U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas > Dallas
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-25-2014, 02:14 AM
 
5 posts, read 6,182 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
I've lived here more or less my whole life so foundation issues don't bother me as much as some.


1. Dry on one side and wet on the other are almost certainly the causes of the slab being 5" out of level.
1a. The slab being that much out of level and not severely cupped or cracked means the slab is of excellent quality.
2. The dry side is easy. That problem is almost certainly the tree you mentioned possibly exacerbated by a poorly laid out or out of repair sprinkler zone in that area or maybe the current owners just don't know to water that are more. A root barrier and careful watering should fix that side.
3. The wet side, IMO, deserves more thought. Namely what is the source of the excess water? It could be a broken underground water line of some type - city water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, a broken irrigation line, poorly routed rainwater runoff from the roof due to a screwed up gutter or inadequate gutter, it could be a low spot between that house and the neighbor's that collects water and does not drain well for whatever reason. Is there a bathroom or kitchen near the high area? It could be a leaking water line under the slab or worse a leaking sewer line.

Turn on the irrigation zone in that area and see if there is something crazy simple like a blown out irrigation head pumping 60 GPM of water into that area. Conversely if that area has all working heads but oddly low pressure that indicates a leak in the associated piping underground. Shut that zone down and see how long it takes for the heads to pop shut if more than 30/45 seconds that might mean the solenoid regulating that zone is weak and can't close 100% and maybe one or more of the heads dribbles water all the time. After that if you like the house the next step, IMO, is to call a plumber and test the sewer and water line pressures and irrigation line pressures.
Thanks so much for all the tips and advice. We are still debating whether or not we should go for it and I have a few more questions.

We are considering buying the house and trying to stabilize the soil by fixing any leaks, correct watering, root barriers, installing a drain, etc -- Can this type of preventative and ongoing maintenance actually correct some of the issues besides just keeping them from getting worse?

The Engineer's report says "The home is located on clay soil with moderate to high shrink swell potential."

Does the entire Dallas / Fort Worth area have moderate to high shrink potential or does this Keller neighborhood have a higher shrink potential than most? The houses in this particular neighborhood are priced quite a bit less per sf than surrounding areas and cities and since the schools are great, etc, I'm wondering if foundation issues are the cause.

Besides the entire house being out of level 5.2" now versus 4" in 2008, the 15' x 17' bedroom currently has a slope of 2" (from corner to corner) and that same slope was just 1" when the previous company put in concrete piers around that same bedroom. The corner that is high does have some flowers planted next to the house, but it is also the corner which is about 6' from the pool. Could the 6 year old pool (pebble tec) be causing the leak that is raising that side of the house?

Per the report, the Engineer: "generally recommends piers be installed to correct excessive floor slopes and recommends piers in the lowest areas of the foundation if needed. To correct the floor slopes would require piers installed about every 8 feet on the exterior and interior of the home. However, on a home with this amount of slope in the foundation, it is subjective as to what repairs would be needed."

He also said most people would choose not to correct the slope because of the high cost to do so ($35,000 or so). I'm wondering if we bought the house and chose not to pier the entire house, would this choice make the house hard to sell in the future? Would potential buyers insist on the house being level before purchasing?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-25-2014, 08:50 AM
 
9,285 posts, read 9,932,947 times
Reputation: 8054
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandd View Post
Thanks so much for all the tips and advice. We are still debating whether or not we should go for it and I have a few more questions.

We are considering buying the house and trying to stabilize the soil by fixing any leaks, correct watering, root barriers, installing a drain, etc -- Can this type of preventative and ongoing maintenance actually correct some of the issues besides just keeping them from getting worse?

The Engineer's report says "The home is located on clay soil with moderate to high shrink swell potential."

Does the entire Dallas / Fort Worth area have moderate to high shrink potential or does this Keller neighborhood have a higher shrink potential than most? The houses in this particular neighborhood are priced quite a bit less per sf than surrounding areas and cities and since the schools are great, etc, I'm wondering if foundation issues are the cause.

Besides the entire house being out of level 5.2" now versus 4" in 2008, the 15' x 17' bedroom currently has a slope of 2" (from corner to corner) and that same slope was just 1" when the previous company put in concrete piers around that same bedroom. The corner that is high does have some flowers planted next to the house, but it is also the corner which is about 6' from the pool. Could the 6 year old pool (pebble tec) be causing the leak that is raising that side of the house?

Per the report, the Engineer: "generally recommends piers be installed to correct excessive floor slopes and recommends piers in the lowest areas of the foundation if needed. To correct the floor slopes would require piers installed about every 8 feet on the exterior and interior of the home. However, on a home with this amount of slope in the foundation, it is subjective as to what repairs would be needed."

He also said most people would choose not to correct the slope because of the high cost to do so ($35,000 or so). I'm wondering if we bought the house and chose not to pier the entire house, would this choice make the house hard to sell in the future? Would potential buyers insist on the house being level before purchasing?
$35K, that's an enormous amount of money to pier a house. My guess is you can get it done very well for far less than that.

IMO the bedroom showing 2" of slope is of concern.
The pool could be leaking for sure - a feed line, return line, the auto-filler could be screwed up, the overflow drain might be screwed up, the pool itself could be leaking but that's somewhat unlikely.

At this point I'd call a pro foundation guy in for a look and estimate of likely repairs. I'll DM you a phone number.

I'd be at a full stop until:
1. You look at the water bills and try to figure out of they are unusually high. High bills would point to a fresh water leak. Alternatively, it very well could be that the sewer line(s) in the master bath are leaking.
2. Have a foundation pro look at the house, yard and pool. Cost $200-250. You are looking for an inspection, a bullet point report, repair estimate and long term watering and drainage.
after that -
3. Call in a plumber to pressure test the water and sewer lines. You need to know if the sewer line is leaking as repair can be expensive. Cost of a pressure test $175-250.
Most all cities in the area will do a quick pressure test at the meter for free if a leak is suspected. In this case some kind of leak is almost guaranteed. Also on the freshwater side you can suspend all water use in the house - make sure no toilet flappers are leaking and shut off the pool autofill - go the meter and mark the reading. Come back in two/three hours later and look at the reading. If it's moved much you have a leak on the freshwater side. Self testing the sewer line is more difficult but you can find ways to do so on the internet.

If the $300-$500 testing buy-in, so to speak, is too much walk unless this house is a $50K relative bargain. The owners know or should know they are holding a bad hand. They should cooperate with you on some of this stuff. I'd ask them to pay for the inspection and pressure tests. Thier realtor probably does not want that because he/she is risking having to disclose any negative findings going forward. When/if they balk ask them to pay for half. The fact is they have a house that might just fine but most people will simply not consider it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-25-2014, 10:19 AM
 
5 posts, read 6,182 times
Reputation: 10
The estimates we received so far, based on sending the Structural Engineer's report to the foundation companies, are $25,000 for steel piers, but we were told that we may have to fix the plumbing and floors afterwards, plus we have root barriers and a drain to install so we were assuming it may be up to $35,000. Sounds like you think it might even be higher than that, depending on the plumbing issues. The Engineer recommends steel piers because of the extreme movement of this house. It had a slope of 4"

The house is empty (as of last week), so testing the freshwater should be easy. We'll find out the cost of the water bill and look into getting a plumber out too.

We've re-evaluated the comps for the neighborhood and the price is right in there (comps are $82-$100 per sf, with large 2 stories being the cheapest and small 1 stories going for $100 per sf). This house is a 2300 sf, 1 story, 4 bd, 1/3 acre, updated kitchens/baths (granite, etc), with a very nice pool and shade trees for $96 sf). At $100 per sf, this would bring the price up another $12,000 - so we might be getting a $12,000 bargain, definitely not a $35,000 -$50,000 deal.

