HELP! Basement Floor Disaster - Construction - Contractor Talk

HELP! Basement Floor Disaster

 
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Old 07-08-2006, 07:52 PM   #1
 
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HELP! Basement Floor Disaster


Hello all,
Being that this is my first post, I am looking out for some help. I've been 9 months with a local building contractor that has seem to give me the worst case of quality craftmanship and has responded in the least helpful way. I am now dealing with my problem through an attorney. My story, I started construction on my new and first home in late Aug. early Sept. I have had numerous problems w/ the builder starting w/ the incorrect floor plans for my basement dug. Took them another month to come out and dig the correct hole. So, Oct. they came out setup the forms for the foundation, laid out drainage pipe, and poured the foundation. End of November, came out setup the forms and poured basement walls within 3 days. To jump to the point they came out early to mid Dec. poured the basement slab the day before it rained and then snowed. It was below freezing and no blankets, plastic or any type of measure had been taken to protect the floor. I now have a framed house that is house wrapped, windows, doors and shingles all installed on the roof. In late February, I noticed the slab in the basement was chipping away and looked like a crumbled up mess. I didn't notice this in Jan due to no steps being installed in the basement nor an entrance to the basement. After contacting the superintendent on the job he stated " No problem, we'll just put a cap on it." Not really knowing what a cap is I further investigated this and learned later that you can't just put a cap,(2" 4000psi slab),on anything. I'm trying to get the company to rip the floor completely out and replace it. "No Way!" they say. Without doing any type of sampling of the floor they want to patch it. I've recently learned that you can take core bore samples of the floor to determine how bad the floor is, what strength it is and other stuff that I don't understand. According to the batch record and a statement from the concrete supplier. The mix was a 3,000psi strength 3-4 bags and was poured under freezing conditions with a tremendous amount of water added. Not sure of the strength now but the contract states it should be no less than 2500, which later I found out is extremely low for a basement slab. That's all behind now. What I am hoping is that someone could give me some insight on what other precautions I should take or what other actions I should take besides what I've already done. Oh yeah, I've also conacted the BBB from the state of their headquarters and filed a complaint and found that they have 28 complaints in the last 36 months. Being a first time home builder and ignorant in the matter, I am hoping someone could possibly help me out. I didn't mention the name of the company cause I'm not sure if I am suppose to or not. Please HELP, Homeless.
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Old 07-08-2006, 09:35 PM   #2
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Re: HELP! Basement Floor Disaster


Sounds like you have a real winner for a builders there. How did you happen to select him to build your home?

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Old 07-09-2006, 06:15 AM   #3
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Re: HELP! Basement Floor Disaster


Quote:
Originally Posted by Profiter
Hello all,
Being that this is my first post, I am looking out for some help. I've been 9 months with a local building contractor that has seem to give me the worst case of quality craftmanship and has responded in the least helpful way. I am now dealing with my problem through an attorney. My story, I started construction on my new and first home in late Aug. early Sept. I have had numerous problems w/ the builder starting w/ the incorrect floor plans for my basement dug. Took them another month to come out and dig the correct hole. So, Oct. they came out setup the forms for the foundation, laid out drainage pipe, and poured the foundation. End of November, came out setup the forms and poured basement walls within 3 days. To jump to the point they came out early to mid Dec. poured the basement slab the day before it rained and then snowed. It was below freezing and no blankets, plastic or any type of measure had been taken to protect the floor. I now have a framed house that is house wrapped, windows, doors and shingles all installed on the roof. In late February, I noticed the slab in the basement was chipping away and looked like a crumbled up mess. I didn't notice this in Jan due to no steps being installed in the basement nor an entrance to the basement. After contacting the superintendent on the job he stated " No problem, we'll just put a cap on it." Not really knowing what a cap is I further investigated this and learned later that you can't just put a cap,(2" 4000psi slab),on anything. I'm trying to get the company to rip the floor completely out and replace it. "No Way!" they say. Without doing any type of sampling of the floor they want to patch it. I've recently learned that you can take core bore samples of the floor to determine how bad the floor is, what strength it is and other stuff that I don't understand. According to the batch record and a statement from the concrete supplier. The mix was a 3,000psi strength 3-4 bags and was poured under freezing conditions with a tremendous amount of water added. Not sure of the strength now but the contract states it should be no less than 2500, which later I found out is extremely low for a basement slab. That's all behind now. What I am hoping is that someone could give me some insight on what other precautions I should take or what other actions I should take besides what I've already done. Oh yeah, I've also conacted the BBB from the state of their headquarters and filed a complaint and found that they have 28 complaints in the last 36 months. Being a first time home builder and ignorant in the matter, I am hoping someone could possibly help me out. I didn't mention the name of the company cause I'm not sure if I am suppose to or not. Please HELP, Homeless.
To give you peace of mind you could hire a testing lab to go out and do a sample on the slab. If it's reached it's strength there are products out there that will repair the flaking and chiping and then a good concrete paint applied over it. I'd make the builder do the repairs or have them done and back charge them. It would be nice if you could reach an agreement with them to avoid a hassle at the end of construction, but something tells me this isn't the only issue. Good - Luck.
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Old 07-09-2006, 03:23 PM   #4
 
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Re: HELP! Basement Floor Disaster


Thanks jmic,
By any chance do you know of any products that could be used? I'm looking at having the builder pay for an engineering firm that I'm selecting to perform a core bore. You're probably familiar with it, but this firm explained to me that they could go in and determine how far down the concrete froze and what will need to be done based on the outcome of the concretes condition. I've been told that if the concrete doesn't meet the specification the builder stated then I should be able to get a new floor out of it if I wanted to take it to court. I'm not trying to run the screws through this company, the only thing I want is for my house to be completed with the peace of mind that it is good standing order not sub-par. I don't want to tearing out my basement floor in 10 years cause it's taking on water or the flooring I choose to put down doesn't come up. Any and all advice is more than appreciated. If you only knew what I've been going through since February. I'm a single guy with very little construction knowledge so this is very difficult for me to deal with.
Thanks again,
Matt
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Old 07-09-2006, 04:29 PM   #5
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Re: HELP! Basement Floor Disaster


LEVEL-X 52, 52-XT


Profiter,
Google LEVEL-52, and read about it. Should be the ticket.
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Old 07-11-2006, 08:01 PM   #6
 
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Re: HELP! Basement Floor Disaster


Thanks again jmic,
I looked up that product you recommended. It sounds fairly simple to apply and has very high strength rating. The home builder is wanting to put down a material made by Ardex, called Ardex 500. It's portland based cement that is little less on the strength rating than what you recommended, and I'm not sure how well it would perform. They aren't to willing to have a engineering firm come in and do core sampling unless they use a firm that they want. I wouldn't agree to it since it is going to be my house I think that's the least they could do is go with my suggestion. Anything else I should be looking out for? I'm working with some other families that have had similar issues with this company and they are interested in getting a class action law suit against them. I'm not real familiar with all of that but I would like to see things come out in my favor and not theirs.
Thanks again,
Matt

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