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New Build Townhouse with Basement Floor and Framing Issues

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Posted by: from Waterloo
9/29/2013 at 8:17:15 PM

Just completed our pre-delivery inspection on a new-build townhome. Among the items found during the PDI was a mess of a concrete floor in the basement. It seemed as though some of the sill plates (?) on the framing (2x4 lying the floor) had been installed with more concrete poured around it and then it was taken out and moved about 6 inches to one side. There are holes that are indicative of 2x4 ends sticking in wet concrete and then removed. Finally, there are parts of the concrete floor that seem to have been poured around the sill plates that bring the concrete flush with the top of the piece of lumber. In other words, the 2 x 4 is recessed into the concrete floor. There are also areas of the floor that seem to rise and fall - it's not level. I've seen lot's of floors and poured concrete myself and have never seen this.

Here are my questions - does building code require wood frames in the basement to be set on top of the concrete floor?

Have you ever seen or heard of concrete floors that have been this messy?

Can this be fixed by the builder easily or does the entire floor have to come up?

Can I hold off on closing until it's fixed? Why do you think concrete would have been poured around 2x4's that were standing vertically?

My fear is that moisture and water will stay contained in the concrete that envelopes the 2x4 which will lead to mildew, mould and rot.

Any detail you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

REPLIES (4)
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David from Chetco Homes in Fort Erie
Date/Time10/2/2013 at 5:26:35 PM

Hello,

Sounds a little strange to. Yes I would be concerned about mildew, mold and rot from moisture in concrete. The building code does require a vapor barrier under all wood that comes in contact with concrete. I would be asking to speak with the building inspector that approved this job.

Good luck. Make sure it is corrected before you close.

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Date/Time10/2/2013 at 6:31:33 PM

Andrew,

It isn't in anyones best interest to pour concrete around the studs, if I read you correctly. In Alberta, there must either be a vapour barrier (6ml Plastic) or pressure treated wood when wood contacts concrete. I have seen where a sill plate is inbedded but that is not the norm.

I would suggest that you contact a building inspector to get an opinion before anything else is done. Where I am, the local inspector provides advise and suggestion without pushing and companies. He also will tell you what is legal (meets code) or not. Many thing pass, such as a concrete floor, even if it isn;'t level. So ask the questions regarding what is acceptable and where the line is drawn.

My second thought is for you to contact the contractor and ask the same questions. They may brush you off but they may also stand by their work and make some concessions.

Sorry about your issues.

Mark

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Date/Time10/2/2013 at 9:07:38 PM

A lot of variables without seeing any pictures.

Building code does require vapour barrier between the wood and concrete.

Yes, you need to fix any holes in the concrete floor for moisture penetration.(most likely they were for the concrete forms??)

Basement floors are not suppose to be level, they need to be sloped to a drain, in case any water does get in.

You can't legally hold off your closeing until it's fixed (it would be nice though)

Talk to your builder and see what he says. Document everything in writing though and pictures. Do not give up, they will most likely give you a run around.

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Tom from Whitestone in Vernon
Date/Time3/10/2014 at 5:07:15 PM

This job, by your description, is not done correctly.

.

Q/ Does building code require wood frames in the basement to be set on top of the concrete

floor?

A/ Not necessarily, but there should be a barrier between wood and concrete.

Q/ Have you ever seen or heard of concrete floors that have been this messy?

A/ Must be remedied by contractor prior to signing to purchase

Q/ Can this be fixed by the builder easily or does the entire floor have to come up?

A/ A contactor can fix the problem easily.

Q/ Can I hold off on closing until it's fixed?

A/ Yes, I would

Q/ Why do you think concrete would have been poured around 2x4's that were standing

vertically?

A/ At times it is done, but it must be done to code (barrier separating wood and concrete)

[My fear is that moisture and water will stay contained in the concrete that envelopes the 2x4 which will lead to mildew, mould and rot.

(Absolutely correct.. Justified concern.. Must be corrected prior to final signing of contract or you might have future problems having it remedied.)]

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