0

We bought a subdivision, 1 story slab home in 2011 in TX. 2014 the home started cracking badly. Under 10 yr warranty the builder cosmetically repaired the large visible cracking. Within months it started cracking again. There was a 4" difference between the front and back of house.

The builder put in about 30 piers (20 ft deep) all around the perimeter of the slab foundation. While doing this they discovered a flow of ground or rain water (not drinking water) under our house. They've since lifted (by adding wedges) some of the piers to lift the slab depending on the slope of the floors. But this hasn't resolved the problem.

Then they injected a soil stabilizer under and around the house. Didn't work. Still cracking and sloping.

Then they installed French drains to divert the water from the front yard to the side yards, but the house is still cracking.

It's 2021 and our warranty has expired. The builder assured us they'd buy us another warranty, but we have nothing in writing. I doubt they will.

Since our builder, the developer and their engineering firm have tried numerous methods to correct the problem but with no success, we hired an independent engineering firm to assess the situation. They measured a 9" difference from the back to the front of our house. And they said we needed to get a better, level 3 engineering firm to figure out the problem it's so bad!

Help! Does anyone have experience with our situation? Any suggestions?

5
  • 1
    Will probably come down to the builder buying the house back and you moving or moving the house. Sounds like someone is looking at expensive fixes. Water is not usually a stable platform for a house. Sink holes come mind.
    – crip659
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 16:32
  • 1
    Are the other houses in the subdivision having similar problems, or just yours?
    – Mark
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 16:38
  • 2
    This type of issue usually ends up in court. Having had all the issues that there was not a suitable repair it is best not to wait and take action now legal advice is off topic. You need to take action before your home is at worst condemned at best resale is severely reduced
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 17:15
  • 1
    Probably should have taken them to court while the warranty was still in force, but discuss your options (now) with a lawyer in the jurisdiction (now) given that none of the warranty "repairs" worked.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 2:44
  • Thanks crip659, Ed Beal and Ecnerwal. Good question Mark. One neighbor on the right claims he's had no problems (I'm not sure he'd admit it if he did). Two neighbors on the left have had similar issues. I don't know the current status of their houses. Unfortunately, we had to move to the NE to care for family in 2016, so we've had to get caretaker-renters to live in our house and handle all the repair appointments.
    – N C
    Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 3:16

1 Answer 1

1

I feel your anxiety but can't offer any comforting words except to point out the probable causes and follow-up actions if you are willing and able to follow through.

The chronic floor cracks and the resulting huge differential settlements indicate that your house was built on a very thick layer of soft-porous soil medium, and the foundation soil is undergoing a process called "consolidation", which was triggered by the weight of the house and the backfill material. The consolidation process will eventually slow down, but unless a thorough site investigation is done, nobody can tell "when" and how far it has yet to settle down.

I guess your subdivision was built on reclaimed land, which could be a lake or a swamp in the past. If this is the case, you are not alone, your neighbors should have similar bad experiences but vary in magnitude. So, the first thing is to talk to your neighbors to build a better picture on this matter.

The next is to talk to your insurance company to see whether it has handled similar cases before, and what is your best options in resolving this matter.

The third will be to work with the builder, who has tried to solve this matter, but in my opinion, with the wrong methods, or did not go far enough.

In my opinion, hiring a geotechnical engineering company that is familiar with the local geology is the right call. Soil boring needs to be taken to the hardpan to evaluate everything in between, then decide the proper remedial actions.

A lot of money will be involved, unfortunately, I don't know who is going to foot it. Hope that the lawyer from your insurance company can shed a light on it. Good luck.

2
  • Thanks r13. Sounds like a sensible plan.
    – N C
    Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 3:46
  • You are welcome. Sorry to bring in bad news. IMO, your house should have been built on piles or a raft foundation but both will be costing too much for the developer. Anyway, wish you have the best of luck going forward.
    – r13
    Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 3:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.