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Old Yesterday, 06:26 AM
 
Location: In a happy place
3,781 posts, read 6,999,951 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VexedAndSolitary View Post

... 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).

...
Doesn't mean they don't exist and doesn't mean there are problems with this type of foundation. There may be a problem with this foundation, but I have seen stone and concrete (both poured and block) foundations that show structural problems also.

Last edited by rrtechno; Yesterday at 06:27 AM.. Reason: correct spelling typo
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Old Yesterday, 06:39 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,555 posts, read 1,034,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrtechno View Post
Doesn't mean they don't exist and doesn't mean there are problems with this type of foundation. There may be a problem with this foundation, but I have seen stone and concrete (both poured and block) foundations that show structural problems also.
Of course, yes, I covered that in other posts. From research I see these foundations (though most seem to be on basements not low crawlspaces as this one is) can be OK if properly done. I suspect, since the foundation's integrity is not compromised per the structural guy, that there is maybe some issues with the grading/ground, prob improperly graded.
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Old Yesterday, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Virginia
4,147 posts, read 2,171,617 times
Reputation: 11541
Quote:
Originally Posted by VexedAndSolitary View Post
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
Just because YOU cannot fathom that a 2 inch crack appearing within 3 months is not due to structural damage doesn't mean it isn't true. If the house is built on marine clay (i.e., "shrink-swell" soil") like the brick rancher I had, changes can be both rapid and dramatic. Mine took place with 3 weeks of my settling on the house and occurred during a severe drought. One entire end of the house sank visibly and all of the doors were stuck to the point of non-entry (except the front door). Tests of the soil around the house revealed blue-green marine clay to a depth which would have necessitated supporting piers at a cost that exceeded the purchase price of the house. BTW, the structural engineer was the one who recommended the tests.
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Old Yesterday, 07:09 AM
 
Location: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who
55 posts, read 1,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VexedAndSolitary View Post
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.
Hey Vexed,

I'm sorry the kids got in trouble by NOT listening to the one person that actually cared about them. You roll hard but I'm hearing a lot of love too.

How about teaching them some math and telling them to live within a smaller budget (save) and RE-prioritize.

Take the home price and list all the associated costs like mortgage, mortgage insurance, utilities, taxes, fees, commuting costs, etc., etc.

For example...
Mortgage: $120,000 x 4% x 30 years = $206,243
Mortgage Insurance: $100 x 360 months + $32,000
Utilities: gas, water, electric, sewer, trash, cable, sat, wifi, alarm: $200 x 360 months = $72,000
Fees: HOA, Taxes: $100 x 360 months = $32,000
Home Remodeling and Repairs: $200 X 360 months: $72,000
New Car X3: $20,000 x 5% x 15 years = $28,469
TOTAL: $499,650

Then compare that to the cost of a rural lot and a small house build, RV, kit house or container house and growing a garden, maybe aquaponics too.
Building out of pocket saves a lot.
Lot or Acre: $8,000 - $10,000
https://www.landandfarm.com/property...ounty-9594224/
House: $8,000 - $10,000
TOTAL: $16,000 - $20,000

Both structures will keep the rain off your head and both are culturally acceptable for a new family or a retired couple.

Ain't no shame in cutting your losses' and dumping a money pit!

Last edited by catz&dogz; Yesterday at 07:27 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 07:14 AM
 
1,999 posts, read 690,110 times
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It also has much to do with the characteristics of the soil, it’s load bearing capacity and how the soil responds to moisture and or when saturated.

The load bearing area of this PWF is a single 2X12 that has an actual width of around 11 1/2” +/- where a normal concrete (residential )footing is usually 6 inches wider each side of the foundation wall so there’s a substantial difference with regards to soil bearing.
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Old Yesterday, 08:28 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,555 posts, read 1,034,228 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
Just because YOU cannot fathom that a 2 inch crack appearing within 3 months is not due to structural damage doesn't mean it isn't true. If the house is built on marine clay (i.e., "shrink-swell" soil") like the brick rancher I had, changes can be both rapid and dramatic. Mine took place with 3 weeks of my settling on the house and occurred during a severe drought. One entire end of the house sank visibly and all of the doors were stuck to the point of non-entry (except the front door). Tests of the soil around the house revealed blue-green marine clay to a depth which would have necessitated supporting piers at a cost that exceeded the purchase price of the house. BTW, the structural engineer was the one who recommended the tests.
OK THIS^^^ was the kinda response I was hoping for, someone who'd actually HEARD of such.

Must be a ground issue combined with the wood foundation, and improper grading.

