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Thread: House leveling question

  1. #1
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    Default House leveling question

    We want to downsize and move.

    I am interested in a cool condo-ish home in the bay area that just made the market. It may be one of the only places i can afford that has it's own dock and deep enough draft to keep my keel boat. There is a garage, an extra car space and some storage but not a lot. The house needs to be leveled as a living room section is sloping and quite apparent when walking through it. I am clueless about this. Any insight into the process and costs would be much appreciated.

    Or should we just run?!

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    My mind wanders terribly. My daydreaming as it is has been of immense use to me as regards to imaginative thought. I use it to take me to places others have yet to go and brings me back safely home.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Does the adjoining unit have the same problem?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    Does the adjoining unit have the same problem?
    I do not think it does.
    My mind wanders terribly. My daydreaming as it is has been of immense use to me as regards to imaginative thought. I use it to take me to places others have yet to go and brings me back safely home.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    I would think same construction would manifest the problem in the adjoining space, no inspection yet? Ya know the experts.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Not sure about your market or the construction but I was looking at a 120 YO home here with a similar problem, the back 1/3 of the house was sloping due to a crappy addition done in the 50s. so to level up the back end, about 200 sq ft (yes it was a tiny farm house ) was quoted to me at 70K. As close as that is to the water a geotech may need to get involved also.
    Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    you'll have to figure out, Why is it sinking? and then, is the price low enough to justify the the effort on your part?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Quake damage?

    My house is at least 300 years old, so square is a term I am not used to.

    Fitz
    "Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. " - Thoreau

  8. #8
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    1. Run
    or

    2. Find a civil engineer. Separate from the leveling company. Ideally, 50-60 year old retired guy/gal. Someone you can trust. Foundation repair can be a racket. Will need a soil test (I forget the correct name). Involves core samples and an engineering report from an actual soil engineering firm. This will most likely be a different firm than the primary civil engineer. The primary engineer will design the repair based on the soil report and his analysis of the existing slab.

    Iíve got 48 piers under my house (inside and outside). It is a messy process to install drilled belled concrete piers inside. Careful with the other type (something like metal piles on steel brackets).

    The original guy doing the work died half way through. His son finished it. The repair failed 8 years later. Had to do it again. Been ok for 15 years.

    Not a place to skimp especially if you donít already own the problem. It can be fixed properly but it can take quite a bit of money.

    Hope it works out.

    PS-Having an independent engineer is critical.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Stumps or a slab?
    Could be subsidence due to faulty drainage or water incursion from the bay. You are very close to water level there and a small rise in sea level can be a problem. I read somewhere that a 1 cm vertical rise meant a 1 meter incursion horizontally.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    It is likely from the dredging for 100 years. Sea level rise is/will be a problem but then there is a price for everything.

    The HOA has a lot of the information on this issue. The bank owns the property and has no disclosures.
    It sounds like it is more a dream than a can do. It is too bad as the house is set up like old Hawaii and the channel to the bay is just 500 feet from the SF bay. A working mans bay sailor's wishlist.

    Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 1.57.40 PM.jpg

    Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 2.26.50 PM.jpg
    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 08-04-2020 at 04:27 PM.
    My mind wanders terribly. My daydreaming as it is has been of immense use to me as regards to imaginative thought. I use it to take me to places others have yet to go and brings me back safely home.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    I re levelled my parents house some years ago, 120 year old house on wooden piles. Fortunately the least clearance area was about 2 ft 6in which meant it was easy enough to slide in there with a couple of hydraulic jacks,
    I'd used a line level inside the house to work out how far I had to lift each area, made a little map that I could take underneath, made a heap of hardwood wedges and lifted each joist off the pile a tiny bit at a time, knocking the wedges in as I went until I'd got the area that I was working on about right.
    It took me three days, hot, sweaty and dusty but it was done. Those wedges, more than 40 years later, are still there, and the house floor is still about level.
    It wasnt that big a deal, no geotech survey, no specialists, just a machinery salesman with a little bit of carpentry experience and a will to get the job done.

    It can be as hard, or as simple as you want.

    But if its a cement slab floor, forget it or live with it. It may be thats why the price is within your budget.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    It's only a one story house....

  13. #13
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Run. Too close to the water. Pick a nearby hill and rent a dock.

    Andy
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    It's only a one story house....
    Averaging 725 dollars a square foot...

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
    Run. Too close to the water. Pick a nearby hill and rent a dock.

    Andy
    I hope Pless does not move away from PHX.
    My mind wanders terribly. My daydreaming as it is has been of immense use to me as regards to imaginative thought. I use it to take me to places others have yet to go and brings me back safely home.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Leveling a pier and beam foundation CAN be inexpensive, but not often.

    If that's on a slab,sometimes it is possible to pump grout through a hole in the slab and lift the floor into compliance.

    There are other ways to address this task, each more expensive than the last.

    If you REALLY want to level a house, it's hard to beat a D-8 Cat.

    Rattling the teacups.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    If it is on a slab, leveling is easily done with a concrete pumping service.
    ( I have a small amount of experience with this, it is a common procedure)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Rattling the teacups.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    If it is on a slab, leveling is easily done with a concrete pumping service.
    ( I have a small amount of experience with this, it is a common procedure)
    It is on a slab. We are waiting for the reports from the agent. Agent emailed - "The owners on the other side of the shared wall will benefit from entire leveling without having to pay anything out of their pocket."




