Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: How much settling is ok?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4
    Thanks {vb:rawphrase post_thanks_given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    How much settling is ok?

    We recently had excavation done around our house to seal and insulate the basement. It's been less than a month and a half since the backfill was done, and we're experiencing a significant amount of continuous settling (sinking) just around the house. Should that be covered by the contractor? His quote includes a substantial cost for grading, but now the grading is not there any more, and he says it's not included as part of his job and he's not responsible for it - comparing it to a flash flood or tornado washing or blowing the dirt away.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,895
    Thanks {vb:rawphrase post_thanks_given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    163
    Thanked in
    154 Posts
    The soil material that was returned to the excavation area after repairs were made should have been tampered back down, this won't stop the settling but will help with just how much settling occurs.
    Settling is to be expected but you don't mention how much ?
    1 1/2 months and noticing significant settling would set alarm bells off for me.

    There should be a fall of not less than 1/4" / foot AWAY from the house, (I usually make sure that it is 6" in 6'-10') otherwise water problems WILL occur.
    In my opinion (unless otherwise stated in his contract) your contractor is responsible for ensuring that the work is graded away from the home, including any settling.

    His comparison to flash flood or tornado is ridiculous to say the very least, you have employed him to "seal" the basement BUT no matter of sealing will stop water getting in if the dirt around the house is lower and collects water. The number 1 reason basements have water issues is improper grading.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
    Every day is a learning day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4
    Thanks {vb:rawphrase post_thanks_given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    More info

    Thank you for your response; it was helpful. In the contract, the contractor indicated grading and charged a substantial amount for that separate process (grading.) From here, we don't know how to proceed. He is refusing to fix the problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4
    Thanks {vb:rawphrase post_thanks_given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Near the house, it has settled about a foot, not counting the settling that happened during the first week due to rain while he was still doing work. It was then filled some more, and now, a month and a half afterward, after average rain, it has settled even more - at least a foot. Just looking at it, you can see the dip right around the foundation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,895
    Thanks {vb:rawphrase post_thanks_given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    163
    Thanked in
    154 Posts
    A foot is a very substantial amount of settling after a month and a half. This will need to be rectified or like I previously mentioned water will collect at the house and potentially cause other moisture problems.

    The dirt that came from the excavation should have been enough to back fill the same hole with some extra from any foam sheeting or tile added around the perimeter, did the contractor remove any from the site ?


    Keep records of any phone conversations or contact with your contractor, take photo's for your records:

    Call the contractor and ask him to come on out and see the site for himself, ask him to explain how after 1 1/2 months your site is deemed to be graded correctly, would he accept that at his home ? Unless you can see a slurry pile of washed away soil ask him where has your soil gone? he'll say it settled, then you get to ask him how a bucket of dirt from a bucket sized hole becomes less than a bucket of dirt when you put it back ?.......in ALL cases dirt removed from a hole expands in volume as it is loosened up, so if anything for a period of time you should have what looked like way too much soil.

    Keep all conversations as cordial as possible, often aggression meets with aggression and no one wins that battle then.

    Maybe call your local building department first, to arm yourself with some local jurisdiction facts first:

    In some areas if you call, your local building inspector might well come out and inspect the work and issue an unsatisfactory work order, as a note in almost all cases now your local building department requests contractors to apply for "permits" to do work and this work is inspected by the building department during and after the work being done. It is very often the contractors responsibility to apply for the permits, inspections etc...and ALL contractors must be licensed in the city or jurisdiction of carrying out the work.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
    Every day is a learning day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4
    Thanks {vb:rawphrase post_thanks_given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Yes, the contractor removed a truckload of dirt from our property, and we were charged for it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Saint Regis Falls, NY, USA.
    Posts
    8,743
    Thanks {vb:rawphrase post_thanks_given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    487
    Thanked in
    470 Posts
    then that topsoil is yours and should be returned to you. he had no right to truck it off. have him do the permit thing. tell the building inspector your predicament and maybe he'll even things out about the money part.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •