sloping slab floors, not related to foundation

Discussion in 'Bricks, Masonry and Concrete' started by bgaviator, Nov 11, 2014.

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  1. Nov 14, 2014 #21

    bgaviator

    bgaviator

    bgaviator

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    it's more than just stability, the reason I want the retaining walls, it's also so I don't have to mow there! It is dangerous and very difficult to mow that section. The hill is so steep. I want to have three tiers, with the terrain flat on each section, and plant something that will aid in soil stability like liriope, or any other kind of good soil stability plants. Just something I don't have to mow!

    I'm going to try and take more pictures tomorrow morning to show everyone what I'm working with. This thread has kind of gotten off topic, but it kind of ties in to my original concerns with the foundation and sloped floor sections.
     
  2. Nov 14, 2014 #22

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    I can only tell what I have seen engineers call for in a simular situation.
    On a sloped lot the builder wanted to build an allan block wall about 12 ft from the house to give the house some flat back yard. The block wall wants to be put on undisturbed soil and the engineer wanted a true retaining wall for the house support, about $60,000. He compremized with the suggestion that the back of the house foundation was deep enough so he could draw a line from the bottom of the footing at no more that 30* decent that went below the footing of the block wall. So after the house was built they could intsall the allan block with no concerns about damage to the house.
    The back wall was a full 8 ft deep with the slab level with the top of that wall.
    Some of the things we don't know about your house are.
    Type of foundation, depth of foundation, amount of steel in the foundation, size of footing.
    What the problem was and who designed the repair.

    Concrete footing and foundations are great for supporting the weight of the house under compression but any forces that pull on, it will fail everytime and that is why we have steel re-bar in it.

    If you have an engineer design the work he will have all these answers before he writes his report on what to do. If he can't access the plans and reports from the city he will have you pay for someone to dig some beside the house and get some answers. Yup, expensive, but the upside is he is responsible for his work for 30 years as apposed to some strangers on line giving you their best well intentioned guess.
     
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  3. Nov 15, 2014 #23

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

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    Forget about mowing a slope that steep. Get a good "weed-whacker" and use it periodically.

    If you want to add retaining walls, build them out in front of the slope and then backfill behind them. The more mass you have at the base of the mound will be somewhat helpful.

    But by all means, as the guys have stated above, get an engineer who can be trusted and is not associated with any builder, to give you an honest assessment. If that won't satisfy you, make it a rental property and get a condo.
     
  4. Nov 19, 2014 #24

    bgaviator

    bgaviator

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    I have watched these videos on YouTube by this company out in Arizona that can make your floors "super flat".....I wish there was that kind of service around here where I live. I do a lot of Google searches and can't find anyone that really specifically talks about specializing in this stuff.....you mostly just find foundation companies.

    The reality is that even if it could be fixed, I won't have the money for years to be able to do it. I imagine it's not cheap, especially considering all my kitchen floor tiles would have to be ripped up and replaced, and my doors leading out to my deck might have to be re-cut and raised up. Sounds like a project that could just snowball into a money pit, and in fact, that's what the first foundation guy that came out told me.

    I think I could eventually learn to live with it.....what upsets me the most is that I'm mad at myself that I didn't catch it during the initial walk-throughs. I wish I would have asked more questions towards the inspectors, structural engineer, and even towards the previous homeowners. Not knowing what the real situation with the house is what drives me nutz. Any scenario upsets me though.....if A) the house was level and one point and something happened and they had to fix it, yet it still left imperfections like the sloping floors....I am upset that wasn't disclosed to us in the disclosure sheet......if B) the builders screwed up and the floors were sloped from the very beginning that disturbs me from just plain shoddy construction work, considering how easy it would be to level the floors prior to framing.

    Our house sat on the market for 8 months before we bought it......that was a concern of ours because a lot of other homes were going much quicker around this area. I asked our realtor what the reason our house wasn't selling like the others were, and she stated it was the hill as the biggest factor....that it scares people away, and that if we eventually put in retaining walls it would help make it more marketable in case we ever decide to sell it.....

    I can't help but wonder though if other people that walked through our house noticed the floors, and walked away.......I am one of the most observant people usually.....I almost always catch things others don't.....which is why I hate myself for letting the floor issue slip past me. But as a first time home buyer, you are naturally overwhelmed, and are bound to make mistakes.

    My wife asked me if I had noticed the floors prior to us making an offer, if I would have even still put a bid on the house.......I can't say for sure, because everything else I love about our house......I just can't love the floors!
     
  5. Nov 19, 2014 #25

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    When I grew up in the 60’s buying a house the term Caveat Emptor “let the buyer beware” was the rule. I used to hear my dad say it about used cars all the time. Times have changed and we now hire inspectors and have laws about covering over a problem with the intent of hiding it. In your case I don’t feel anything was being hidden, unless the problem continues and that end of the house keeps going down. All the people you have hired have told you the house is stable and sound. You had the chance to see the problem before buying and I know you are beating yourself up for not seeing it but we have all been there with places we have bought and found sleepers later on.

    We looked at highly distressed homes to buy for our house a couple years ago doing a real bargain hunting DIY approach to it. Every house we looked at had an asking price and came with the instruction of the house is what it is there is no implied representation that the house is sound and the deal is 100% Caveat Emptor. They all said make an offer as the asking price hadn’t moved the house in several years. Almost every house we looked at we started with what we thought the low number was for just the building lot and then started itemizing the repairs based on paying to have them done professionally. When the repairs took the cost below the base price of the lot we stopped counting. And made that offer. And eventually got our house to start working on.

    My dad always told me the best position to be in buying anything is with the mind set you don’t need to buy this one as there will always be another. Falling in love with anything is the best way cloud your vision and show the seller you will pay more than they may have sold it for.

    In your case the bottom line is you have a really nice house that I think you got for a very fair price. Like every house there are pros and cons and you are bound to find a few sleeper issues in anything you buy used. You have to think about this as more of an issue of perception on your part than reality because you have said your wife isn’t bothered by it. Every transaction we make in life we could have most likely got a better deal. All you can do is get the best deal you can and then move on. Like poker you get dealt a hand and play it as best you can. Once the hand is over you just forget it or learn from it for next time but you can’t go back and replay it.
     
  6. Nov 19, 2014 #26

    beachguy005

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    Frankly, at this point you own the property and you realize you should of handled it differently but that's now water over the bridge, or is it water under the dam. In any case, you've been told it's stable. As much as you'd like it fixed now, time is probably your best option. Start a contingency fund to address the issue in the future when you'll have a better idea of the root cause, and if it changes.
    Learning to live with it as it is, is better than beating yourself up over what you should of done. Your wife is okay with it. Be very happy about that, just don't let the floor gnaw at you and keep you from enjoying your home.
     
  7. Nov 19, 2014 #27

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    I can't add much to what Bud abd Beachguy have said but I do agree with them.
     

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