Foundation Inspection All Done!! Phew!

ladyvixen84August 22, 2011

Well... It definitely wasn't as bad as I was thinking it was going to be. The foundation is not stone, but blocks. However, all the blocks are in very very good shape. We need a slight lift(I say slight cuz it could be worse)a few new joists as some were rotting.

Lift and Joist work estimated at $8,500

WE are not paying for it either ;) After the engineer was out, the owner called around, engineer stayed on site. Foundation repair inspector came out, engineer gave the report, and we got the estimate. Owner is having all of this done without us paying for it, he scheduled it to all start in Mid Sept.

AND to our surprise, he also asked us to find a roofer we like, and is affordable to come look at the roofing. He is going to have all that fixed as well, plus new gutters, and pulling some dirt away from the house(bit of moisture, dirt was still dry a ways down)

The siding people SCREWED up the siding really bad, had it coming down to the ground, where rain and other moisture from the dirt outside of the house(Garden areas) were allowing it to be damp, along with some very leaky and untidy gutters.

We took a peek in the attic, it is blown insulation I THINK lol I have a picture of what it looks like, but not the exact picture, We took the camera but hubby didn't check to see if the SD card was in it...NO memory card :(

We do have continuous ridge venting, and under the overhang I think hubby said eaves, he counted 15 on each side of each eave, except in the breezeway and garage(No attic over them) I'm trying to do the math of exactly how many(he is napping before work)

When getting a quote from a different roofer today, he suggested architect shingles and nothing really black as it makes the shingles very hot and the lifespan short lived? Makes sense.

I am SOO wanting to pull back the siding to see whats behind it. The lady who had it done said it wasn't her choice. She recieved some government loan or grant for upgrading the house, and she came home one day with half the house in suran wrap. They said it's what they were called out to do. I called and spoke to the original owner who had the property willed to her, and she said it has aluminum siding, which is what was on it in the winter picture I posted in the roofing thread.

Would it be worth seeing if the aluminum would be worth salvaging or just leave the siding on?

Anyways, That was my day. The picture below is what the insulation looks like in the attic *Not actual pic of THE attic*

The roofer said the moisture issues could be from the decking leaking as it is in need of desperate help.

OH, also...the engineer told us, that some of the roofing on the house may look unlevel, as it is very difficult to put a level addition on an already unlevel home. Makes sense, but we are still having the work done. We put an offer in with an inspection clause, but we still have 2 more inspections to do. He also accepted our offer!!! We put in an offer a while back with the contract and an inspection clause, $55,200 and we pay closing costs as he is paying for repairs.

He has a foundation repair company known for very good work, they have done numerous historical commercial buildings and historical residential homes!!! I am thrilled!!!!! But it's not done yet, still need to pass other inspections first, but minor things we can do ourselves!

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I also wanted to add, that with the additions being put on an unlevel house, and then having the house jacked up, that it will likely cause issues in the walls and even framing. We mentioned that to the foundation repair inspector(guy who gives estimates) and he agreed it will likely occur. The owner is willing to have a contractor come out and correct those issues without it being at our expense.

He is very ill, and can't get into his assisted living housing until he sells the home. He has paid the house off 3yrs ago and at this point is not looking for a profit, just to get to a more comfortable place with better assistance. He has mobility issues. I took a look at his paperwork, he purchased the home in 2005 for $49,000.00 The information I found on the web was not updated. The winter picture I ooo'd and aww'ed about was in fact taken in the late 80's early 90's. The seller has came to the realization that he may never sell the home before he dies if he does not address the likely issues that have been putting off a lot of possible buyers.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 5:30PM
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Yep,that's blown in insulation.

