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are you the general contractor?

Posted by BEG on June 13th, 1999 08:45 AM
In reply to Foundation wall cracked by Crystal on June 8th, 1999 05:32 PM [Go to top of thread]

Ok. If we assume that you have taken the generally
applied path to construct your home, you hired a
general contractor who over sees all phases of construction. You signed a contract with him to insure that your house is constructed properly. You should talk with him as to the reasons for the failure of you foundation wall. However, no matter what, you need to hire a "structural engineer" to come to the site and review the situation and make recommendations to solve the problem.

It appears from your notes that the foundation wall (I assume no basement was involved) had not cured properly and it is rare to have the foundation backfilled "before" the floor deck and its subsequent structure is in place. "Why" you ask. To keep the perimeter of the foundation square and avoid bowing and other stress such as you discribe. Even well cured and designed foundation walls can bow if enough stress is applied by backfilling before the floor is in place.

If you hired a general contractor, he should not have allowed the excavating crew to back fill so soon after the intial pour. As mentioned, it takes weeks for concrete to reach 90% of its strength and months for 100%.

Your general contractor would (should) have also made a site inspection of the rebar to insure it was in place per the design.
Did you have the foundation designed by a professional? Sometimes the mix of the conctrete is inadequate and they add too much water at the site so they have an easier time pouring. Check the delivery slips from your ready mix company and see how much water water was added and have it reviewed by your new buddy, the "structural engineer".

At any rate, you are in for a confrontation with the general contractor. A reputable contractor would make this right, and it could mean the removal and reinstallation of the damaged wall. Trust me on this one, you need to hire a "structural engineer" to go on site and outline "exactly" what needs to be done. Do not delay on this another hour. The fact that you are on this message board tells me you have not. "Go Do It!!"

Now, if you are doing this yourself, and did not hire a general contractor, you could be in deep dodo.Your options legally are probably limited because "you" are responsible for the scheduling of your project. However, if you hired a reputable basement contractor, and if your contract said that he was responsible for the intstallion of the forms, the pouring of concrete, and the backfilling for the project, you can go back on him for repair because he should have known the proper timing of events. (Hopefully this is not your brother-in-law). If you are dealing with a less than reputable foundation contractor, you will be in for more trouble.

But,lets assume that all goes well and you are going to have your wall repaired. Because you are smart and hired your "structural engineer", you are going to know exactly what to do to solve the problem because he will oversee the reconstruction and all will probably be well.

Do this yourself, and you take your chances.

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