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Victoria S. 06-03-2007 07:11 PM

Foundation we buy the house?
My husband and I are looking at houses in an historic neighborhood, most homes were built between 1918 and 1930. We are very interested in one particular house, BUT...the entire inside of the house slopes slightly to the back. (Hardwood floors, pier and beam, built in 1919.) It's visually obvious near the front of the house, not as bad at the back. There's no visible cracks on the inside or outside, but I guess those could have been covered up. I know that some of the beams have been "illegally" shimmed up with what looks like 1x6s.

So, I guess what I need to know is, what's the worst case scenario? At what point do we let it go? For example, let's say we get an estimate and a foundation company says....says what? What do they say that makes us either buy or not buy?

Also, it has been raining here a LOT, which is not the norm for Texas. Is it true that most of the problem might "correct itself" once the groud dries out?? Of course this is what the real estate agent is saying, but I'm thinking, "how do you know which way the floors will go once the ground dries out?"...


mudmixer 06-03-2007 08:09 PM

Hire a structural emgineer to give you an assesment of the structure including the foundation. Often, a structure will dictate what loads are acually applied to a foundation in place and any anticipated future settlement. Often, loads are redistributed by a structure and do not add to additional settlement, which may answer the question of no new cracks.

This will give you a benchmark to operate from in your decision whether to buy or not.

If you have a report and eventually do purchase the home you have an idea of what your situation is and you can document any improvements that you have made for future purchasers.

glennjanie 06-04-2007 08:16 AM

Welcome Victoria:
My advice could be summed up in one word "RUN".
Run as fast as you can; the situation is called subsidence and is not repairable. You don't want a lifetime of problems and that is exactly what subsidence is. Again, I say run!

Deacon 07-11-2007 11:27 PM

Being in Texas, you probably do not have a basement. In your case, what goes down stays down. Unless you want to pay $15,000.00 plus to have it lifted be a professional. Homes with piers and crawl spaces have been known to be leveled in time by flooding the high point over time. If you have a monolithic pour -- you have no hope. But than again, money does wonders.

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