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savethetiger 09-07-2012 11:10 PM

Cracks on floor above where load bearing wall knocked down
Hello everyone,

This is a 3 storied brick building with 2 units on each floor. I am on the first floor. I hired a contractor to remove about 7 feet of a load bearing wall after a structural engineers approval. The engineer's instructions were to support it with 3 LVL's 11 7/8" - 15' long with 4 LSLS studs on each end and W/EPC66 Cap and block solid under posts.

The work was done per specs laid out. However today i got a call from the neighbor upstairs stating they have a crack about 3 feet long on their floor tiles and a crack about the same size on the wall directly above the wall i had removed. I've been googling regarding this but am finding conflicting information. Some hadnt consulted with a structural engineer and hadnt done things right and then some other places talked about some settling that took place after the work was done.

I am a bit nervous as to what might be causing this. Any help would be greatly appreciated (i am scheduling to have the engineer come in and take a look but he is out of town for the weekend and cant reach him until monday).

Thank you in advance for your insights here.

oldognewtrick 09-08-2012 04:56 AM

I think it would be beneficial to have both the engineer and the contractor present at the same time. Someone's going to start pointing fingers at the other, having them both in the same room helps find out just who and what needs to be done to take corrective action. Hopefully you have a written report from the engineer and a definitive scope of work from the builder and a lot of progress pics of the renovation.

Oh yeah, one more thing :welcome: to House Repair Talk!

savethetiger 09-08-2012 10:17 AM

Yes i am going to have them both in as soon as i can. But would you say something like this could possibly be a settling issue (or is there no way that can be the reason) or can this happen only because things werent done right.

joecaption 09-08-2012 11:40 AM

Sure it can, and does happen all the time when removing a support beam.
Sounds like some simple repairs will take care of it.

savethetiger 09-08-2012 04:15 PM

Thanks @joecaption - that makes me feel better.

Anyone else have any thoughts/ personal experiences with this kind of stuff ?

nealtw 09-12-2012 11:45 PM

It's one thing to get a good engineer but there is a common mistake made by contractors when installing beams. They fail to take an accurate measurement of the ceiling height before removing walls and then they place the beam a little to high or a little to low. Evan an 1/8" can make a difference upstairs. Unfortunely engineers don't usually check the height before and after to catch this mistake.

BridgeMan 09-13-2012 11:48 PM

Darn those engineers. But I'm sure they'd do all kinds of measurement checking if such was called for in their scope of work.

savethetiger 09-20-2012 08:03 PM

So i had the engineer and the contractor in at the same time. Seems since it was jacked up a bit to fit the beam in it caused those cracks on the walls in the unit above mine. The owners upstairs werent convinced so they had another engineer come take a look and he too confirmed nothing wrong with the structure or how the work was done.

But since this second engineer charged quite a packet i imagine that is compelling him to say that he would like to make some suggestions to add to whats been done already. Eagerly awaiting those suggestions....hopefully nothing too drastic.

nealtw 09-20-2012 10:38 PM

There engineer will double check the records of what was done to assure his clients the the building is safe and sound. And if your work caused dammage upstairs, you can expect to pay for it.

Bridgeman: Home owners hire engineers usually as a last resort to get their work done and have no idea what should be in the scope of work for him.
We have had engineers on the first visit to a job set a laser in a window sill and check the level of the floor as well as looking at structure, loads, foundation and footings and his report which are instructions for the contractor will have the measurement of the floor and ceiling in the area of the work in relation to that window sill.
In the case of a claim that a structure moved, he will have a record of where it was before and after the job.

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