Post # 1
Hi, so DH and I are looking on buying a home. Wish I took a pic but the home we love seems good exact on the outside rear foundation (Concrete block), under the basement window about 3 feet ABOVE ground level (raise ranch home) there seems to be a bulge of the block. It is about 6-8 inches long, the top overhangs just slightly from the bottom. It is about 2 inches under the window and centered underneath it.
There seems to be no other cracks or issues other than normal settling cracks (very minor step cracks). The crack bulges outwards and on the interior it is drywalled (you can tell drywalled a long time ago) and no evident on the drywall of any shifting or on the interior.
We live in Canada so cold in winter and hot in summer.
Post # 2
My condo had something like this, it was a crack in the foundation from a south wall to the north wall, which was dining and living rooms. When I moved in, it didn’t seem bad so I still bought the place. Most of my furniture covered the worst parts.
However, when I put my place up for sale a year ago, the first offer got had the inspection done and felt the raise in the foundation (when she first looked, this spot that she wanted checked out was covered by my table – as it always was, not to cover it up). As a result, they wanted 7K to fix it – and we declined as that was WAY too much money for the amount of space it actually was. The buyer walked.
We did end fixing it, which involved pulling the carpet up and pretty much replacing the entire floor. It only cost $4500, but needed to be done. Luckily, we were able to find a local company who got it done in 2 days. They realixed that when the place was built (1986), no rebar was put it, which allowed for the foundation to move over the years. Go figure. I guess another unti in my building was the same way in the kitchen, but the newer buyers said it didn’t bother them.
If you really like the house, get an inspection done and maybe see about esitmated for getting it fixed. Once it’s fixed, it’ll be fixed forever.
Post # 3
Kacie209: Thank you for replying! What do you mean it extended from the south wall to the north wall? Ours is abut 8 inches long and is only under this window at the rear. Thanks!
Post # 4
missjewels: It is impossible to tell without having it inspected. It could be nothing, if the damage is actually one single concrete block then there is a good chance it is nothing, even if that block is compromised, it can be braced, cut out, and replaced at a pretty low cost, compared to fixing a poured foundation. However it could also be evidence of a bigger problem.
If you have a family member or friend with significant experience as a builder or contractor then I would have them look at it. If not, and you are serious about the house, put in an offer, but be sure that your contract has a contingency incase the inspection comes back negative. You will still be out the cost of the inspection, but you can get your earnest money deposit back.
Post # 5
MakingHerWait: It is contingent on a home inspectin which we are doing in a few days…we already walked away from one home based on inspection so this is inspection number 2 and they aren’t cheap! It really appears to only be a few blocks like where 2 meet or just one popping so hopfully even if it needs to be fixed it will be a less expensive fix and not a $10,000 job type of thing. But we love the house so much we are just scared of what it could be.
Post # 6
missjewels: The crack in my foundation went from one wall to the other, the long way – so it was a major issue and caused us to havbe to replace the entire dining room/living room floor. Yours sounds minor, but I would still get it checked out. An inspector will let you know if it will be an issue in the future.
Post # 7
missjewels: Well, DH and I just spent $15,000 reparing our cinder block basement wall because it was caving in. We had no idea because it was behind drywall and bordered a crawlspace. It was only found because we wanted to do some A/C work, and the repair guy saw it when he crawled in the crawlspace.
We had to rip of our deck and take down the drywall to have it repaired. The foundation company dug a big trench on the outside of the house, strung metal bars through the wall, attached them to huge plates on the inside of the wall, and pulled the plates/wall back into place and secured it all with rebar and concrete.
We had an inspection when we bought the house 5 years ago, but the entrance to the crawl space was hidden under the deck and the drywall covered up the damage from the inside, so the inspector never saw it.
It SUCKED to pay $15,000 basically to have our house looking the same way it did the day before, only not caving in on itself. I’d rather have a new bathroom or kitchen (or car) for that money. But such is home ownership!
Post # 8
Structural engineer here….don’t just have an inspector look at bring in an engineer to look at it as well. It could be nothing and be a defect from the orignal construction, or your home could have settled and shifted years ago and no future movement will happen, or it could be a slow movement and will continue to get worse over time. Without looking at it no one will be able to know what is going on. Some inspectors have great knowledge of structural issues others will not. I would recommend having an engineer look at and eliminating any concerns.
Post # 9
missjewels: .. and there I was thinking all you needed was a make-up primer !!
> “foundation cracks” …lol !
Post # 10
You should probably pay to have a structural engineer to do an inspection alongside a regular inspector. That’s what I would do!
Post # 11
Does there seem to be any water issues in the house? If the basement floor is visible, check for signs of water. Make sure the inspector runs the thing that detects moisture over the wall where the crack is. Does the ground outside near the crack slope towards or away from the house?
Where about in Canada are you? I know some areas (depending on the soil) are more likely to cause settling and cracks in the foundation than other areas. I would suggest you ask the inspector what their opinion is of the crack and if they recommend having a structural engineer/foundation repair person out to look at it further. If it is an issue, you can then decide if you want to ask for money off the sale price, walk away, or buy anyways and fix it in the future. Sure foundation issues are scary, but everything can be fixed at a price 🙂