When you have the estimate for the roof done don't forget to ask if the price includes dumping fees and the cost of a dumpster.
Get in writing that the crew will clean up EVERYTHING that doesn't make it into the dumpster on a daily basis.
Also ask how the shingles are getting to the roof. A real roofer will have a lift for his ladder that will take them up. A fly by night crew may have a men carrying them up the ladder.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 5:43PM
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Hi ladyvixen, just home.. exhausted from working on our old house we bought a couple months ago (been working 7 days a week, 8+ hours!)! We are restoring most of it before we move in, (new roof, new baths (4 of them), rewire the whole house, kitchen, windows, ceilings, floors.. etc!! Right now I have a real "Love-Hate" relationship with my house, and sometimes wonder if We are CRAZY... but in the end, I know it will be worth every penny (probably $275,000 + !) We are doing a lot of grunt work ourselves, as others don't want the job, or want too much $$. That said....

I have been young before, without such a big bank account, and we have tackled a few other restorations (just NOT as big as all this!) It's hard to get an old house you love out of your heart, and it's great news the owner is paying for all these repairs!!! I can't even imagine finding an old house for $75,000 where I am! It sounds like your aware of the time, cost, and effort to restore.. so best wishes, keep posting pictures!

P.S. maybe there is REAL wood siding under the aluminium!?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 7:08PM
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Some good news! And some still unanswered questions. How many inches of insulation did you measure? Was the ceiling of the upstairs similarly covered with insulation? (It would need to be, as well as the sidewalls insulated.) Your pic doesn't show any insulation baffles. Did you see any from a different viewpoint? Here is what they look like.

If you don't have baffles, then the air that is supposed to enter in the eaves cannot,and you don't get attic ventilation. The ridgevent can't vent without airflow from those blocked eaves.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 7:16PM
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Im glad you posted that pic Green, Hubby did mention baffles, but I thought he said BAFFLED! lol. He said that one side does need baffles, because the others were just not right, broken or cracked in some areas. The ceiling of the roof had the same stuff but hubby said a new layer might be needed as there are missing spots?? When my hubby was talking to the seller, I heard him say 13 inches. I'm not sure if he said it HAS or SHOULD have. I will have to verify that with him when he calls on break.

We will also be getting a weather audit, I'm guessing the windows will have some drafts along with the doors from the house being unlevel. I want something to compare the audit to after the foundation is fixed.

Now, the crawl space is damp, nothing musty smelling, but you can feel it. It is NOT vented which we were told is better, and grandfathered in since it has never been vented. BUT I am thinking of encapsulating the crawl space. But I am also wondering if we can DIY. Hubby has seen it done a few times(his first home, moms house, grandma's house) and you can buy the materials online. We were quoted $10,050 for ours to be done professionally, but when buying the supplies ourselves it's right around $1900.00 thats including the dehumidifier.

Is it worth it to encapsulate in the future? Or are there other ways in keeping the dampness out? It wasn't bad, the engineer tested the moisture with some type of object. Also I have plaster and lathe in some areas, and suspended ceiling in living room it's suspended with drywall. That may be an issue I know, We planned on peeking under it. ALL our venting systems are in the ceiling not the crawl space, that can either be a good thing or a bad thing, but we don't have central air so maybe nothing to be toooo horribly worried about. We will poke around and see I suppose if it's worth it.

There is a soft spot upstairs and a crack in the ceiling with seemingly new water stains, when getting my roofing estimate I have been telling them that I have NO CLUE what could be expected, but to probably expect the WHOLE roof, decking and all to be removed and replaced. I'm thinking of doing the ice barrier thing in slopes of the roof and the eaves. I told them I don't want a single drop of water getting in at any costs.

Oh, we also found a few goodies stashed in the attic :) OLD furniture in fairly good shape, glass lamp coverings(globes) and a beautiful chandelier. And a dead cat sized rat in the crawl space.

It will be dug out a bit too, it is literally a crawl on your belly dont lift your head up space. The engineer had to call another engineer to squeeze down there, I could have fit slightly i'm 4'9, but the spiders and the dead rat was a definite NO NO for me lol.

It needs work, we know this, the seller knows this and he is willing to fix it just to be able to get into an assisted living area. The original lady who owned it wants to come see it next week. We are hoping for some more history as it was her great grand fathers home that he originally had built.

