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Shoddy Footings What To Do?

 
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:07 PM   #1
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Shoddy Footings What To Do?


The Story:
So I am a building a new home in upstate NY, I had the lot is no doubt very tight. Just having the footings poured I am now scared to go to walls because I don’t feel the job was done very well, My real questions is do I RIP them out and start over or patch? Will a patch be permanent? How do I know it will do the job? The staging and aggravation to rip out what’s there would be a large added expense (that MAYBE I could get the foundation company to participate in but doubtful, chances are they would walk away from the minimal money they have in labor for doing just the footings thus far, and legal proceedings would likely be way more work the necessary) on top of that the added delay to construction and dealing with the already starting to fail exaction walls ( due to minimal setbacks) and neighbors loss of use of there driveway (not so happy about that)


The Facts:

-2 story home 62x22

-Footings where to be 10” thick and 16” wide with 2 rebar

- Brown clay is what the footings are on

-the grade wasn’t great but could have been remedied pre pour


The Issue:

-instead of not wanting to do the job because of the poor grading they just formed it and poured

-Instead of shoveling out the high spots they poured anyway


The Result:

-Variable footing thicknesses I would say about 15% is actually 10”, and the rest bounced around but stays close to 7-8” and the major concern is one spot (that i dug under to make sure it wasnt just the edge) is all the way as thin as 4-5”.


The Solution?:

-I have talked to many people and bottom line is they did a poor job, but is it worth ripping it all out? The stone has already been put in the middle for the slab adding to difficulty to pull it out or see if there are any other 4” spots?


-I have gotten a ton of Ways to “band-ade or remedy” it but should I do that? Friends, engineers, other contractors telling me it SHOULD be ok, but I can’t keep a non guilty conscious. Will it still be structurally sound? Is it worth spending the 5k to start over?


I am totally stressed out here going back and forth on what to do any and all advice will be greatly appreciated!


Because this is my first post i cant link to images, and can only upload 3, but i will email or pm anyone a link to more images is they would like


Shoddy Footings What to do?-dscf0045.jpg
Shoddy Footings What to do?-dscf0048.jpg
Shoddy Footings What to do?-dscf0041.jpg











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Old 04-30-2010, 06:20 PM   #2
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


Hey Paul, You've found the right place to pose your questions. As a friendly heads up please do an intro in the introduction section and fill out your profile including area.

We get a lot of homeowners who try to get questions answered here thus the protocol.

There are GREAT guys here who will be able to help you!

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Old 04-30-2010, 07:15 PM   #3
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


rip those SOB's out and do them to your satisfaction, that is the ONLY way to give you peace of mind.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:30 PM   #4
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


seems to me there is shared responsability here. it's partly your fault for not making sure the subgrade was ready for the footing crew. but the footing crew should not have proceeded with something they knew was wrong. maybe you can split the cost of removing the footings and pouring back correctly. problem is with the gravel in place, you can't fix the entire grade, so your draintile is not going to be correct either.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:37 PM   #5
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


Rip those puppies out or get a engineer to spec underpinning.

Seems bizarre, was there no pre pour inspection to catch this.

And, if they never placed bar I would definately rip em out regardless
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:04 PM   #6
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


Was your concrete guy licensed? If not shame on you. If he was licensed you have some recourse thru your state licensing board. Looks like a hack!
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


The sub will only work to his contract, although he should have just pulled off until the grade was done right (assuming you as GC were responsible for the dirtwork). You are also responsible pre-pour for inspections, both governmental and as a GC.

Judge Judy says rip it out at your expense and hire a good concrete company next time.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:37 PM   #8
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


rip out ...next time CHECK REFERANCES. And next time instead of saying "GOD THAT SOUNDS HIGH" say "hey that sounds great when can you start." and ask questions {not stupid or greedy ones} but ones like "would you fellas like something to dring" or "can I get you guys anything" if you follow these rules and don't try to save so much money you'll probably get work that is good and priced reasonably and presto there's your home
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:05 PM   #9
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


8" is pretty standard around here for a house footing under normal conditions. Is this going to be a block foundation? How long is the section that is only 4"-5"? If this is going to be a block foundation you might want to run it by an engineer to see if you could span the thin spot with concrete lintels. If the span is say 4' you could lay two 64" lintels in place of the block. But I would get approval from an engineer first to sleep better at night and to take liability off of you.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:19 PM   #10
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


If the footings are spec out for 10"x16" then thats what they are supposed to be. If the foundation guy you hired did this hack job then he is responsible to make it right. At the same time you are just as responsible for not keeping an eye on your project. I would also assume that the footings should have been inspected prior to poor and this should have been failed by any building inspector with a set of eyes and a brain.

