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  1. #1
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    Default How do you fix this?

    The buyer's agent and the buyer's remodeling contractor were with me on the exterior when I first saw this. Grade above the top of the foundation wall.

    Agent said, "It's been that way for 60 years and hasn't been a problem"

    Contractor said, "It's not an issue. Water can't penetrate the stone siding".

    Then I went into the basement, pulled back the new fiberglass insulation covering the rim joist.

    That's a private road on the left side of the exterior picture servicing about 6 other houses, a boat launch and a boat storage building. It's about 6 feet from the house.

    Those windows are about 3 feet off the floor.

    I advised them to get a PE to figure out a way to save the house and the road.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    To fix the rot? Replace the rotten wood. To fix the problem, lower the grade or jack up the house.
    No way that has been like that for 60 years. They put up that brick veneer and then dumped fill against the poor old house, probably so they could upgrade that road and develop the waterfront..

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    So to lower the grade what do you do with the road?

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Oregon, USA
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    333

    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    Suggest they have everything evaluated by a registered P.E., who just might suggest installing an impervious swale (concrete, with exposed aggregate to pretty things up?) to move water away from the road and foundation to the nearby lake.

    Water in lake good; water in house support structure bad.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
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    1,984

    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    60 years my _ss. Amazing the BS they'll spit out.
    I see landscaping high above the original grade and 'bottom' of house fairly regularly. Owner wants pretty rocks, pavers, shrubs, etc; landscaper wants a job; nobody thinks about the water issues.
    Clients rarely want to get rid of the landscaping. I typically recommend a few things.
    - dig up trench along wall and install waterproof membrane
    - create at least somewhat of a slope away from the house
    - had a similar thing along a driveway once; told the client to bury the green perforated ground pipe along the edge of the driveway in the dirt and slope it towards the front. Worked like a charm and took care of the water issue. The plants they installed at the front around the end of the pipe were always green and lush.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Maryland
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    2,778

    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    Here is another idea.

    Cut away the lower portion of the house and add to the foundation wall to get it above grade.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    Will digging this out to do the structural repairs to the home cause a problem with the stability of the road?

    The road surface is approximately 2 feet higher than the top of the stone siding. The grading slopes down to the house. The distance from the road curb to the house is approximately 6 feet.

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  8. #8

    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    Don’t know when the road improvements were done or if the original grade was lower…but if it was it may be time for the lawyers – Hughie, Cheatum and Howe.

    Seriously I have seen a homeowner sue the town where a road caused issues with their home and after many many years prevail.

    As far as the fix a PE is needed, but I do like the solution suggested to make the foundation higher. The question is how to finish the interior of the home in this area if the foundation is now knee high.

    Jeff Zehnder - Home Inspector, Raleigh, NC
    http://www.jjeffzehnder.com/
    http://carolinahomeinspections.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    I would not recommend just a PE for this. PE's unless they specialize in this type of work would not have much of clue as to what needs to be done. PE's are not the answer for everything!

    I would point out the damage I found and then relate that to the water that is seeping in from above due to the poor grade and improper drainage of the area.

    As for who might be able to take care of it? For starters I would most likely go with a good general contractor and let them be the one to decide on who needs to be called in for the evaluations and corrections. This is going to be a multifaceted project when it comes to the experts that will need to be involved. The road will most likely need to be blocked and new path for the others homes made while the work is being completed.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    St Paul, MN
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    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I would not recommend just a PE for this. PE's unless they specialize in this type of work would not have much of clue as to what needs to be done. PE's are not the answer for everything!

    I would point out the damage I found and then relate that to the water that is seeping in from above due to the poor grade and improper drainage of the area.

    As for who might be able to take care of it? For starters I would most likely go with a good general contractor and let them be the one to decide on who needs to be called in for the evaluations and corrections. This is going to be a multifaceted project when it comes to the experts that will need to be involved. The road will most likely need to be blocked and new path for the others homes made while the work is being completed.
    Unfortunately many of the GC's around here aren't too bright. The one who was present at the inspection had said the grade wasn't going to be an issue. He had left before I found the rot. This is an old "development", they have their own church services, and the road is the only service road to 8 other houses. There is no other alternatives to get to these homes, or the lake, boathouses, storage facilities etc. My clients don't know anyone in the development and they don't want to make waves, so to speak, being the "new" people. Very odd situation.

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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    Correction is going to be expensive.

    I would question what the road grade was originally. Was it built up to create an lower incline at some time in the past? There may be an engineering report on file for the road work. If the local/state did the job there may be (not easy) some recourse for assistance as they created the problem. Granted getting something from the Local/State will be a long battle.

    Some thoughts on what may be feasible or not.
    1) Rebuild and extend foundation above grade.
    2) Build (pour) a secondary wall to the exterior of the existing foundation wall that extends above grade.

    The sill, studs and sheathing need to be replaced/repaired. Stone on exterior will probably need to come down no matter what is done. Stone may be reused. Find a GC that can think outside the box. But no matter what it will be costly.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
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    150

    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    Part of the solution might be to build up that curb at the edge of the road to direct the road run-off down the road. Hard to tell if there's enough room for a retaining wall next to the road so you can lower the grade next to the house. Who owns the road?

    -Jon
    Errickson Home Inspections, LLC
    http://www.erricksonhomeinspections.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    It's a private road owned by the association.

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    The contractor and agent are both idiots.
    That said, if it really has been there 60 years, and the damaged wood was fairly limited, and there wasn't problems with the foundation, the fix may not be that bad.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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    92

    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post

    Agent said, "It's been that way for 60 years and hasn't been a problem"

    Contractor said, "It's not an issue. Water can't penetrate the stone siding".
    I love people like this - adds to my job security.

    Fred Comb, ACI
    Mahtomedi, MN
    www.homeinspectionsofmn.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Guelph,Ontario
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    What a dumb statement,it has been that way for 60 years,unless the ,agent,contractor lived there 60 years,they would not know any thing about the existing condition.
    I hear comments like that all the time,it proves how little they know,the agent just wants the deal to go ahead.

    Last edited by Harry Janssen; 02-11-2012 at 12:28 PM. Reason: spelling mistake

  17. #17
    Loren Sanders Sr.'s Avatar
    Loren Sanders Sr. Guest

    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe View Post
    The buyer's agent and the buyer's remodeling contractor were with me on the exterior when I first saw this. Grade above the top of the foundation wall.

    Agent said, "It's been that way for 60 years and hasn't been a problem"

    Contractor said, "It's not an issue. Water can't penetrate the stone siding".

    Then I went into the basement, pulled back the new fiberglass insulation covering the rim joist.

    That's a private road on the left side of the exterior picture servicing about 6 other houses, a boat launch and a boat storage building. It's about 6 feet from the house.

    Those windows are about 3 feet off the floor.

    I advised them to get a PE to figure out a way to save the house and the road.
    Is there a lake near the house.. could there be underground water penetration at the building site?


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    South-West Michigan
    Posts
    469

    Post Re: How do you fix this?

    You don't. You walk away.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
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    3,473

    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Aldering View Post
    You don't. You walk away.
    I agree.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: How do you fix this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Rowe
    Agent said, "It's been that way for 60 years and hasn't been a problem"

    Contractor said, "It's not an issue. Water can't penetrate the stone siding".
    Don't ya just love when others make statements like this. I ALWAYS tell these people that this is good information for the client and they should put it in writting and sign it. You will appreciate the blank stare you receive from them when they hear it.

    Ken Amelin
    Cape Cod's Best Inspection Services
    www.midcapehomeinspection.com

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