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  1. #1
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Another New One On Me

    Every time I think I've come close to seeing it all something else arrives to blow that illusion away. Yesterday I thought I had what would be an easy afternoon. A new (2006) house with a slab-on-grade foundation in an old neighborhood of pier and beams.

    Something did not look right from the start. As I sat at the curb I could see that there were not foundation vents and that the superstructure was newish. What was wrong with this picture. The slab edge was rather tall, as in 18". I thought, OK, somebody had a lot of money to spend on concrete, that's all.

    Turns out that the owner, who should forever remain anonymous with head hung in shame, registered himself as a builder with the TRCC and proceeded to build his new house on the old foundation. And here's how he went about it. He simply more or less used the perimeter beam of the existing pier and beam foundation as the forms in which he proceeded to pour a 4" (presumably) slab-on-grade foundation. He figured that leaving the old concrete piers in place would suffice interior footings.

    Now, bear in mind here that this is not the Old West, this was all approved by an "engineer" and the City of Dallas (let's all bow our heads here for a moment of reflection with no snickering, please). Green tags and a stamped engineer's letter took a prominent position on the dining room table display of official sanction for this cluster-flop of a foundation.

    Problem is that my inner self and the Zip Level said that the center of the slab was about 3.5" lower than the perimeter. After demonstrating this several times to the buyer with several different levels in several different locations the truth finally arrived. You can always see it as it begins to widen their eyes and the light starts to shine there, accompanied by the inevitable frown of disappointment.

    Has anyone here ever seen something stupid done like this? Did the perpetrator do time, or what?

    Aaron

    NHIE Practice Exam

  2. #2
    Brian Cooper's Avatar
    Brian Cooper Guest

    Default Re: Another New One On Me

    Just so I'm clear, the slab was poured on top of a crawl space foundation?

    What a rocket scientist!!


  3. #3
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Another New One On Me

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Cooper View Post
    Just so I'm clear, the slab was poured on top of a crawl space foundation?

    What a rocket scientist!!
    Brian:

    You've got the picture. This was not a space cadet, but an admiral . . .

    Aaron


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    4,112

    Default Re: Another New One On Me

    I have never seen that either Aaron. Got any pictures?
    Maybe they were trying to do an elevated slab on the cheap?
    You measurments demonstrate the "trying" and the "cheap" part.
    What part of the city?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,313

    Default Re: Another New One On Me

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Miller View Post
    The slab edge was rather tall, as in 18". I thought, OK, somebody had a lot of money to spend on concrete, that's all.

    He simply more or less used the perimeter beam of the existing pier and beam foundation as the forms in which he proceeded to pour a 4" (presumably) slab-on-grade foundation.
    Aaron,

    I'm having difficulty adding up a 4" slab-on-grade and ending up at 18" high????????

    Did you mean, without saying so, that he put in 14" of fill?

    Or that you stepped up 18" to go into the house, then stepped back down 14" once inside to get down to the 4" slab-on-grade?

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

  6. #6
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Another New One On Me

    OK guys, I have pictures of the house, which will not really show you anything. Besides this is a public forum and I need to protect the guilty, and my own ass.

    The "builder" and I use that term so loosely that it will hardly even stay on my monitor where I put it just then, left two (2) photos on the dining room table. One of the perimeter beam and piers with no structure on them and then one with the perimeter beam filled in with slab. There were no pictures of what occurred in between. So, I have no idea if he put steel in or what the hell he did, if anything. The pictures, and I wish I had them to show you, were labeled (1) You begin with a pier and beam, and (2) You end up with a slab. I kid you not!

    As he was obviously of both Sottish and Jewish descent, like me, he was not into spending money foolishly, so I can only assume that he used several inches of fill in order to use only the minimum amount of concrete.
    Whatever he did, it did not pan out so well . . .

    It just occurred to me that the photos might be available as addenda on the MLS, which my Lord and Master has access to. I'll ask her to look. If they are I'll post them. No one will know exactly what house it is in question.

    Aaron


  7. #7
    Randy Clayton's Avatar
    Randy Clayton Guest

    Default Re: Another New One On Me

    Arron just like Jerry said before you stated the foundation was of a raised floor type (or peir and beam) Only thing that I might add is (of corse w/o pics)is maybe with the reconstruction of this structure (due to cost) left the original slab in place and built around it? just a thought...


  8. #8
    Randy Clayton's Avatar
    Randy Clayton Guest

    Default Re: Another New One On Me

    Ok Ok I now see what you were getting at with your first post the perimiter grade beams were used and or reinforced but the interiour beams were used as left by original consruction..There by the slope to the center I suspect that was what you where saying. but still do not understand the 18" foundation vents?? Only other thing is to check cabnets and counters to if it was built to compensate that slope if it was then it is what it is..


  9. #9
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Another New One On Me

    Randy:

    I just simply gave them the bad news measurements and referred them right along to another whiz kid engineer that will likely feed them yet another line of perfectly flawed logic. It is no longer my problem.

    But hey, no matter how wrong the information is, if it is packaged well and presented by someone with a college degree, it has a powerful lure for the ovine masses. You can come up with your own examples. They are legion.

    Aaron


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