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  1. #1
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
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    Default Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    I see a lot of advertisements for new home phase inspections. All of the advertisements are rather vague on what exactly they inspect or inspect to.

    While I have no interest in performing these types of inspections, I would like to know what constitutes a high quality pre pour inspection. Keep in mind we are talking subdivision builders and not custom homes.

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  2. #2
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    Quote Originally Posted by imported_John Smith View Post
    While I have no interest in performing these types of inspections, I would like to know what constitutes a high quality pre pour inspection. Keep in mind we are talking subdivision builders and not custom homes.
    Actually being able to inspect it between the time the preparation is finished and the concrete poured.

    Subdivision builders seem to have a way of 'not being ready' and then 30 minutes later 'it is poured' - getting in there to actually do some good is the difficult part.

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

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    Default Re: Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    1. Inspect the placement of the steel. Things like distance from forms. location of the mat steel in reference to thickness of mat.
    2. Look at the grade of the steel.
    3. Look for proper laps of the steel.
    4. Steel tied properly.
    5. Depth and width of beams.
    6. Depth of beam below undisturbed soil.
    7. Any special conditions....piers. fireplaces.
    8. Concrete encased electrode if using PEX or any other non-metalic water pipes.
    9. Moisture barrier
    10. Protection of pipes passing through beams.
    11. Minimum thickness of mat. String across entire slab to verify thickness.
    12. Check the achor bolts on site for proper length.

    Probably a few more but that's a good start right off the top of my head.

    The TRCC is going away so they will no longer accept inspections after August 31. 2009. I have heard a rumor the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations is taking this procedure over. We'll see!

    Last edited by Wayne Carlisle; 07-01-2009 at 07:11 AM. Reason: Added last comment

  4. #4
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    I would let the engineer who designed the slab do the "real" inspection. I have, however, inspected the following before pour and sometimes before base: Measure the drain placement (have found them 8' off - plumber forgot patio was there), check for conduit, drain, water supply line to islands, measue toilet drain distance to wall, check for downdraft fan duct, possible wate heater drain and TPR drain lines (depends on where water heater is located), etc. I have saved plumbers alot of money from measurement mistakes! The items I mentioned should be checked by the builder!


  5. #5
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    Most pre pour inspections I have been called for die off rather quickly because they always call the night before the pour and say I can be there before the pour at 8 the next morning. They finish their work but call for the city inspector before hand. After the city inspector does his thing that afternoon I get a call for the following early am inspection and the truck is on the way with the concrete. It just does not happen. The only reason they call off a pour is if the city inspector fails the work. If he passes the work the pour is on. They could care lees about an inspector coming out.

    I have been doing new construction phase inspections and just stop by one of the jobs that are at the pour stage and point things out to the builder and hand him my card. Their comment is that the city official has passed it so it must be ok. That is only pointing out the blatent concerns that are seen and not even taking measurements or looking at plans. It makes you wonder sometimes.

    Ted Menelly, Castle Home Inspection Services
    www.inspectmycastle.com
    Fort Worth, Keller, Southlake, Plano, Flower Mound, DFW, TX

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    Done some pre-pour insp's. Usually the same, check sewer connection, inground plumbing, slope, gravel, radiant flooring loops, wire mesh, stubs, etc. I always require a set of plans ahead of time so I can review. Standing there looking at the plans for the 1st time is no good. I don't do the insp if they want to schedule for the morning of the pour. Waste of my time and their money. Like they are going to tell the cement truck to turn around if I find problems? I'll only inspect a day or two before pour. Usually works out fine. I don't really care. Muni insp rarely show up so they need someone to verify what's there.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  7. #7
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    When I do a prepour, I use the design drawing and my own laser level. I do the items in Wayne's list plus, as he alluded to:
    13. Are the forms level, square and straight?
    14. Do the overall form dimensions meet the drawing?
    15. Do the floor plan drawing and the foundation design drawing agree? (They are usually done by different companies)
    16. Plumbing locations.
    17. Are the floats located properly?
    18. Average rebar spacing in the mat, and average stirrups spacing.
    19. Is the moisture barrier sealed around plumbing?
    20. Is the PVC protected with mastic or sleeving?
    21. Electrical locations and installation methods.

    Interesting findings have included:
    1. Almost 4" difference in form elevation from one end to the other on a 1900 sf slab. Contractor's laser level was bad. Contractor thanked me.
    2. A toilet that would have been in the family room. The builder could have called it a convenience feature.
    3. Fairly frequently, the drain to support the upstairs fixtures is forgotten.
    4. Fairly frequently, the forms are not square.
    5. Exterior rooms, wings, oversized or undersized. Once I found a room that would have been 3' too long.
    6. Missing or extra brick ledges. This one really messes up plumber's locations.
    7. Inappropriate use of brick ledges, or not, for the intended siding.
    8. Thin slab areas. Sometimes as this as 2".
    9. Soft pads.
    10. Buncha other stuff.

    While I also experience occasional difficulty being there at the right time, I don't think the inspection is usually worth while to the contractors and to the home owner. I agree, all of this should have been found by the builder, but you can say that with any defect found during new construction. Builders are human too. Most of them are supportive of a thorough, unbiased inspection. It saves them time and money in the long run.

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES
    (936)827-7664


  8. #8
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    CORRECTION:
    In the closing paragraph of the prior post, I should have said, I do think this is worthwhile.

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES
    (936)827-7664


  9. #9
    Ken Garrett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    I have worked with several Homebuilders in the Dallas area that have been very diligent in requiring a third-party inspection before the pour. Even though the design engineering firm of the post-tensions slabs were performing inspections, the builders (and rightly so) were not confident in those inspections. My inspections were much more rigid and thorough than that of the municiple or design firms inspections. The agreement was that the Superintendent could not pour unless signed off by me, regardless of what the cities inspection indicated. I have seen a design firm literally place a pass inspection sticker on the builders sign next to the street without even getting out of his truck (it was raining lightly and he did not know that I was in the field office with the Superintendent when he did this). We got a good laugh out of it. I think it depends on how devoted the Homebuilder is to a good Quality Control program. With the cost-cutting measures that builders have taken the last two years, many builders have decided to go with the least amount of inspections and will probably pay for it later.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    Darrell, what was # 17 about floats spaced properly. I'm not familiar with that term here, although it might mean something else in our region.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    It's those plastic supports to support the steel.........I'm pretty sure!


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Pre pour inspection - monolithic slab construction

    We call them chairs, or rebar supports when we are feeling technical.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

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