Basement Bracing

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Posted by: from Regina
3/21/2012 at 11:37:31 AM

My husband and I are in the process of purchasing a house. The home inspector has indicated that one of the basement walls needs to be braced.

There is approximately 1.5 inches of bowing in the wall. The house is a 4-level split and the wall that needs to be braced has a crawl space in the basement and two bedrooms with a bathroom in between on the third level.

The home inspector indicated that the braces would have to extend up into the walls of the third level. I don't have a measurement on the wall itself but the dimensions of the rooms are Bedroom (11 feet), bathroom (6.5 feet), bedroom (11 feet). Making the wall approximately 30 feet long.

We are looking to get an estimate on the cost of bracing this wall before completing the purchase.

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Date/Time3/21/2012 at 12:10:18 PM


You will need to speak with a structural engineer, have a bracing plan drawn up, which you can then have contracts price.

At this point, I don't know what material the wall will be braced with, what the spacing on the bracing will be, and where the bracing will be located, and how much repair work to existing surfaces will be required after bracing is complete. The cost could be in the thousands, it could be in the tens of thousands.

Lou Orazem

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Date/Time3/21/2012 at 12:32:25 PM

Good Morning Heather.

Lou is correct in that you require an engineer to help diagnose the problem correctly and then find a solution. However, if you proceed with that, make sure that the engineering costs are covered in your deal. You should not be responsible: the vendor should be as well as the estimated costs of the repairs.

However, I don't know what your real estate disclosure laws are, but you might have to disclose the problem if you want to sell. Count on the fact that most homes are sold within a 10 year period, not what you may think.

I would personally walk away from the deal. The vendor knows what he has. Check how long the house has been on the market, and that will tell you the history.


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Date/Time8/28/2012 at 6:40:11 PM

This comes a little late but:

I just recently looked at a similar situation in my hometown. Bracing the foundation wall was not an option!! it was literally caving in. Needless to say, the house is getting moved onto a new foundation.

First of all, you CANNOT brace a foundation wall and expect a permanent fix. This is like putting a band aid over a brocken bone.

I persoanlly think that your inspector may be missing something here. And I agree with a previous post "walk away" This could be a big job and unless the present owner is willing to drop his price by as much as the rebuild cost will be. I dont think i would take it.

I have done so many reno's that nothing scares me, but this sounds like you have 3 stories bearing on a foundation wall that is giving way.

I never mean to discourage people but you must do your homework prior to buying this property....but of course, you know this.


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