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Shane N 10-09-2008 03:32 PM

Garage Foundation "Tilting?"
My wife and I are currently looking at purchasing an older home (1928) from within our extended family. One of the issues we'll be facing is a leaning garage. It looks like when it was originally built, the only concrete used was just under the walls to build a foundation, and I imagine it had a dirt floor to begin with. At some point, someone filled in the area between with concrete. Well, it appears that water must have gotten between the poured slap and the wall foundations and caused the wall foundations to "tilt" outwards due to expansion in the winter, causing the garage to tilt. It has gotten to the point where the garage doors are very difficult for the opener to open due to the tension. Is there a way to pull the wall foundations back plumb? Otherwise I don't imagine the garage standing up in 5-10 years. I currently am five hours away from the property and do not have images of the issue. I can draw up something in photoshop if there is confusion as to what I am dealing with.


inspectorD 10-09-2008 05:14 PM

Sounds like an old, make it work job.
You may need to support it with the help of a professional. Unfortunately there are no easy, cheap fixes for something like the foundation structure you are describing. Sounds like this is what happened in the first place to get you into this mess.
Get yourself a home inspection before you finalize your offer .
Try for a competent inspector. This is a professional organization, not a company.:)

Hope it works out for you, sometimes it is easier to start fresh with something like a garage.

Shane N 10-09-2008 06:19 PM

Well, we're 99% positive we'll be purchasing the home regardless. It is a house my parents purchased for my older brother and I to live in while attending college. So we know everything that is wrong, and my parents are giving us a deal that they wouldn't give to any random stranger. The offer essentially isn't going down from where it is at (nor would I expect it to, it is 50-60% of the appraised value).

The main thing is we don't want to put much if any money into the garage. If there isn't a way to simply "pull" the foundation walls back to where they are supposed to be, we'll probably just start saving up for a new garage.

Thanks for the response though :)

mudmixer 10-09-2008 08:19 PM

Since it is 70 years old, it probably is a free standing garage.

All the pulling and tugging will not have any effect on the footings/foundation if it really does have a real foundation.

You can rack and pull on the walls and add braces once it is reasonably square, but you will still have to trim and fine tune the door swings to the extent of of cutting off and adding on to fill the opening.

If you do not have a stable foundation, the life is limited, but it can be made useable for many years if it is squared up and enclosed properly. - Make sure the drainage is good since water is the enemy of a poor foundation.

hondadrv24 10-10-2008 12:22 PM

I think your best bet would be to jack the garage up and support it with beams while your tear out the old foundation and pour a new one for the garage to rest on.

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