Foundation Trouble...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Lindafisk, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. Lindafisk

    Lindafisk Well-Known Member

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    We are having some estimates done to get our foundation leveled but we have never had any foundation work done before so I thought I should ask ya'll for any advice...we have a slab foundation and the house has shifted and there are cracks in the brick and in the house, also big gaps in the dirt between the foundation and the house...I see that there are several different types of repair but don't have a clue about any of them..anyone?
     
  2. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    Definitely go with a company that has been in business for a while in your area. There are a few different reasons for foundation problems in Texas. I know Houston has lots of different problems and different repairs are used depending on what the cause is. This will be an expensive improvement but I would definitely go with a more experienced-even if more expensive- company for this repair.
     

  3. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Where in Texas? We had ours done here. Cost about $25,000. Sigh.
     
  4. Lindafisk

    Lindafisk Well-Known Member

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    We are in Princeton, which is a little North and East of Dallas
     
  5. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    So sorry to hear of your potentially expensive problem.

    There was a post not long ago, that in certain areas of Texas, you had to water your foundation in the summer due to settlement. That won't resolve the problem, but may help as a preventative measure in the future.

    I've found the more people you get bids from, the more information you'll get about what each one thinks your problem is and how to repair it. A good way to make an informed decision - as is asking the people here.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Explorer

    Explorer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is you home fairly new? Was the soil compacted before the slab was poured?

    If you answer yes, then no, you should visit with the state register of contractors.
     
  7. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Wolf mom your exactly right.

    Make sure you get as many estimates as you can. Also with those estimates try to get a scope of work so their are no hidden fees later. Foundation issues aren't always that expensive thow. So find a trust worthy contractor for the work and remember whats always first with contractors it's the CON then the TRACTOR shows up. good luck. :)
     
  8. Lindafisk

    Lindafisk Well-Known Member

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    I was on that post about watering the foundation! We tried that for one month but the $120 water bill stopped me. Apparently the water here is very high too. At least that's what the lady at the city said today when I called to talk about my $90 water bill... :help:

    The house was built in 1983 and we just moved here in April. This was a no disclosure house. It shows signs of being repaired before,there are mortar filled cracks outside and sand that has been put around the house-you can tell it doesn't belong there-it was placed there. We were under the impression that the house had been fixed and was ok, that's why we went ahead and bought it. Well, that and it was the only one we could afford that was still close enough for dh to commute!

    We have two companies coming, one tomorrow and one the next day, I am going to try and research what I can online, I just hate not knowing anything about it. I wish I had an idea of what to ask them. I guess I will call a few more too and get more then two estimates. I'll let you know what they say, maybe it won't be too bad....
     
  9. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Get a structural engineer to look at the situation. Make sure you don't have a plumbing problem that is creating the foundation problem. Spend money to have an independent expert look at it, not just the foundation folks.
     
  10. jeffreyc256

    jeffreyc256 Well-Known Member

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    Advise from a contractor. Pray. I hate to tell you but you are in a fix. The worst problem to fix is settling with a slab on grade. I would estimate a successful permanent solution can only be achieved 10% of the time. Essentially with your system you will have to do something like fluid jacking or pressure pumping a material under the slab. I think I remember from the last project I did in Texas that Olshan had a division that did this. I would definately shop around and consult an engineer. Its going to be expensive.
     
  11. Lindafisk

    Lindafisk Well-Known Member

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    The guy that came today quoted us around $6,000. He said all four corners are going their own way and it would need concrete piers all around-like 25 of them. He said it would take a week at most, probably 4 days.
    We have another guy coming tomorrow....
     
  12. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    Linda,

    If you can just get the contractor talking, he'll say things that will lead to more questions. You can say "this guy I know said..." to the second contractor and it just seems to get a life of it's own.

    Like here, people like to talk about what they know.

    NOT SLAMMING. I really appreciate the knowledge and unselfishness of you all.

    Again, good luck.
     
