Concrete Spalling to buy or not to buy house?

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Floridagal

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I'd like to know if anyone can tell me what the approximate estimated cost may end up being to repair concrete spalling. We are currently looking at home as a investment home/vacation home in Florida, and there is positively concrete spalling in a couple of the support structure beams…it's a stilt home, and possibly be a good investment home. If anyone has any knowledge on the cost to repair I'd appreciate it, I realize without knowing the extent of the damage it might be difficult to say, but all and all, just to get an idea of what the "normal" cost would be to chip away the bad cement, and replace the steal would be great to know. Thanks
 

Floridagal

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Thank you, I plan on getting a couple quotes. However, I don't live close enough to meet a contractor right away, so before going much further with putting a contract on the home, I was hoping to get some kind of idea of what the cost might be. Like I said above though, I'm sure it would vary depending on the extent of the damage, and work necessary. If it would cost less then 15k to get it repaired I'd go ahead and submit an offer on the house, because the location is great, the homes in the area sell for 60% more then what the asking price is on this home.
 

Floridagal

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This might be the red flag on why its so cheap. Just my :2cents:
I wouldn't call it a red flag as the realtor & owner are aware of the problem, which is indeed why it's priced so much lower then the homes actually sell for in this area. The big question is how much will it cost, and how much do we want to put into the home…like the other replies suggested I think I'll get an engineer out to the house, and a contractor, to get the facts. As it could be very bad, meaning a complete tear down, or it could be something that we could put $50k into fixing, and the home location, size, and all is very worth putting 50k - 75k into.
 

BridgeMan

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Keep in mind that repairing the obviously bad columns now does nothing for all of the others that will some day also require repairs or complete replacement. Corrosion of embedded reinforcing steel in a salt-water environment is an ongoing problem, and spending $10k per column if the damage is so bad that reinforcing steel (in essence, the entire column) has to be replaced, would not be out of the norm.

Unless you are very well-heeled (meaning rich), I'd suggest you do yourself a favor, and forget about this property. I'm an engineer, experienced in dealing with this type of concrete deterioration, and would never consider purchasing something like this, because the constant threat of structural failure would be enough to make life miserable.
 

Floridagal

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Write the offer, subject to getting it fixed for what you think might be most you could pay for a fix.
Have an engineer design the fix
Thank you, I think that's what we're going to do. I have called an engineer that works in the area of the home, and will see what he feels it will cost, and how bad it is… could be something to walk away from if it's the foundation and supporting structure. As that would more then likely require a rebuild altogether. If we're going to have something built, I'd find another piece of property. This home is a great buy as long as the repairs don't get too high, the asking price is $195k and no lie the homes in this area are selling for minimum $585k. However, we could buy a lot or two for less money then the asking price of this home in the same area, but we wouldn't be able to build the same size home as this one is… thank you again.
 

Floridagal

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Thank you very much Bridgeman…. the entire area is surrounded by salt water, and it does seem to be a problem in the area as they are islands surrounded by ocean and bays. We do want to purchase in the Florida Keys, and at the same time we really want to be careful as to what we invest in… don't want to have endless expenses. We've looked at a couple foreclosures that had great potential and we're in great locations but we could clearly see the repairs needed were greater then the house is worth after the repairs.

Thank you again! I'll see what the engineer says that I've asked to give me his professional opinion, I think your probably correct though… we certainly wouldn't purchase if the engineer feels the damage is extensive.
 
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stadry

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i see opportunity here :clap: we're selling our place in hilton head & i'd love to get back down to islamorada / marathon,,, maybe its time to look down there ? i've repaired underwtr columns for fl & la dot's,,, good work,,, tnx for the post

there are marine contractors who specialize in this work + many prof engineers who have good experience w/method & materials - good luck !

ps - any home in the keys will have the same issue ( the wtr table's so high - salty, too ) if on piers,,, grade beams OR slab is better imho
 
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Floridagal

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i see opportunity here :clap: we're selling our place in hilton head & i'd love to get back down to islamorada / marathon,,, maybe its time to look down there ? i've repaired underwtr columns for fl & la dot's,,, good work,,, tnx for the post

there are marine contractors who specialize in this work + many prof engineers who have good experience w/method & materials - good luck !

ps - any home in the keys will have the same issue ( the wtr table's so high - salty, too ) if on piers,,, grade beams OR slab is better imho

Interesting, thank you for your opinion. I have noticed that nearly all have some damage to the supporting from the rust/salt water the more I check into it, the more I see and understand it's nearly impossible to not have some sort of salt water damage. Still haven't heard back from the engineer. Hopefully, if nothing else I'll understand all of it all the more.

Yes, there are some great buys down there still. I prefer Marathon, would consider as far north as islamorada, but that would be as far north I'd go. I feel Key West, and Key Largo are both way too commercial, so trying to stay south of Key Largo, and at least 25 miles north of Key West.

Thank you for your opinion again, it helps to hear from others that have dealt with similar problems.
 

Kat2014

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Just wondering how it all turned out.
Did you get bids on the repairs?
 

Floridagal

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Kat2014

Actually found a different home in the same area, which is in the process of being built. Our plans are to do most of the work ourselves, and let he pros do what we don't feel comfortable taking on. The bids we did get on the other home we're reasonable but as it turned out there we're more problems with the home. Possibly could be a good buy for someone out there.
 

stadry

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we're head'd down next month after putting our place up for sale on hilton head - mind pm'ing the address ?

thanks in adv
 

Floridagal

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we're head'd down next month after putting our place up for sale on hilton head - mind pm'ing the address ?

thanks in adv
Just sent you the link to the listing. Let me know what you think… hope someone is able to save that house. Such ashamed to see something just rot away, there's another one down there in the same area that's waterfront the asking price is a lot more because it's waterfront… However, if someone was able to repair it, it too would be an excellent buy. I'll see if I can find that listing as well.
 

stadry

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it may not be salvageable if, as you said, the contractor used salt wtr for the conc,,, rebar out of place isn't unexpected & that's fairly easy to repair w/ovhd rep mtls - just labor intensive.

more importantly, what about the rest of the structure IF the guy used salt wtr ? nevertheless we'll probably look - thanks, gal !
 

Floridagal

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it may not be salvageable if, as you said, the contractor used salt wtr for the conc,,, rebar out of place isn't unexpected & that's fairly easy to repair w/ovhd rep mtls - just labor intensive.

more importantly, what about the rest of the structure IF the guy used salt wtr ? nevertheless we'll probably look - thanks, gal !
That's exactly what we were thinking, the rebar & concrete yes possible for someone with experience and time, but if the rumors are true about the original builders in the area using salt water to mix the concrete, it can't be good. I'm estimating at least 5 different people told us this during our travels back and forth. It wasn't like we ever asked it that was true either, just in general conversations with different locals in different areas told us this. It is worth checking further into, you may possibly be able to google it to see if there have been any news articles or coverage on the subject in that area.
 

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