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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2

    Unhappy old house sinking

    Our house was built by my husband's great grandfather in 1885. It had dirt basement and the foundation was sinking so in 2005, for the 150th anniversary of the house, we decided to move our house and re-build the foundation. We thought that this was a good decisin since the house needed a new fundation anyway and it was also very close to a very busy road. Now, our house is still sinking... It started with some vertical cracks in walls and about two years ago we called the guy who built the new fundation and he stated that it's ok because the house is still settling. However, the house is still sinking and it's very visible because the floor in the middle of the house is uneven more then before the project. There is also a crack on the main board in the basement. I am worried that we will lose our old home that means so much to us and I am also very upset because we spend a lot of money to move our house and tobulid the new fundation... Please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: old house sinking

    How far has the house moved? How big are the cracks?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: old house sinking

    Quote Originally Posted by senkajohn View Post
    Our house was built by my husband's great grandfather in 1885. It had dirt basement and the foundation was sinking so in 2005, for the 150th anniversary of the house, we decided to move our house and re-build the foundation. We thought that this was a good decisin since the house needed a new fundation anyway and it was also very close to a very busy road. Now, our house is still sinking... It started with some vertical cracks in walls and about two years ago we called the guy who built the new fundation and he stated that it's ok because the house is still settling. However, the house is still sinking and it's very visible because the floor in the middle of the house is uneven more then before the project. There is also a crack on the main board in the basement. I am worried that we will lose our old home that means so much to us and I am also very upset because we spend a lot of money to move our house and tobulid the new fundation... Please help.
    Since the building had been settling for 150 years then was raised , moved to a new location , set down onto a new foundation --- there certainly would be considerable structural movement and cracks.

    Now , you say the house is sinking -- do you feel it's the foundation that's sinking ?
    Are there any noticeable cracks in the foundation which usually indicates movement?

    If you don't feel things are correct I would suggest enlisting the services of a structural engineer to evaluate the situation first hand. It may simply be the building has to conform to it's new condition after 150+ years.
    Having an independant professional evalute the situation should at least give you peace of mind as to what the situation is.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: old house sinking

    The house was moved 50 feet. It had cracks before we moved it and built the new fundation but now it seems to be sinking in even more. You can notice the floor in the middle of the house is uneven more than before. Cracks were first vertical and now there is a horizontal crack above the stairway. We invested $200,000 in the project and now this... it's just very stressful.
    You are right when you say that the house needs to settle on the new foundation but I am afraid that the job wasn't done properly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,694

    Default Re: old house sinking

    Quote Originally Posted by senkajohn View Post
    The house was moved 50 feet. It had cracks before we moved it and built the new fundation but now it seems to be sinking in even more. You can notice the floor in the middle of the house is uneven more than before. Cracks were first vertical and now there is a horizontal crack above the stairway. We invested $200,000 in the project and now this... it's just very stressful.
    You are right when you say that the house needs to settle on the new foundation but I am afraid that the job wasn't done properly.
    It's hard to say what was done incorrectly here, but I feel that your assessment of the situation may be right: your contractor did not do a 100% quality job.

    With so much money invested, get the contractor over and insist on him fixing the problems, if he can, at this point. If he disregards your calls, call a lawyer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: old house sinking

    If your house has a main girder in the middle of the house front to back, that might be the cause of the floor being unlevel. It's hard to say that the house is sinking if the outside walls are okay.

    Also, if the foundation was done with a permit and inspected, you could be reasonable assured the work was to code and correctly done.

    If you go under the house, stretch a string from front to back along the girder to see what areas can be jacked and shimmed.

    We are in the process of leveling our floors on our 91-year-old house and we hired a structural engineer. Once another month passes, and then they do a little more jacking, and after waiting a couple more months, then we'll repair the drywall cracks and door jambs.

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