live happily ever after.
 
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