  13. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    "No-disclosure" is one thing, fraud is another. Given the potential expense of foundatation trouble, you may want to talk to a lawyer.


    On the repairs - this is no place for the lowest bidder. You need someone with a gold plated reputation. Once you identify several GOOD contractors, ask them about lawyer recommendations.
     
  14. Lindafisk

    Lindafisk Well-Known Member

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    Our realtor got the lady at the mortgage company to go over the contract to see if we had any legal action but she said we didn't. I think it has to do with how it is worded in the contract and if it specifies "as is " and no disclosure. Oh well.

    The guy today quoted us about the same as the other guy, this one said around 20 piers and around $5,000. He also talked more about the inside of the house and said he would need to drill thru the bedroom floor and they would put a pier under there to hold up the center of the house. The guiy yesterday didn't say that at all. Also the guy today said the foundation was worked on, it was mud pumped. Apparently they can just pump a bunch of mud under it and it will level it-enough to sell it!- but of course it doesn't last. The man yesterday didn't seem to think it had been worked on at all.

    The guy today also said right away that he would write us up a paper that explains everything and has the quote on it and will bring it tomorrow/day after and that the work comes with a lifetime transferrable warranty. The guy yesterday said nothing about writing up an estimate or a warranty. I should have asked him but didn't and he didn't offer.

    Funny part is the guy today was so young, I don't think he's over 20 or so! I was kinda worried but he seemed more knowledgeable than the other guy. It's a family business, this young man and his dad.

    I don't know anyone around here to ask about referrals. The people are not real outgoing or friendly so I haven't really met anyone. Except the librarian.

    I'm going to call a few that are more city-type places, out of the Dallas phone book and see what they say. I called local people to start with.

    I was so hoping to just sell this place and move on... :(
     
  15. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    First off, dont worry about the lawyers. It is common knowledge that foundations such as yours in places such as a lot of Texas will have problems. If you are looking to sell the place, you too might consider selling as is and just decrease the price by the repair bill necessary. Some buyers like problems and will fix it themselves or "by a friend and so on." I would be careful about believing every lifetime warranty claim that is offered. You have to think about how likely this son and father will still be in this business and nearby when the warranty work is needed. It is a nice secure feeling that it gives but.... Foundation repairs are notorious for failing and your money being long gone.
     
  16. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    Neither Realtors nor mortgage officers are qualified to give legal advice. In fact, they're not allowed to.

    Talk to a lawyer. "As is" is not the same thing as deliberate fraud. Since they covered up obvious defects, you may have a fraud case. You MAY not have any recourse, but don't take a mortgage officer's word for it!

    Would you take medical advice from a receptionist at a doctor's office?
     
  17. Lindafisk

    Lindafisk Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't really thought about it that way. I already told dh and he thinks it's a good idea too but we just don't have the cash right now. I am going to call around and see what I can find out. But I wonder what would happen if it was fraud, what can be done?
     
  18. Lindafisk

    Lindafisk Well-Known Member

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    They said the house has moved several inches, it has sunk several inches in some places too. It's not as bad as that sounds, it is in no danger of just caving in....at least I sure hope not!
    We wanted to get it fixed because we were hoping to move from this area, we are miserable here. We are afraid it will not sell for what we owe unless it is fixed. If we end up staying we will maybe put off the repairs till we can better afford it.
    Thanks!
     
  19. Teaspoon

    Teaspoon Member

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    I undrestand just what your saying, I'm not so happy here in California. I admit I don't know anything about the TX. real estate market. Talk to an agent or two. Feel it out, see what they say. I'm not trying to tell you to be dishonest, but don't bring up the problem untill unless they do. If the house won't sale for a price you need to get, pull it off the market. Heck, if I could talk my Wife into it I'd make you a stright swap. TX. sounds better than Calif. more & more these days. LOL
    I'm happy to hear that your house is not falling down.
    Best wishes...

    tsp.