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Direckshun
12-01-2010, 02:36 PM
Well, I don't know how serious this is as an issue or anything, so I want to throw it out there to other homeowners who might have had the same issue.

We had been noticing a bunch of cracks in our garage and kitchen, and even after we patched them they'd come back, sometimes even bigger.

Someone suggested that maybe our home's foundation was off, so we had a guy come by who inspects these things. He shows us a couple cracks in the foundation and concludes that a corner of our house is ever-so-slightly lower than all the other corners. And this sagging, however slight it might be, is creating cracks in our home.

Easy fix, he says. At least physically. He'd come by later if we want him to and jack up the corner and we wouldn't have to face this problem again.

My questions to anybody who's dealt with this before is:

1. We're still waiting on the estimate, but how much does this usually cost?

2. How severe of a problem would you consider this to be? Is this something that escalates quickly?

Thanks in advance.

JD10367
12-01-2010, 02:40 PM
http://www.fugly.com/media/IMAGES/Amazing/giant-sinkhole-behind-house.jpg

InChiefsHell
12-01-2010, 02:47 PM
It does sound like a foundation problem, hopefully your contractor knows what he's doing. Sadly I can't even say how much it would cost, but make sure this dude knows what he's doing because if the cracks are getting bigger in that short amount of time, it seems like it could be a pretty severe issue if it's not fixed correctly. Good luck man!

Baconeater
12-01-2010, 02:53 PM
Expect the estimate to be at least several thousand dollars.

blaise
12-01-2010, 02:55 PM
Expect the estimate to be at least several thousand dollars.

Yeah, I think probably 3,000 and up. I would get at least 3 estimates though.

mlyonsd
12-01-2010, 02:56 PM
How old is the house?

How far away from that corner are you finding cracks in the walls?

Direckshun
12-01-2010, 02:57 PM
Expect the estimate to be at least several thousand dollars.

Yeah, I think probably 3,000 and up. I would get at least 3 estimates though.

Ugh.

Direckshun
12-01-2010, 02:57 PM
How old is the house?

How far away from that corner are you finding cracks in the walls?

~ 10 years old.

All the cracks are in that corner of the house. Nothing too far from it.

mlyonsd
12-01-2010, 02:59 PM
~ 10 years old.

All the cracks are in that corner of the house. Nothing too far from it.

Then I'd agree that's probably the problem. If the house were older I'd look at other things as well, but it sounds like this guy knows what he's doing.

As far as cost goes I have no idea.

But if it were me I'd consider it a big deal and a necessary fix.

How far from the corner do you see cracks in the foundation?

InChiefsHell
12-01-2010, 03:03 PM
~ 10 years old.

All the cracks are in that corner of the house. Nothing too far from it.

Oh man, that does suck. Seems kinda new to be having those issues...you should maybe contact the builder to see about some kind of foundational warranty?

Iowanian
12-01-2010, 03:05 PM
It's not uncommon for an older home to settle a little bit and cause cracks in plaster. The home I bought had a corner that had an issue. I'd be upset if it were a 10 year old home.


You can buy floor jacks at any of the big stores(home depot, lowes) and probably at most of the local hardware stores. I bought 4 last year and I think they were about $75 each.


If he jacks the house up too much, it will cause more cracking. If it were mine, I'd put a level on the floor above it, find the corner with the issue and do it myself.

I wouldn't put the jack on one floor joist....I'd put a 2x6 across 3 or so and center the jack on that near the edge. Get it tight and then give it a few turns. If needed, I might add another one back into the room a little also(assuming unfinished basement). Then every week or so, go down and give it a few turns until you're closer to level. Then fix the cracks and move on.

Direckshun
12-01-2010, 03:08 PM
Oh man, that does suck. Seems kinda new to be having those issues...you should maybe contact the builder to see about some kind of foundational warranty?

Are foundational warranties common?

Tell me what you know about them in a nutshell.

Direckshun
12-01-2010, 03:09 PM
It's not uncommon for an older home to settle a little bit and cause cracks in plaster. The home I bought had a corner that had an issue. I'd be upset if it were a 10 year old home.

