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  1. #1
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    Default Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    I'm a month plus in to a room addition/home remodeling project. A problem surfaced while picking the front entry door. The width of the exterior porch wall for the front entry door is too narrow to allow as standard sized 3 foot door with sidelights (64" r.o.). After gnashing over narrowing the depth of an adjacent coat closet to make room, I reviewed with architect. She said something that led me to measure the location/dimensions of the foyer.

    Long story short (sort of), the main interior wall of the living room was framed 5 inches north of where it should be. This makes the foyer too narrow for a standard door unless it is installed off-center of the center-line of the foyer and gabled roof.

    The cause if two-fold. The foundation guys formed a pocket in the foundation to accept a steel i-beam that is under that north wall of the living room. The pocket was a mistake. The i-beam was set 5 inches north of where it should have been to compensate, The framer built the wall over the i-beam. They have just now set the ridge beam for the cathedral ceiling in the living room but have not put many rafters up (only 1). The time to correct the problem is now or never.

    OK It's wrong and I have yet to work out a resolution with the G.C. I have not been able to discuss it with him because of the holiday. I hope he will make it right. If the change screwed up just a simple front-door choice, what else will be thrown off. I spent a lot of time and money with architect getting that front elevation the way I wanted it.

    I have a couple of questions that will help me proceed with my G.C.

    1) Who sets the I-beam usually - the foundation guys or the framer?

    2) Is this kind of "in-the-field" change within normal acceptable deviation from the plans?

    3) Could my G.C. be unaware of the change or is it reasonable that he must know?

    4) The framers might be back out Monday before Christmas or at least on Wednesday afterwards. My G.C. is out of touch for the holiday and won't be back til Weds A.M.

    --> Should I take measures to stop the framers from doing anything until the issue is resolved? I.e. lock the site and keep them from working on Wednesday? They are Polish and don't communicate so well. I want to prevent more bad work being done on top of this error.

    5) If the framers set the I-beam, then they know/knew about the change. What responsibility do/did they have to inform the G.C., me or the architect? There are clear instructions on the plans to inform the architect if any structural or material changes are made to the plan. This change seems like both.

    6) Can I trust these framers?

    7) Can I trust my G.C.?

    There are clearly issues involved that could lead to legal remedies. I hope to resolve this without those measures and continue the build. It's winter here in Chicago, the house needs to be closed in and I don't think I have many good options.

    My worst fear is that I have to live with a foyer and front elevations that is all screwed up in my "dream house" for the next 20 years until I retire and move to a warmer climate.

    Please see the attached photos (if they upload).

    Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

    Regards,
    John Richards

    p.s. happy holidays

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    Last edited by John Richards; 12-29-2012 at 08:23 AM. Reason: Remove link to plans
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam Photos) mis-located

    I'm trying again with uploading photos.