HEY, how old was your place this happened to? This joint is 30 y/o (1990).

Now wondering why the structural guy didn't mention any of that? He's been in biz since 1980.

Last edited by VexedAndSolitary; Yesterday at 08:37 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 08:32 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,555 posts, read 1,034,228 times
Reputation: 5378
Quote:
Originally Posted by catz&dogz View Post
Hey Vexed,

I'm sorry the kids got in trouble by NOT listening to the one person that actually cared about them. You roll hard but I'm hearing a lot of love too.

How about teaching them some math and telling them to live within a smaller budget (save) and RE-prioritize.

Take the home price and list all the associated costs like mortgage, mortgage insurance, utilities, taxes, fees, commuting costs, etc., etc.

For example...
Mortgage: $120,000 x 4% x 30 years = $206,243
Mortgage Insurance: $100 x 360 months + $32,000
Utilities: gas, water, electric, sewer, trash, cable, sat, wifi, alarm: $200 x 360 months = $72,000
Fees: HOA, Taxes: $100 x 360 months = $32,000
Home Remodeling and Repairs: $200 X 360 months: $72,000
New Car X3: $20,000 x 5% x 15 years = $28,469
TOTAL: $499,650

Then compare that to the cost of a rural lot and a small house build, RV, kit house or container house and growing a garden, maybe aquaponics too.
Building out of pocket saves a lot.
Lot or Acre: $8,000 - $10,000
https://www.landandfarm.com/property...ounty-9594224/
House: $8,000 - $10,000
TOTAL: $16,000 - $20,000

Both structures will keep the rain off your head and both are culturally acceptable for a new family or a retired couple.

Ain't no shame in cutting your losses' and dumping a money pit!
Sad part is, the BF DID save, for years (he's just 22, been working for the railroad since 18), having ZERO fam help, so he could buy with a decent down payment. Both are financially responsible savers (my daughter had 12k in her bank acct when she moved out at 18, all saved from working her 2 part time jobs during HS) and he as I said above is an actual cheapskate.

I told them I'd help them sell by owner (have had great success doing that myself) NOW while market is hot here; they're clinging to the engineer's report (see a few posts above).

Last edited by VexedAndSolitary; Yesterday at 08:45 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 08:55 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,555 posts, read 1,034,228 times
Reputation: 5378
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickcin View Post
It also has much to do with the characteristics of the soil, it’s load bearing capacity and how the soil responds to moisture and or when saturated.

The load bearing area of this PWF is a single 2X12 that has an actual width of around 11 1/2” +/- where a normal concrete (residential )footing is usually 6 inches wider each side of the foundation wall so there’s a substantial difference with regards to soil bearing.
Ack, are you saying going by the engineer's quote I put upthread, that the wood footing is smaller than usual width of concrete footers?
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Old Yesterday, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Virginia
4,147 posts, read 2,171,617 times
Reputation: 11541
Quote:
Originally Posted by VexedAndSolitary View Post
OK THIS^^^ was the kinda response I was hoping for, someone who'd actually HEARD of such.

Must be a ground issue combined with the wood foundation, and improper grading.

HEY, how old was your place this happened to? This joint is 30 y/o (1990).

Now wondering why the structural guy didn't mention any of that? He's been in biz since 1980.
At the time I bought the house is was about 50 years old. The entire development was built at the same time and was located over an old site with known locations of Civil War tin mines. There was also a small stream at the bottom of the slope that dropped away from my house; hence, the presence of the marine clay. BTW, the structural engineer may not have mentioned marine clay if there has been no indication of it in the area previously. In the case of my house, it was a known factor (at least to a lot of people, but certainly not to me).
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Old Yesterday, 09:21 AM
 
Location: NY>FL>VA>NC>IN
2,555 posts, read 1,034,228 times
Reputation: 5378
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
At the time I bought the house is was about 50 years old. The entire development was built at the same time and was located over an old site with known locations of Civil War tin mines. There was also a small stream at the bottom of the slope that dropped away from my house; hence, the presence of the marine clay. BTW, the structural engineer may not have mentioned marine clay if there has been no indication of it in the area previously. In the case of my house, it was a known factor (at least to a lot of people, but certainly not to me).
Hmmm....doesn't sound like similar ground conditions. This 'hood is in heart of the city, not near the rivers at all nor any streams, neighbors all seem to "talk" a lot and this house was the only one "rumored" to have "foundation and water issues". SO prob back to grading/wood foundation on CRAWLSPACE not basement, and soil conditions combined.
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