Originally Posted by FoundProblems
Heard today from the Warranty company. They said they will fix the issue if all of the below two occur: 1) loading bearing structure fails 2) unsafe for the occupants. They will send a structural engineer to a elevation check on the house and he will do only non-destructive checks on the house.They will not send me a copy of the report. They will just send me their final answer.I am wondering if I should hire a structural engineer myself and get a report to know about the problems
With those two statements being made, keep these three things in mind
As defined by HUD-
Load Bearing Element: Any column, girder, beam, joist, truss, rafter, wall, floor, or roof sheathing which supports any vertical load in addition to it's own weight, and/or any lateral load.
Definition of Structural Defect: For the purpose of implementing
Section 518 (a), a structural defect is something that threatens the
structural components of the dwelling. The defect may be due to
construction, material, workmanship, or latent unpredictable phenomena.
1. The team structural defect includes, but is not limited to:
a. Actual structural failures directly affecting the basic integrity of the
dwelling and seriously affecting its livability, such as substantial defects in
the foundation, footings, slabs, floors, framing or roof.
b. Major defects, substantial faults, failures, omissions or critical unpredictable
deficiencies relating to the structural components of the property, i.e.
dangerous wiring, basement flooding, or failure of individual sewage
disposal or water supply systems.
Technically infeasible: A change to a building that has little likelihood of being accomplished because the existing structural conditions require the removal or alteration of a loadbearing member that is an essential part of the structural frame, or because other existing physical or site constraints prohibit modification or addition of elements, spaces or features which are in full and strict compliance with applicable requirements.
Now that I've answered what will probably be their answer let's move on to the question of hiring a structural engineer. Hiring an RE or PE can possibly do a multitude of things- namely, identify the possible failure(s) and recommend a course of action to correct or stop future damage. And could or would recommend a firm that could handle the scope of work.
From my own experiences the most common "reasons" for structural failure are not the builder per se (though they are liable under the conditions of the 2-10 warranty). When it comes to foundations, it's usually not the footing or the wall itself but, the soils beneath the footing. They were too soft to begin with or became soft because of incorrect grading, a change of grading, failure to maintain good water disbursement (gutter and downspout), or a change in the water table. Framing structural failures are generally because of two reasons; one, the wrong size material was used for the load. And two, the "load point" was in the wrong place.