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Old 02-03-2008, 06:43 PM
 
529 posts, read 1,799,199 times
Reputation: 149
Default Does a hairline crack mean foundation problems

Does a hairline crack mean foundation problems?
I'm looking at a KB home for sale. It is 1.5 years old - never lived in. (California investor bought it for a rental and it never got rented). Consequently, it has never been watered. This is a crack about 1.5 feet long in the ceiling. I think it's by the bathroom doorway.

I know the home is still under warrenty but I'm wondering if KB will blame the owner for not watering and do nothing. Or worse yet, just patch up the crack with spackle and say it's fixed.

Along with our offer, we made it contingent that the crack be evaluated.

Oh yeah, I'm going to have a home inspection before purchasing property. Do I also need to get some type of structual engineer to look at the property as well? Or does the home inspector know enough to tell if there are foundation problems?

Also, can anyone please suggest a really good inspector and/or structural engineer and/or whomever else I need to look at the property?

Thanks
Thanks

Last edited by shenane; 02-03-2008 at 07:53 PM.. Reason: Added a question
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:02 PM
 
418 posts, read 813,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenane View Post
Does a hairline crack mean foundation problems?
I'm looking at a KB home for sale. It is 1.5 years old - never lived in. (California investor bought it for a rental and it never got rented). Consequently, it has never been watered. This is a crack about 1.5 feet long in the ceiling. I think it's by the bathroom doorway.

I know the home is still under warrenty but I'm wondering if KB will blame the owner for not watering and do nothing. Or worse yet, just patch up the crack with spackle and say it's fixed.

Along with our offer, we made it contingent that the crack be evaluated.

Oh yeah, I'm going to have a home inspection before purchasing property. Do I also need to get some type of structual engineer to look at the property as well? Or does the home inspector know enough to tell if there are foundation problems?

Thanks
The inspector's main responsibility should to inspect the foundation and structure. He/she should also give you a report on how much the foundation has shifted. If not, I would find someone that does.

The inspector should also tell you if the crack is serious. If not, I anticipate the only solution would be to spackle and paint.
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Old 02-03-2008, 08:53 PM
 
41,037 posts, read 43,459,729 times
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You might need to get the slab stablized by a foundatiom company especaily if it shifted enough to crack the sheetrock. 11/2 years is pretty quick to see sheetrock cracking. KB should fix it tho.Have someone whom knows slabs inspect it and if he says there is a problem think twice before buying unless it is stablized and sheetrock is fixed.It would probably have to be donbe to finance it anyway.
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:17 PM
 
Location: SW Austin
314 posts, read 824,009 times
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You may need to have it evaluated and certified by a foundation company. The inspector will only give you limited information because his liablities are usually to great to include a complete foundation report.

Many homes get hairline cracks in the first year. This home would be more prone because the summer of 2006 was so dry. The soil plumped back up this year, which would cause a hairline crack. So if the crack is thin, there is a good possiblity that the moisture level has more to do with it than any major foundation issues. (The inspector will usually give you this type of opinion off the record.)

Please note I am a realtor not a home inspector, so these are only my opinions.
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:12 PM
 
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Great info! Thanks!
Does anyone know of any good slab or foundation people? Hopefully I won't get somone who will tell me the foundation needs repair just for they money.
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Canyon Lake Texas
9 posts, read 31,043 times
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Default Your KB Home & Inspection

I have inspected a number of KB homes; you get alot of house for the money. I would definitely have it inspected and if the inspector feels you need to call in a structural engineer he should indicate that on his report. There is alot of movement in the soil in and around S.A.; therefore many homes have cracks but does not mean foundation problems.
Check with some of the neighbors to see if they have had problems.
Good Luck!
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:44 PM
 
Location: central Florida
320 posts, read 896,619 times
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Not exactly on topic, but I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a GOOD drywall repairman. I've got several places inside my house that need fixing due to numerous recent plumbing repairs. Need to sell house soon and want the repairs to look nice when finished. Thanx
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:32 AM
 
1,740 posts, read 3,808,630 times
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Where is this house located? Some parts of San Antonio are more prone to foundation problems than others. No matter who the builder is - if the home owner didn't keep the soil around the foundation moist - then there could be problems. The good thing is that KB no longer runs plumbing (at least water lines) in the foundation.
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:46 AM
 
529 posts, read 1,799,199 times
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Hi Banker
It's in Woodcrest subdivision at Live Oak.
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:22 AM
 
1,740 posts, read 3,808,630 times
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Live Oak - the soil over there is terrible. Lots of clay which is especially prone to the expansion/contraction that will cause foundation problems. This is not a builder issue - it is a soil issue. To engineer a slab that will not be affected by the soil on the east side of town is very costly and usually not done at those price ranges.

Given the fact it is a hairline crack - it may not be a big deal - but I would still have a certified foundation company look at it. I have used Olshan in the past - and they are the only company to provide a life time (of the home) fully transferrable warranty. I live in an area with lots of clay - about 40 inches down to rock - so we battle with the foundation as well.
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