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  1. #1
    LARRY BATTARBEE's Avatar
    LARRY BATTARBEE Guest

    Default WHO IS AT FAULT?

    EVENTS:

    NEW "DREAM HOME" BUILT 2003 FOR ORIGINAL OWNER WITH A 10 YEAR WARRANTY ON FOUNDATION.

    EARLY 2005. ORIGINAL OWNER NOTICED CRACKS IN SHEETROCK.
    HIRED HOME INSPECTOR WHO STATED THE THE CRACKS WERE DUE TO WIND SHEAR AND HOME NEEDED ADDITIONAL BRACING IN THE ATTIC TO PREVENT FUTURE DAMAGE. HOME INSPECTOR ALSO STATED THERE WAS A SLAB PROBLEM AND THE SOIL AROUND THE SLAB NEEDED TO BE SOAKED WITH WATER. (I HAVE BEEN TOLD IN THE PAST, THIS IS NOT A CORRECT SOLUTION)

    BUILDER WAS ADVISED OF HOME INSPECTOR ADVISE AND, AT HIS EXPENSE, ADDED ADDITIONAL BRACING IN ATTIC, REPLACED SHEETROCK AND PATCHED IN 3 ROOMS. BUILDER WAS NOT TOLD ABOUT THE RECOMMENDED SLAB PROBLEM SOLUTION. "OR HE WOULD HAVE APPROACHED THE SOLUTION DIFFERENTLY."

    ORIGINAL OWNER WATERED THE EXTERIOR SOIL. ALSO DUG UNDER THE OUTSIDE BEAM AND STUCK THE WATER HOSE UNDER THE SLAB. FORGOT ABOUT THE WATER, ONLY TO NOTICE LATER, HE HAD WASHED A SEVERE AMOUNT OF DIRT FROM UNDER THE SLAB.

    OCT 2005 ORIGINAL OWNER SOLD HOME.
    "REPRESENTED":
    1. ONLY PRIOR REPAIR WAS A SMALL CRACK IN THE HALL CEILING WHICH WAS REPAIRED.
    2. NO FOUNDATION/SLAB REPAIRS
    3. NO STRUCTURAL REPAIRS
    4. NEVER HAD A HOME INSPECTOR LOOK AT THE HOME.

    NEW OWNER HAD INSPECTION OCT 2005:
    1. NO STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS APPEAR AT THIS TIME

    TODAY:
    OUTSIDE BRICK CRACKED MORTAR
    FIREPLACE CRACKED MORTAR
    TILE FLOOR MORTAR IN KITCHEN CRACKED
    CEILINGS CRACKED AND SOME SAGGING
    WALLS CRACKED
    DOOR OPENING NOT SQUARE

    WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? BUILDER, INSPECTORS, ORIGINAL OWNER?

    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
    LARRY BATTARBEE's Avatar
    LARRY BATTARBEE Guest

    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    That was disclosed by the builder on Saturday. He was told that last year by a relative of the original owner


  3. #3
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    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    Quote Originally Posted by LARRY BATTARBEE View Post
    EVENTS:

    NEW "DREAM HOME" BUILT 2003 FOR ORIGINAL OWNER WITH A 10 YEAR WARRANTY ON FOUNDATION.

    EARLY 2005. ORIGINAL OWNER NOTICED CRACKS IN SHEETROCK.
    HIRED HOME INSPECTOR WHO STATED THE THE CRACKS WERE DUE TO WIND SHEAR AND HOME NEEDED ADDITIONAL BRACING IN THE ATTIC TO PREVENT FUTURE DAMAGE. HOME INSPECTOR ALSO STATED THERE WAS A SLAB PROBLEM AND THE SOIL AROUND THE SLAB NEEDED TO BE SOAKED WITH WATER. (I HAVE BEEN TOLD IN THE PAST, THIS IS NOT A CORRECT SOLUTION)

    BUILDER WAS ADVISED OF HOME INSPECTOR ADVISE AND, AT HIS EXPENSE, ADDED ADDITIONAL BRACING IN ATTIC, REPLACED SHEETROCK AND PATCHED IN 3 ROOMS. BUILDER WAS NOT TOLD ABOUT THE RECOMMENDED SLAB PROBLEM SOLUTION. "OR HE WOULD HAVE APPROACHED THE SOLUTION DIFFERENTLY."

    ORIGINAL OWNER WATERED THE EXTERIOR SOIL. ALSO DUG UNDER THE OUTSIDE BEAM AND STUCK THE WATER HOSE UNDER THE SLAB. FORGOT ABOUT THE WATER, ONLY TO NOTICE LATER, HE HAD WASHED A SEVERE AMOUNT OF DIRT FROM UNDER THE SLAB.

