I am considering the purchase of a house built in 1935. House has lots
of character, beautiful hardwood floors and fireplace. Here is the
catch, 2 previous sales have fallen through because each home inspector
has said "it cannot be fixed" The back corner of the house has sunk 8"
according to reports. This can be seen inside with a rise in the floor,
and on the outside with a diagonal line of bricks that have seperated
about a cm. I have photos- I need someone's opinion: can this be saved?
In your local phonebook you will find listings for civil engineering
firms. They should be able to answer this question. Try to get a guesstimate
for their work. Ask whether the house can be saved and if this is
economically feasible. You'll need to figure out why the corner sank, how to
fix that problem, and whether the framing has been greatly damaged by this.
I think you're crazy, but maybe this house can be saved
You need to have someone who's done something similar to crawl around the place
and give you an opinion as to how much money you're going to have to stack under
the foundation in order to fix it up. My guess is it would be a considerable
If you can't find anyone who's done it before, that should tell you something,
And don't forget, before you buy, to ask the home insurance company
about premiums for a house that has a sinking problem, and if there
are any exclusions.
On Tue, 22 Feb 2005 21:22:31 -0500, "Kyle Boatright"
OK. If we look at this thru our alt.home.repair colored glasses then
nothing exists that cant be repaired. It may be hopless, it may not be.
I see your situation as a POTENTIAL opportunity. Since you know the
seller is in a jam 'cause the last two sales fell thru you are now
in the drivers seat. Call in a foundation contractor to quote the job
and have the seller finance the fix, or have the seller knock off
the cost of the job from his/her price PLUS a few grand for your
willingness to finance the problem. If a good contractor can fix it,
then his fees can get rolled into the sale and everyone leaves
happy, and you paid a few $ less
In alt.home.repair on Wed, 23 Feb 2005 01:54:51 -0500 Mike D
The OP might be interested to know that all the buildings on the north
side of the Chicago River just east of where the Merchandise Mart is
now were sinking. Their solution was to raise the street a bit and
build new entrances to the buildings on the 2nd floor. This was about
1900 and they may have done something to stop the sinking also.
But then again, the buildings were built and someone owned them
already and they had to be fixed or torn down. The OP is thinking
about buying this problem.
Still I agree with you mike, except for one thing. Don't assume what
the contractor says is the price will be the final price. I don't
think he will guarantee that. He'll tell you what he is going to do,
and that he thinks it will work, and he will probably be honest about
that, but that doesn't mean it will work. So you have to ask him what
phase two will be and how much that will cost.
It depends on how soft that corner is and how far down the softness
I think the Chicago buildings stayed upright while they sank, didn't
tip. Of course Chicago means smelly garlic and Chicago was built on
a marsh. The tall buildings are built on basements that are basically
also sealed caissons that go down 5 or 10 stories iirc, or maybe more.
If emailing, please let me know whether
or not you are posting the same letter.
Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
Sometimes it works. And sometimes it doesn't.
A fellow I used to work for bought one of these problems, had it fixed,
and lived in the home for maybe ten years. Then a larger portion of the
hill gave away, and he lost the house, and all of their equity. Bad
Ten years later, they have a more modest home, three blocks away. On a
more solid lot.
The wise man built his house upon a rock...
Well, considering that entire buildings (and large ones) can be picked up
and moved, yes, it can be saved. The only question is how much money are
you willing to throw at it in order to save it? When I was a child, I
recall a neighbor who jacked up his entire house in order to put in a full
size basement. The only limiting factor is as I mentioned before...money.
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