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I have a pretty standard to North America wooden carcass home - two floors above ground, and a sub-basement below, plus an attached garage, sitting on top of it's own foundation.

Over the summer I had a room built over the garage, which went reasonably well, everything approved by the city and the contractor's architect.

During the recent snowfalls, I guess a large amount of weight was added to the new extension and I saw that the floor in the 2nd floor room adjacent to the new space kind-of bent upwards near the wall next to the newly added space, with the hardwood tiles spreading out.

I don't see any other damage (at least so far), but I wonder what I should do about it - if I simply fix the floor, will I be ignoring a larger issue? Will it actually cause even more damage in the summer when the weight of the snow is gone and the beams that are bending straighten out again?

Should I simply call the contractor and drop the problem in his lap, or get an inspector to take a look at the damage first?

Any other recourse?

Note - I'm in Canada, so the snow and extra weight isn't something rare like you'd expect down in Texas for example. I do believe the contractor should have examined the existing structure while he had the walls open and determined the existing beams are strong enough to connect the added structure to.

Thanks

Here's a closeup photo showing two floor pieces, one that remained in place and another that moved:

enter image description here

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    I would want attention to the shifting right away while you may have some protection (legally). Having a footing that is not large enough may be the cause and I would want it checked out ASAP. – Ed Beal Feb 25 at 22:15
  • The floor bending upwards was in old part(in the house) or new part on top of garage? Second Ed Beal on getting it check now. See what is moving/giving way. – crip659 Feb 25 at 22:22
  • In the old part – dyasny Feb 25 at 23:01
  • That is not good, if floor bending up in old part, house seems to be sinking compared to garage. Could be you just seeing things with floor bending up(good, you just weird) and hardwood is just shrinking because of dryness, but it does need checking. Snow weight should be kind of equal on old and new sections, except for area. – crip659 Feb 25 at 23:23
  • it looks like about 1ft from the wall, the beam under the floor rose up parallel to the wall, I checked with a level and there is indeed a slight bend, the level tilting down toward the wall when next to it, and after 1ft it tilts down away from the wall. Like // \\ – dyasny Feb 26 at 0:15
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I don’t know Canadian law, but in America 1) the contractor must be licensed, 2) a licensed contractor must have a bond to pay for mistakes if notified correctly, 3) be a member of a state licensing board that can review and make determination of “fault” and holds the bond to pay for such corrections. (There is an automatic 1 year guarantee period ...2 years for roofing in U.S.)

So, you’re on the clock. First, go take pictures immediately and make sure the pictures clearly show the problems. (You may need to use a level and square in the pictures to successfully illustrate the problems.) Second, I’d send notifications. Notifications should have pictures and clearly State the problem and what you want done to “fix” the problem. (You’ll need to hire an “expert witness” ...probably another LOCAL architect.) Notifications are by Certified Letter with return receipt. I’d send one to the contractor, with copies to his architect and one to the licensing board and one to the Building Official that signed off on the Permit. I’d also hire an attorney that is familiar with construction law.

If the contractor says he’ll “fix” it, then you want 1) what he intends to do 2) how he intends to do it , and 3) when he intends to do it...in writing with his architect’s signature. (Be careful they don’t stall you past the 1 year completion time. The 1 year issue starts when the Building Official signs off on the project, I think, but ask your attorney and licensing board. ) If it takes longer than a year, the bond disappears and the contractor can just change the company’s name and keep building.

The reason I tell you all this is because, as you say in your statement, you 1) don’t know how bad it is, 2) how to fix it, 3) if it will be a problem in the future. No one here knows either. You need an expert to examine it and offer a “means and methods” way to solve your problems.

I’d call the contractor and let him know what you are intending to do and offer to meet him at the site. You’ll get a good idea of what kind of contractor he is after he sees the problem.

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  • Canada will have similar rules with a few differences on timing and few others. Start now. – crip659 Feb 25 at 23:32
  • Thank you, I just called him and he is coming next week to take a look. I also took pictures, with time and date and the level on the floor clearly showing a // \\ bend – dyasny Feb 26 at 0:16
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    when they started building the extension, they took the garage roof off and a rainstorm hit, flooding the roofless garage and destroying it's drywall ceiling and walls as well as the insulation inside them. He refinished and reinsulated everything without saying a word and did a good job. So I hope we will not have a problem here – dyasny Feb 26 at 0:19

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