    My mind wanders terribly. My daydreaming as it is has been of immense use to me as regards to imaginative thought. I use it to take me to places others have yet to go and brings me back safely home.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    It is likely from the dredging for 100 years. Sea level rise is/will be a problem but then there is a price for everything.

    The HOA has a lot of the information on this issue. The bank owns the property and has no disclosures.
    It sounds like it is more a dream than a can do. It is too bad as the house is set up like old Hawaii and the channel to the bay is just 500 feet from the SF bay. A working mans bay sailor's wishlist.

    Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 1.57.40 PM.jpg

    Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 2.26.50 PM.jpg
    I had a house in the Bret Harte neighborhood of San Rafael. Nothing in Pt Richmond?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    A couple of additional thoughts. There may already be an existing evaluation of the slab and soil. Hard to find it it is bank owned. And while it is true that there are many ways to bring the house into level. These methods may be temporary without a thorough understanding of the load bearing capacity of the soil under the slab.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    It is on a slab. We are waiting for the reports from the agent. Agent emailed - "The owners on the other side of the shared wall will benefit from entire leveling without having to pay anything out of their pocket."
    There are plenty of one man bands with a concrete pump that can do this.I once watched 4 men (2 men 2 shifts) level a friggin' Safeway, it took several days.

  22. #22
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    Default

    Offer a lowball price... highest quote for the leveling job plus 20 percent more deducted off the ask.
    Go from there.

    Kevib



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    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    I meant "it is only a one story house" as in,There is less chance of the home tipping over/it is lighter.
    I'd be far more concerned if it were a big 3 story home. ...that said,the bigger home would have required bigger footings i guess

  24. #24
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    there must be a company like this in the Bay Area....https://www.ramjack.com/eugene/?utm_...ampaign=eugene

    They do>>https://www.ramjack.com/bay-area/

    I now some people up here that were very happy with their work and the price....

  25. #25
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Quote Originally Posted by oznabrag View Post
    Leveling a pier and beam foundation CAN be inexpensive, but not often.

    If that's on a slab,sometimes it is possible to pump grout through a hole in the slab and lift the floor into compliance.

    There are other ways to address this task, each more expensive than the last.

    If you REALLY want to level a house, it's hard to beat a D-8 Cat.

    This.

    Slab jacking. If this isn't viable then walk away, anything else is likely to be a money pit.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Room for the bikes and a dock for the boat?

    That ticks a lot of boxes. I've lived in my house with it's off-kilter floors for years, you get used to it.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  27. #27
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    The Algorithm Is Watching

  28. #28
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    dont talk yourself into it no matter what.

    if it was easy in any way it wouldnt be a bank property.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    I'd say run.

    1. It's a condo. I wouldn't live somewhere with a HOA.

    2. It's LOW waterfront - in a time where the sea level and the water table are pretty sure to rise.

    3. Looks like land created by dredging... and the place is already experiencing some apparent subsidence.

    4. You'll find there is no inexpensive way to do the leveling.

    5. There are 3 possibilities: subsidence will worsen - even if you level it for now; things are stabilized; your fairy godmother will wave her magic wand and solve all immediate & underlying problems. Guess which my money is on.

    The water and the dock are calling out to you. I get it. Lash yourself to the mast and sail on by.
    Last edited by David G; 08-05-2020 at 09:51 AM.
    David G
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    The floor level can be fixed, depending on price.

    The low height above sea level can't. Relevant (award winning short film):

    When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Tell the bank that you want to rent the dock and the garage until they sell it :-)

    Leveling that slab sounds like a huge headache, and a huge potential for lawsuits and other problems with the adjoining condo--- "the work that you did, screwed up something on our side, so now we're going to sue you".

    If you're absolutely stuck on owning that property---how about cutting the frame portion of the house aloose from the slab. Jacking it up about two feet, and building a framed wooden floor system under it. then jacking that up for 8 feet of clearance underneath, and filling in with a masonry or concrete pier foundation.

    Now your house is elevated for an even better view, is resistant to flooding, and has a nice shady area underneath to hang out, park vehicles in, boats, excetera.
    Even a fish wouldnít get in trouble if it kept it's mouth shut.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Hoppe View Post
    Averaging 725 dollars a square foot...



    I hope Pless does not move away from PHX.

    you can come down here and get this for probably half of that 725/ sq ft


  33. #33
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    I think many of you are right. Run!

    Last edited by Ted Hoppe; 08-05-2020 at 09:20 AM.
    My mind wanders terribly. My daydreaming as it is has been of immense use to me as regards to imaginative thought. I use it to take me to places others have yet to go and brings me back safely home.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanMc View Post
    you can come down here and get this for probably half of that 725/ sq ft

    I'll have to change professions if I make my way back to Alabama.

    My mind wanders terribly. My daydreaming as it is has been of immense use to me as regards to imaginative thought. I use it to take me to places others have yet to go and brings me back safely home.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: House leveling question

    there's only a few counties where you can hunt gators. they're all in the south, to get a permit you have to enter a lottery every year, and you can only get a few i think. come on over to north alabama where the hillbilly ratio is the lowest.

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