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socket1960 02-19-2010 10:33 AM

sinking garage
hi! We have found a serious problem with our garage. It looks as though it has been partially built on a stump pit. We have called in contractors to fix what we thought was a foundation problem but unfortunately it is much bigger problem then a foundation. There is no supporting soil. We have spoken to engineer and a foundation contractor. They don't have any solutions that they can guarantee a warranty to the fix.

So does anyone have any workable solutions? I mean really workable and doable solutions. I was thinking perhaps we could move the garage. Not sure how big stump pit is though.

And yes I have contacted a lawyer they don't think we can prove fraud on previous owner & don't think it is worth the litigation costs.
Help please!

inspectorD 02-19-2010 12:21 PM

If your engineer looked at it and had no solutions...get another out there to give more advice.
Anything can be much $$ you got??
If healical pilings will not work, then the garage framework can be lifted, soil and foundation removed and new compacted soil installed, or a garage basement installed underneath and a new engineered slab installed for the cars. Again $$.

Get more opinions on the ground where you are.There is no easy fix.:(

Wuzzat? 02-19-2010 12:22 PM

Depending on the bucks, you may want to get several bids from consulting civil engineers. Before you do that though, figure out your EVPI.
Then, if your EVPI is less than the lowest bid it's trial-and-error time.

Mud-jacking may help.

If you can post alternatives, their cost, and the likelihood of each of solving the problem, it becomes a solvable math problem - i.e., decision making in the face of uncertainty.
According to this gentleman,
listing all possible options is the first step, and that's not as easy it sounds.

I have a customer with the same problem; the soil near his house is eroding and his basement floor is already showing a substantial crack, with uneven edges. For him, a very costly 20' high retaining wall is probably one answer. I doubt he can sell his house in that condition, not that he wants to.

The front door of another customer's house no longer closed properly, it turned out for similarly costly reasons. She had to get her front basement wall reinforced with some serious I beams.
Speaking of which, is the stump pit only under your garage "footprint" or is it more widespread? You need to find nearby soil with stable & predictable characteristics.

mudmixer 02-19-2010 02:31 PM

If you expect a guarantee or warrantee from an engineer that is not involved in doing the work, I can understand why they would not give one.

If is just a contractor that hires an engineer and the contractor does not to give a warrantee, there there is a good reason to avoid the location.

I don't understand the terminology. Is a stump pit an area with a lot of buried stumps or is it just it just sump pit in one area?


socket1960 02-20-2010 06:08 AM

stump pit
It is left over debris left over when the neighborhood was built with dirt piled on top. House was built in 70's then garage was built in 90's.

socket1960 02-20-2010 06:09 AM

some great advise, thanks!

Bud Cline 02-20-2010 03:37 PM

Was a building permit required back when the garage was constructed?
If so, was a building permit issued?
If so, who was the permit issued to?

Get where this is going?:)

socket1960 02-20-2010 04:10 PM

we bought the house 3 years ago. The garage was built by former owner. Spoke to lawyer who specializes in building defects-he believes it would be hard to prove fraud by previous owner and not worth the litigation.

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