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    Last edited by John Richards; 12-23-2012 at 07:09 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    I've seen this movie more times than I can remember.
    Let me start by giving you the advice I give people in this situation that they almost always don't follow: STOP THE JOB NOW
    Post a notice on the jobsite saying the jobsite is closed, email, fax all relevant parties that the jobsite is on hold and that there will be NO MORE PAYOUTS until the situation is resolved.
    It's your house, your money, you have approved Plans. If the as built doesn't match up to the Plans you aren't getting what you wanted. Will the municipality care about 5", probably not. You however do.
    So here's one of the problems. Most people don't listen to this advice because, in this situation, most GC's go into scare tactic mode to get the client to back down. It's going to cost a fortune, it doesn't matter, we can work around it, it will delay the job by 4-6 weeks or more, other trades will be effected, you don't understand, we did it for a reason, the Plans were screwed up, we would have to blah, blah. Most GC's will pretty much say anything to get out from under this situation without having to actually fix it.
    A problem is people hear this crap and get scared about the time and money; instead of getting angry and even. Often times people have plans in place to move into a property at a certain date and a supposed long delay really screws up all their other plans. The wife, the kids, the new school, the lease extension, etc. Oh screw it, we'll live with it; Like the GC said it really isn't that big of a deal. And besides we are saving money by getting a smaller door.
    - Will there be a delay if this is fixed? Probably, but probably not as long as the GC might claim.
    - Will there be extra costs? Often times up front yes but one can usually recover those during final payout negotiations.
    Based on those pictures I'd be pretty mad about how the GC is, or realistically isn't, handling the jobsite. My guess is a good construction inspector would find a lot of issues at the jobsite.
    To your questions:
    1- Framers and/or in conjunction with GC's lead guy(s). However, the carpenters would set the beam in the pocket left for them. As a GC I would be the one coordinating location with the concrete guy. No one else. In this case you need to establish how measured and dictated where the pocket went.
    2- Normal, acceptable ... that's a very wavy line. There are almost always field changes for one reason or another. This brings up a series of key questions that I suggest you figure out with the architect, NOT the GC. Why is the I beam there, what load does it carry, is a load being transferred from the upper levels down through the living room wall onto the I beam or not. I'm assuming the house has Microlams throughout so the I beam is likely a span issue or roof load transfer. If the living room wall isn't providing direct load transfer then moving it shouldn't be an issue. You could potentially do an architectural detail / alcove by shortening the living room wall 4'. That would allow the big door to go into place. Once again, architect discussion first, then combined meeting with GC.
    3- Depends on what type of GC he is. A hands on guy or some salesman type who has multiple jobs going and just stops by from time to time and doesn't really know squat.
    4- I would recommend my client stop the job until they can have an onsite meeting with the architect. Allowing any more work to be done, allows the GC to talk more smack about how much time and money it will cost to repair a 'picky little issue that really isn't a problem'.
    5- This goes back to who designated the pocket. If the pocket was there they probably didn't even measure anything. Or for them the 5" didn't seem like a big deal. This is a common 'monkey see, monkey do' situation. They did what they know and there isn't anything else. It doesn't matter what the Plans say. If you can't read english the Plans might as well say your mother is ugly. It doesn't matter. (as a Condo association I did work for found out, but that's another story)
    6- depends on how they are getting paid and whether there is a lead carpenter who can speak english. Lots of times these crews only do what they are told as quickly as possible and that's it. Based on what you have said and the pics, my guess is they are humping fast and hard to get done and paid. There probably isn't much thought being put into it. You may want to establish a designated relationship with the 'lead carpenter' so that all framing concerns go straight through him and he understands he is responsible. 'Responsible' means unhappy client, NO check. That translates into any language.
    7- Depends, only you can decide and answer that. Remember, yes he is there to serve you and make you happy. However he is also there to make a profit. Not all decisions he makes may be in your best interest. Hire a good construction inspector and be willing to follow that inspectors recommendations.
    When people call me for construction inspection work, one of the first questions I ask them is 'are you willing to follow my recommendations if it could stop or slow down the job'. If they say no, I tell them not to waster their money hiring me.
    -Oh, scrolling down going through your questions I just got to the part where you say this is in Chicago. Feel free to give me a call or email.
    - This may or may not need to go to litigation. Depends on the GC and what the architect says should be done to remedy the situation. Obviously, this is very bad timing. If you do anything but let everyone continue to work, it will cost you at least 2-3 weeks probably. Between the holidays, people being gone, establishing the issues and remedies, time adds up. That 2-3 weeks is a lot less than 20 years of being unhappy.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Sorry but your explanation and photos leave me a bit fuzzy.
    Bottom line is your GC is where the buck stops (depending on your contract with him.) Get with him and figure out a solution.

    If it is not built to the plans, the AHJ may have something to say about the work and may require revised drawings. Support beams must line up to transfer loads from the building to the foundation. 5 inches may be beyond tolerance, consult the architect.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    John,
    Marcus has it pretty well covered.

    One exception to be aware of. If you allow the job to go on and not be corrected now. Your final recourse in court will on only give you what you did not pay for by way of the door. Meaning if the original door was $1,800 and now the small door is $1,000 your judgement would be $500. The fact you did not get what you wanted is not the deciding issue. Had the case of a house that was 35 ft x 65 ft original plans. The house ended up at 35 ft x 60 ft. owner only received back the difference in cost of the unbuilt square footage. Not to mention that the construction only has to be done in a workman like manor, not great but just enough to get by.

    Seize the opportunity to get it corrected...


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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    John,
    Your G.C. already knows. Assuming everybody is using the same set of plans, and assuming the beam pocket is in fact in the wrong location per the current plans for construction, plans have dimensions, if the dimensions don't work you search for the reason why......math screw up by the architect, or placement screw up by a preceding sub. Either way, if you are a sub you seek a notice to proceed from the G.C. There are some areas where you may have (+,-) dimensions but they are usually where the new and old construction meet, dealing with parallel and elevations. 5" is a lot. It would seem to me the only way this may have gone unreported to your G.C. to this point is if the beam (which was originally placed incorrectly) is the story point for your new construction.
    Trust? You know what they say.......trust, but verify.


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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Am I the only one who sees a potential problem with the motley stack of (15 +/-) steel shims, cantilevered out over the plane of the wall and pocket? Furthermore, there doesn't appear to be a need for a pocket of any kind in the wall, as the steel beam is shallower than the TJIs, and only needs to rest on (and be anchored to) solid blocking on the very top of the wall. The good news being that a "fix" might be something as simple as moving the beam over to its correct location, while getting rid of the shims. If the photos depict an "architect-approved" detail, I'd be strongly tempted to find a different architect.

