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busyshrew 04-27-2012 05:45 PM

Question about foundation and main beam?
I am hoping to find an answer among experts.... because I am not an expert. Please be patient with me.
We are having a new home built. Poured concrete basement, with one main steel I-beam spanning the centre. (Again, I am not in the business, so please excuse me if my terminology is incorrect).
Like most new home buyers, we do drivebys of the house to take progress pictures (after hours of course). And we have noticed...
1) When they poured our foundation, two "buttresses" were included at opposite sides of the basement, obviously to support the I-beam. The buttresses had a U-shaped groove? channel? (all of this is concrete) formed on the top. We are assuming that the I-beam would "fit into" these spots and rest upon the buttress?
2) Two days ago, those top grooves appeared to have been damaged in some way. The sides of the "U" appear to have been smashed off on one side, and is severely cracked on the other one. (we have had some savage wind storms recently, so I can only imagine that while attempting to lower the beam, something might have happened).

The main portion of the buttress underneath appears to be fine.

My question (and I'm not getting an answer from the builder) is this: is this damage likely to cause a significant delay to the construction of the house? Things seemed to be moving along pretty steadily before this, and now for the last week, it appears that there has been no progress. Everything has come to a halt on our house while neighbouring houses have been framed and now have roof trusses up.

Again, my apologies if my question is unclear, I don't necessarily know the right words, and I can't just draw a picture to show you what I mean.

nealtw 04-27-2012 06:05 PM

If I understand it correctly, they had a knock out in the wall which left room for the beam to fit into the concrete wall. The surface and the concrete below the beam will be important. They just put a chunk of wood in the forms that is knocked out later and often this is hard to get out and some dammage to the sides of the hole is common.
As far as no work being done. When the build a house they frame it up and go on the next house and when the concrete floor is in the first house is in they go back to the first house to finish it up and all work stops on the second house.
The building inspectors and or engineers will be looking at thing like that beam.
BTW welome:)

busyshrew 04-27-2012 09:42 PM

Thank you Neal, for your kind welcome!

I am so sorry, but now I am more confused than ever.... please bear with me again.

I think I've found the correct term... beam pocket?? (they look like notches). So in our new house, the sides of the beam pockets have been damaged (severely cracked on the one end, and one side of the pocket knocked off completely on the other end).

So are you telling me that (a) this is common, and (b) the delay is likely completely unrelated to the damaged beam pockets?

If I could draw a picture, this would be so much easier... and faster...

joecaption 04-29-2012 08:08 AM

Post a real picture, a drawing will do not good, we understand what your talking about but no one here can see the damage.
How would anyone here know why there stopped working on your house?
Why not just ask them?

nealtw 04-29-2012 08:42 PM

I think your beam pockets are fine but would like to see a photo.

BridgeMan 05-05-2012 11:57 PM

Chipped or spalled out sides of beam pockets have absolutely no detrimental effects on the pockets' performance, unless the openings go all the way through to the exterior of the walls. Your contractor will (should?) infill the voids with concrete/mortar once the steel has been placed and loaded.

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