2 bedroom addition pulling away from house.


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Old 12-08-04, 10:24 AM
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Exclamation 2 bedroom addition pulling away from house.

The place we are buying was originally a 45' long x 28' wide "Ranch" style house with a full basement. About 6 years ago they put on a two room addition with a crawl space, which made the house 60' long. (Both the basement and the crawl space walls are poured concrete.)

Unfortunately, the addition's foundation is moving away from the rest of the house, and there is a 3/4 gap on the S side, and a 1/2" gap on the N. I'm guessing this is caused by the soil's high clay content.

Anyway, I know we have to get an engineer out there to look at it, but that won't happen until next summer. For now, I'm wondering what will be involved with stopping this addition from sinking / moving?

Also, just because I'm curious, what is the proper way of anchoring an additional foundation to the existing one when it is being poured? (Because I'm guessing they didn't do it.)

Thanks,
Ross
 
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Old 12-08-04, 11:11 AM
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Foundation Gap

First, it would behoove you to have all the engineering done PRIOR to buying this home, because the cost to repair the problem, should it really be a structural defect and concern, could ans should be a deal killer if the cost is exorbitant.

Second, gasps as small as 1/2" to 3/4" may not indicate a problem at all taking into account that concrete shrinkage from the original pour can alone account for the gaps, and that even at 3/4" this only amounts to as lateral shift of 1/8" per year over six...something that may be completley innocuous.

That said, there are a variety of techniques by which new foundations can be joined to old including threaded rods and bolts, rebar grouted into existing foundations and set into new concrete, and the use of epoxy based achors and pins.

Personally, I would not buy this property until and unless the house has been deemed stable by a soils and structural engineer.

regards
 
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Old 12-08-04, 12:03 PM
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here in CA I think the state requires all the foundation jobs must have at least 10 years of warranty. However putting yourself into a situation that you must contact the contractor for the warranty, contact an PE for soil report (usually $3K-5K), contact a lawyer if it is getting worse (the separation) and no one takes responsiblity. And remember all warranties or soil reports from PE have words protecting them sush as not responsible for soil movement, or not maintained properly by owner. Believe me. I am in a similar case and paying for that. The most expensive thing is the headache it brings to you and your family. Get away from it, no matter how you like it.
 
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Old 12-08-04, 01:37 PM
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An engineer's opinion would be nice but...

I should have mentioned: this property is being sold by the bank (foreclosure), and they don't allow any engineers or state officials to look at/inspect the property being sold. It is sold "As-Is." I'm willing to take that risk because I'm getting the property for less than 1/2 the original assessed value. Even if I just lopped the two bedrooms off and covered the foundation, it would still be worth more than what I'm paying.

I definitely appreciate the input!
Thanks again,
Ross
 
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Old 12-08-04, 06:25 PM
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Not So...

Even with foreclosed properties, you have every right to have it inspected by engineers or real estate professionals to uncover any defects.

The only difference with a foreclosed property sold 'as is' is that the Bank is off the hook for any defects (because they never occupied the house and can't be held responsible for knowing about defects as any owner-occupier would) and that selling a house 'as-is' relieves them of any legal liability should defects show up.

It appears you are simply deluding yourself at this point and willing to gamble that this apparant sturctural defect will cost you less than the 50% discount that you hope to gain.

The reality can be far different and if this really does prove to be a major structural defect, can cost you several times what the house is worth....(Did that movement of 3/4" occur over the last 6 years or over the last 6 weeks?)

And remember: The Bank never loses. They get cash from the buyer up front just to lend them the mortgage....Get to keep all the former owner's equity when they default...still made a huge amount of interest...and then make a profit when they sell at a foreclosure and don't have to account for any defects....Then along comes the next victim...er, I mean 'customer'....

So right now I know what you are thinking....
Did he fire 6 shots or only 5.
But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world... and can blow your head clean off...
You have to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel Lucky?"

Well do ya, PUNK!!!???

Uh, er, sorry... Got carried away for a moment...

But in all honesty and quite frankly, it appears to me that you are being stupid about this property and are approaching it with your eyes wide shut....

So do you feel lucky?

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.....and this one really does....

RUN away!
 

Last edited by homebild; 12-08-04 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 12-08-04, 07:25 PM
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Oddly enough, the bank does have it right in their standard purchase agreement that the property can't be inspected by an engineer or state official.

I'm not sure how I gave the impression that I'm being stupid about this property, but there is no emotional attachment or rush to get this place and I've run the numbers based off of worst case scenarios. In fact, this whole time I was assuming that the entire addition would need to be completely removed and rebuilt from the foundation up. Your mention that the cracks might not be that bad really perks me up. (BTW, the cracks have been growing steadily since the addition was put on, according to the previous owners.)

Anywho, I'm not looking for huge profits; just a more challenging hobby.

Thanks, yet again,
Ross
 
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Old 12-08-04, 09:01 PM
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Mind Already made Up

So since your mind was already made up why post here for additional opinions at all?

Particularly since none of the regular professional contributors has agreed with your rationale at all.

That is what continues to strike me as 'stupid'.

But stupid is as stupid does and only you need to pay the copnsequences or reap the benefits.

As a professional builder and remodeler and real estate investor...and after having bought and sold properties such as these for over 20 years, this (ahem) "deal" continues to smell bad as it looks....

Well, you asked for it and heard it here.

What happens next is your problem.
 
 

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