    My experience with loosely-stacked steel shims is that significant pack rust developing between them will eventually cause the stack to grow vertically, raising whatever is located above them. I have personal experience with how strong such forces can be, when the entire end of an aging concrete box girder bridge in my DOT district was raised almost 1-1/4" by expanding pack rust between its steel bearing surfaces. If I recall correctly, the total dead load lifted was just under 110 tons, over the course of almost 40 years' worth of corrosion.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    I see the same problem that Bridgeman pointed to. And not to mention, if the foundation should ever shift, which happens a lot around here, you have a disaster. So, my general advice is with Markus...........

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    if you have a GC on the job he is responsible for all sub trades, and verifying the work follows the plans and specifications.
    Stop the job until he straightens this out. The architect should be able to back you up on the prints and specifications, and if you have a contract with teh GC it probaly states the price is for plans and specs.



    Quote Originally Posted by John Richards View Post
    I'm a month plus in to a room addition/home remodeling project. A problem surfaced while picking the front entry door. The width of the exterior porch wall for the front entry door is too narrow to allow as standard sized 3 foot door with sidelights (64" r.o.). After gnashing over narrowing the depth of an adjacent coat closet to make room, I reviewed with architect. She said something that led me to measure the location/dimensions of the foyer.

    Long story short (sort of), the main interior wall of the living room was framed 5 inches north of where it should be. This makes the foyer too narrow for a standard door unless it is installed off-center of the center-line of the foyer and gabled roof.

    The cause if two-fold. The foundation guys formed a pocket in the foundation to accept a steel i-beam that is under that north wall of the living room. The pocket was a mistake. The i-beam was set 5 inches north of where it should have been to compensate, The framer built the wall over the i-beam. They have just now set the ridge beam for the cathedral ceiling in the living room but have not put many rafters up (only 1). The time to correct the problem is now or never.

    OK It's wrong and I have yet to work out a resolution with the G.C. I have not been able to discuss it with him because of the holiday. I hope he will make it right. If the change screwed up just a simple front-door choice, what else will be thrown off. I spent a lot of time and money with architect getting that front elevation the way I wanted it.

    I have a couple of questions that will help me proceed with my G.C.

    1) Who sets the I-beam usually - the foundation guys or the framer?

    2) Is this kind of "in-the-field" change within normal acceptable deviation from the plans?

    3) Could my G.C. be unaware of the change or is it reasonable that he must know?

    4) The framers might be back out Monday before Christmas or at least on Wednesday afterwards. My G.C. is out of touch for the holiday and won't be back til Weds A.M.

    --> Should I take measures to stop the framers from doing anything until the issue is resolved? I.e. lock the site and keep them from working on Wednesday? They are Polish and don't communicate so well. I want to prevent more bad work being done on top of this error.

    5) If the framers set the I-beam, then they know/knew about the change. What responsibility do/did they have to inform the G.C., me or the architect? There are clear instructions on the plans to inform the architect if any structural or material changes are made to the plan. This change seems like both.

    6) Can I trust these framers?

    7) Can I trust my G.C.?

    There are clearly issues involved that could lead to legal remedies. I hope to resolve this without those measures and continue the build. It's winter here in Chicago, the house needs to be closed in and I don't think I have many good options.

    My worst fear is that I have to live with a foyer and front elevations that is all screwed up in my "dream house" for the next 20 years until I retire and move to a warmer climate.

    The plans are available online @: New Page 1

    Please see the attached photos (if they upload).

    Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

    Regards,
    John Richards

    p.s. happy holidays



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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    I suspect the beam pocket is in or near the correct position, but was way low of where the framers wanted it. It looks like they shifted the I-beam north so it could rest on top of the foundation wall, on top of that unstable pile of shims.

    I wonder if the plans show the joists running perpendicular rather than parallel to the steel I-beam? That would be a reason for the I-beam being set below the joists, to reduce the span for joists running north and south.

    If the I-beam is needed, it can be shifted south 5" and set on a steel column, maybe resting in that pocket. However, the beam may have been needed to support the joists. I am just speculating here.

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

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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Yeah, I noticed the pile of shims and forgot to mention those. I don't mind a couple shims, usually necessary to get the beam just right. A pile like that though shows clear lack of coordination. I'd want to see a bolted or welded post stub at this point.

