Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. New member here. First off I am no where near a General Contractor. I have acted as my own GC to some extent on the 2 remodling jobs on my last 2 houses, mostly out of ignorance. They both worked out okay luckily. Anyway, I am currently considering buying a piece of hillside property in the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California and having a custom home built on it. The previous owners apparently ran out of money according to the agent so the project was abandoned at some point. The lot is graded and has a slab foundation already in place as well as the cement portion of a pool and spa, gas tank out front, water and electric in place. I am not sure if septic system is in place. It is a very large foundation and does have some cracks in it. There are some plants growing out of some the pipes. I believe it was poured in 2003. Can anyone share what type of problems I might face specific to an abandoned project such as this. Also what are some specific things I should be looking for in a situation like this. I am wondering if the previous builders were having trouble getting the materials up the road because it is fairly narrow and winding. Finally does anyone have any suggestions for a contractor in my area I could get to help me do an inspection to see if the work already there can all be used? I will also be looking for a good reliable fair GC in the area if I move forward with it and buy the site.

Thanks, Kevin
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,292 Posts
First hire a home inspector then hire a gc. I am curious where are the cracks at in the foundation or the slab?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
JustaFramer said:
First hire a home inspector then hire a gc. I am curious where are the cracks at in the foundation or the slab?
Thanks for the reply. I was going to try to get an inspector who is a retired GC since there is no home there to inspect currently. Do you know anyone in the area? They still have the origional house plans but say they cant give them to anyone but the buyer.

I'm not sure I understand the difference between the foundation and the slab but they seem to be on the surface of the slab. Its a very large and complicated slab well over 5000 sf so the overall home size must be in the 7-10K foot size. There are at least 3 areas that drop down more than a foot, one which is maybe 12x12 and I think is an atrium seperating the east and west portions of the house. The other 2 seem to be in bathrooms and one of those is like 7x7 and has a couple of steps built in. Another section actually has a basement that I am thinking was planned to be either a damn large wine cellar or more likely a media room theater. Most of the cracks appear to be superficial but one is wider and is a couple of feet from, and cuts right across one of the corners of the slab. That one worries me.

The current seller is apparently not the one who gave up on the site but rather someone like me who bought it planning to finish building the house. Their agent claims that after they bought it recently but they found a completed home in the same area they fell in love with so moved on that one and decided to sell this one. It does sound kind of scetchy but one thing is for certain, someone spent a bunch of cash on the site and appears to be one hell of an ambitious project with a killer view. If there is a fatal flaw that made the previous 2 owners abandon it I would like to find it before getting into escrow. Thanks for any additional input.

Kevin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,265 Posts
Haady said:
They still have the origional house plans but say they cant give them to anyone but the buyer.
Cue sound of screeching tires, crunching metal, breaking glass, woman's screams.
The foundation is a liability if you don't want to build on it. You can't possibly know if you want to build on it if you can't view the plans to see what the house looks like. Walk away without hesitation if the seller persists in their stance.
If you secure the plans I'd suggest that you review them jointly with both an architect and a builder. Determine if the house meets your needs, if the plans comply with building code considerations and if the plans are, from a practical standpoint, something that a builder can execute.
If you decide that you'd like to build on the foundation, require the seller to engage a Structural Engineer of YOUR choice to inspect and subsequently report on the condition of the foundation. Do not engage the Engineer yourself - only select one for the Seller to engage. Offer to pay for the cost of the Engineer at closing - provided the deal moves forward.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top