Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


03:19PM | 04/07/03
Member Since: 04/06/03
3 lifetime posts
I am getting ready to buy my first home. I am interested in a brand new home which is not yet finished. My only problem is that in the basement, there is a vertical crack about a 1' 1/2 long. It doesn't look like it is very deep. My question is, what causes this, especially being a new house and if I purchase this house will I have problems later on down the line. thanks

Jay J

12:10PM | 04/14/03
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
My best advice, for a few 100 $$$, is to hire a NEW home inspector. Yes, a new home inspector.

If you're not familiar w/the building process and the problems that can go w/it, pay someone who does. It's a whole lot cheaper to get your questions addressed NOW than it is later and to have to deal w/the answers! Trust me!

Go to and find a good HI. DON'T hire someone that use to be an EX-widget maker, or something. Make sure you do a background check on their qualifications.

Do this, and consider that over 30 years, you'll spend 3x's the price of the house. A few 100 $$$ is a drop in the bucket. My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: And hire a Real Estate Attorney too!!! Ya don't think the Builder had one draw up those contracts, don't ya??? Hire someone who's looking after YOUR interest BEFORE you sign papers ...

PPS: God Bless America!


02:45PM | 04/14/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
264 lifetime posts
If it's a brand new house, then the crack in the concrete has more to do with the curing of the concrete than settlement. That might indicate that when the concrete was being poured, there was insufficient effort made in that area to settle the wet concrete down into the formwork, eliminating air pockets. Simply put, there was not enough concrete there to fill the form void 100%, and when the concrete "cured", it shrunk. As concrete sets up, it first expands due to the heat of hydration (losing moisture) and then contracts as it cools. Insufficient air entrainment and working of the mix in the form can be cause for what you see. If the crack does not extend all the way through the wall, it's unlikely to cause further problems. But, as the other respondent indicated, a second opinion who can actually see it might be your best bet, especially if this is your first venture into buying a new home.


03:35PM | 05/01/03
Member Since: 04/13/03
5 lifetime posts
I had a problem far worse than yours and consulted my uncles (architect and engineer). They suggested 2 problems with my foundation. #1. Improper "tamping" of dirt foundation. Probably not your problem since house is new. #2. Perched water, which settled in areas and eroded dirt below foundation.

When you go back into the basement, bring a heavy object (sledgehammer). Drop it on the floor-- not too much. If you hear echoes, then the dirt below the foundation is gone. If you hear a good solid thud, then the dirt is there (and I think the conclusion that the concrete was poured poorly is right on).

Remeber this final thought-- you are buying the house. Don't buy it unless you're certain.

I ignored plenty of stuff and have a few headaches, but that is the price you pay.

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