Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5

    Default Footings/Footers?

    Hello! I am a homeowner and I just had an inspection done by a buyer. The inspector told them that there were no footers under our columns and that a structural engineer would have to come out to excavate, and place them underneath for structural reasons. Not surprisingly, the first time home buyers immediately cancelled their contract.

    We thought that opinion seemed a bit absurd as our home inspector never said such a thing when we bought the house and that it is only 12 years, inspected and built to code. Our realtor had her inspector come out and check and he said he didn't see anything wrong with them. Since there is no cracking or sinking at all on the slab and the columns show no signs of movement, there is no reason to think there are no footings and it seemed a bit excessive just to find out.

    So I suppose my question is, do any inspectors out there see a problem with this setup and would you recommend any remediation? Needless to say, we don't want to lose another buyer over this in our slow real estate region.

    Thanks!


    php1KvCU2AM.jpgphpf5mQukAM.jpg

    Last edited by Steve Mowl; 09-22-2014 at 11:48 AM.
    Member Benefits1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vancouver - Canada
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    I suspect the footings are there, given the fact that was intended to be a support wall, the floor was likely just poured over top for a clean finish. Some city building permit departments may have detail on the footings, it would be worth asking.

    Joe Klampfer RHI
    www.myinspection.ca
    Pacific Home Inspections

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Thanks for the input! He also said that they were installed upside down. I have never heard of that with permanent columns. As far as I knew, only temporary, telescopic columns had a "right side up," so to speak.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Well that is a weird one. I have a small sentence that states that I can't verify if the footings are present, but I don't know why he would say that there are none under the posts. There's no way to visually tell one way or another. They may have a pre-concrete inspection on file, which is when the footings would have been inspected prior to the slab pour.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mowl View Post
    Hello! I am a homeowner and I just had an inspection done by a buyer. The inspector told them that there were no footers under our columns and that a structural engineer would have to come out to excavate, and place them underneath for structural reasons. Not surprisingly, the first time home buyers immediately cancelled their contract.

    We thought that opinion seemed a bit absurd as our home inspector never said such a thing when we bought the house and that it is only 12 years, inspected and built to code. Our realtor had her inspector come out and check and he said he didn't see anything wrong with them. Since there is no cracking or sinking at all on the slab and the columns show no signs of movement, there is no reason to think there are no footings and it seemed a bit excessive just to find out.

    So I suppose my question is, do any inspectors out there see a problem with this setup and would you recommend any remediation? Needless to say, we don't want to lose another buyer over this in our slow real estate region.

    Thanks!
    I think it is unlikely for there NOT to be a footing under the poles, but it is possible.
    It's even less likely that the inspector can determine if footings are or are not present.

    I would do as someone else mentioned, obtain the original building plans and permits.
    If footings are shown on the plans then most likely the footings are in place.
    If the plans cannot be located or do not show the footings:
    Have an engineer check to see if footings are there. This most likely will be drilling a few small holes in the slab.
    If no footings are found, then the engineer will design a repair.
    If footings are found, have the engineer write you a statement of the findings. Then send the engineers bill to the inspector.

    If you do nothing, and sell the house without disclosing this information to a buyer you could be liable for claims of damages by the new owners. It would be better to resolve this as soon as you can to avoid another lost sale.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    If there are footers the installation is wrong. The columns must be anchored down through the floor to the footers below the column.

    http://www.icc-es.org/Reports/pdf_files/ESR-1766.pdf

    They are also installed upside down, contrary to manufactures instructions.

    So it is wrong.

    Last edited by Raymond Wand; 09-22-2014 at 01:52 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Indeed, I am putting a right to know request in with my county today. Sort of a nightmare, really. Lost a buyer and now have to jump through hoops just to sell my home worry free over a statement that had no evidence. I actually called the inspector and he said that he feels there are no footers because the bases aren't buried under the concrete.