    OCT 2005 ORIGINAL OWNER SOLD HOME.
    "REPRESENTED":
    1. ONLY PRIOR REPAIR WAS A SMALL CRACK IN THE HALL CEILING WHICH WAS REPAIRED.
    2. NO FOUNDATION/SLAB REPAIRS
    3. NO STRUCTURAL REPAIRS
    4. NEVER HAD A HOME INSPECTOR LOOK AT THE HOME.

    NEW OWNER HAD INSPECTION OCT 2005:
    1. NO STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS APPEAR AT THIS TIME

    TODAY:
    OUTSIDE BRICK CRACKED MORTAR
    FIREPLACE CRACKED MORTAR
    TILE FLOOR MORTAR IN KITCHEN CRACKED
    CEILINGS CRACKED AND SOME SAGGING
    WALLS CRACKED
    DOOR OPENING NOT SQUARE

    WHO IS RESPONSIBLE? BUILDER, INSPECTORS, ORIGINAL OWNER?
    All are responsible....

    I don't know how long the builder is on the hook for the foundation in your state, most states it is 5-10 years. In my state, TN it is 6 years.

    The inspector should not have designed repairs, but should have deferred to an engineer.

    The original owner is an idiot. Running water under the foundation most likely did the bulk of the damage and most likely removed the builder from the equation. Not disclosing the issues is a No No in most states. If I had to place blame I would put 75% on the original owner and the rest split between the builder and the inspector.

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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    I'm right the opposite of the others. I'm blaming the second or current homeowner for not having a home inspection.

    What the foolish first homeowner had done maybe could have been found by a home inspector.

    We never seem to have homeowners come on this board and praise a inspector for the work he done. Its seems its those who come to complain and then state they never hired a home inspector.

    Mr Battarbee doesn't appear to be listed as a TREC inspector, so I assume he is a homeowner venting his problems.

    JMHO

    rick


  5. #5
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    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    All are responsible....
    That is the CORRECT answer.

    The inspector should not have designed repairs, but should have deferred to an engineer.
    Making the inspector definitely in the list of "named defendants". What an idiot that home inspector was. EVEN IF that home inspector was an engineer, he should then have donned his engineering hat and say "as an engineer, this is what I would charge to design a repair ... "

    The original owner is an idiot. Running water under the foundation most likely did the bulk of the damage and most likely removed the builder from the equation.
    I agree on the original owner being an idiot too (along with the home inspector) but disagree as to removing the builder. If that idiot original owner removed the builder by doing that, he also removed the home inspector - but both the builder and home inspector have a share of that liability as the home inspector WAY overstepped what they should have said and the builder did what the owner said instead of looking at it and making his own assessment and repairs.

    Not disclosing the issues is a No No in most states. If I had to place blame I would put 75% on the original owner and the rest split between the builder and the inspector.
    I would split it 50% to the original owner as they are the one who left the hose running, but the inspector who said to do that ... and said it was from wind shear ... and said ... that home inspector needs to take the other 50% - except that leaves nothing for the builder, so the home inspector and builder would be 25% each.

    *IF* (the disclaimer) what has been told to us is correct, then that home inspector was WAY out of line in doing engineering by stating the cause and correction needed. HOWEVER, the home inspector may not have said it that way, we would need to see what the home inspection report actually said.

    That is a good and fair warning to all home inspectors who state "this is what caused this" and "this is how you fix it". You should be saying "this is one possible cause" and "this may be one possible fix" and "YOU NEED a structural engineer to determine the ACTUAL CAUSE and the ACTUAL REPAIR". That is one home inspector who, if he said what we were told he said, stepped into deep doo-doo by saying it - BE FOREWARNED ABOUT SAYING THINGS LIKE THAT!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    I'm right the opposite of the others. I'm blaming the second or current homeowner for not having a home inspection.

    What the foolish first homeowner had done maybe could have been found by a home inspector.

    We never seem to have homeowners come on this board and praise a inspector for the work he done. Its seems its those who come to complain and then state they never hired a home inspector.

    Mr Battarbee doesn't appear to be listed as a TREC inspector, so I assume he is a homeowner venting his problems.

    JMHO

    rick
    Rick, the new owner had an inspection in Oct 2005........

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    Quote Originally Posted by LARRY BATTARBEE View Post
    NEW OWNER HAD INSPECTION OCT 2005:
    1. NO STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS APPEAR AT THIS TIME
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    I'm blaming the second or current homeowner for not having a home inspection.
    They did have an inspection.

    The problem is just now showing back up - 4 YEARS LATER (unless the home was sold again without an inspection, but that is not what I am getting out of).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    LARRY BATTARBEE's Avatar
    LARRY BATTARBEE Guest

    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    Rick Hurst,

    You are correct, I am not an Inspector. The home was inspected, at the request of the new owner, prior to closing in October 2005. That Inspector stated in a number of ways, "NO STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS APPEAR AT THIS TIME." I am satisfied with that inspection report. Given extensive repairs had been made only a few months before, nothing would have shown up.

    The builder did not learn about the slab problem and the water hose solution until several months or so after he added the bracing, (from the original owner's daughter, when he was looking at cracks in her home which he built.)

    Rick, perhaps you may remember, I am an insurance agent for home inspectors. I have experience handling claims. 20 out of 20 claims were denied last year because the inspectors had good contracts and accurate reports. Not a single claim was due to negligence of the inspector.

    Yes, a girl I am dating, asked for my opinion.

    Jerry Peck,

    The current situation is the home has been listed for sale. A potential buyer and the realtor asked the current owner to have a foundation inspection, based upon the current visual problems, which have further worsened in the last year and more in the last month.

    All,

    I appreciate your honest opinions about the inspector who looked at the home when it was 2 years old. I did not think it was SOP to water a slab. My experience with reading your reports is to make sure water is drained away from the slab.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    Quote Originally Posted by LARRY BATTARBEE View Post
    I did not think it was SOP to water a slab. My experience with reading your reports is to make sure water is drained away from the slab.
    Different parts of the country have different soil conditions. In my area (Oregon) we keep water away. I have heard of certain soil conditions requiring watering during dry times of year. Maybe someone from such an area can chime in. My point is that watering the soil near the foundation isn't a completely made-up thing.

    That inspector is absolutely nuts for recommending specific engineering like he did.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    Quote Originally Posted by LARRY BATTARBEE View Post
    I appreciate your honest opinions about the inspector who looked at the home when it was 2 years old. I did not think it was SOP to water a slab.
    Not as a fix or correction for anything ... with the possible exception of expansive soil, in case the 'water the soi' does not mean to get a water hose and 'water the soil', it would mean to install moisture control system to keep the soil moist to the extent to maintain its expansive qualities to the point at which they were when the house was built.

    My experience with reading your reports is to make sure water is drained away from the slab.
    See above, and, yes, drain all water away from the foundation, but, under expansive soil conditions, an underground watering system would be installed to keep the soil at its best moisture condition (see comment above).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
    LARRY BATTARBEE's Avatar
    LARRY BATTARBEE Guest

    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    Jerry Peck and Matt Fellman,

    The soil is red clay and iron ore. At the end of the house where the original owner inserted the water hose, additional dirt had been brought in to level the pad.

    Rick Hurst,

    Just to reiterate...I have the utmost respect for inspectors. I deal with at least 200 a month and believe the vast majority to be very professional.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    Quote Originally Posted by LARRY BATTARBEE View Post
    Jerry Peck and Matt Fellman,

    The soil is red clay and iron ore. At the end of the house where the original owner inserted the water hose, additional dirt had been brought in to level the pad.

    Rick Hurst,

    Just to reiterate...I have the utmost respect for inspectors. I deal with at least 200 a month and believe the vast majority to be very professional.
    Many parts of TX as well as many parts of the country have expansive clay soils. They all have one thing in common and that is some form of Bentonite in the mix. Think of Kitty Litter! During droughts the soil will shrink and pull away from the foundation, this is when keeping the foundation moist around the home is important. Big difference between moist and soaking wet!

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

  13. #13
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    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    Larry,

    My apologies. I misread the original thread this morning.

    My bad!

    rick


  14. #14
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    Default Re: WHO IS AT FAULT?

    Hello Mr. Battarbee,

    Nice to hear from you. I am sure you can contribute other such cases we can all learn from. As a matter of fact, using your previous experiences you can create a nice series for us to learn from. Whether they are actual or hypothetical situations it can give us an idea of how the underwriters think.

    Was the actual inspection report from early 2005 ever produced and verified as from the Inspector? What is disconcerting was the disclosure form:

    OCT 2005 ORIGINAL OWNER SOLD HOME.
    "REPRESENTED":
    1. ONLY PRIOR REPAIR WAS A SMALL CRACK IN THE HALL CEILING WHICH WAS REPAIRED.
    2. NO FOUNDATION/SLAB REPAIRS
    3. NO STRUCTURAL REPAIRS
    4. NEVER HAD A HOME INSPECTOR LOOK AT THE HOME.
    Also the fact that the original owner who had the problem then sold the home later in 2005. Without the actual inspection report and verified from the Inspector who performed the inspection it, in my opinion, becomes a "He said, they said" situation. Add to it that the original owner tried to hide the problem and it leads me to believe the original owner knew they caused the issue and just wanted to bail quickly.

    I'm not trying to defend the Inspector but in the absence of a verified original report my opinion is the original owner is 100% at fault. As for the builder it sounds as if he was acting responsibly and tried to correct the problems as reported to him. Given what we see in Texas (shoddy building practices, unresponsive builders, etc.) the builder should be commended. Any way you look at it the cause was negligence either by the original owner and potentially the early 2005 Inspector if the report verifies it. No warranty would cover negligence and is quite possibly now voided as a result.

    How did the foundation inspection go with the latest buyer noted above?

    Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!
    www.psinspection.com
    Texas License# 7593

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