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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Your plan docs specify welding of plates/shims. 2x sill plus a plywood sandwich does not equate to 3x sills. Your multi-story 10'+ stories & If IIRC that's a bearing sep btwn vaulted ceiling room and 10' high foyer entry w/stairs on opposite to 2nd flr. Wet, wrong & already loaded. There are few TJIs which can be cut short in the field like that with sawn finger jointed chords, can't see stamped info. Moisture content & conditions with loading questionable. Sec. looks poorly vibrated (ag). Note you're project is in that pocket of unincorporated DG S of 75th IIRC that's in an older sub of wandering streets w/o street lights just west of the (now not-so-new) 355 with private wells & septic. Note the arch is not consulting throughout the project just plans. Noted arch and client signoff on forms before foundation pumped.Specs regarding reinforced corner bearing not possibly met. I-beam is not bearing on floating unwelded shims.TJIs sub'd for planned sawn joists or trusses. Not on hangers, not blocked on solid lumber rim.Planning docs state ILL.engineer stamped plans for floor system to be on-site at all times. Structural engineer and project manager from same firm named. Does that firm work for YOU or the "GC". DO you have an attorney specialized in contract and construction defect/litigation who knows their way around the DuPage County Court House? Have you had this attorney review your contracts, plans, and advise you? Does your present attorney have a recommended GOOD SE firm who is also well qualifed (and proven) expert and ideally LOCALLY based firm? Who have YOU hired to consult and review to represent YOUR interests checking on the GC and his performance, in this project?If you do not have representation, you need it NOW. Call your specialist attorney PDQ. Private Msg. if you don't have one to call.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 12-24-2012 at 10:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Marcus covered it well. Stop the construction now! The shims are a problem and are a blazing RED flag that something is not fitting like it should.

    It will not be an easy fix, but if it is not corrected and you allow the builder to adapt and modify things to fit and "look" okay you will regret it after you move in.

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

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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Specification Notes; Div 8, #2 Still specifies Frt. Entry Door @ 42" wide.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located - Followup

    Thank you to all for your generosity in sharing your time and expertise with me (and others). I met with architect, G.C. and framer on site today. It was not a totally negative meeting but of course it is still in play. We did stop all work on the site until things can be assessed.

    Over the weekend, I did more measuring. I went to the upper floor where the master bedroom will be. The windows over the stairs have been framed 5 inches to the north as well, I guess to accommodate the new ridge line of the porch. The wall to the master bedroom where the doors are is off slightly - about 1-2 inches at a rough check.

    Architect:
    =======

    - Shims are normal

    - Wanted to know if my concern was about structural stability of i-beam and wall above it. I have concerns that no shims are used in fix. But, as it stands, I don't have structural concerns that the wall is not over the i-beam and supporting the ceiling. I do have the concerns that have been mentioned here - plates rusting and swelling, foundation shifting, etc. I would also throw in stability in an earth quake. We're past due for the New Madrid fault to "pop".

    - Yes - i-beam runs parallel to joists. It only supports the load of the cathedral ceiling/roof in the new living room, and the porch roof (in my limited knowledge).

    - Pocket may have been left in plans from first design. We did a major downsize. The first design had joist running perpendicular to the i-beam in that design (I would have to check that). I don't see in the current plans where a pocket is specified - but I have not scrutinized them again to see - and I'm no expert by any means. I do see on page A4.1 that it looks like the I-beam rests on the foundation. I suspect it was just inferred by the foundation guy.

    - Possible I-Beam fixes may be (1) to pin into the pocket walls and pour a concrete plug. That may need supporting concrete around it. Another fix (2) is to cut pocket on opposite wall and set I-beam into it, then frame up to sub-floor/wall plate. The other fix (3) would be a steel column - presumably set in the pocket, going up to i-beam. She will consult her structural engineer and get a recommendation from them

    - Interior wall could be moved/fixed but exterior wall would have to stay. The recess of the porch is now fixed in place, I guess. That inside corner (south wall of porch) would
    have two feet of dead space on the interior. I could live with that.

    - Could certainly continue with door centered in porch and with ridge line of gable porch roof aligned. I had to drag it out of her that this would be the NEW center line and NEW ridge line with subject wall left in place.

    So, in all, I would have a less open line of site from front door to kitchen (which was considered in plans). I would also have a narrower passageway ( 3' 7" vs 4') and/or the recess for the built-in cabinets would have to be shallower. I guess I get to keep the hall coat closet at its full depth. The windows on the second floor would be framed to agree with the new ridge line of the porch - after it is set.

    - Best to evaluate situation and costs and come up with a plan that satisfies the issues.

    G.C.:
    =====

    - I pressed him to explain how this happened, who made the first errorand how it could have propagated through so much of the framing. He would not say how errors occurred or by who. He is responsible. Fair enough. Works for me until legal depositions are taken or a fix is proposed.

    Framer:
    ======

    -Per GC's statement above, I kept him out of conversation when

    ME:
    ===

    -After awkward "how was your Christmas", things started going in a direction I did not like (them avoiding making any statements on point). So I asked point blank what did they find and was I right or wrong. They confirmed the situation with the wall being off.

    -Next they started measuring R.O. of front door and saying they could fit the standard door inside it. The trim would just fit up to closet trim, but could work. I told them in no uncertain terms that was not a discussion I was willing to entertain. I wanted the wall and I-beam moved to the location on the plans.

    Conclusion of 12/26 7:30 a.m. Meeting
    ====================

    Work is stopped until architect gets feed back from her structural engineer.

    I will padlock site after framer leaves. They are taking measurements. I must check back and see that they have left. I am trying to squeeze some time in for my real work.

