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  1. #1
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    Default Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    I had a contractor who was supposed to pour concrete pads 3.5 feet below the frost line. I dug the holes and he poured a pad about 6-8" and did not fill the pad to the ground level. So now the lolicolumns are sitting deep in a hole on top of a 6-8" pad. The columns are not even screwed or bolted into the 6x6 beam. The beam just rests on the column. The sistered joists only run from 1 beam to 6" short of the next beam. This is a weak point and unacceptable in my eyes. Is this code? Is this ok? Should I pay him for this work or demand changes to bring it up to code and be safe?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    How do you know it is a weak concrete pad? The concrete could be 9,000 psi concrete.

    The thickness of the pad depends on the loads the pad will be supporting/resisting, and the steel in the pad depends on the same, as does the strength of the concrete.

    The depth of the bottom of the pad is to get the bottom below frost depth, which in some cases may be 10 feet down - are you saying that you would expect to see a pad there 10 feet thick?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    its 4000 psi. But its in the basement and carry the load of the house. I want the pad below the frost line but level with the earth. Its a dirt basement and the pad is 2.5 feet below grade with the loli column now 2.5 below grade on the pad. What am I supposed to do fill the hole with dirt or gravel I would expect a 4' deep pad that would be above earth so water won't settle onto the top of it. The joists are also not going from beam to beam. The coloumns have the 6x6 just resting on top of it instead of fastened onto it. The joists have small looking lag screws and no carriage bolts. It just looks sloppy and its supporting the load of the house above.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    I am having trouble forming the mental image. Can you post some photos?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    View pictures here: Poor Framing/concrete Pad Work From Contractor - Construction - Contractor Talk

    I dont have pics that are the correct resolution for htis website.

    please view on the link above.

    Thank you


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    Well, I see a few problems. You should get a structural engineer to evaluate all this. The thickness of the new pads may not be a problem but the posts must be attached to the beams. Sistered joists don't necessarily need to be beam to beam, but most local codes will have specifications for installing them.

    I don't think you have a disaster here, but it looks like some additional work is needed. You'll likely need the recommendations of an engineer to convince the contractor to do additional work.

    Even when using reputable, qualified contractors, specific instructions and drawings for the work to be done, goes a long way to making sure everyone is on the same page.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    I agree. I don't like that the pads are 3 feet deep. I understand he was trying to go below the frost line which is about 3 feet in MA but the pad shouldnt be below grade w/ a lolicolumn underground. Water can seep into the hole, and a hand full of other problems. How should we correct that issue? I was thinking of cutting the coloumns and filling the holes with rebar and concrete to 4" above grade then placing the column on top of the pad. Then attach the columns to the beam. As far as the sistered joists. I was thinking of either ripping them out and going beam to beam or cutting a small piece to extend the post to hit both beams. Right now it comes up about 2 feet fhort. Then I would run another joist sistered that runs the full length. This was my initial thought but I am a little worried about them bowing over time or shearing. Not sure if some carriage bolts will correct that problem


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    My observation from a great distance, is that you appear to be over-thinking this. You may be completely correct, but get an experienced opinion from a structural engineer at this point.

    You may not need to do nearly as much work as you're considering......or you may need to do more.

    Local home inspectors likely know some good engineers.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    Wow, that's a great example of garbage work.
    Obviously, seeing the situation I can understand why he didn't want to pour all that concrete in those holes. Access looks a bit difficult. Nonetheless what was done is unacceptable.
    I Spec out rehab jobs on a regular basis for clients. This repair isn't exactly rocket science. Pour pads, let dry, insert Sono tubes, backfill, concrete fill the tubes 4" above grade, install steel posts, bolt everything etc. Not exactly all that hard. I've done this job more times than I can remember.
    The concerns you've stated are legitimate. Beyond that, if those steel posts are left in the ground they will probably rust. Will they rust out and no longer provide support, probably not in our lifetime. But then again I don't know your soil conditions. Another problem is that any future inspectors or potential buyers will question the install. If a guy did such a crappy job on supporting the house, what else did he cheat on, what else is non-compliant, do I want to buy this potential money pit?
    A guy who doesn't run joists bearing to bearing is either lazy or an idiot. An experienced carpenter knows better. It isn't that difficult.
    Would I pay the guy, hell no. However, whether you should pay him or not to some extent also depends on your contract. How is your contract worded, what are the details, etc.
    I also do proposal review for clients. Not long ago someone asked me to review a proposal for a bathroom. They had interviewed multiple contractors, settled on one guy and wanted to know if the proposal was Ok or should things be added. They were ready to sign on the dotted line.
    $20K bathroom, 1 page proposal, factor in headers, sign line, white space, etc; the details of the job amount to maybe 1/2 page at best.
    Obviously I said NO. The point is people sign proposals with contractors all the time that lack far too much detail to protect the client. Most general residential proposals are so vague a guy and just about install anything and be in compliance with the contract. That's how they manage to lien a property when they don't get paid for garbage work.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    Netkinks,
    I will throw in with Markus for the most part.
    But the question was what in the contract for the work. Did you have a contract with a lic contractor???? Or was it done by someone off the street ???? I have a feeling you really may have received what you paid for but I may be wrong. In the other forum (with the pictures) you list yourself as:Trade: Rehabber, and Electrician
    Join Date: Jul 2012
    Location: Waltham MA

    Many times a rehaber will not use qualified contractors for the work, just the cheapest they can find. Or someone off the street that the rehabber instructs what to do. Then complains that it was not done correctly.

    You say "pads" when you should be saying footers.
    The other thing is I seriously do not think you pulled any permits for the work. If you had you would not have a question about the work, since it would fail (or had failed inspection). A Licensed qualified Contractor would not have done the work in this manor since it would not pass the inspection for the permit that was pulled.

    Bottom line you should probably pay the guy that did the work since he probably did what you told him to do. Even though he had no idea of what he was doing. Learn a lesson and not cut a corner that you have to pay for later. Use this as a learning experience and pay the additional price to have it done correctly.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    What I am trying to do is either get the contractor to do what we discussed or have another guy do the job the right way. My plan at this point is to remove the posts, drill into the pad and install rebar, then put a sonotube in and pour concrete into the tube 4" above grade. Then reinstall the coloumns. I was thinking about cutting a small piece of 2x8 to fill in the space that comes short of the beam. Then sister that piece of 2x8 with another 2x8 that goes from beam to beam. This would give me 3 2x8's then bolt them with crriage boilts every 2 feet. I just worry the 2x's may bend a bit over time. Any thoughts?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    If everything's in a basement, why go under a frost line?

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
    'Whizzing & pasting & pooting through the day (Ronnie helping Kenny helping burn his poots away!) (FZ)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    Heating systems are not in the basement and it gets pretty cold down there. I do not think it gets cold enough to freeze at the frost line but we went down about 3 feet. Frost line is between 3-4 feet.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Weak Concrete Pad and weak joists

    Netlinks,
    And the reason to "drill into the pad and install rebar" is?

    ""get the contractor to do what we discussed"" . And the reason for not having a contract was ??


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