    There is a long anchor bolt in each column base. I would assume it is deep enough to hit the footer. Not sure why they didn't put 4 in each.. Well, actually, I do know. To save a few bucks. However, the question would be if 4 are actually required or just one.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    If there are footers the installation is wrong. The columns must be anchored down through the floor to the footers below the column.

    http://www.icc-es.org/Reports/pdf_files/ESR-1766.pdf

    They are also installed upside down, contrary to manufactures instructions.

    So it is wrong.
    Proper practice is to install the columns with the screws at the bottom. I believe FHA required that and some manufacturers also require it, but I do not believe all do. Some require that the screw be embedded in concrete and some do not if the screw is disturbed so that it cannot turn.

    The columns should be attached to the floor slab, but they do not need to be attached to the footings (unless specified by the manufacturer).

    As for the OP, the home inspector assumed there were no footings below the slab. Most likely a wrong assumption, and he should not have said that with certainty.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Up here the screw is always at the bottom. Never seen them installed any other way.

    Yes attached to the floor, thanks for the correction.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Thanks for the input. I took pictures to a local, non family member structural engineer as their office was next to the municipal building where I requested blueprints/inspection reports. The engineer said he saw no reason to even bother paying him to come out to do an analysis unless requested by a buyer. There's no reason not to suspect that there are footers and if the blueprints suggest there are, then there's no reason to doubt them.

    He did say that the columns may be upside down based on certain manufacturer recommendations, but that not all of them had that recommendation and he was not familiar with my brand's instructions specifically. He mentioned many houses install them similarly in my region. However, he said that it appeared that my columns specifically were built to be placed in either direction since the top plate was thick. He would only be concerned if there appeared to be bowing on any of them and they are all still flat and the foundation is uncracked after 12 years.

    So I would say as long as I can get my hands on some inspection reports and/or blueprints that indicate footings, I would imagine I did my due diligence on the matter.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mowl View Post
    Thanks for the input. I took pictures to a local, non family member structural engineer as their office was next to the municipal building where I requested blueprints/inspection reports. The engineer said he saw no reason to even bother paying him to come out to do an analysis unless requested by a buyer. There's no reason not to suspect that there are footers and if the blueprints suggest there are, then there's no reason to doubt them.

    He did say that the columns may be upside down based on certain manufacturer recommendations, but that not all of them had that recommendation and he was not familiar with my brand's instructions specifically. He mentioned many houses install them similarly in my region. However, he said that it appeared that my columns specifically were built to be placed in either direction since the top plate was thick. He would only be concerned if there appeared to be bowing on any of them and they are all still flat and the foundation is uncracked after 12 years.

    So I would say as long as I can get my hands on some inspection reports and/or blueprints that indicate footings, I would imagine I did my due diligence on the matter.
    You are proactive and on the right tract talking to an engineer.
    This is good information ,however, unless the engineer puts it in writing (on letterhead, with the engineers stamp) it's not worth anything and does nothing to help you resolve this.

    At this point I think I would contact the inspector. Tell him what the engineer said. Give him the option to amend the report or you will be forced to prove the report is in error. You will then sue him for your expenses and damages you have incurred.

    It can be very difficult for someone to admit they were wrong, however, they may be willing to make a new decision based on new information (further inspection).
    Offer to allow him back to inspect that area again so that he is satisfied and willing to amend the report.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    Sure different comments here than that other twix factory. LOL
    I don't understand what you are talking about.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    Sorry I will briefly explain as I am not in the office. My point is this exact question was asked at InterNachi and the comments almost mirror what is said here on the issue.
    Thus as the commercial on the other Twix factory as joke.
    OK
    Since I don't read that forum I did not know.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Wood View Post
    .....exact question was asked at InterNachi and the comments almost mirror what is said here on the issue........
    Post a link. Might be interesting..

    Ok I took a look and found it.: Footers? - InterNACHI Inspection Forum

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    Stephan Alan

    "Hello! I am a home owner and I had an InterNACHI inspector come in at the behest of a buyer. The inspector claimed that there are no footers under my permanent adjustable columns and spooked the buyers so bad that they immediately canceled their contract without even bothering to ask for a structural engineer to inspect.

