Levelling block and peir foundation


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Old 02-11-07, 01:11 PM
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Levelling block and peir foundation

We are looking at buying a 1930's house that I 'think' is on block and peir foundation. The house has a noticeable slope to the floors toward the back of the house. Im not positive on the foundation type but I think its block and peir. The sellers disclosure notes some settling of the foundation.

Am I making a big mistake in considering buying this house? What is involved in leveling a house on block and peir? Any ideas on the cost of fixing something like this?

I will be having an inspection done before commiting to anything. The house is way under the price of any other house in this area and we are working on an offer of 15000 under the asking price.

Any info or suggestions would be appreciated. This would be our first house.
 
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Old 02-11-07, 01:41 PM
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Levelling block and peir foundation

They are telling you there is a foundation settlement problem - RED FLAG!!!!

In addition to a normal visual home inspection, pay the extra money to have a structural engineer look at the admitted problem. A home inspector is normally not qualified on known structural problems and solutions and probably would refer you to a structural engineer anyway.

The home isnpection is very good for general items and anticipated maintenance expenditures, considering the low cost. The separate engineering inspection will be the best investment you can make and will let you know why the home is such a deal.

Dick
 
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Old 02-11-07, 01:48 PM
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In my area, this foundation is a giveaway that the house was built cheap from the start, often with recycled materials, etc.

Again, in my area, nearly all lower-class homes of that era have had major additions put on them (usually to the back of the house), and the settling is differential between the two parts.

Stabilizing the foundation(s) is not crazy expensive. Leveling the house is. Re-aligning an addition to the main structure is only worthwhile for valuable heritage buildings.
 
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Old 02-11-07, 01:58 PM
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The lot isnt flat. I think that may be why they went with block and peir. There are no additions on the house.

How much do you think a structural engineer would charge me to look at it? How much does leveling a house cost? 1000? 5000? 10000?



We could get the house for 115000 for a 2 bedroom in an area where they want 150000 for a 1 bedroom. So I could justify spending say....5000 to make this house level.
 
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Old 02-11-07, 02:12 PM
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Here is the listing:

http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=38437012&ListingID=28482541&Sort=0

Can anyone tell the foundation type by looking at that? The sloping is toward the right side of the pic that shows the back of the house.

Is re levelling the house mandatory if it isnt causing any leakage or draining problems? All the windows and doors seemed functional.
 
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Old 02-12-07, 07:04 PM
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Well it turns out, my uncle who is a licensed contractor, has experience with leveling block and peir homes. We have accepted their counter offer which is still 15000 below the asking price.

We have the offer contingent on our inspection which will be on Friday.

I do hope this all works out. Its either this place or a 1978 single wide mobile in a crap location for 77000. I think I would rather take on leveling a house than dealing with an old mobile.
 
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Old 02-13-07, 04:22 AM
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Good Luck

Whenever I see a real estate agent's listing that says "being sold as is and price reflects that" I run as fast as I can away from this property. The sellers want to dump this property ASAP and you are accepting the property with the only assurance being that all issues found are now your responsibility.

You may be able to shore the house up and level it back out, but as Concretemasonry said, RED FLAG!!!

Good Luck.
 
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Old 02-13-07, 07:27 AM
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Good Luck on your home. I am very sure your uncle will watch over you and take care of your problem, or at least be a good guide for you. Enjoy. when I see a house listed "as is", I run to it. Fixing is easy, as long as the equity difference is there.
 
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Old 02-13-07, 08:34 AM
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The way I look at it, any other stick built house in this area is going for well over 150000. If it takes me 30000 to fix this thing, I will be ahead of the game.

The sellers are an 80 year old man and a 90 year old woman. I think its more a matter of offloading it before they die .........My god, they probably had this house built brand new

The home inspector Im having look at it on Friday has 20 years of foundation and framing experience so I think that will work to my benefit.
 
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Old 02-13-07, 08:36 AM
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It's a house built in the 1930s...I would have been surprised if it didn't have settlement issues. If you love the house, go for it. Everything can be fixed...it might be expensive...but it can be fixed.

Note: On the cost of a structural engineer, it varies from area to area, but you should expect anywhere between $100-$300 per hour. Also, remember that most foundation settlement issues are not structurally related. The problem is likely in the soil beneath the foundation. If you have saturated soils beneath the house (maybe due to drainage issues in the surrounding yard) you are going to need to address that as well or you will continue to have settlement even after it is fixed. Looking at the photos, it looks like your neighbor's yard is draining straight onto the house. You will likely need to install a foundation drain or something else to direct water away from the house.

Good luck!
 
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Old 02-17-07, 08:36 AM
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Our inspector crawled under the house and let us know part of the reason for the sagging. There was a bathroom leak, fixed now, but it had rotted one of the beams of the foundation out. The rest of the house would have to be leveled and that beam would have to be replaced.

He said that the best thing for that house would be to lift the whole thing and pour a real foundation under it. Im thinking that would be something like 25000 dollars so we may try to fix just the beams to make it work for us for the time being.

On the plus side, the roof is good. We like the house. We will have about 6000 dollars to do leveling and fix a kitchen plumbing leak.

Has anyone heard of those leveling peirs with like a screw jack built in to the base? I saw a google ad for them and was curious if they are any good for what I need to do. Any idea on the cost?

edit:

http://www.ellisok.com/ellisok/products_screwjacks.html?gclid=CNWK99jttYoCFTIeGAod0xqjvA
these. Ellis screw jacks.
 

Last edited by jdubbya; 02-17-07 at 08:50 AM. Reason: new info
 

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