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Old 09-23-2019, 01:18 PM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,555 posts, read 1,034,228 times
Reputation: 5378

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
Interesting thread. I'd never heard of a PWF before. I almost certainly wouldn't use one myself. And, after some quick searching, it seems like the biggest pro of this kind of foundation is a warm, dry basement. So, I don't see the point of using one for a crawlspace.


But, if the engineer says the foundation is sound, then the problems would seem to be cosmetic. Maybe these problems appeared after the house was built, and they were taken care of once. Then, the flippers came along, gutted everything, and now the problems have to be fixed once again? Or, these cosmetic problems were never fixed, which is why the flippers bought the house so cheaply?

I agree with all! Researching these PWFs most seem to be on a basement! I think this was a rogue builder.

I am sure the longtime owner (2002-2018) who sold to the flipper the blind lambs bought from without my knowledge or approval DID know/deal with this as a neighbor has told them he -orig owner- mentioned foundation issues and water damage.

I think you're dead on. The flipper paid 64k just a FEW MONTHS -argh- before these wide eyed dreamers bought it from him for 119k.

Not even mentioning the horrid 1x2s he used as molding, the ridiculous kitchen with not even counter space for a toaster (I live in a senior apt with a kitchenETTE and have more counter space) and NO DRAWER BIG ENOUGH FOR A SILVERWARE TRAY, I kid you not, there are two narrow af drawers and that's IT, NO ISLAND even though listing states it has one (they bought one later), TINY bedrooms, ergh just ergh

#youthgonewild

Quote from engineer's report:

"Our office feels that the sloping of the first floor was caused by differential settlement of the pressure
treated 2x12 wood sill plate bearing on the existing pea gravel base. The majority of this settlement
probably occurred soon after the house was completed and the weight of the house was placed on
the crawl space walls. There is still some seasonal movement due to differing moisture levels at the
base of the crawl space wall, which is evident by the new gypsum board cracks and the painted trim
joints opening up. Due to the age of the house our office does not feel that there will be large
amounts of future differential settlement but seasonal movement will continue to be a ‘cosmetic’
issue."

Last edited by VexedAndSolitary; 09-23-2019 at 02:06 PM..
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Old 09-23-2019, 01:30 PM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,555 posts, read 1,034,228 times
Reputation: 5378
Quote:
Originally Posted by luv4horses View Post
Is it possible this is built like a pole barn? The structure would be held up by the vertical poles placed at least 5 to 8 ft into the ground. None of the horizontal wood is part of a foundation but it would tie the poles together. Iím thinking that could be pretty stable.
I don't think so, it's in a neighborhood not rural and codes apply that I'd think would preclude this. Upthread I put link to orig Zillow listing. Typical booooorrrring 90s 2 story frame dwelling. Icky.
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Old 09-23-2019, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
2,161 posts, read 937,167 times
Reputation: 3835
For a few years, maybe in the 80's or so, Im just not sure, some houses were built with below grade wood, maybe placed on concrete footing. It was a shortly lived approved, foolish.

My nephew was looking to purchase a home and him and his wife found one that they really liked, it was a split level home. They had a inspector, it had below grade foundation, where normally there would be concrete blocks. The lower level was mostly finished with drywall so not easily seen by a that it was wood. Not disclosed in house information.. They of course walked away. Can you imagine the problems and cost when that wood starts failing?
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,590 posts, read 6,443,448 times
Reputation: 11993
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
If it was the inspectors kid Iím sure they would have been steered away in no uncertain terms. Or if it was your kid you might be a little less forgiving. But I know these days many people donít care what happens to anyone else. So I suppose your solution would be to sell the house to another unsuspecting buyer, screw them over.

I hope it works out for all concerned. Itís clear the kids canít handle an expensive repair and doing nothing isnít really an option.
In defense of the inspector, at a certain point some level of personal responsibility has to be attributed to the buyer. And, saying something like "You're nuts to buy this" is unprofessional, in the absence of a problem that's simply the nature of the house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Jack the house up and put a foundation under it.

It should cost about $10 k to $20 K including extending the utilities, but excluding repair of damage inside the house. Cost will depend on the type of foundation used and soil conditions.

Or they could put a basement under it for about 60K. give to take 20.

Alternate - just get out of the house for what you can, absorb the losses and move on.
Or at the very least get another foundation guy out there to look at it and see what they say.
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:16 PM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,555 posts, read 1,034,228 times
Reputation: 5378
Quote:
Originally Posted by JONOV View Post
In defense of the inspector, at a certain point some level of personal responsibility has to be attributed to the buyer.
Totally. I blame these kids who had access to a seasoned mentor (me). I detest folk who blame others for their own dumbassery/lack of sense.

The boyfriend had no one to teach him, being reared in rentals as he was by a low income uneducated Mother, so he really IS clueless (though as I posted I'd been helping/guiding them the whole way until they saw...IT) but my daughter was exposed to/taught all about financial management from early teens (and is very financially responsible as is the self-taught boyfriend, proud of them in most areas) and witnessed my buying/renovating/selling multiple houses so knew a little something more.