    ===> For those of you that have offered to assist me, I will be sending private emails to start those discussions.

    Thanks you again for all your help - and encouragement to take a strong stance on this.

    Regards,
    John


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located - A Few more pics

    Just curious about the garage and closet headers. I asked a while ago - was told that this is normal, OK, saves cost in refuse and new material.

    The windows over the stairs are included to complete the picture of the situation.

    Thanks,
    John

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    Last edited by John Richards; 12-26-2012 at 10:36 AM. Reason: More pics

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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    If your architect assures you that the stack of steel shims "is normal," she hasn't been out in the real world enough. Unless her world has thrived on throwing logical thinking, good workmanship and sound building practices completely out of the picture. And let the owner suffer the consequences (because there will be some). It's a good reminder for me of why I don't care much for architects, especially when they drift from just making things look pretty to dancing on the edge of practicing engineering.

    Your latest set of pix shows some very questionable things going on. I was going to say "scary," but didn't want to alarm anyone. Besides, I grew up and practiced my livelihood in a culture of making darn sure to "always protect the client/public, while keeping the stuff standing."


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Part Deux - When it Freezes, It Pours

    BridgeMan,

    After the cold snap we had this weekend, my basement is going to look like your avitar - icicles hanging down from rafters.

    With no heat, the pipes froze and burst. After the thaw, the well pump filled my crawl space, and probably septic leech field until one or more of the following happened: ejector pump burned out, sump pump burned out, well pump burned out, electrical circuits shorted out,

    Funny, nobody said anything after the meeting this morning. I did not go downstairs, so I did not see the condition. On Saturday when I took pics of the I-Beam the old crawl was bone dry (nearly).

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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    John,
    Just wondering, with no heat, why you did not drain the lines and prep the house for the cold snap?


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Garry,

    I'm kicking myself now. Probably because I was focused/stressed out by the framing error. I went home, ate and the passed out for the night. Before then, I was not focused on the weather. I did not know the forecast. It had been 30's & 40's up to that point.

    Also, it was a bit of the horse and the barn door. When I went over on Saturday, there was already ice on the floor, ice sheets in the toilets and the lowest faucet in the laundry room was already frozen. I remember thinking "what happens if I do thaw this out?".

    -------

    More information:

    It turns out that the foundation under the old garage door is 3 inches south of where the plans put it. That led to the inside corner of the porch recess in the foundation (south end of porch) being 3 inches off (north) from where it should be relative to the addition. I guess the foundation is correct from the south-west corner of the original living room - up to that point - but it is 3 inches shorter, north-south, overall.

    So, from the start, or from the setup of the forms for the foundation, the i-beam was doomed to be off by at least three inches. That seems managable, though. If the pocket were not there, this thread would probably not exist.

    I still am scratching my head over the dimensions. If the corner is 3 inches off, and the pocket is 6 inches wide, and the i-beam is set north of that, then I would expect it to be off by more than six inches. I see that the shims are not fully north of the pocket. They are set behind the pocket and overlap it by 3 (?) inches.

    I'm perplexed! If your going to use the shims (they look like 4" wide), and set them behind the pocket, then why go 3 inches further north? Why not set it all the way to the south edge of the pocket?

    Is it because the exterior wall where the porch turns in has to follow the foundation - and that wall continues inside as the bearing wall for the ridge beam, and the wall must sit atop the i-beam? So, the I-beam is set where it must be because of the location outside porch corner? And that was poured wrong because the plans were wrong. And the pocket really has nothing to do with it, in the end.

    Please excuse my plodding analysis.

    Last edited by John Richards; 12-27-2012 at 12:23 PM.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    As part of the resolution of the foundation situation, you should be asking the GC and his crew leaders the listed questions, instead of people on this forum. Afraid none of us can speak with any authority for the guilty parties. If I were in your position, I'd make every reasonable effort to have a record (written and/or audio) of who is responsible for correcting the mistakes, such that you aren't "blind-sided" when it comes time to finalizing the job. A good lesson for anyone reading this and planning a major remodel--spend the money on hiring a qualified job site inspector (experienced P.E. or similar) to make sure things are correctly laid out and built. If he was on the ball, such a person would likely have been able to prevent the freezing/flooding issue as well by suggesting proper winterizing procedures.

    If you're lucky, your homeowners insurance will cover the costs to repair the water and plumbing damage (less the deductible). But be prepared for a finger-pointing fight between them and the GC's insurer.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    BridgeMan,

    Thanks again. Your points are heard and noted. I have asked the questions. My GC is not responding to emails.

    I hope to have Markus K. out next week. I'm talking with him directly. He has offered many suggestions regarding winterizing.

    BTW - What does P.E. stand for - physical engineer?

    More info (hopefully last): It turns out, the recess in the foundation near the porch is 2 inches to the north. Thanks to the architect for coming out and measuring (yes it's billable). That, plus the garage foundation being 3 inches to the south vs plans (architect error) accounts for the 5 inch discrepancy in the foyer (maybe that is reverse billable?).

