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Each state has different rules on what "as-is" means, but almost all use the term when it comes to realestate sales. At two years, you are facing a hurdle that any issue could be the result of new conditions, acceptable wear / settlement, etc. Has there been any changes in the area? (New house built next door, new addition, earthquake, flooding, etc?)
While you may have been given a home warranty with the purchase (do check your sales paperwork to see if there is any warranty and what it covers for how long) the house is sold to you as-is; it is your responsibility to raise concerns prior to taking over the house, so going back two years later is a huge up hill batle.
The home inspector is also going to be found faultless, as their reports almost always have words like "consult with an expert. . ." after each report section and they have disclaimers for missed items, etc. I got certified as a home inspector and was surprised at just how little they actually require you to know to become an inspector. They are really just an extra pair of eyes to help inexpereinced home owners look where most people don't look or go. You even mention that the repair work was well masked, so you didn't notice it until you began looking for it. A good inspector might have caught it, but you won't win any court cases proving yours wasn't good enough.
The Seller will claim that any foundation issues were fixed and resolved, which is why they marked "No" on the foundation issue section. They fixed it; so it was no longer an issue. If it came back, that is a new issue. You and I know this is bogus, but to win in court you have to prove intent; and the builder can easily show they thought it was fixed. Or, they might even be able to claim they were unaware - the repairs were from the previous owner, and were hidden so well HE and YOU didn't notice them.
So the next step is to meet with your home insurance agent. As I mentioned above, if there have been any enviromental changes (a new house next door could have changed the underground water table flow or pressures, for example) you may be covered. Even if there are no issues, you still may have a policy that allows for major repairs to be covered after a certian cost threshold, etc. You'd be surprised at what your home owners insurance covers - find out first; they might have in house or low cost engineers who will do the initial inspection, etc. They also will provide advice on your home sale; if they think you have a case against the Seller.
Best of luck on this issue. Make sure any solution you pay for solves the cause (Stress on the wall), and doesn't just fix the results (cracks).
There are two types of cracks in foudation walls, horizonal and vertical. The vertical is from settling and usually is not that bad a repair onec the settling stops or the cause is fixed. A horizontal crack in my opinion worse unless it happened right as the house was built and it was backfilled incorrectly. That should have been fixed at that time though. Horizontal cracks are a sign of lateral pressure due to either a water problem, improper wall sizing or a combination of these. In these conditions I have always felt complete excavation outside the wall and reconstruction is your best approach with the proper sized block or concrete wall with buttresses as needed.
You mention the future sale of the home and I would think the total replacement would be the best way as it will not leave any red flags. The steel plating would point to the problem and I can just think of all that would go through a buyers mind. Little things like how long will it be before the plate rusts out and needs to be replaced, even though it would probable last a long time.
I would think you should spend the money on a consult with a structural engineer and get a written report on the problem and his recommendations as to the best repair. It will help with any future sale of the home. Without drawings the consult should be less than $500. I would bet he would recommend total replacement.
I hope I am reading the question correctly. By added work, I assume you are speaking of change orders or additional work as opposed to the original work he contracted for? I think there are very few occasions that it would be wise to pay a contractor in full up front for work on the main contract that you are hireing him for. BUT, It is quite common that a general contractor will charge for (and should be paid), all change orders 100% upfront, as changes are typically very disruptive to a building process. Charging up front is somewhat to discourage changes as well as to not make the builder deal with chasing after money at least if he has to work quickly to modify his schedule due to the change at hand. It should have been spelled out in his contract with you prior to the start of the job that that was the agreement for how changes would be handled.
Some unscrupulous customers can also contract for work that they don't actually have the money for and then it puts the builder at a disadvantage at the end of the project when trying to collect. so basically doing a change is a courtesy so paying changes up front is part of reciprocating and extending courtesy back.
Also, check with some of his references and referral customers and find out if they too had the same experience and see if it worked out ok for them.
Foundation Repair reviews in Trion
All in all, I found Integrity to be professional, knowledgeable, punctual, and fair with prices.
I was on a time crunch and they were swamped with work. He worked with me and moved some of his guys around to make this happen for me. I must tell you that their work exceeded my expectations and went above and beyond to make some other repairs that needed to be done at no charge.
They were very clean and put runners down on the floors. The work zone was left clean at the end of each day. No loud music or profanity was heard.
I thought this attention to detail and true craftsmanship was a thing of the past. The men seemed to enjoy their work as all were very pleasant and professional. I trusted these folks completely in my home.
The buyer of my home came over a few times to look at the work and felt very confident with the repairs. Again Basement Remedy explained to the buyer in detail that the repairs being made would leave it a structurally sound and dry basement. They actually helped in the sale of the house by taking the time to ease any concerns on the buyers side.
After getting to know the owner of Basement Remedy I was even more impressed to learn that he is a military veteran and hires military veterans. You sure could tell by their attention to detail, showing up on time or early, and did more than was expected.
Its good to get several estimates and I did not go with the lowest priced company and have no regrets. With this type of work as in most of the trades you get what you pay. These guys stood out from the pack hands down. I have referred Basement Remedy to some friends and they shared the same positive experience with this company. Quality work and quality people.
In closing, house has sold and all parties are happy.....
The crew came out on a rescheduled date (within a day or two) after getting rained-out on the first appointment. They worked quick and got the job done in a day. We had shrubs (hollies) where they had to work, but they were able to work around them and do the job without having to remove anything. The foreman was very friendly and happy to show me what they were doing.
I can recommend this company. They even honored an Angie's List discount after I had forgotten to present it.
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