We are still getting a normal home inspection and a mandatory pest inspection. All will be done hopefully in the next week or so. I am scared %^%#%^# lol, but so happy!

Oh, one last thing lol, NO insulation under the floors in the crawl space. It was all tattered and nasty so he had his son in law rip it out last spring. Should we have blown cellulose put in, I heard the paper backed pink stuff can hold moisture to the wood and cause an even bigger issue.

I'm so glad the foundation isn't a 30k fix lol. The engineer said he has personally stopped an inspection mid-way and told the possible buyers to not even bother with the house. But ours is no where near bad...although, with an older home, you never know what's going to happen when you actually start the project.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 7:55PM
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Obviously you should learn as much as you can from inspections, but don't sweat the small stuff too much. Insulation is cheap. Baffles are cheap. If your husband knows to ask about the condition of baffles, he can certainly install new ones.

For the crawlspace, getting the gutters fixed and a vapor barrier down will likely fix 99% of the problem. Also, cellulose holds WAY more water than "the pink stuff." Cellulose is paper - literally.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 8:52PM
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If insulation of all types holds in water, what would we use to insulate lol? Is the vapor barrier the same as the white sheet used in encapsulating? I am VERY green, but willing to learn.

I think I honestly need to take 2 steps back...I NEED to wait until inspection is done, and then make a list of priorities and projects that need to be accomplished before I do anything else. I feel like a chicken running around with it's head cut off lol. I have all the main major issues being dealt with, so I dont need to panic about that. I just need to sit here take a few deep breaths and drool over my money pit, while using google and the forums to research at least what I know needs done now. From the sounds of it, my crawl space will be the very first thing we tackle, since foundation, structural, and roofing issues will be dealt with accordingly by the seller.

It's been a long and emotional day, I'm going to relax and have a coffee!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 10:20PM
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Vapor barriers are incredibly dependent on climate for proper use. The general idea is that warm, moist air that comes in contact with a cool surface will cause condensation on that surface.

There are 3 solutions to this. The first is to use no vapor barrier. You get some moisture and air movement, but you vent it into an area with high air flow so the water evaporates and flows away. The second is to use a vapor barrier on the warm side of the transition so the air is being stopped before it hits the cool section. The third is to use an insulating product that is air and water resistant - like sprayed foam. It stops all air and water movement in both directions. (It is cool technology, but the most expensive.)

The particular circumstances of your project and your climate determine what method to use.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 8:31AM
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Good news and more freebies! (Though I would have preferred to have cut the price so there's no incentive for the vendor to cheap out on the promised repairs.)

I'm thinking of doing the ice barrier thing in slopes of the roof and the eaves.

As was explained in a previous thread on this home, this is not an option in your climate. It goes at least the first three feet up the slope, preferably six feet and in the valleys.

Yes, a conditioned crawl space is the way to go. That means good ground cover and foam board (preferably XPS) on the interior crawl walls but NOT the ceiling. See link

Here is a link that might be useful: Building Science Corp on Conditioned Crawlspace

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 6:45PM
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"although, with an older home, you never know what's going to happen when you actually start the project."

This, and what Worthy said. I would prefer the vendor to cut the price and you stay in control of the process. That way - and it happens - you may decide to do things differently mid-project. Like, could you raise the place and increase the height of the crawl space? That would not be on the vendor's dime. Sounds like you'd be doing him a favour to let him get it out of his hair faster.

Congrats - you may be green, but not as green as we were. In particular, you're thinking in terms of whole house as a system, and recognizing you're on a timeline, forward and back. You'll do fine!


    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 6:53PM
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Worthy- The house was appraised for $64,700 the seller lowered the price to $59,500 about 4 months after I originally looked at the house. Talk about a huge discount. The city had it appraised for $66k I do believe. I think I got an almost killer deal, killer deal would have been a free house ;)

KarinL- We were told it is better to dig downwards when increasing the height of a crawl space opposed to raising the home and leaving it there, that will entail extra work in the form of "closing" the crawl space around the house, can't leave it open.