I don't know what to do with that anger, though. I could bitch somebody out, I guess, but I don't think I have any legal action available to me.

vailpass
12-01-2010, 03:10 PM
Yeah, I think probably 3,000 and up. I would get at least 3 estimates though.

3 grand AT LEAST

Earthling
12-01-2010, 03:10 PM
It's not uncommon for an older home to settle a little bit and cause cracks in plaster. The home I bought had a corner that had an issue. I'd be upset if it were a 10 year old home.


You can buy floor jacks at any of the big stores(home depot, lowes) and probably at most of the local hardware stores. I bought 4 last year and I think they were about $75 each.


If he jacks the house up too much, it will cause more cracking. If it were mine, I'd put a level on the floor above it, find the corner with the issue and do it myself.

I wouldn't put the jack on one floor joist....I'd put a 2x6 across 3 or so and center the jack on that near the edge. Get it tight and then give it a few turns. If needed, I might add another one back into the room a little also(assuming unfinished basement). Then every week or so, go down and give it a few turns until you're closer to level. Then fix the cracks and move on.

Exactly. You don't want to jack it up too much all at once. Good advice from Iowanian. :thumb:

Direckshun
12-01-2010, 03:11 PM
Then I'd agree that's probably the problem. If the house were older I'd look at other things as well, but it sounds like this guy knows what he's doing.

As far as cost goes I have no idea.

But if it were me I'd consider it a big deal and a necessary fix.

How far from the corner do you see cracks in the foundation?

The corner is the front corner, by the garage.

The garage has had a couple slight cracks in the foundation, but they are old and have gathered dust.

The ones that concerned me were cracks we had in the kitchen entrance to the garage. They were around the doorway, very slight, but one we patched them up, they came back about six months later.

Baconeater
12-01-2010, 03:13 PM
Ugh.
Yeah it's a bitch, they have to drive pilings into the ground until they find some type of bedrock, and then use that to support the foundation. It's not cheap, but that's the only way to truly fix it.

Iowanian
12-01-2010, 03:14 PM
I don't know what to do with that anger, though. I could bitch somebody out, I guess, but I don't think I have any legal action available to me.

Might as well Punch some holes in the wall, already have to fix it anyway.

Did you have a home inspection before you bought it? Had cracks already been repaired?

I know what you should do......

orange for Home Depot.

Direckshun
12-01-2010, 03:15 PM
Might as well Punch some holes in the wall, already have to fix it anyway.

Did you have a home inspection before you bought it? Had cracks already been repaired?

I know what you should do......

orange for Home Depot.

You lost me with the Home Depot bit, but the inspection turned up nothing in terms of the foundational issues.

I don't know if this is something new for the home, or if they just patched the cracks that they did have.

doomy3
12-01-2010, 03:17 PM
If you need any recommendations of a structural engineer, shoot me a PM and I can get you a few numbers. I deal with this quite a bit in Real Estate.

Iowanian
12-01-2010, 03:17 PM
Expect the estimate to be at least several thousand dollars.

Several thousand dollars would be for an actual foundation repair. If he/she is only having a contractor use floor jacks to raise that corner(and then it should be shimmed at the foundation and base plate) it shouldn't be that much at all.


Repairing the foundation would be expensive, but that isn't how I read the question.

Using my method.....you can do it yourself for $150.....but I'm used to fixing MUCH older homes

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTb53gQojCJrh1w3veBVYKMj7WJ0vtqpLha5JicEqIGxQN5h83g_A


if they do this and then patch the drywall...you're being robbed if it's $1000.

blaise
12-01-2010, 03:17 PM
The corner is the front corner, by the garage.

The garage has had a couple slight cracks in the foundation, but they are old and have gathered dust.

The ones that concerned me were cracks we had in the kitchen entrance to the garage. They were around the doorway, very slight, but one we patched them up, they came back about six months later.

I'm no expert, but I've had two home inspections done on homes we've bought. What they have told me is that if the cracks are going toward the center of the house it's not much to worry about. That it's just the house settling. They told me it's when they're cracking out from the doorway to the exterior that you need to worry.

