Q: We have purchased 13 acres of land with a gorgeous mountain view in North Georgia that previously had chicken houses on it. The houses were torn down two owners ago. There were 6 total houses, 3 new and 3 very old and collapsing. We did all of the "right" things, so we thought, during the due diligence period. Perc testing, plat maps, checked on zoning, checked for … [Read more...] about Building Over Buried Agricultural Waste
How Serious Is Diagonal Crack in Basement Wall?
Q: Hi. We are having a home built and there is a 4-ft.-high, 8 in. poured concrete wall for a crawl space foundation. When the forms were removed there was a serious crack in the wall (see pic). I'd like to better understand the cause of the cracking and any recommendations for repair before any further work progresses. Thank you , Mike A: Diagonal cracks in a foundation … [Read more...] about How Serious Is Diagonal Crack in Basement Wall?
How To Find An Underground Water Leak
Q: A plumber disconnected service from our old well and connected the house to city water. The well was never capped. Could that be the source of our leak under the slab on grade? -- Thomas A: Capping of an old well keeps debris and surface contaminants out of the well in case you want to use it in the future. But a cap would not affect underground leakage. Unless you have … [Read more...] about How To Find An Underground Water Leak
Should We Pay Extra Charge for Soil Problem?
Q: We recently purchased at lot in a new development. While excavating for the foundation, our builder informed us: “We ran into a problem with the soil on the back of your lot. It requires over -digging the footers and installing gravel back up to the bottom of footer. Unfortunately, this was an unforeseen expense that isn’t covered per your contract. Obviously, there will … [Read more...] about Should We Pay Extra Charge for Soil Problem?
Are Cracks in Concrete Slab Normal?
My new house, built on a concrete slab, is about 60% done, framing and drywall are in. My concern is I have several hairline cracks throughout the slab. I purposely had the slab made thicker (6 inches) with heavier rebar and a fiber- type additive to hopefully minimize this from happening. Is there anything I should do prior to having my flooring installed or something I … [Read more...] about Are Cracks in Concrete Slab Normal?
Building New Slab Over Foundation Rubble
Kevin writes: In 2013 we decided to demolish our existing home (build in 1941) and build a new home in the same place. Because our neighborhood is built on 85-foot-deep clay over a glacial lake, the old cinder block foundation had failed in the basement and we had serious moisture problems as a result. To prevent a repeat, we chose to not have a basement in the new home. Our … [Read more...] about Building New Slab Over Foundation Rubble
Building on Poor Soils
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
Beware Expansive Clay 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