    Downside is that pocket apparently had nothing to do with the situation - so no easy fix. To make it per plans means chopping up porch, cutting ? 4 feet ? of foundation out and re-pouring with corner 5 inches to the south? I doubt that would ever be done for a 5 inch error. It probably would never be considered by GC. So, I am resigned to go with the fixes, as best they might be.

    Thanks again for everyone's help and advice!

    John


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    John,
    You have experienced a, sad but, typical situation. Typically the different trades are only looking at what they are doing and not the total picture. Which is what the GC is supposed to be doing in the perfect world. But the GC gets focussed on getting the trades in and moving the project along and does not pay attention to the errors as they occur. The first error in the foundation starts a cascading effect of other errors. Once an error occurs it is then passed on to the nest trade to add apt and adjust to the solution. Then often it becomes about arrogance and egos.

    You do need to get someone involved without a dog in this hunt. Someone that has the smarts and experience to see the alternative resolutions and to be able to think outside the box to get it accomplished. The GC and others working on the job look for the correction in terms of minimal cost which is always the best solution for them. They are also very use to playing the "it is not what you wanted but it is what you have" game.

    You are in a learning curve though you will not be able to get up to speed by yourself. Which is another reason to bring in someone on your side.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Quote Originally Posted by John Richards View Post
    BridgeMan,

    BTW - What does P.E. stand for - physical engineer?

    John
    No, John, P.E. does not stand for "physical engineer." You are just kidding, right?

    In case you're not--as several of your previous posts have referenced your architect talking with or getting input from, "her engineer," which by inference means her "professional engineer." Anyone legally practicing engineering in Illinois is required to be a P.E. All states and most countries require anyone providing engineering services to become licensed by their respective area of practice's licensing agency. This involves taking and passing a series of written examinations, supplemented by at least 4 years of actual experience under the direct supervision of an-already practicing P.E., in a particular field of practice.

    The monetary fines for practicing without a license (not being a P.E.) can be quite hefty. Gradually easing into retirement, I'm slowly allowing all of my P.E. licenses (7 states at one time) to expire and go into inactive status.

    Michael Kober, P.E.


  25. #25
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    John Richards Guest

    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Thanks Garry. You offer good advice and I intend to get that outside help you talk about.


    Not to beat this dead, dead, horse too much more, but I just have to post this snippet from the GC regarding the freezing, damage, standing water and live electricity (btw - I have turned off all but two circuits - to garage and detached garage):

    John,

    ...

    2. Please let me know how you are dealing with the standing water and electricity due to the weather related pipe burst you described in your email yesterday. I cannot have any of my workers on site if there is standing water.






  26. #26
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    As this story turns, am somewhat amazed at the latest 'defense' or excuse regarding pre-existing structures' location "measurements'.

    IME a stamped survey required site plan for such project submittal/approval.

    No licensed land surveyor involved? Especially with cover issues, site septic and well, with rerouting and expansion of driveway and addition work (significant) demolition, and expansion of the two main structures present? Not having same set posts, checking placement, etc.? Incredible.

    Risking occupancy status of partial tear/rebuild by not maintaining env. and heating, in late Nov, all of Dec, and into Jan, in NE Illinois? No provisions to or protection from freezing of the potable plumbing...That's difficult to swallow, as the well system requires protection from contamination as per plan as well.

    One wonders if other things have been skipped, such as consent acquired from the entity holding mortgage, etc. Transitional insurance (non-occupied/attended regular HO w/o rider wouldn't "fly"), etc. Just what the conditions are/were regarding the permit(s) having been issued. If the "GC" is really the "GC", or if HO is acting as DIY project GC.

    A P.E. is professional engineer. A S.E. structural engineer more specific dicipline.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Thank you H.G (if I may).

    I have emailed you my direct contact information. You may have missed it. It was before the holiday. If you would be willing to talk with me, I would appreciate it. I think you said you might have some good references.

    I am the owner. I am not acting as GC. My GC was one of several referred to me by the architect. I interviewed many and bid out to 5. This one had rave reviews from all the references (7?). I got tired of calling and hearing the same praises. I'm very perplexed how this situation has developed from that.

    You ask many good questions. Some questions I don't understand. Some answers are NO, unfortunately.

    The home is currently vacant so the pressure of trying to live there is not a factor - especially in the current disaster. Occupancy permits are at risk, I guess.

    I have construction insurance as required by the bank. AFIK it has the necessary riders for contruction such as for complete collapse of the foundation and others. I have a call in to them now.

    Construction financing took forever which is part of the reason this is such a late build start (so they do know about the project). Everybody left the business in the last 5 years, or so they say.

    We do have permits from DuPage county and, yes, it is in the pocket that of the county you mentioned. There was definitely a learning curve for both the architect and the builder. More on energy requirements than the structure/plans - and registering subs. There was one re-submission of the plands and then the county lost the septic approval from the health department so that had to be re-sent.

