foundation repair

Chrome2014August 7, 2014

So I bought the house about 4yrs ago, now entry door is sticking again and tiles are cracked. I asked a handyman to craw into the crawl space to take a look at the posts underneath the house and picts as attached. How can such movement take place? It seems like in one pict the cement block moved. Is this type of movement normal? Why type of repairs will be needed here? Any suggestions? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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another pict

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 3:23AM
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My guess is that this was a do-it-yourself hack job that happened some time after the house was built in order to try to shore up a sagging floor. Somebody crawled under the house with some pier blocks and placed them in approximately the right positions. In the first case the block wasn't in the right position, but the person figured he could pound a 2X4 halfway in place and call it good. In the second case he cut the 2X4 so short that he needed to use some makeshift wedges to kind of get it to stay in place. I also don't see that any nails were used to connect the supports.

In addition to the incompetence of the work, it may be that the weight being supported is compressing the earth under the pier blocks, so that is why you have more sagging.

If you want this fixed right, I'd suggest you temporarily support the joists so you can remove the hack work and pour some concrete pads larger than the blocks and reinforced with rebar. Then you need to use foundation screw jacks so you can start raising the sagging joists over an extended period of time so you can get them back up to where they need to be.

It's possible you might be able to get by without adding new concrete pads, and just place new pier blocks next to the existing ones and use screw jacks to raise the joists. Whether this is a good long term solution will depend on the stability of the soil and whether it can withstand the pressure on the pier blocks without settling. Perhaps adding extra supports beyond what you have might distribute the weight better.

If this sounds too difficult, hire a professional.

Here is a link that might be useful: Foundation screw jacks

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 3:58AM
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I'm skeptical that this has anything to do with ill-fitting doors and cracked tile. You need to measure the size of that beam and its span and note its composition to see if its adequate for the job. It looks like someone tried to stiffen the floor, but there's no evidence of any movement, just poorly placed pads and reinforcement.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:05AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Not an internet situation. It requires that you hire a structural enginer to inspect the home in person and assess.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:54AM
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You need to call a professional and get that fixed before it gets worse. Good luck

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 8:12AM
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Thanks for the advice, this is a nightmare situation. Not sure if I can afford such major repair. Attached is another picture, this time it's showing a beam with no support. Anyone has any idea how much this would cost me to fix? I will post back later after the foundation guys inspection. The foundation jack and adding additional supports sound like a good idea. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 1:58PM
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You may not be able to "afford such a major repair", but can afford the potential consequences of not making the necessary repairs?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 2:29PM
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I should have added that the house is half on slab and half on posts. Only the Living room and kitchen are on posts. So I think you guys are right it was a hack job from the previous owner trying to stiffen the floor. I've scheduled 2 different foundation guys to come by, will see what they say. I might just get a structure engineer too. Will report back with their findings. Thanks for all the help guys.

Not a happy camper!!!!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 2:40PM
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Good luck. I'll be interested to hear the results.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:27PM
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OK the first foundation group just stopped by, and I'm still in a bit of a shock listening to their suggestion. So they measured the house front and back, check elevation, crawled underneath the living room and kitchen.
Apparently the condition of the posts/piers are OK to them, he said they're normal. No worries, his concern is the right corner of the house. It is somewhat settling due to a down spout in the front of the house. He proposed to insert Push Piers to stabilized the side of the house. Push Piers will be used for the right corner and back left. Total cost $21k.
What do you guys think? This person totally ignored the tilting piers in the middle of the house and went straight to his product, Push Pier System. For more information you can google Safebase to have a better description of their product.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:54PM
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Hope you thanked him profusely, sent him on his way and proceeded to throw out his card......

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:35PM
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yeah, thank you and you can email me your proposal. Looks like a structural engineer is needed here. Their non-bias opinion is definitely a must.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:42PM
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Quick update, the 2nd foundation group stopped by. Per his measurements the right corner of the house is -11/4 inch from the left corner of the house. His conclusion is the right side of the house and only in that corner is settling. So once again Push Pier system is suggested, but only at the affected corner. He didn't inspect the posts/piers, no need to, he said he has determined that it's the exterior foundation. Waiting for his total costs, the adventure continues.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 5:13PM
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Just because the guy determined that the exterior foundation is sinking does not mean there is no need to inspect those hacked posts/piers. You may have two problems: settling exterior foundation, and inadequate floor support. It's time to get another opinion...this time from someone who is not too lazy to crawl under the house and make a total assessment.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 6:03PM
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