Something else about the exterior cracks. Sometimes they put the rebar fairly shallow under the concrete, so that over time the material around it cracks away. It looks bad, but it's really just the rebar being too shallow. Kind of like the drywall around a nail chipping away over time. If that's the case you can patch it up. That's why I would suggest another opinon.

Chiefnj2
12-01-2010, 03:19 PM
You lost me with the Home Depot bit, but the inspection turned up nothing in terms of the foundational issues.

I don't know if this is something new for the home, or if they just patched the cracks that they did have.

Get the estimate. If it is thousands of dollars like some people are suggesting, then do what Iowanian suggests - floorjack, big lumber and raise it slowly over time.

mlyonsd
12-01-2010, 03:20 PM
The corner is the front corner, by the garage.

The garage has had a couple slight cracks in the foundation, but they are old and have gathered dust.

The ones that concerned me were cracks we had in the kitchen entrance to the garage. They were around the doorway, very slight, but one we patched them up, they came back about six months later.

I mean how far from the corner in your basement are the foundation cracks in the block or concrete?

Iowanian
12-01-2010, 03:21 PM
the downside to doing what I'm suggesting, is when you go to resell the home, it's going to highlight an obvious issue, which I think you'll have to disclose if you have it fixed the other way anyway, and could cost you a little money on that end.

Post a couple of photos of the damage.

mlyonsd
12-01-2010, 03:23 PM
Several thousand dollars would be for an actual foundation repair. If he/she is only having a contractor use floor jacks to raise that corner(and then it should be shimmed at the foundation and base plate) it shouldn't be that much at all.


Repairing the foundation would be expensive, but that isn't how I read the question.

Using my method.....you can do it yourself for $150.....but I'm used to fixing MUCH older homes

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTb53gQojCJrh1w3veBVYKMj7WJ0vtqpLha5JicEqIGxQN5h83g_A


if they do this and then patch the drywall...you're being robbed if it's $1000.

Right, we're talking two different things. Jacking up just that corner of the 'house' and jacking up the entire corner of the house, foundation and all.

Baconeater
12-01-2010, 03:24 PM
Several thousand dollars would be for an actual foundation repair. If he/she is only having a contractor use floor jacks to raise that corner(and then it should be shimmed at the foundation and base plate) it shouldn't be that much at all.


Repairing the foundation would be expensive, but that isn't how I read the question.

Using my method.....you can do it yourself for $150.....but I'm used to fixing MUCH older homes

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTb53gQojCJrh1w3veBVYKMj7WJ0vtqpLha5JicEqIGxQN5h83g_A


if they do this and then patch the drywall...you're being robbed if it's $1000.
That would work for a settling issue that has since stabilized, but if he's repairing the cracks and they're coming right back, worse sometimes, that makes me think the foundation is heaving. The fact that he's saying it's multiple cracks is disturbing as well.

underEJ
12-01-2010, 03:38 PM
I've had the extreme end of this, (but I had the estimate before I bought the house so the price was corrected for it.) My house has a 3 1/2 inch slant to one corner by the bathroom. It also has an incomplete foundation under it due to a previous renovation that likely wasn't permitted. To lift the house 3 1/2 inches, complete the foundation, and repair cosmetic damage from the lift (including all new tile for the bathroom, and refitting 3 windows) estimates ranged from 24,000-32,000.

Much of the expense is in the damage repair after the lift. The bathroom was renovated after the slant was there, so it will likely break apart when the lift happens. The contractors all said that 1 to 1 1/2 inches should cause very little damage, but if I want to fix the whole 3 1/2 inches, it could be pretty substantial.

JD10367
12-01-2010, 03:44 PM
1 to 1 1/2 inches should cause very little damage, but if I want to fix the whole 3 1/2 inches, it could be pretty substantial.

That just sounds so wrong. :D

InChiefsHell
12-01-2010, 04:20 PM
Are foundational warranties common?

Tell me what you know about them in a nutshell.

Nothing, except that with the house only being 10 years old, there might be some kind of warranty, but it's probably up to the builder...check your paperwork, maybe you'll get lucky.

Phobia
12-01-2010, 06:18 PM
Several thousand dollars would be for an actual foundation repair. If he/she is only having a contractor use floor jacks to raise that corner(and then it should be shimmed at the foundation and base plate) it shouldn't be that much at all.


