New Construction ( crack in the foundation)

meg1981October 19, 2012

My boyfriend and I are building a home. While inspecting the home, we noticed a crack in the outside foundation (on the side). I'm just scared about it. The builder said it is normal, but I'm not sure. They still haven't completed the part where they wrap the foundation again with concrete to make it smooth (there are still pipes and wires hanging out of some parts of the foundation), but I was wondering if this is normal at this stage. Is that normal for the foundation of a new construction to have a crack on the side of it although they haven't wrapped it in concrete to smooth it? I'm new at home building and I am not sure what to think. I know cracks in the foundation is a sign of trouble, so should I be alarmed. Again there are still rough spots in the foundation where pipes and wires are hanging out ( home won't be completed until middle of next month). What do they do to prepare it, if it's normal? What to do or think?

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I would have an inspector look at it right away before they cover it up. Do not want to scare you, but that does not look like a normal shrinkage crack. Especially at the corner. Is there a basement? From the picture it looks like a conrete slab on grade. Can you see the crack thru on the other side of wall or around the corner?
Do not quite understand when you say they wrap foundation with conrete again. That's probably just cosmatic, for side walk or curb.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 7:56PM
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It's a settlement crack, which may or may not cause further problems depending on whether this is a full foundation or any of the three varieties of slab foundation, the full extent of the crack and whether it continues to grow in size. (See link.)

I assume the OP was referring to parging, which is cosmetic in this situation.

Definitely document the crack and inform the builder in writing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inspectapedia on Foundation Cracks

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:12PM
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A diagonal crack like this is definitely one from differential settlement. As Worth say, notify the contractor in writing (as a future record), and request he excavate the soil in the vicinity of the crack and determine: 1) the depth and extent of the crack; 2) the condition of the soil beneath the foundation in this area to see if it has been properly backfilled and compacted.

Continue to monitor this crack, with tape and or permanent weatherproof marks to see if it is moving and/or increasing in width.

Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2012 at 9:22PM
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