    When I bought the house, my inspector said they were perfectly fine and my Realtor had her inspector take a peek and he didn't see anything wrong with them either. I further had a family member who is a structural engineer say that there was no reason to believe that the columns didn't have footers and that there really would be no way to tell unless we excavated/drilled which would be impractical. He also said that the inspector who made that claim was not backed by evidence considering there were zero cracks/sinking in the entire basement slab.

    So anyway, I suppose my question is do any of you see some reason to believe that there is a problem here? I would really prefer not to lose out on another buyer for this reason if there was something I could do. Thanks! "

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Interesting that the poster of that thread was Stephan Alan with the same question and the same pictures as was posted here by OP Steve Mowl.

    Also how OP information changes between forums....

    Who says that there are not parallel universes

    Last edited by Garry Sorrells; 09-24-2014 at 02:33 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Sorrells View Post

    Interesting that the poster of that thread was Stephan Alan with the same question and the same pictures as was posted here by OP Steve Mowl.

    Also how OP information changes between forums....

    The OP on IN asked a "Non-Family member" engineer, whereas the poster on the inachi forum asked an engineer which was a family member.
    Obviously two completely different people.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    The OP on IN asked a "Non-Family member" engineer, whereas the poster on the inachi forum asked an engineer which was a family member.
    Obviously two completely different people.
    I read it as mutually exclusive events. One a family member the other was on the the way to city research. One thread denotes a family friend SE and the other thread makes a point of noting the non family member SE.

    The IN and inachi posters write as two different people, just with same property. I was just pointing out that the two threads had similar yet different information provided. That's all, no big conspiracy or anything. Just an observation on two people relaying the same question and story.

    Interesting that no one asked if the poles were welded to make a permanent installation, unless I missed it.

    Also interesting that the HI would make the definitive statement/position that there were no footings to the columns. I know he was looking for the outline of the footing as if it was poured prior to the basement slab. Probably learned that in a free online class. Yet we know that the construction method may be different. I am glad for the owner that the HI, with his x-ray vision, knew that the exterior walls had footings.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    How does one weld a steel column to a wood beam?


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    How does one weld a steel column to a wood beam?
    Using the Lincoln Wood Welder 360. Only available in the lower 48.

    Was thinking of welding at the threads.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Ha. Caught! Actually, when I tried to use my name in NACHI, it errored me out. So I just typed in a name at random. Same person - I just figured it wouldn't matter since I didn't plan to be an active member or anything past this issue. I have actually asked two engineers now. One a cousin of my wife and another a local office next to my municipal building. Both said the same thing, but I figured it better to get a second, unbiased opinion.

    So anyway, I have resolved the issue and I thought some people might appreciate hearing the findings. I got the documents on record at my municipality which state an inspection of the foundation was done and that there were footings. However, no blueprints or pictures were available to prove locations. I did find the still working cell number of the builder who informed me he uses the reinforced slab method - in that he hollows out another foot below the slab under column locations.

    He suggested to simply drill a 6+ inch hole in on of the extra slots around the bases and install an anchor bolt with foundation grade concrete adhesive if the issue comes up again. So I tested the theory - it is still concrete at 6 inches, so footings verified.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,746

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    As Kevin said, thanks for the followup.
    Looks like this will work out good.
    Now convey this information to the inspector so he will amend the report and inform the lost buyer.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mowl View Post
    Ha. Caught! ..........He suggested to simply drill a 6+ inch hole in on of the extra slots around the bases and install an anchor bolt with foundation grade concrete adhesive if the issue comes up again. So I tested the theory - it is still concrete at 6 inches, so footings verified.

    Ditto on thanks for getting back. Kinda rare. We do appreciate it.
    Figures you had your evil twin posting on nachu. Or just a parallel universe coincidence.

    Oddly enough there is a way to emulate what the HI expected to see by what little training/experience he had. Would like to know how the HI determined that the perimeter walls have footers by his visual inspection.


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Footings/Footers?

    It surprises me the original plans aren't on record.

    Last edited by Bob Newbie; 04-02-2015 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Unnecessary

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •