Proper Foundation Support

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  #1  
Old 01-19-15, 08:50 AM
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Proper Foundation Support

Hi,
We are in the process of purchasing a home and the seller was responsible for having supports added to the foundation wall. We went over for a walk through today and the job looked a little unprofessional. Is it standard practice to use wood nailed to the joists for stabilizing the steel beams? Is this up to code? We are in Kansas City, KS.

Thanks

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  #2  
Old 01-19-15, 09:14 AM
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What is it supporting

While it might stabilize the joists from side to side, it's providing zero support from below. Are the steel posts unsecured at the top? I'm having trouble understanding what the post are supporting or why they were installed.
 
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Old 01-19-15, 09:17 AM
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I agree with Mark - I'm not seeing any value to this.
 
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Old 01-19-15, 09:41 AM
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Looks like the steel beams are trying to hold the foundation wall from pushing in. Bottoms are sunk into the floor and tops are being held against the wall with those wood blocks. I doubt any engineer would have designed it that way. Besides being cobbled together and ugly forever, there is no way to assign a design capability to any of that.

I wouldn't want that in my basement and there is no way of knowing if or how long this will will last.

Bud
 
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Old 01-19-15, 10:06 AM
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Yes Bud is correct. They were added to keep the foundation wall from pushing in. I just don't see how the vertical nails would be much support and that bottom piece of wood seems completely worthless since it's only attached to the one above it (and not the joist)
 
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Old 01-19-15, 10:45 AM
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I think the phrase I was looking for is Micky Mouse. You are correct that there is no way of knowing whether those nails will hold and that is the whole purpose of getting it fixed. An engineer, and I know people unjustly cringe at that title, should have been contacted. S/He would have identified the source of the problem and if a solution was needed he would have designed it. One step and everyone would have been on the same page.

The engineer could have said "what problem" that foundation will stand for 100 years. Or he could have insisted that the outside be excavated and the repairs done from out there. We just don't know. What was done was an attempt to not find out and just get the house sold.

I can't tell from the pictures what the original problem was, but there are less objectionable solutions. The one they installed would reduce the desirability (value) of the home substantially. They didn't do themselves any favors or you. Ask the home appraiser or another real estate agent what effect that hodge podge repair has on the selling price. It wasn't just a question of securing the wall, the objective was to do it without destroying the basement.

Bud
 
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Old 01-19-15, 11:18 AM
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I would not buy this house, even if you love it.
Yes, it looks like these I-Beams were installed to prevent walls from caving in.
This is similar to a retaining wall, or is a retaining wall.

Any engineer reviewing this thread would probably just scream in horror.

Get out while you can. There could be forces pushing on these walls that we are unaware of and theoretically could collapse the entire foundation.

Not to mention it's ugly and will make finishing a nightmare.
 
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Old 01-19-15, 03:47 PM
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The foundation isn't in bad shape. They have put a french drain in the back yard and the downspouts are running underground to the street. The grading isn't bad either. There is a small horizontal crack on one part of the wall that concerned us, so we had the best foundation guy in town give us a bid and we gave it to the seller. They insisted we used their guy instead and although hesitant I allowed it not wanting the deal to fall through.

This guy supposedly has a lifetime warranty on his work, but after seeing this I'm not sure he would even know how to do it right if we made him come back out there. What would you tell him? It seems like every other example I have seen online uses big lag bolts, and they keep the work up in between the joists so it still looks nice.
 
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Old 01-19-15, 04:26 PM
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I would recommend we just try to keep this thread going and see what others have to say.
I had a pretty strong opinion above, but really I'm at a loss.
Why would someone feel that steel I-Beams placed (5' on center?) are necessary, but then secure them with blocking and nails? Nails are very strong and have their place in construction, but this just doesn't look right.

Who's idea was it to add support? Was it a home inspector?
 
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Old 01-19-15, 04:57 PM
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Exactly what i was thinking. Why install these heavy duty I-Beams and have them secured like that. It seems like they were just lazy and don't care.

The back wall of the house had a few I-Beams installed several years back. I'm guessing that must have been when they added the french drain and ran the downspouts to the street. I noticed a horizontal crack on the front wall of the house so I had a guy come give me a bid. He recommended adding the supports and then doing some regrading and add larger gutters in the spring.

Here is a gallery of the photos... http://imgur.com/a/DhRpz#7
 
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Old 01-19-15, 05:45 PM
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so I had a guy come give me a bid. He recommended adding the supports and then doing some regrading and add larger gutters in the spring
I take it this guy that gave the bid was the "best in town", but he's not the one that got the job or performed this work.

Assuming he is the best I would discuss it with him. I would pay for a consult if necessary. I would like to know if fixing this properly would cost me $10K or $60K, or more.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 11:22 AM
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standard ' wall pin ' work for bsmt waterproofers,,, eventually that wall will bow more &, as it does, the beam's bottom anchored in conc will stay in place,,, lateral pressure will cause the top of the beam to move away from the pressure so what you've got, in effect, is a big lever the could've used carbon fiber straps for roughly the same $,,, i like concealed wall pins Name:  2 WALL  PIN REBAR INSTALL.jpg
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