As far as patch jobbing these footings thats just being a hack on top of a hack. Tear em out and do em right.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:19 PM   #11
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


Thanks for all your responses,

to answer a few questions,

-There is no license in NY to pour concrete
-they do have rebar in them
-the footing forms where inspected( by the city inspector) pre-pour but obvoulsy he didnt seem to care or do a very good job
-without a doubt should have been on site more, but on the same note you hire a professional to do a professional job.
-I do not have a level and laser to have tested the sitework contractors work, I wish the concrete guy refused to work if it was an issue but he didnt speak up he just went about his day.
-the walls will be 8" poured concrete not blocks
-he was not the cheapest and came well recommended
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:40 PM   #12
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


Your issue is with the sitework contractor then, although it is still your ultimate responsibility. An inspected footing is GTG so far as the concrete contractor is concerned.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:42 PM   #13
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


This is my guess as to what happened....concrete crew shows up, sets forms, rebar, spreaders, and gets ready to shoot grade...Starts setting grade stakes (or maybe nails in forms)....finds out WTF! "the subgrade is all efffed up" Possibly boss is not there, maybe just one of his guys that knows how to use a laser....Decide, "not horrible, let's pour"....The inspector would rarely pick up a couple inches over 60 feet if the stakes were not in yet, he is possibly just looking for rebar and forms that look right, which they probably did pre-stakes....They pour, not wanting to tell the boss that they just wasted 2-3 hours on crappy sub grade....flash forward..... These footings are not great...but tearing out seems drastic....this is a house, no? Many places you can pour walls with no footing whatsoever....If this is undisturbed soil, and the walls are 8" poured, I for one don't think you will have any problems at all. I see houses every week that are sitting on far less, that have been standing for 200 years....maybe no longer level, but they used to start by throwing a bunch of rocks around the perimeter, then start laying brick foundations....I say build....and buy your excavator a laser level for Christmas......
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:44 PM   #14
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


I can't be sure, but from the pictures, it looks like there is no key way in those footings. Am I seeing that right?
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:59 PM   #15
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


I dont understand why some people are blaming the excavators. Since when do you pull up to a job to form/pour a footing and not have to do the final leveling? I have never come across such a job site. According to the information given, all they had to do was dig another 6" max at some points. Thats not a big deal. This is 100% the concrete crews fault. My guess is they scheduled the truck too soon and didnt have time to level the subgrade.
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:49 PM   #16
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


6 inches isn't "leveling", it is excavation. The only person to carry legal blame is the GC. That is why he gets the big bucks, and if the contracts are good, then he can indemnify the subs. Subs, read your contracts.
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Old 05-01-2010, 01:38 AM   #17
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


If you had an inspector "pass" the forms for footings, then the SNAFU is on the inspector. That's why there are inspections! The excavation should have been inspected prior to the forms being set. On the other hand, the concrete contractor should've stepped up to the plate and fixed them without you having to say a word. He knew they weren't properly poured!

If you have an architect, contact him/her and have them contact the contractor. They (architects) can usually get these things resolved.

I would definitely call the inspector and make him aware of the problem.

Don't let anybody tell you that they are fine the way they are. . .there NOT!! They need to be ripped out and re-poured. . .PERIOD!
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:18 AM   #18
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tang View Post
Was your concrete guy licensed? If not shame on you. If he was licensed you have some recourse thru your state licensing board. Looks like a hack!
No state licensing in NY since the 50's.
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:20 AM   #19
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


Gentlemen:

I suspect that this house is being built in an area that has little or no inspections.

Yes, NY has areas like that.

Yes he needs to remove and start again.
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:50 AM   #20
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Re: Shoddy Footings What To Do?


I never understood 10" by 16" footings , especially for poured concrete. On good soil with 2 rebar continuous, I wouldn't be too concerned with some 6-7" footing, but 5" is way too cheap & ignorant IMO. Are there 3" or 4" bleeders intersecting the footing? If so, what's left under them, an inch?

Here's the other problem I see: You mention that there is inspection on this job, so I assume there is some applicable code. Every code I've heard of requires 4" minimum footing on each side of the wall. So these 16" wide footings aren't going to be wide enough, unless the footings are perfectly laid ou (no way in hell) or the wall contractor keeps blowing the inspector.

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