Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation

cinnamongirl

06:24AM | 05/20/04
Member Since: 05/19/04
2 lifetime posts
Hello folks. My question is what can we do to repair floors that are no longer level? House is less than one year old. One night, my husband and I heard huge CRACK noise and a few days later we noticed cracks in drywall in several places in walls. Now, we notice that floors aren't level in foyer on first floor or upstairs hallway (checked with bubble level).

What is possible cause?

What should be done by builder? We have ceramic tile floor in foyer and hardwood floors in upstairs. I do not know thickness of the subfloor. We have full basement (unheated). House in is Massachusetts.

Thanks for your help.

cinnamongirl

07:44AM | 05/20/04
Member Since: 05/19/04
2 lifetime posts
K2, thanks for your reply.

There are three months left on warranty.

Builder has been slow to repair items on punch list. Conveniently, the builder lives next door in a very similar (albeit larger)house. I am concerned that ground has settled and lollycolumns are insufficient for the load. Can floors be supported from basement to correct level? Additional lollycolumns added to support beam or floors? How can I detect stress on beam in basement?

Thanks for your help.

Glenn Good

09:13AM | 05/20/04
Member Since: 09/10/03
314 lifetime posts
Hello cinnamongirl,

K2 has contacted me and asked me to take a look at your post and he is absolutely correct when he said “…nobody can solve structural problems over the internet”. I am the moderator on this and several other forums on this bulletin board. I have been in construction for over 34 years (more than 26 years as a superintendent).

This is definitely a structural problem and I strongly suggest you contact the builder first and insist that a structural engineer be hired to look into the problem and to design any needed repairs. If he does not agree to do this, let him know that you will hire a structural engineer and bill him for it. Also suggest that if he does not agree to pay the consulting fees you will take further action against him if it becomes necessary and structural problems are found by the engineer. This can involve the Better Business Bureau, legal action, etc.

Structural issues are nothing to mess around with and it is fairly obvious something is wrong. Being he was ultimately responsible for the home's construction, and being there is most likely a structural problem already, he should not be trusted to design any repairs without the consultation of a structural engineer. An engineer should examine the existing problem and design whatever repairs are needed to correct it. Then the contractor should do the repairs based on the engineers design. (The engineer MUST be licensed in the same state as the project.)

If the contractor is left to do the design and repair himself without professional consultation there is no guarantee the repairs will not end up as K2 has said and be just a “Band Aid” or temporary fix meant to last long enough to get through the warrantee period.

In the mean time take a close look at any wood beams under the floor system. Look for and sagging or cracked areas and photograph anything you find suspect. Document all transactions between you and the contractor including sending your correspondence by registered mail. (Keep a copy of all correspondence.) Registered mail is the best proof you can have in a court of law that you have notified the contractor of problems that require his immediate attention, when you notified him, and that he did indeed receive the request.

Good luck with your home and I hope it all works out well for you.

K2, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I try to keep up to date on these issues when they are posted and I somehow overlooked this one.

Glenn

For more information about me and/or my qualifications please visit my website at:

www.consultationdirect.com


Anonymous

08:12PM | 05/20/04
Thanks for the quick response, Glenn.

And Cinnamongirl, please keep us posted.

I'd like to know how this turns out...and hopefully it'll be for the better.

Best regards,


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