I'm using a contractor to build a brand new 2000sq foot home. There is one section on the house that looks suspect. The slab subs obviously overpoured, and it looks like it was compounded even more by the framers doing a shoddy job. There are two 5 foot sections that are not attached to the slab bolts (if that's what you call them), and the corner support strap is bent all up. Can anyone tell me if this is 'normal' or not? My builder said this is not uncommon and that it is secure and that 'all is well', but I'm a little apprehensive to just let this one go. My bank is going by for an inspection soon, so should I bring this up to them, or call in a 3rd party inspector? Any thoughts, please I'm open for suggestions. I'm adding some pictures here:

Image 1 - Corner from straight on

Image 2 - Corner from underneath

Image 3 - Corner from Side

Image 4 - Slab bolts cut off

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    It may not be uncommon amongst shoddy builders, but it's still wrong. Bolts and straps are there for a reason, not properly connecting them is wrong. Small misalignments can be tolerated, but this is ridiculous. – bcworkz Jan 15 '14 at 6:23
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    Looks like foundation contractors that know how to pour trapezoids, parallelograms and other quadrilaterals, but have not mastered the square or rectangle yet. The framers have an advantage that the subflooring comes in regular rectangles with 90 degree angles on each corner, so they're square by material, if not by actually measuring it out. Hoo boy, coyote... Aye chihuahua. Not sure where you are, but it's not up to earthquake code, especially if it isn't tied to the foundation. – Fiasco Labs Jan 15 '14 at 6:58
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    And if the studs aren't directly over that foundation, but are cantilevered on OSB, 2x4 studs are 3.5" wide, 3 inches out on a sheet of 1 1/8" OSB subflooring means that a little dampness and the bottom plate will be resting somewhere down at ground level when the subfloor sheers off. – Fiasco Labs Jan 15 '14 at 7:06
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    In your position, I'd find out who the municipal code inspector is and tell him you think it's wrong ASAP. I'd be by his side at his next visit. – Edwin Jan 15 '14 at 8:55

That is not normal or acceptable workmanship. The correct response to a foundation that far out of specification is to require the foundation contractors to rip it out and try again, or not get paid. Clearly that point was missed.

The larger problem for you is that you are already entered into a contract with an incompetent, lying builder. I'd have your lawyer/solicitor review your options at this point according to the terms of your contract. I can't see a lot of hope for a happy outcome, unfortunately. And yes, call in inspectors, notify the bank, etc.

  • Thank you for the input everyone - definitely confirms what we were thinking to begin with. The contract doesnt state anything about me getting an inspector. I called the HUD office and they already have someone scheduled to come out and inspect the dryin phase on Friday. Seems like the builder will probably be there during the inspection, so Im having them call me when they are going to show up. Might be a bit awkward, but gotta do it. – Sean Jan 15 '14 at 15:46
  • Out of curiosity, did HUD select the contractor? – iLikeDirt Jan 15 '14 at 20:44
  • We selected the contractor. A local builder and seemed to check out OK with references and past houses. – Sean Jan 15 '14 at 22:10

thank you so much for the advice and comments. The inspectpr came by yesterday and confirmed our concerns! He is going to fail the framing inspection and has provided a write up for all the items we were questioning. Keeping our eyes peeled for any issues moving forward.

  • ...a good many months later, I'm curious how this worked out in the end. – Ecnerwal Oct 21 '14 at 0:01

This is not good, but how you handle it depends upon your aggressiveness. When I built my previous house in 1996, I ended up sending the contractor a weekly fax which was always at least a page long. My wife and I would close the house up every night on our way back to our temporary lodgings. The quality of workmanship depends on you as well. My contractor barely followed the plans, which their engineer had drawn. As with most other service industries, like tech support, the quality of the service is determined mostly by your luck of who you draw. Ultimately, after some really major problems and being threatened by the project foreman, I hired my own architect who took over the job with the blessing of the Building Inspector who was embarrassed because his office missed a half dozen violations that my new architect found. Building a house is not for the feint of heart.

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    Thank you! As an update.. I called the local county inspector and got an appointment for tomorrow morning! My explanation to him yielded a "3 inches?! Thats not right" reaction. – Sean Jan 15 '14 at 22:13

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