Q: I'm looking to buy a property that has an existing structure that hasn't been used in 12-plus years. It has well and septic but the status and placement of the septic system is unknown. My question is this: Should I ask for a percentage test or deep-hole test prior to closing? It's February here in the North East (upstate NY), so I'm not sure when this test could be … [Read more...] about How To Inspect A Septic System
Jim writes: Do you need a perc test if there is sewer hookup at the road? Also, is there such a thing as a well test also? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: There is no need for a perc test if you are tying into a municipal sewer system. There will be a cost to tie in, however, so you might want to check with the town for an estimate of the hookup fees. You may … [Read more...] about Testing for Well & Septic
Richard writes: My lot will not accommodate a conventional leach field. What alternatives can you suggest and who would you recommend to design alternative septic systems? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: What is acceptable in your area after a failed perc test is determined by local building codes and health department regulations, so you should first check … [Read more...] about Are Alternative Septic Systems Allowed?
Daryl writes: I purchased a vacation home last year and noticed blue stains in the shower and bathroom sink. Is this due to acidic water and is it detrimental to a person’s health? Can you drink acidic water? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: Your problem is most likely acidic water. A water test, which you can arrange with your town’s health department for a … [Read more...] about Treatments for Acidic Water
Gina writes: We recently bought a lot in Point Cook, VIC, Australia. We signed the contract and made a 10% deposit, but the deal has not closed yet. Before we signed the contract, the master plan showed that the lots across the road were individual lots. The salesperson told us that these lots would be used for display homes. But now the five lots cross road are being used … [Read more...] about Is Earnest Money Refundable?
Sandy writes: We were told the lot we were buying had "bad dirt" which didn't compact properly. So the builder is supposedly removing all the bad dirt and replacing it so that a home on a slab foundation can be built. How common is this practice and what can we do to ensure everything was done properly? Also, my husband saw them removing dirt and dumping it on the lot next door … [Read more...] about Building on Poor Soils
Will writes: I have purchased a home on clay-type soil. No soil samples were taken, and my foundation has moved severely -- severely enough to have eighth-inch cracks in every room and the tile has popped loose. I started having these problems within the first 4 months of living in the home. We moved in just 2 weeks after the home was finished from new construction. At one … [Read more...] about Beware Expansive Clay Soils
Ramakant writes: We are in discussion with a builder to buy a lot to build our new home. Currently it's a wooded area. However we discovered that this particular lot had a pond at one time covering almost 50% of the lot. Is it safe to build a new home on this lot? If so what are the things we need to consider? The builder says that we just need to stabilize the foundation … [Read more...] about Building on a Wet Site