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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I do HVAC and know next to nothing about foundations, footings, and masonry. But I'm looking at this house to buy and found this problem after making an offer on it. Need to know if it's worth pursuing or not.

They laid the brick veneer on top of the patio on the back porch, and the patio has sunk about 1/2". In fact that left post isn't even touching the patio. That tells me the house is structurally sound and it's just the patio, I think.

There is a gap below the bricks around most of this patio and there aren't any cracks. But in the weak areas, between the windows and doors, it is cracked and the bricks have fallen down. Notice the gap between the door sill and the bottom of the windows.

I also dug around the rest of the brick and found that the brick is laying on concrete. Seems like they should be sitting on those narrow footing blocks, no?

There is also evidence of cracking in front of the house around some windows. They've covered it up with new mortar but it was fairly easy to spot since it was much cleaner than the rest.

What I'm hoping is that all of the bricks were properly laid everywhere but this patio, and I can just cut them out and put up some cedar in this area.

Thanks in advance for your help!!

















 

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IMHO,there is slightly more to be concerned about besides the patio area. The home is way off grade,set to low on the lot. Reason I say this,the code requires 4 " of foundation to be exposed BEFORE the masonry starts,not several courses buried below grade. Where are your weep vents at base of wall ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
IMHO,there is slightly more to be concerned about besides the patio area. The home is way off grade,set to low on the lot. Reason I say this,the code requires 4 " of foundation to be exposed BEFORE the masonry starts,not several courses buried below grade. Where are your weep vents at base of wall ?
I don't recall seeing any but I also wasn't looking for them.

Here's another picture that should show them, but I'm not seeing any. You?

 

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No ,I do not,the buried brick is a red flag in my book. The building is way off grade as I mentioned before. That is a problem that is extremely difficult and costly to correct.
 

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Looking at how plumb those posts are, I'm thinking this house is a 'project'.......there are an awful lot of red flags there.......this is not an inexpensive fix......at least to do things right.....

This is a tough one.......I would have an engineer out to have a look....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looking at how plumb those posts are, I'm thinking this house is a 'project'.......there are an awful lot of red flags there.......this is not an inexpensive fix......at least to do things right.....

This is a tough one.......I would have an engineer out to have a look....
Yeah the left post is not touching the patio since it sunk. But the roof is holding up and not falling with the patio, so that's good right?

Now that I'm learning about the grade problem, it might not be worth pursuing.
 

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What's the consequence of not fixing it? Moisture and mold?
Yes and yes. If you're not seeing weepers, you have to worry about a whole host of things......is there flashing? Is there housewrap or felt?

Once you start seeing one thing done incorrectly or not done at all, especially things that are common building practice, you've got to take a step back.....brickwork built off of the patio?!?

I don't know.....this is one to avoid, my opinion only.....
 

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Yeah the left post is not touching the patio since it sunk. But the roof is holding up and not falling with the patio, so that's good right?

Now that I'm learning about the grade problem, it might not be worth pursuing.
I love an optimist! "So, outside of that, how did you like the play Mrs. Lincoln?"
 

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If you really like the house, see what you can do.....I'm concerned that the brickwork almost looks like an afterthought.......a tiny footing around the perimeter? Brickwork off the patio? There's some failure there, is there sound brickwork off of good support around the rest of the house?

You could open up some brickwork down low to see how and if it's flashed......maybe mud wasps clogged up the weepers, and we can't see that....it happens....it's not terribly uncommon to have brickwork seen down to grade, it often gets slushed below the flashing, and the airspace begins at the flashing/weeper level......

This may be a screaming deal for you, especially if you can get it knocked down because of these issues.....the owner may just want to unload a headache......

My 2 ¢
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you really like the house, see what you can do.....I'm concerned that the brickwork almost looks like an afterthought.......a tiny footing around the perimeter? Brickwork off the patio? There's some failure there, is there sound brickwork off of good support around the rest of the house?

You could open up some brickwork down low to see how and if it's flashed......maybe mud wasps clogged up the weepers, and we can't see that....it happens....it's not terribly uncommon to have brickwork seen down to grade, it often gets slushed below the flashing, and the airspace begins at the flashing/weeper level......

This may be a screaming deal for you, especially if you can get it knocked down because of these issues.....the owner may just want to unload a headache......

My 2 ¢
That tiny footing was found on the other 3 sides of the house. I bet they changed to brick after the slab was poured.

It was listed at 230k. Dropped to 215k after 30 days on the market. I offered 185k and they countered at 204k. After seeing the brick issue I countered back at 175k and haven't heard anything since. That was 2 days ago.

It's also owned by Freddie Mac
 

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I respect Rockmonster's point of view however,I'M not as optimistic as he is. I would not walk away from this "deal" ..........I would run.
 

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I was just playing devil's advocate......I don't know where Rustler lives, but judging from the 1/3 bond, probably in what, OK, MO, AR, TN, TX?

In these areas, brickwork is fairly inexpensive.....and often fairly means 'really'.......

The brick is pretty ugly, even if it was done nicely, agreed?

Let's say you peel them all off, and lay up nice brick. Say 8' by what, 160'? 180 even...... around 1400sf. Let's say 15/sf for brickwork (I could be way off, sure) That's 21k. Even if you say 14k for demo/disposal and new footings, we're at 35k. Add extras like caulking, carpentry, painting, another 5k. 40k.....OK, you still have to ixnay the patio, but that's likely gonna go anyway.......I think 40 gives you a nice buffer......

So you offer 155, and tell them you're doing them a favor (you would be)

Somebody's gonna buy it......what's the address? I wanna check it out on Zillow..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well they rejected my offer of 175k, which would have been 40k under their original asking price of 215k

Or 55k under their original asking price of 230k

They countered at 204k

It's only been on the market for 40 days. But they tried to sell it a year ago for 200k and didn't get an offer. They came in and put in new appliances, new roof, new paint and new carpet and raised it up to 230k.
 

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Well they rejected my offer of 175k, which would have been 40k under their original asking price of 215k

Or 55k under their original asking price of 230k

They countered at 204k

It's only been on the market for 40 days. But they tried to sell it a year ago for 200k and didn't get an offer. They came in and put in new appliances, new roof, new paint and new carpet and raised it up to 230k.
In that area of homes, with the upgrades, that may look like a steal in 15 years.......I'd talk to a good mason contractor, and ask some $$s

They'll probably still budge, just maybe not another 29k.......
 
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