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maglib

07:18PM | 08/31/05
Member Since: 07/10/05
13 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
Bought a 6 year old home in Monmouth Cty New Jersey. Home has a cinderblock basement and is in sandy soil. Builder is still in business in development plus there is a 10 year Homeowners Warranty. I have questions on if some of my issues are not within code or should be covered by the builder or HOW.

Sadly there is fraud involved by the seller whom actually covered issues and produced false invoices that a number of items were fixed. Lawyer is following up.

Any answers on if you would try the builder or HOW and if not how to correct for the following. I realize it's alot and any assistance is much appreciated.

1. Multiple areas where outside cement covering cinder blocks above grade is cracked. 1 area the crack is about 1/4" wide and in a 18" Y pattern where you could actually pull away the cement covering. The other areas are small vertical cracks. The cement cover is thin so you can see the actual outline of cinderblocks. Is there any code to this covering? Should I ask builder or HOW to cover?

2. Perimeter of garage has a seperation gap of about a 1/4" from the foundation. Sadly there was nest of carpenter ants there. Shouldn't this gap be filled by builder? Also the Y crack above is I believe about where the garage is attached so it may be settling.

3. Garage floor has numerous hairline cracks in different areas unrelated to heavy cars.

4. A/C outside wiring is exposed and not in metal conduit. Seems to be a mouse feast and definitely not in code.

5. A/C condensation lines. 1 is draining to basement floor perimeter and the other is draining 2 inches outside home behind a/c unit and under the dryer vent. Provides a lovely warm, moist place for future termites and those ants.

6. Septic system manhole is about 2 feet below grade with a cast iron cover. I thought maximum was 6" and below grade required non-corrosive cover? Should builder have to install riser?

7. Septic system is only 1,000 gallons while home is 4 bedroom plus office and conservatory. Shouldn't minimum have been 1,500 gallon tank?

8. Basement has 1 wet cinderblock. There is a sprinkler head in the area which I am removing but, the cinder block is obout 3 below grade and gets wet with heavy rain too. Bad back fill? Should this be covered?

9. Grouting in bathtubs, showers, floor done poorly and cracked. visible to the eye.

10. A few 6" Hairline cracks in ceiling near corners.

11. Bullnose pulling away top stairs.

12. Numerous nail pops especially under windows.

Again thanks if you think some of this should be posted elsewhere. feel free to do so and let me know.

Much thanks.

LicensedWaterproofer

12:26AM | 09/01/05
Member Since: 03/05/04
301 lifetime posts


My expertise is pretty much contained in basement waterproofing `n foundations so i will not stray.

You mentioned you see/have 1 wet block about 2-3' below grade level with a sprinkler head located nearby. I have found(pics always help)the opening(s)/reason/problem will be on the...outside,and be located between where the 1 block gets wet...all the way up to roof-below ground,meaning a crack or hole or line that enters the wall from 2-3'deep...up & incl`g any openings in brick/block/windows etc...above ground...so yes, those openings/cracks above ground in blocks need to be sealed correctly. And its never a good idea for any water from sprinkler to be hitting the house,wetting any areas above ground,some have found this to be part or all of their problem.

Radon can enter through these openings as well, and mold could begin to show up inside in the future if moisture problem isnt taken care of correctly...Outside! And all you can do is call and see what HM warranty will cover,i 'think' it is rather limited.


Billhart

06:31AM | 09/01/05
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
First of all a 6 YO house is not "show room fresh" and should not be expected to be.

Many of the things that you bring up are to be not unusual for a home of that age such as the hairline cracks in the garage and a crack in the ceiling DW.

On others there is might be alternate legal ways of doing things.

"4. A/C outside wiring is exposed and not in metal conduit. Seems to be a mouse feast and definitely not in code."

Metallic conduit is not the only way to connect the AC. In most cases a flexible conduit, which can be either metallic, plastic coated metallic or plastic is used.

Now I don't know what the laws are in NJ or what the contract was between the builder and the initial buyer, but typically the coverage for builder is 1 year. And you have to read the details of what the HOW covers. I doubt that it covers cosmetic defects.

And as you describe it the parging on the block is cosmetic.

For a undersized septic tank (IF it is undersized, I have no idea) then something like that might have to go to the builder.

But what you really need is an construction defects attorney that can go over all of these issues, along with the HOW and the state laws.


maglib

11:50AM | 09/01/05
Member Since: 07/10/05
13 lifetime posts
Thanks for responding.

Lawsuit is not related to the problems but, the fact that they produced false invoices with real company names for work that was not actually performed (the miracle of computers).

Example: they supposedly fixed the basement wall and even made it look like the front was dug up but, they didn't and produced an invoice from a reputable company who did not do the work. Completely fraudulent. They did this on 3 different items. We know that at least 1 company is filing a lawsuit against them for using their name falsely and we were happy to provide the false documents.

Regarding the hairline cracks on the basement floor, they are scattered and some stretch the full basement. I'm afraid they will become bigger cracks. I have had 3 homes and none of them had the settling this house has and the others were all older than 20 years and they were in the same town.

