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fayette 07-27-2007 02:02 PM

Buying a Fondation / basment repair bill
My Wife and I Want to buy this house built in 1860 single story < 1000sq ft. The price is $40K with an passible good condition value at about $50K.

However I know a few things I need advise on. the front (west- upgrade) bassment wall (~28') and the Noth side wall (~20') are bowed in and in places not even touching the Sill beam.

the original wall was made out of flat Stone and some one tried to fix the problem by building a cement block wall around the inside of the basement.

I know that If we get the house we will need to dig out the north and west wall, remove the old wall(s) and put in new walls with a good drain system Not to mention replace sections of the Sill that are in decay.

I'm not asking for an estamate but a ball park cost. Will it likely cost more then the $40K asking price or $5K, $10K, $20K. Is this a really bad idea or would it be worth it for the right price?

We want to live there, we want to do alot of the work ourselves. We love the location and the lot with the little brook running by (the stream >40' away and is lower than the basment floor)


Square Eye 07-27-2007 03:52 PM

The repair cost is totally dependent on exactly what you want done.
The problems you describe could be fixed in a few different ways.
On the low end, I still see a project this size going for around 10,000
On the high end, if you replace the floor, more than 2 walls, 20,000+
In this area, a new standard basement can cost over 20k for the same size you have. I am sure you could find someone who would take whatever you can pay.
You'll be seriously close to, or past the value of the home in your total investment. In this housing market, I believe you could find something else with far less potential for disaster or bankruptcy.

fayette 07-28-2007 08:18 AM

Thanks for your feed back. I believe I can use the high cost of repair and the other factors to the house being for sale to get it reduced enough to break even on total investment. We do intend to live there and though it is scary, I am not afraid as long as I know what is coming and can make offers based on that and a home inspection

mudmixer 07-28-2007 11:06 AM

I am a home inspector and an engineer.

For your situation, make sure your home inspector is qualified for "heavy duty" structural and not just the minimum casual observations like" the floor slopes, but is O.K."

If one is not qualified, also hire a structural engineer. The obvious damage to the foundation is one thing. When a foundation moves and removes support, there is an effect of the house that was sitting on the foundation. There may be long term problems with the frame structure that are not as obvious as the foundation. With a new foundation, you can expect cracks in walls when everything is made level again.

fayette 07-28-2007 11:23 AM


Originally Posted by mudmixer (Post 10781)
There may be long term problems with the frame structure that are not as obvious as the foundation. With a new foundation, you can expect cracks in walls when everything is made level again.

I want more info please on Long term problems, But here is what I think I already Know. tell me what i might have wrong or not gotten at all

1. I realize that cracks in the wall, broken windows, roof leaks, Doors jamed in frame.
2 In this case all the walls in side need attention anyway
3 windows are old and the kind that crank open like in mobile homes and will be replaced.
4 the shingle roof seems in pretty good shape, no visible leaks, but we are thinking a new galvanized roof would be nice.
5 No internal doors 'cept the bathroom.

Also when whoever put in the second wall on the inside of the stone wall they decided to raise and support one of the beams going from the center to the sill and not the sill with the new block.

Thanks a bunch

inspectorD 07-29-2007 01:12 PM

Hey look...another Home Inspector.:D

Also look at why the soil moves like Mudmixer touched on. Is there a water or seismic issue ...or is this just plain old soil settlement.

Get an Inspector with an extensive background in your situation. Ask around for Home inspector professional groups or just get an engineer before you buy anything. The engineer will be more expensive.

You get the knowledge you pay for.:D

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