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Old 12-08-2006, 06:56 AM
 
Location: STL
1,093 posts, read 2,689,305 times
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Default Did the house settle?

Ok, I doubt everyone out there is engineers, or contractors.. but I am hoping I can get some opinions. There is a brick/stucco house that we are looking to buy. Our concern is that, upstairs in the master bedroom there is about an inch-inch and a half gap between the floor and the wall. Like the house settled and it pulled away from the wall. There are no other structure issues with the house. No major cracks, except one on the wall to the left of the floor that has separated. This is a 2 story brick/stucco home. It is about 75+ years old. My question is, do you think that it is BAD settlement of the house to have the wall pull like that, do you think it is because of settlement at all? Any help would be appreciated!!!!!
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Thumb of Michigan
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All structures settle, old or new....check out the drainage around the property.

I'd defintely look around as to what may have cause the settlement. Check out the rafters to see if they're bowed in the basement. Check the basement walls for cracks. (ect.)
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:07 AM
 
Location: STL
1,093 posts, read 2,689,305 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Grass Fever View Post
All structures settle, old or new....check out the drainage around the property.

I'd defintely look around as to what may have cause the settlement. Check out the rafters to see if they're bowed in the basement. Check the basement walls for cracks. (ect.)
Thank you
We have looked in the basement, and it actually doesn't look like it leaks. No real cracks to worry about. I do not know about the drainage.. I know are no gutters on the house, but I don't know if the previous owners took them when they got forclosed or what. But thank you for the tips
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:11 AM
 
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Ohhh sounds like a cool house! I've heard that St. Louis has some wonderful architecture.

Have you found oldhouseweb.com yet? Wealth of info there.

We live in a 75+ year old brick Tudor. We have a slight crown in the hall floor, which means that we have a sagging corner. We plan to lift that corner in the spring. Luckily my SO *is* a structural engineer, so hopefully all will go well.

Got any pictures? I looove house pictures.
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:15 AM
 
Location: STL
1,093 posts, read 2,689,305 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plaidmom View Post
Ohhh sounds like a cool house! I've heard that St. Louis has some wonderful architecture.

Have you found oldhouseweb.com yet? Wealth of info there.

We live in a 75+ year old brick Tudor. We have a slight crown in the hall floor, which means that we have a sagging corner. We plan to lift that corner in the spring. Luckily my SO *is* a structural engineer, so hopefully all will go well.

Got any pictures? I looove house pictures.
I have one picture, but you really can't see the floor in it. Its def. a fixer upper.. but I fell in love with the little diamond in the rough. I just want to know if people think it is bad, or what. It will be my me and the husband's first home so we are anxious to put a contract on it, but we also want to know structure wise what is going on.
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:29 AM
 
5,019 posts, read 8,863,816 times
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Have you gone through inspection yet?
You'll want to find an inspector who is familiar with old houses (there are several people from MO on the oldhouse boards who can refer you to competent inspectors).

If you are really worried, you could also hire an engineer at the time of inspection.

Also, your instinct about the gutters is spot-on. If they were copper (and they probably were if they were original) then the PO's sold them. Especially if they knew they were headed towards foreclosure.

You *do* know what they say about old houses, right? Everything takes twice and long....and costs twice as much! Seriously, though, I wouldn't trade our old girl for ~anything~. I love every creaking floorboard.

Good luck!
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Colorado
10,010 posts, read 11,757,501 times
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I asked my hubby in construction and he said that in older homes sometimes just the floors settle, if this is the case you can have it jacked up, he has done it a few times. We had a house built in 1917 and the stairs had shifted so much the were atleast an inch and 1/2 off in some places 2 inches in others. Well he went underneath and jacked it up. I didnt even know you could do that. he so impresses me sometimes!!
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Old 12-08-2006, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Cornelius
2,314 posts, read 138,825 times
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becareful with stucco. There was a major lawsuit here a few years ago. Supposedly if moisture gets between the the stucco and the wall it can start to pull away.

I would google stucco and see if this is the same scenerio as above.

Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:18 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 22,626,437 times
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I'd spend the few hundred dollars to have a structural engineer come out and do an inspection. Some charge less if you don't want a written report so call around and ask and your realtor should have a list of some. Also check the floor to see if it is level, you can buy a 3'-5' level at a home improvement store. Or else you can spill a little bit of water on the floor and see if it runs in a certain direction rather quickly. We had a house that did settle and had some foundation problems in the kitchen and the ovens tilted. So all of my pumpkin pies "spilled" to one side. If there are issues w/ it if it is fixed properly by a reputable company they should give you a lifetime transferrable warranty and it should be better than one w/o any repairs. Oh, have you tried to raise and close all of the windows? Do this also to make sure they are operable and the same w/ all doors. Check the roof too to make sure there are no valleys that retain moisture that could leak and cause moisture/mold problems.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:27 AM
 
Location: N.H.
1,021 posts, read 2,402,032 times
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O.K. This house is Probobly just sagging. That is Normal. As for leaking signs in the Basement , If the settlement is due to water run off than it won't show in the Basement. You need to get a soil sample from the outside in the area that is settling. That should tell you how stable it really is. I would consult Construction engineer. The way you talk of the seperation it almost sounds as it isn't settling at all. The issue might be a past remodel gone wrong or possibly damage from a leek or dry rot of inportant timbers. there are severale things to consider just with those and I bet there is more.
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