I will also say that the outside parging was hidden by items put in front of it which the inspector said legally we could not move. Including a small shed. Another area he piled bricks in front of, and another piles of wood which was full of carpenter ants resulting in the carpenter ant issue in the garage.

I agree some of my items are petty but, I just listed them and want to ensure that none will become bigger nightmares for the future. I also know that friends whom have come over said that their builder still comes after 7 years to fix nail pops and such. I just want to go the correct channels and worst case they fix some of the items.

maglib

11:52AM | 09/01/05
Member Since: 07/10/05
13 lifetime posts
Regarding the outside wiring. It is not covered at No conduit used.

maglib

11:54AM | 09/01/05
Member Since: 07/10/05
13 lifetime posts
I'll look for construction defects attorney but, I'm basically broke after this purchase so not sure we can afford it now.

homebild

05:22AM | 09/02/05
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
I will list your concerns then comment on each:

1. Multiple areas where outside cement covering cinder blocks above grade is cracked. 1 area the crack is about 1/4" wide and in a 18" Y pattern where you could actually pull away the cement covering. The other areas are small vertical cracks. The cement cover is thin so you can see the actual outline of cinderblocks. Is there any code to this covering? Should I ask builder or HOW to cover?

-This is a cosmetic issue and not covered by the building codes. Minor issue. Probably not covered under warranty.

2. Perimeter of garage has a seperation gap of about a 1/4" from the foundation. Sadly there was nest of carpenter ants there. Shouldn't this gap be filled by builder? Also the Y crack above is I believe about where the garage is attached so it may be settling.

-1/4" gap is within normal tolerance and could be pre-existing. Can be repaired using caulk or foam fillers. Not warranty item. Not structural problem.

3. Garage floor has numerous hairline cracks in different areas unrelated to heavy cars.

-It is completely normal for concrete to crack in this fashion. No structural problem. Non warranty item.

4. A/C outside wiring is exposed and not in metal conduit. Seems to be a mouse feast and definitely not in code.

-AC wiring not rewuired to be in metal conduit. Installation passed code inspection, No warranty claims.

5. A/C condensation lines. 1 is draining to basement floor perimeter and the other is draining 2 inches outside home behind a/c unit and under the dryer vent. Provides a lovely warm, moist place for future termites and those ants.

-Drain functions as it should, No warranty claim. If you don't like where it drains

you can extend the drain with additonal leader pipe. Damp soil does not cause termites or ants.

6. Septic system manhole is about 2 feet below grade with a cast iron cover. I thought maximum was 6" and below grade required non-corrosive cover? Should builder have to install riser?

- This "might" be a code item but you would have to show what building code were for NJ 6 years ago when the house was constructed. Since you received a certificate of occupancy for this sturtcure, it has to be presumed this installation passed code for the period in question.

7. Septic system is only 1,000 gallons while home is 4 bedroom plus office and conservatory. Shouldn't minimum have been 1,500 gallon tank?

-Again, since you have a certificate of occupancy, this septic has presumably been inspected and installed under all then prevailing codes for NJ.

8. Basement has 1 wet cinderblock. There is a sprinkler head in the area which I am removing but, the cinder block is obout 3 below grade and gets wet with heavy rain too. Bad back fill? Should this be covered?

-Probably not a warranty item. Can be related to poor soil grade at this location, badly placed owner landscaping. May be related to gutter ipe extension which would be at owner's expense.

9. Grouting in bathtubs, showers, floor done poorly and cracked. visible to the eye.

-Judgement call. This is the only item so far that you might have a legtimate warranty claim to, but you'd have to prove that the installation was substandard at the onset and finding a professional to do that without ripping out the tile at your expense is going to be difficult.

10. A few 6" Hairline cracks in ceiling near corners.

-Completely normal.

11. Bullnose pulling away top stairs.

-Also could be completely normal due to use.

12. Numerous nail pops especially under windows.

-Normal

Conclusion: Doesn't sound like much, if anything, is unusual or unexpected after 6 years and I wouldn't waste my time with litigation or an attorney.

Your money is better spent simply paying for the repairs in question.


maglib

12:50PM | 09/02/05
Member Since: 07/10/05
13 lifetime posts
Thanks. The attorney is not related to the items posted. There are repairs that were agreed to which were not done and forged documents with legitimate companies names were provided at closing as proof of work. We have documentation from the legitimate companies that the invoices were falsified and not their invoices. The seller had used these companies for other work in the past and created invoices on their pc using the reputation of the companies. Yes, they were stupid enough to use companies legal tax id's too. These companies are also planning suit......

These documents were also filed with the county so they have liability if we so choose up the wazoo...

You wouldn't believe me if I told you they forged work that would have cost $250 on 1 invoice alone.

maglib

12:51PM | 09/02/05
Member Since: 07/10/05
13 lifetime posts
Just another question as to how come the outer cement is cosmetic. Doesn't it help to prevent water and bug infiltration?

maglib

12:54PM | 09/02/05
Member Since: 07/10/05
13 lifetime posts
Also the basement floor shouldn't it have been sealed? It's not creating a horrible dust. Didn't notice prior and forgot to ask.

Regards and Happiest of Labor Days.
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