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Unread 05-13-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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Default New Home Laws?

We purchased a new house in 2007 in Knox County. It's was new construction but we did not contract someone to build it. It was bought the regular way through a Realtor.
We have now been in the house two and half years and there are cracks throughout the concrete basement. There were none when we purchased the house. I have searched everywhere to find out the laws in Maine regarding new home construction, as to whether we have any rights to get the basement rectified but it's not easy info to find.
Does anybody know if a house is covered for a certain amount of years after construction?. Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Unread 05-13-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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Enlighten, I'm sorry to hear of your troubles.

Just wondering, where exactly are the cracks and of what dimension are they? Is the house built on a frost wall or a slab?
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Unread 05-13-2010, 06:38 PM
 
Location: North of Boston
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The house probably would have come with a warrany for the first year, that is typical of new construction. Now, after 3 years, you may be out of luck. Why don't you contact the builder and find out?
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Unread 05-14-2010, 04:57 AM
 
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Well, duh! Enlighten, you said cellar...so, to answer my own question, "no, the house isn't built on a slab." Early morning revelation on my part.

As gf2020 suggests, find out who built the house and talk with them. Or another reputable contractor, who can advise how to amend the cracks. Cracks do happen, which isn't to make light of your situation. And not knowing the severity or the location, it's hard to say how they should be addressed.
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Unread 05-14-2010, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
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If you had covered the whole floor with tile and refinished the basement you'd never know. I wonder how many houses have cracks on the basment concrete. Surface cracks are not usually a big deal. Concrete is put in with various kinds of steel re-bar in the concrete. And the structure of the house is built on the concrete block walls. You could actually have a dirt floor and it wouldn't affect the integrity of the house.

While you might want to have a masonary contractor check it out, nnless you have water coming in, or you have huge cracks in the concrete walls, like I say you could have covered it in wod tiles and the tiles over that, and you'd never even know.

Z
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Unread 05-14-2010, 08:41 AM
 
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Thanks for the replies, there are many cracks, the most worrisome are the couple at the control joint on the floor. You can actually feel the concrete floor ramp up slightly. I think a lot of the cracks are due to hydrostatic pressure.
I would love to approach the builder but he is not friendly at all. He would not even get back to us about the paint colors used on the house. We just wanted to do some touch ups. We also had a leak at the back door, when we first moved in, he said he would send someone round, he never did. We fixed it ourselves. To be honest he completely washed his hands of the house as soon as it was finished. Which is weird as he did an amazing job with the rest of the house.
I attached a couple of pics:

Floor cracks at control joint.




Crack at wall and floor:



Last edited by Enlighten; 05-14-2010 at 08:50 AM..
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Unread 05-14-2010, 03:39 PM
 
Location: North of Boston
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Honestly, seeing those pictures, I don't think I would worry about it at all.
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Unread 05-14-2010, 04:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarathu View Post
If you had covered the whole floor with tile and refinished the basement you'd never know. Z
Gotta intervene here! This is actually something I know about: tiling!

Tile demands a static substratum, period. Else the cracks will simply transfer through & bloom like dandelions on the lawn in springtime. Tiling a slab translates into a substantial investment; thank goodness I no longer know cost/ sq'.

This is Maine. Frost happens. Cracks in cement happen. As a friend would say, "it ain't a piano!"

After seeing photos, I agree with gf2020 - not an issue. But, peace of mind is everything. I'd call a foundation guy. I'd say, "I have some concerns with cracks that are appearing in the cellar floor and running up the wall - would you be able to come by and have a look?" But let's hope that whomever you call is honest, and doesn't try and sell you an unnecessary fix.

Keep us posted, ok?
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Unread 05-14-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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The cracks don't worry me too much but the slight bulging on the floor and the bulging of one of the walls is a bit disconcerting. I have a couple of gauges set up, so I will keep an eye out for movement. Thanks for all of the advice.
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Unread 05-14-2010, 05:51 PM
JC3
 
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Not to be an alarmist and not a guru on foundations, I just had a home built and a friend of mine in the business told me to check for cracks going up the foundation walls. Cracks on the floor were to be expected but he did say to watch for any going up the walls. I read that somewhere as well.
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