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Old 03-08-2014, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Boston
1 posts, read 2,217 times
Reputation: 10

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I'm new to the site and moving to Colorado Springs. I had put an offer on a home and during the inspection noticed that there were several issues with the foundation and structure that I just walked away from it. Now I'm no geologist, but found out that the home that I am now looking at it was built in such a way to mitigate damaging the foundation or causing harm to the home in the event of soil expansion. What I discovered was that the home was stabilized, but the driveway was not and it began cracking and it was "mudjacked?" also the deck was "twisted" indicating that it was shifting possibly due to the soil expansion. This home is in the Stetson Hills area (Stetson HIlls and Austin Bluffs: East Side of Austin Bluffs). The home is on the downward part of the slope very close to the intersection (busy area). Also the crawlspace had a musty odor and the soil was wet. I'm no builder and have no real experience, but the inspection report kind of made me very skeptical of going through with the home. So my questions are the following:
1. How much would it cost to have a geologist or engineer to inspect the home?

2. Is it a good sign that the home itself has not shifted (home is 12 years old) even though there were significant cracks in the driveway?

3. Are there any safe areas or minimal risk areas in Colorado Springs that are not impacted by soil expansion?

4. How common is black mold in the Colorado Springs area?
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Old 03-08-2014, 04:32 PM
 
20,310 posts, read 37,810,444 times
Reputation: 18087
I can't really speak to your specific questions, but IMO if it were me, I'd run, not walk, to the nearest exit and avoid that home.

Most areas here run the risk of expansive soils, aka Bentonite. Older homes that show no problems are probably a good bet.

The region is dry, if there's moisture / mold issues then I'd again avoid such a property.

Use our search tool with the word Bentonite or engineer to find prior discussions on this very issue.

New homes are supposed to come with a soil report that explains what the "engineer" found during testing, and there are steps to mitigate expansive soils during the construction phase.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Downtown Co Sps
666 posts, read 988,685 times
Reputation: 1019
A twelve year old house with a questionable foundation already? Listen to Mike.

A house that is much older, say nearly 100 years, that has some obvious settling is another story. We were a tad nervous about our foundation before we bought, so we hired an engineer and they only had some minor cheap issues the seller fixed and they gave it a green light. If I'm remembering right we paid about $350 for the inspection. This was late 2012. Used a company called Criterium-McCafferty Engineers, Inc.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,330 posts, read 4,359,501 times
Reputation: 15291
Mike's advice is very good. Stay away from that one.

I used to live in Rockrimmon. I had a neighbor with expansive soils who had to have the whole house jacked up and the foundation replaced...twice! He threw $40K down that rat hole. Then he moved.

The reason I moved to Briargate was for the stable soils. Here it's sand all the way down to China. To build on sand, the foundation sits on a lateral footer and stays stable forever as long as you keep water away from the foundation.

Go look at the Windjammer neighborhood in Briargate. It was built in about 1983. The sidewalks are perfectly planar; no cracks.

Until I moved to Colorado Springs I had no idea that the earth could move beneath a house. Now I'm much wiser.

Caveat Emptor!
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,706 posts, read 2,924,111 times
Reputation: 1741
I live near that area and can say that there are several newer homes at Stetson Hills and Austin Bluffs that were not built well considering the problems with the soil. I looked on the west side of Austin Bluffs at that intersection at a home that was less than 10 years old and there were large cracks all over the place.

However, if that is the area that you want, there are homes in Old Farm that were built correctly.
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