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Old 03-10-2011, 01:09 PM
 
Location: NE CT
1,496 posts, read 1,547,539 times
Reputation: 660

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I can relate to you guys that pan the city inspector but he is responsible for signing off on the inspection, and if he is incompetent and missed something, the town /city can be liable. You can name them in a lawsuit just as you can name everyone else involved in the mess. As for them ordering one out of their home, they would have to have legal grounds, and since they issued the original CO, they would be in direct opposition of their issuance of a CO. If they did order the family out of the house, it would likely be for their own good, as it wouldn't likely be structurally safe, and I would rather be alive to sort the mess out, than dead from a collapse and haunting them from the grave. Not all city/town inspectors are your enemy as you so discriminately point out. Some are real professionals and do ther job responsibly and well. Nothing wrong with consulting them initially.

There may very well be a susequent reason for the cracks after a few years of the CO issuance due to builder imcompetence ,but the city inspectors don't condem buildings for banal reasons. Furthermore, it's better to have the city people testify on your behalf, if you need them, than not have them in a court of law.
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Englewood, FL
1,101 posts, read 1,186,240 times
Reputation: 866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donn2390 View Post
Hope you're lucky, but builders don't fix problems, they jusy make excuses.
This is an unfair generalization about builders. It is simply untrue. You should have said YOUR builder didn't fix your problems, they just made excuses. A lot of builders do, indeed, stand up and fix true defects.

However, a home that just spontaneously gets some cracks after 10 years is not because of a defect. Sounds like a settling or soil issue to me, none of which have anything to do with the construction of the house.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:07 PM
 
16 posts, read 14,163 times
Reputation: 11
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
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Holly Springs
3,526 posts, read 5,949,251 times
Reputation: 2324
I was about to recommend that you hire your own structural engineer. That will be a few hundred bucks well spent.
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:37 PM
 
1,077 posts, read 1,436,404 times
Reputation: 877
Quote:
Originally Posted by coastal chic View Post
This is an unfair generalization about builders. It is simply untrue. You should have said YOUR builder didn't fix your problems, they just made excuses. A lot of builders do, indeed, stand up and fix true defects.

However, a home that just spontaneously gets some cracks after 10 years is not because of a defect. Sounds like a settling or soil issue to me, none of which have anything to do with the construction of the house.
Took the words right out of my keyboard.

I hate blanket statements, there are some really good people out there trying to do a good job, not make excuses.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,772 posts, read 21,441,188 times
Reputation: 5287
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoundProblems View Post
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.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:17 AM
 
16 posts, read 14,163 times
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Thanks for your advice , I have a list of structural engineers that I am looking into.
To K'ledgeBldr :Who are RE or PE ? Are they different from SE :-)
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Johns Creek, GA
6,772 posts, read 21,441,188 times
Reputation: 5287
Quote:
Originally Posted by FoundProblems View Post
Thanks for your advice , I have a list of structural engineers that I am looking into.
To K'ledgeBldr :Who are RE or PE ? Are they different from SE :-)
SE or Structural Engineer- would be considered the field of their expertise.
Their titles/designations would be RE: Registered Engineer or PE: Professional Engineer. Depending on what organization they're a member of.
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Old 03-15-2011, 08:32 PM
 
16 posts, read 14,163 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks K'ledgeBldr. I have called a structural engineer charging $129/hr. We are expecting about 3 hours of work. He said he would be able to identify the actual issue causing the cracks.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:32 AM
 
16 posts, read 14,163 times
Reputation: 11
SE that I hired checked the house. He says there are no structural issues. He thinks the cracks are caused my soil movement , but not major
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