    There is no site plan created by a civil engineer. It was discussed. We only have a hand-drawn plat that was submitted to the county. This was based on a somewhat recent survey/plat. It was from when I had a driveway put in in 2010. The county accepted it after some re-work but they did not require a site plan.

    I did have the septic system located. That was one of the bigger concerns I had at the very start. I did not know what the septic requirements and cost would be. The initial design with the arch added a fourth bedroom, which would have triggered septic modifications. The final design stays with three bedrroms.

    The only parties I have engaged, so far, are the arch and the GC

    I do not have an attorney.


    Regards,
    John


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Just in from GC:

    John,

    1. Out of approximately 975 linear inches of concrete wall, there was a 2” variance. That is a tolerance of .0020512, which is phenomenal in terms of outcomes in residential construction. Even the county inspector commented on the inspection sheet that we did a great job on the foundation which is unheard of.
    2. You should be embarrassed and ashamed of yourself by treating my staff and I like common criminals, emailing and texting at excessive levels before and during holiday vacation, bringing me back from out of town vacation away from my family during the holiday, screaming and yelling at everyone during our meeting Wednesday, locking us out of the job site, threatening me with legal advice (which infers possible action) and locking down the job site. All over an absolutely miniscule variance that could have been dealt with before the holidays with a 1 hour meeting.
    3. I have been honest and open with you from the very beginning of our dealings together during this nearly 12 month working relationship, trying to allow you to have a part in the process. Since breaking ground on this project you have micromanaged the process to the Nth degree everyday, directing my excavation, concrete and framing crews with instances of error (i.e., the landing by the stairs) which will now have to be corrected. To this point I have stayed silent in accepting your overreaching. This compulsive and erratic behavior must be curbed on your side of the equation.
    4. The other 3 inches of variance in the drawing was what we had to work with and we have no responsibility for that which is again, a minute drawing variance . I have seen architectural drawings that have been off over 1 FT in sizing existing structures. Cinda is an outstanding architect and we refer one another for a reason. That reason is that there are a finite amount of architects and contractors and 80-90 percent are a nightmare to deal with. Money is common. Good general contractors and Architects are not.
    5. John, you demanded that there be no more work completed in your email this past Saturday. You reiterated that order again on Wednesday, that there was to be no more work completed after our meeting as witnessed by everyone there and you asked, in an angered tone, if that point was clear to everyone. I said that your orders were clear to me and to my crew, that there was not going to be any more work done. You then locked us out of the site after our meeting on Wednesday as evidenced by the photo I took of the gate on Wed. (See Attached). Your Email on Wed. eve was the 1st that I knew of any water issues. Contrary to your # 2 point below, it was clear to me and everyone by your email and your actions that You were in control of the site and You had specifically ordered that no more work was to be completed by anyone and had further locked us out of the site. Even if I or my team had wanted to, we couldn’t have “winterized” the site, although after review, any winterization of the site was not in the scope of the contract pricing.
    6. Once again, please let me know how you plan on dealing with the standing water and electricity due to the weather related pipe burst you have described. I cannot and will not have any of my workers on site if there is standing water. You have already caused a great deal of time and money loss. I suggest you work with Cinda to come up with a solid plan of action to move forward with. I have other projects in the works and this situation that you have exacerbated is starting to become a hindrance to my business.

    Regards,




  29. #29
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    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    Quote Originally Posted by John Richards View Post
    Just in from GC:

