Help deciding whether this foundation is a minor fix or not

3 Replies

Hey fellow big pocket members, First time home buyer here. I’m really excited about buying my first house in the Sparks/Reno, Nevada Area. I feel I may have come across a house I really like. However, long story short, this house has some foundational issues, and I am debating whether the repairs would be worth it or not. I would really appreciate some help analyzing if these repairs are minor or I am looking at a major issue and should pass on this house. Below is the summary for a “limited foundation inspection” and also a few pictures of the cracks. If someone could help explain what kind of issue I could possibly be looking at, I would really appreciate it as this is all foreign territory for me. Thanks! Limited Foundation Inspection: At your request a limited inspection of the above property was performed on March 27, 2018. The report that follows has been prepared based on that inspection. The primary purpose of the inspection and this report is to evaluate foundation cracking highlighted in a recent home inspection report. The conditions, recommendations, and suggestions contained herein are the result of a visual inspection, without removing surface materials or performing structural calculations, as of this date. This house is a one story residence, approximately 70 years old, consisting of asbestos shingle exterior walls with a an asphalt composition shingle roof surfacing. The basic construction of these premises consists of concrete foundation walls on spread footings with a column/girder and bearing wall system for the support of the first level floor joist members. This is a standard method of construction for the time of construction. An inspection of the north foundation wall from the crawl area revealed large, fairly horizontal cracking/distress along the length of the wall and vertical cracking in the NW and NE corners. The wall shows definite bulging inward. The foundation wall does not appear to have any reinforcing steel embedded in it and the horizontal distress originated in a “cold-joint” that formed in the concrete during the pouring of the foundation. The exposed aggregate or "honey­ combing" within the concrete is indicative of a "cold­ joint". Without reinforcing steel, the wall was not able to resist the high lateral loads associated with the expansive clay soils, especially saturated soils, prevalent in this area. While not in danger of impending structural failure, this wall should be reinforced, probably with a "Strong-back" system to help maintain structural integrity. The two sidewalls should also be incorporated into this system at the corners to tie the three walls together. I hope this report provides you with the information you need to proceed. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to call.

==The wall shows definite bulging inward==

This should be enough to want to cancel the deal.  Since this is your first time buying a property, be conservative and do not purchase something that is questionable.

And the “should be reinforced “ is not a good sign at all. You could get an estimate and go from there if it’s really worth it to you. But foundation issues are never good. And that’s just what one inspector and one inspection revealed. Foundation issues are like cancers. Where one problem lies there could be more. Especially with the weight of a house on it and much of it unable to be seen.

Here's some pictures of the cracks in case someone was interested. I appreciate the feedback, I was assured it was a minor repair, but I have been quite skeptical.

***Sorry the first post was so cluttered! It was one of my first posts and I thought I had spaced it out into smaller, more readable paragraphs. Won't be posting from my phone from now on!