Being that this was the only house they failed to take me to view I'm p sure it was because they got excited over its -of COURSE- gray *eyeroll* paint and up to date (but cheaply done) look and feared my thumbs down once I looked at sales history. SO they #playedthemselves
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:41 PM
 
262 posts, read 59,893 times
Reputation: 598
Quote:
Originally Posted by VexedAndSolitary View Post
I agree with all! Researching these PWFs most seem to be on a basement! I think this was a rogue builder.

I am sure the longtime owner (2002-2018) who sold to the flipper the blind lambs bought from without my knowledge or approval DID know/deal with this as a neighbor has told them he -orig owner- mentioned foundation issues and water damage.

I think you're dead on. The flipper paid 64k just a FEW MONTHS -argh- before these wide eyed dreamers bought it from him for 119k.

Not even mentioning the horrid 1x2s he used as molding, the ridiculous kitchen with not even counter space for a toaster (I live in a senior apt with a kitchenETTE and have more counter space) and NO DRAWER BIG ENOUGH FOR A SILVERWARE TRAY, I kid you not, there are two narrow af drawers and that's IT, NO ISLAND even though listing states it has one (they bought one later), TINY bedrooms, ergh just ergh

#youthgonewild

Quote from engineer's report:

"Our office feels that the sloping of the first floor was caused by differential settlement of the pressure
treated 2x12 wood sill plate bearing on the existing pea gravel base. The majority of this settlement
probably occurred soon after the house was completed and the weight of the house was placed on
the crawl space walls. There is still some seasonal movement due to differing moisture levels at the
base of the crawl space wall, which is evident by the new gypsum board cracks and the painted trim
joints opening up. Due to the age of the house our office does not feel that there will be large
amounts of future differential settlement but seasonal movement will continue to be a Ďcosmeticí
issue."
And now we get to the crux of the issue.

They've learned a relatively inexpensive lesson in life. Don't rush in.

You've also learned one - they could GAF about your opinion or approval.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Riding a rock floating through space
2,234 posts, read 672,171 times
Reputation: 5683
The op needs to mind her own business and let them sort this out. Since they didn't give her an opportunity to share her opinion on this purchase, it's not her problem.
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Old Yesterday, 01:36 AM
 
Location: Salem,Or
44 posts, read 6,116 times
Reputation: 31
I never heard of seen a Permanent Wood Foundation. But I'm also on the west coast.
Just doing a quick search, they look like they are legal in some states or were in 1990.
But would still check with the local building department.

But sloping floors and a huge crack in one wall on a house built around 30 years ago is a big red flag.
Foundation issues for sure.

They really need to talk to a real estate attorney and do lots of research,contractors for estimates, etc.
I'll have to reread the thread tomorrow,but I do not believe the new owners should have to pay to fix this problem.

I doubt this was the only house in the neighborhood with a PWF.
If the same contractor was used in this subdivision.Looks like it was used to save on cost.
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Old Yesterday, 04:50 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,555 posts, read 1,034,228 times
Reputation: 5378
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbnum3 View Post
I never heard of seen a Permanent Wood Foundation. But I'm also on the west coast.
Just doing a quick search, they look like they are legal in some states or were in 1990.
But would still check with the local building department.

But sloping floors and a huge crack in one wall on a house built around 30 years ago is a big red flag.
Foundation issues for sure.

They really need to talk to a real estate attorney and do lots of research,contractors for estimates, etc.
I'll have to reread the thread tomorrow, but I do not believe the new owners should have to pay to fix this problem.

I doubt this was the only house in the neighborhood with a PWF.
If the same contractor was used in this subdivision.Looks like it was used to save on cost.
Ya, read more of the thread and you'll get the details, I too cannot fathom that a crack -actually a separation big enough to insert your finger into- that appeared within 3 mos -meaning, it wasn't super gradual- doesn't indicate actual structural damage and is just from the type of foundation/ground conditions and changes in weather but we must take the structural guy's word, he has no reason to mislead.

That the home inspector they engaged prior to purchase said "builders are often sued over these types of foundations" tells me they are risky. Still am in amazement these dummies ignored that comment
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Old Yesterday, 05:12 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,555 posts, read 1,034,228 times
Reputation: 5378
Quote:
Originally Posted by duke944 View Post
The op needs to mind her own business and let them sort this out. Since they didn't give her an opportunity to share her opinion on this purchase, it's not her problem.
Oh def not my problem. Yes, especially since they let emotions rather than sense guide and jumped on this joint without guidance, likely knowing I'd tell them to avoid. They're pretty chagrined at this stage and we make black humor style jokes about it every time we see each other.
They're going to a housewarming next Sat ironically, at a fabulous house (older solid brick type like I was steering them towards) couple friends of theirs bought, and that's provided fodder aplenty for grim jokes.

I made the thread because I wanted to hear if anyone had even heard of these foundations and if folk agreed or not that it sounded odd. I've bought/sold/reno'd houses since 1988, two were BIG renos, gut jobs, others less extreme but all had some reno, and had never heard of such a thing (wood foundation).

Not helping them sort it for sure, moreso ridiculing. Our fam isn't of the tea, hugs and sympathy variety. Foolish behavior isn't excused nor coddled.

They're both embarrassed af. These are normally sensible kids who don't make impulse buys, esp not the boyfriend, he's a frugal tightwad (raised in poverty and achieving middle class totally on his own, he's an awesome kid). This was out of character for both and I warrant shall never happen again (emotion driven buy, not consulting family with more experience) based upon how mortified they are.
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