    John,

    1. Out of approximately 975 linear inches of concrete wall, there was a 2” variance. That is a tolerance of .0020512, which is phenomenal in terms of outcomes in residential construction. Even the county inspector commented on the inspection sheet that we did a great job on the foundation which is unheard of.
    2. You should be embarrassed and ashamed of yourself by treating my staff and I like common criminals, emailing and texting at excessive levels before and during holiday vacation, bringing me back from out of town vacation away from my family during the holiday, screaming and yelling at everyone during our meeting Wednesday, locking us out of the job site, threatening me with legal advice (which infers possible action) and locking down the job site. All over an absolutely miniscule variance that could have been dealt with before the holidays with a 1 hour meeting.
    3. I have been honest and open with you from the very beginning of our dealings together during this nearly 12 month working relationship, trying to allow you to have a part in the process. Since breaking ground on this project you have micromanaged the process to the Nth degree everyday, directing my excavation, concrete and framing crews with instances of error (i.e., the landing by the stairs) which will now have to be corrected. To this point I have stayed silent in accepting your overreaching. This compulsive and erratic behavior must be curbed on your side of the equation.
    4. The other 3 inches of variance in the drawing was what we had to work with and we have no responsibility for that which is again, a minute drawing variance . I have seen architectural drawings that have been off over 1 FT in sizing existing structures. Cinda is an outstanding architect and we refer one another for a reason. That reason is that there are a finite amount of architects and contractors and 80-90 percent are a nightmare to deal with. Money is common. Good general contractors and Architects are not.
    5. John, you demanded that there be no more work completed in your email this past Saturday. You reiterated that order again on Wednesday, that there was to be no more work completed after our meeting as witnessed by everyone there and you asked, in an angered tone, if that point was clear to everyone. I said that your orders were clear to me and to my crew, that there was not going to be any more work done. You then locked us out of the site after our meeting on Wednesday as evidenced by the photo I took of the gate on Wed. (See Attached). Your Email on Wed. eve was the 1st that I knew of any water issues. Contrary to your # 2 point below, it was clear to me and everyone by your email and your actions that You were in control of the site and You had specifically ordered that no more work was to be completed by anyone and had further locked us out of the site. Even if I or my team had wanted to, we couldn’t have “winterized” the site, although after review, any winterization of the site was not in the scope of the contract pricing.
    6. Once again, please let me know how you plan on dealing with the standing water and electricity due to the weather related pipe burst you have described. I cannot and will not have any of my workers on site if there is standing water. You have already caused a great deal of time and money loss. I suggest you work with Cinda to come up with a solid plan of action to move forward with. I have other projects in the works and this situation that you have exacerbated is starting to become a hindrance to my business.
    Regards,
    You kicked the GC out via email on Saturday prior to your first post here. Hmmm.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Richards today
    The only parties I have engaged, so far, are the arch and the GC

    I do not have an attorney.
    Quote Originally Posted by John Richards today
    I have emailed you my direct contact information. You may have missed it. It was before the holiday. If you would be willing to talk with me, I would appreciate it. I think you said you might have some good references.
    You sent me a private message AFTER the holiday, Mid-morning on Wednesday, the 26th of December (and most obviously after your "stop work" emails to the GC referenced ("this past Saturday" - that would be December 22nd, prior to your ever having posted on this site which was Sundy, December 23rd) and quite obviously AFTER your locking-out activites at the jobsite and meeting at site (7:30 am Wednesday morning Dec 26th); as you sent that PM a full 14 minutes AFTER you made your third post on this discussion topic going on about your futher "investigations" at the site throughout the weekend and holiday -- and hours after your meeting at the locked out (by you) job site (and a good 42 minutes after I had left for the day) and after you posted about same!

    I did see your PM, beyond what was offered/extended, and which was non-responsive to the limiting invitation to PM me which was:

    ...DO you have an attorney specialized in contract and construction defect/litigation who knows their way around the DuPage County Court House? Have you had this attorney review your contracts, plans, and advise you? Does your present attorney have a recommended GOOD SE firm who is also well qualifed (and proven) expert and ideally LOCALLY based firm? Who have YOU hired to consult and review to represent YOUR interests checking on the GC and his performance, in this project?If you do not have representation, you need it NOW. Call your specialist attorney PDQ. Private Msg. if you don't have one to call.
    Was and did suggest you make contact with and get advice from an attorney THEN, IMMEDIATELY, not to continue to engage in inappropriate, self-destructive, un-informed, self-help.

    Would have suggested several resources for finding such and considered passing on contact information for several who are experienced in advising and mitigating, not just litigating (but great at that too), specific and local..that you could research at the clerk of the court's office (pull case files, etc.) but you didn't ask for that in your PM, you didn't indicate you were without a resource or without representation.

    However, as the "story turns" it seems you are and have been acting against your own interests and WITHOUT "legal advice", and continue to do so. According to your most recent post, you apparently have been "representing" to your GC having acquired "legal advice" pertaining to your actions/demands/orders to the GC since at least Saturday the 22nd of December, and prior to your first post here.

    Most unfortunate, "cart before the horse" and engaged in rash, emotional "half-cocked" self-defeating and compromising your own interests, activity. Am hesitant to recommend, most especially with your disingenuous representation as to WHEN and HOW you directed a communication to ME, and the "story line" as it has evolved, most especially as to the most recent multiple posts.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 12-28-2012 at 11:36 AM.

  30. #30
    John Richards's Avatar
    John Richards Guest

    Default Re: Room Addition Problem - Wall 5" Off due to I-beam mis-located

    H.G.

    By your analysis,I guess I have gotten your hackles up. I don't mean to. I only looking for a way through this. I am not blameless but I am trying to not misrepresent things. You are responding to the GC's angry response to me.

    Not to belabor this any more, but here is just one rebuttal I might offer as illustration. I don't know that this one sentance constitutes locking him out on Saturday:

    (me on Saturday)

    {GC}, I need you to get hold of {Framer} please and stop him from doing any work to the living room until we resolve this. I can meet him on Monday morning if you cannot get hold of him.


    The intent was just to get to the framer before he did more work in the problem area i.e. ask him to do work somewhere else - not to tell him how to fix it.





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