Now, what stinks is that since we are getting foundation work that this house has never seen, is the fact that iowa codes are making us have a vented crawl space. So now, I have to get some really good, closed and secure vent covers.

Thanks for the link worthy, i'm heading on over to read it now!

As far as the seller skimping on the quality of work, hubby and I hired the foundation repair company, we didn't go with the initial contractor that the seller called. He told all the contractors, roofers everyone, if they have an issue to call and bug me lol he wants nothing to do with it. On a plus note for the seller- He gets to start moving his stuff over for his new assisted living home. He is trying to be out of the home before all the closing is done with, I still have to go to the bank, sign papers...but i'm not doing that until all the work thats being done passes yet another round of inspections!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 11:26PM
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closed cell foam for the crawlspace is more expensive
but it performs better than conventonal insulations.
if you run the numbers on air sealing the floors
and installing conventional insulation (labor & materials)
vs closed cell foam..the cost is about the same.
not selling foam...just have done the numbers and testing for a long time.
the ccfoam should be a minimum of 3" and floor joists
not covered with ccfoam. this will allow any moisture
(think toilet leak) to exit the floor.
if you want to be able to afford the utility costs you should have a blower door test done and write down the
areas that leak. you can diy the air sealing..which is the most cost effective thing you can do.
it is much easier to heat and cool a sealed house than a leaky one. not to won't make it too tight.
old homes leak like sieves. caulking and weatherstripping makes a huge difference.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 8:15AM
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An unvented crawlspace is not the same thing as a conditioned crawlspace, which is what we're suggesting. And which is allowed by virtually all US Codes. See Building Science Corp. here and Green Building Advisor.

AS you can see, there are a variety of approaches for achieving a satisfactorily performing conditioned crawl. You have to consider supply and return air and radon mitigation. You might want to consult or employ a specialist in your area.

Incidentally, conditioned crawls are not universally helpful. Vented crawls work better in the drier Western US and in the Pacific Northwest.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 9:04AM
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Lady Vix,

I write this only because you say you are new to this and something caught my eye in your last post.

You said "you weren't going to go down to the bank and sign the papers until ......"

And then I checked your other posts a quick scan didn't bring up any mention of a mortgage application or approval.

So I want to point out that it's not as simple as buying something like a car where essentially you just sign papers promising to pay a certain amount and then you're good to go.

With a house you have to apply to the bank for a mortgage on a specific house and they not only evaluate your credit, but they also require you to pay for an appraisal (not the same thing as the tax "appraisal" or the relator's comprehensive market analysis.) Then they decide how much money they will agree to lend to you as a mortgage. You have to come up with the rest. (These days banks' appraisers are being very conservative about values.)

There's tons of paperwork you have to submit to the bank and then they will tell you if they will give you a mortgage for this house and how much down payment they require. They will give you an good faith estimate of the closing costs (which may include a lot of fees). You may also have to refund to the seller a portion of the year's property taxes. Plus you will need to have homeowner's insurance, etc.

You are spending lots of money on inspections, but you need to get the mortgage app process going right away because if you can't get a mortgage (and banks are reportedly being extremely choosy these days and requiring much bigger down payments than in recent years), you could be wasting a lot of money on these inspections.

If you have been to a bank and have been told you are "prequalified" you should know that means nothing Sorry! You need a mortgage approval, which you can only get from starting a mortgage application. Sometimes it takes more than one attempt from different banks. And this typically takes weeks, or even more.

If you already have this covered, meaning you already have a mortgage committment/approval on this specific property, ignore this. If not, get to the bank, TODAY!

Good luck!


    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 10:06AM
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Thank you!! Hubby did get his mortgage application in a few weeks before I signed up here. We just didn't get the ball rolling until the inspections were finished. We had the home inspection today and pest inspection. No signs of any active infestations, and I have to wait for the home inspection report to come back.

I found out the pest inspectors wife was looking to buy the home too, and they were going to come back next week to make an offer. So glad I got it first, even though it's quite a mess right now lol


    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 7:35PM
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