In this market, all houses in the neighborhood have sold very quickly - we happened to find the house right after the sale sign was put out front and before it was listed on the MLS. Even though our dream home is not priced low for the neighborhood, we cannot find a house with these features for even close to this price in any other neighborhood --- I'm wondering if all the houses in this particular neighborhood might be priced lower because the soil has a higher shrink potential and most have foundation issues? The Engineer rated the sold as having medium - high shrink potential.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-25-2014, 10:25 AM
 
5 posts, read 6,182 times
Reputation: 10
Oops --- didn't finish the last sentence of the first paragraph. I was going to add in that the house was 4" off level in 2008 (at 16 years old) and the plumbing was tested after the repairs in 2008, but even with the repairs, it moved enough that it is off level 5.2 " now. Might just be bad watering habits after all and at least the pool wasn't the issue for the 1st 4" - the pool was built in 2008, right after the repairs. The owner was not told to put in root barriers and a drain back in 2008.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2014, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Plano 75024
409 posts, read 913,576 times
Reputation: 208
Sorry I missed that my 17 piers turned out to be a hot topic while I was in the hospital. But yes I have a SLAB foundation.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2014, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Plano 75024
409 posts, read 913,576 times
Reputation: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSiczpak View Post
If I'm wrong, then I politely defer to your admonition. However, "Dude", if you're going to vaguely expound on foundation repair, at least know what you are talking about.

"taroberts" said above, "I just had 17 piers put into my house." Her post does not clarify whether the piers are under or above the floor, but that one pier is in the middle of her kitchen. Inference suggests that (a) since piers are used, it's not a slab foundation; (b) it's likely that most of the 17 piers were placed under the floor, and a tall jack post added in the kitchen space.

Otherwise, I'd like to know more about how one retrofits real piers to an "inferred" slab foundation.

Also, once you read my post more carefully, you'll notice that I only inferred that concrete blocks were possibly used with 17 new piers installed in 1.5 days. Worse, maybe they used no blocks at all, but set the piers right on the ground!

To anyone contemplating addition of extra piers, be aware that mere concrete block laid on the ground is non-optimal, as such weak blocks are prone to failure. Sure, it will work for a while, and might be adequate over the long run. But, it's highly preferable to dig holes and pour concrete. Better still to add some rebar to the mix.

How do I know? I had it done cheap the first time; the second time, I had it done right.

- - - -

Further information: Pier And Beam Versus Slab Foundations in the Dallas Area | Advice for Home Buyers

Disadvantage of slab:
  • Can have a higher tendency to crack since they only touch the top level of the soil, whereas pier and beam foundations can go deep into the soil and can even anchor on bedrock in some cases.

You are wrong. It is slab and I guess I should have specified.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-28-2014, 03:38 PM
 
2,676 posts, read 3,842,275 times
Reputation: 1568
Don't take this the wrong way- but you may be getting emotional about the home and it's overcoming the obvious reasons not to buy.

Make a list of pros and cons- and the money each is worth- It has to be a rational decision because the emotional part wears off quickly. Best of luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-29-2014, 01:04 AM
 
153 posts, read 182,860 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by taroberts View Post
You are wrong. It is slab and I guess I should have specified.
OK, thanks for clarification. But how did you add 17 piers to a slab?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-29-2014, 07:20 AM
 
9,285 posts, read 9,932,947 times
Reputation: 8054
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSiczpak View Post
OK, thanks for clarification. But how did you add 17 piers to a slab?

https://www.google.com/search?q=driv...2F%3B300%3B225
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-04-2014, 01:16 AM
 
Location: Plano 75024
409 posts, read 913,576 times
Reputation: 208
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSiczpak View Post
OK, thanks for clarification. But how did you add 17 piers to a slab?
It's a process that sounds so horrifying that I seriously thought about selling and moving but being 9 months pregnant that just wasn't a possibility or even rational. I had the work done by a great company and the process was completely uneventful and now my doors and windows all operate as they should.

I wish my husband would have just sent me on a vacay and had the work done secretly b/c seriously the explanation of how it is done is terrifying!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Texas > Dallas
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:02 PM.

¬© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top