Repairing the foundation would be expensive, but that isn't how I read the question.

Using my method.....you can do it yourself for $150.....but I'm used to fixing MUCH older homes

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTb53gQojCJrh1w3veBVYKMj7WJ0vtqpLha5JicEqIGxQN5h83g_A


if they do this and then patch the drywall...you're being robbed if it's $1000.

This isn't a great idea either. If you're jacking up a house on a basement slab, you're asking for trouble. If you're going to the effort of cutting open the slab and pouring a piling underneath, that would be more effective. But if he's having foundation issues, your method would possibly prolong the inevitable by taking some of the weight off the foundation but foundation problems aren't generally due to the weight of the house above. It's usually because of drainage, weak initial pours, improper footings, or unstable soil.

Bill Parcells
12-01-2010, 06:33 PM
Are foundational warranties common?

Tell me what you know about them in a nutshell.

The sill in the corner of my foundation had termite damage and it had to be replaced. my friend cut holes in the side of the house and used scaffolding with bottle jacks on some huge pieces of lumber and jacked the house up. now thats just replacing some wood on top of the foundation blocks and that was a pain in the ass. what you have going on is much worse. good luck man.

Extra Point
12-01-2010, 06:36 PM
First of all, are these hair line? OR 1/4" across? Do they leak water upon heavy rainfall?

ClevelandBronco
12-01-2010, 06:46 PM
It's not uncommon for an older home to settle a little bit and cause cracks in plaster. The home I bought had a corner that had an issue. I'd be upset if it were a 10 year old home.


You can buy floor jacks at any of the big stores(home depot, lowes) and probably at most of the local hardware stores. I bought 4 last year and I think they were about $75 each.


If he jacks the house up too much, it will cause more cracking. If it were mine, I'd put a level on the floor above it, find the corner with the issue and do it myself.

I wouldn't put the jack on one floor joist....I'd put a 2x6 across 3 or so and center the jack on that near the edge. Get it tight and then give it a few turns. If needed, I might add another one back into the room a little also(assuming unfinished basement). Then every week or so, go down and give it a few turns until you're closer to level. Then fix the cracks and move on.

And for Pete's sake, Direckshun, don't do this yourself. Have your husband do it.

ClevelandBronco
12-01-2010, 06:47 PM
:D

Bill Parcells
12-01-2010, 06:51 PM
And for Pete's sake, Direckshun, don't do this yourself. Have your husband do it.

ROFL

Over-Head
12-01-2010, 07:32 PM
And for Pete's sake, Direckshun, don't do this yourself. Have your husband do it.ROFL

Iowanian
12-01-2010, 07:32 PM
This isn't a great idea either. If you're jacking up a house on a basement slab, you're asking for trouble. If you're going to the effort of cutting open the slab and pouring a piling underneath, that would be more effective. But if he's having foundation issues, your method would possibly prolong the inevitable by taking some of the weight off the foundation but foundation problems aren't generally due to the weight of the house above. It's usually because of drainage, weak initial pours, improper footings, or unstable soil.

I know all of that too.
When I use a jack, I'll put a 2-3' 2x12 under it and at least a 2x6 across at least 3-4 joists and jack from those.

I was simply offering a simpler, low cost solution to help stop the house corner from coming down, and further cracking the walls.

They obviously have the option of digging pilings down to solid rock and spending $20k to cobble it "correctly".

I guess I also read the op to state that it was upstairs, drywall that was cracking...not the basement foundation itself. If it's the basement wall that is cracked, my solution does nothing to help it.

GloryDayz
12-01-2010, 08:50 PM
Get valuables out, get the family out, burn it down, and start over...

Oxford
12-01-2010, 09:57 PM
I think the builder is a good approach (if this is a one-owner house), he would be able to give a reference or two of someone to do the repair, he'd like to retain your business for the next house. Have them come out and inspect, then talk to a excavation contractor to get references on whom they might suggest, and have them come out and inspect. This may be a common problem in your area with a proven solution. Then talk to your homeowner insurance agent to see if they have a list of approved contractors.

Had any blasting in your area (for water mains or sewers) lately?
Earthquakes?
Sinkholes?