Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


07:56AM | 10/13/00
Member Since: 10/12/00
2 lifetime posts
I just purchased my first home on a village lot and moved in 3 weeks ago. Everything
about the experience was horrible and now I have to live with the consequences of my

During the negotiations, the sellers realtor assured me I would not need a buyers agent or an attorney present, she'll do me right, had been a single mother herself at one time and would like to resell the home for me in the future.

We arrived at an agreed price, however I could not use a favorable home inspection as a contingency of the sale. They welcomed me to have an inspection done, but the owners would only pay up to $200.00 in repairs. Knowing the house was only 9 yrs old, I opted to forego an inspection as this would probably cost more than the $200 they alloted for repairs and I wouldn't be able to get out of the deal anyway if the inspection revealed a major problem. My antennae should have went up at this point.

During a minor rain last week the sump pump kept going off about every 15 seconds and I entered crawlspace to inspect. What I found was a steady stream of water flowing to the sump pump as if water from a hose was flowing into my house full blast. Several days later, in addition to lots of standing water I found the entire crawlspace was completely mud when I pulled up the plastic covering.

Prior to my accepted offer on the house there had been another accepted offer. However that potential buyer did not waive his right to a home inspection contingency clause, and opted out of the deal. The realtor told me, he had found a little bit of dampness in the crawlspace but she suspected he just had "buyers jitters" and just wanted out of the deal. To ease my fears she said she would have her father (a contractor) take a look to assure the foundation was sound and there wasn't any unusual dampness. Of course the crawlspace passed his inspection with flying colors.

To make a long story not much longer,last night I had a professional waterproofing company over to inspect and provide me an estimate. He found the main beam of the house has some dry rot and the house has no drainage system (tiling, etc.). He told me if the problem is not corrected my wood foundation would not last more than 6 years and provided me with an $8500 estimate. He also added that because the prior owners disclosed that the crawlspace had "minor wetness during heavy rains", I probably didn't have any legal recourse as "minor" can be interpreted differently from one person to the next.

I cannot afford the $8500 to correct the problem as I live on a limited income and sunk every bit of my savings into the downpayment. Before this house forces me into bankruptcy I would like to try to correct the problem myself. Would anyone know of a website or a book on how to install a drain tile? I do have the
aid of my father. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


08:41AM | 10/13/00
Member Since: 03/13/00
1674 lifetime posts
I don't know how to fix the problem, but I would strongly suggest you get at least one more estimate. See if the estimates and the advice match.
As to the problem, you didn't say where the water comes from. Is it coming through the foundation or up from the ground? Is your house on a slope or in a low area? Do you have gutters?
About the foundation... is it actually a wood foundation (no concrete or brick)? Where is the sump pump? Is it simply in the lowest part of the crawl space?
With answers to these questions, maybe someone more knowlegeable than I can give helpful repair advice.
One more question: what was it the contractor wanted to do for $8500 ?
ps You're not stupid, just inexperienced.
Another thought: did the father of the realtor provide a written inspection? If so, maybe you could sue him for a phoney inspection & make him pay for the fix.

[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited October 13, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited October 13, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited October 13, 2000).]


09:17AM | 10/13/00
Member Since: 10/12/00
2 lifetime posts
Hi Thanks for the reply! A second estimate is a good idea.

The realtors father didn't provide me with anything, I just took her word for it.

The house is on a pretty flat lot and not much lower than neighboring homes. For some reason the prior owners dug the crawlspace a few feet deeper and the sump pump is at the lowest area. The water appears to be coming through the ground as I haven't seen any come through the foundation. I do have gutters and I've added 6ft extensions to drain the water farther from the house.

The contractor who came out said he would tile the house and put in footers (?). He also said he would put a plastic sheeting around the foundation and adhere it with some special adhesive, I forgot the name of the substance.

Thanks again!


04:53PM | 10/18/00
Member Since: 10/17/00
1 lifetime posts
I am a realtor in MN, I do not know what state you are from, but I would most certainly contact an attorney where you live and not the one that closed your home for you. In most states the sellers have to fill out a "seller disclosure statement" if they did...did they disclose on that form about the crawl space being wet? If not you may have a case against them.

Good luck....

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