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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default question re: 1892 house in process of purchasing

    My husband and I found a wonderful 1982 brick house that we are in the process of buying (bid was accepted and inspection is today) my question (the first of many) is about the foundation, the floors are uneven and we know that there are spots that will need to jacked up in the basement and some of the beams will need to be replaced due to rotting, we are trying to do as much of the work on the house that we can ourselves due to a limited amount of cash on hand - is there a way to calculate the cost of supplies? I was told that we would need 15-20 jacks by a builder friend, however there are other things that he has quoted me on that I have found contradicting information on. Just curious what the experts of these things think

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: question re: 1892 house in process of purchasing

    There is little we can say without seeing the house.

    But generally speaking, you need experience and money to tackle a faulty foundation. If you don't have a solid foundation in your house, then what do you have? not much, in my opinion. You see, your foundation is what the house sits on, it can't be faulty.

    Now to your details: you need to know what caused some of the beams to become rotted. If there is a problem, such as water, you need to address it. As far as using 15-20 jacks: your house is not like your car. In a house, jacking done incorrectely can affect multiple things: windows, doors, walls, plumbing, exterior, roof and more.

    Cost of materials? your statement that a builder friend gave you contradicting suggestions shows your lack of knowledge in this field. There is much more to the list of materials than the beams. And costs are always way higher than your budget.

    I hope you wrote your offer subject to inspection, otherwise, if you back out of the deal, you will lose your earnest deposit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: question re: 1892 house in process of purchasing

    We did write the pa contingent on an inspection which is happening this afternoon, I was told so far the the foundation is good but due to some settling which is expected in a house 120 years old, there was a water issue at one point (roof was leaking) but that has been fixed, the roof was replaced about 3 years ago.There is evidence the the leak was around the chimney and water marks are found on all floors in that area, but it appears that has been no new water damage since the roof was replaced. I have pics and a short video of the house, but I am still trying to figure out how to post them? In case the info in relevant the square footage is 3300 (two story).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: question re: 1892 house in process of purchasing

    on a side note, just found out that the house was part of the underground railroad.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,419

    Default Re: question re: 1892 house in process of purchasing

    Since slavery was abolished Dec 18, 1865 when Georgia became the 27th state to ratify the 13th amendment, I doubt that a house built in 1892 was part of the underground railroad, however it may be standing on a property that had one or more buildings that were part of it. There may have been another house where this one is standing now that was part of it.

    But to your issue with the foundation. The foundation may be good but the floors uneven. I see this as two separate issues. Jacking up the floor joists to level them can damage the walls and doors above, depending on whether there was any work or modifications done after the settling. A lot depends on how much settling you are talking about.

    As for the number of jacks needed. That all depends on the approach used to level the floors. It could be done with just one jack in some cases. It all depends on the floor construction, what caused the settling and how you approach the repair.

    You can post your pictures on a photo web site like photobucket.com. Then post a link here for us to get to them. You could also PM them to one of the moderators and they might post them here for you. You need 10 posts here to post your own pictures, a necessary evil because of the spammers and scammers that roam the internet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    888

    Default Re: question re: 1892 house in process of purchasing

    jacking the house and supporting the house are two totally different jobs. usually older houses that settled end up staying that way as long as it's not severe and affecting many of the things in the house that dj mentioned. regardless of what has to be done structurally it should be done by a licensed and insured contractor. footings have to be poured under each lally column. NO and i repeat NO temproary jack columns should be permanently installed. only cement filled steel columns on proper footings should be used for a permanent fix.

    part of the charm of old houses are some of the uneven quirks that they possess.

    my advice is to have several contractors come to take a look at it. just make sure that they are familiar with structural work. many are not. another thing you can do, if your house is in a small town, is to ask the building inspector to stop by and he can answer your questions about the condition of the house. if it's a big town or city he's probably too busy to just stop by.

    keep us updated and post some pics of vids if you can. let us know what the home inspector found.

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