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Alan
Addition to new home

I'm looking to buy an old house with had an addition put on 30 years ago. There is a bump in the kitchen first floor, a bump in the floor in the second floor bedroom (under the carpet) and there's a bump in the roof.

The inspector said that the house and the addition were probably constructed this way and that there was no signs of settling and that the roof from the old house to the addition were poorly connected causing the bump.

I'm thinking that it's more likely that everything was aligned and then the addition settled downward causing everything else to rise a bit... but I know nothing about houses. Anyone have any input? As well, is the bump in the floor something that could be easily fixed?

Can't seem to add the photo via the Insert Image options... so here's a link to it.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0Si4BYTKhMiS0hIMENpVnlRQ1E/view

A. Spruce
Re: Addition to new home

That is possible, there's no way to really tell. Is there interior cracking along these "bump" lines that would indicate movement?

It sounds to me more like sloppy workmanship that grafted a wart onto the side of the house, rather than making an effort to make sure that things were in alignment.

Alan
Re: Addition to new home

Thanks for your response A. Spruce. I added a picture to show what was happening. The inspector did not notice any cracks. Would something like this be easily fixed? (remove the hard wood in that area, level it?) I can't imaging that the owner of the house was okay with a bump in her floor after whoever added the addition... but who knows... Now do I want to buy a house with a poorly added addition?:/

ed21
Re: Addition to new home

I agree with spruce. The roof bump doesn't necessarily look like settlement because either side of the bump look aligned. I don't know what would do that, but getting in the attic to see what is going on might give a clue.
Same thing for the floor bump. Can you get access from the basement or crawl space.

dj1
Re: Addition to new home

I can only add that making everything perfect is going to be a big job, not cheap and will open the door to possible complications in the future, if done incorrectly.

For example: the roof. You will have to have the roof removed, then have both roof decks (the original and the addition) aligned to match, then re-do the roof.

The floor won't be any easier. The problem is very simple: besides the costs, can you get reliable contractors to start and finish on time before the rainy season?

Keep looking for a house, and with some luck you will find a house in better condition.

Alan
Re: Addition to new home

Thank you all for your responses. I'll see if I can get up to the attic and see what might be causing the bump. Perhaps they roofed right on top a raccoon there...

I guess I could also live with the bump in the roof. Not like I would look at that... but any idea on flooring costs, ball park? $5k, $10k+...

A. Spruce
Re: Addition to new home

If you were a contractor yourself, I'd say have at it, your time is your own and you'd only be out materials, but since this is not the case, I would take this house off your list and forget about it. The cost of repairs will put you well beyond the value of the home, so unless it is given to you for free, I wouldn't recommend buying it.

If you are so brave as to purchase this potential, and likely, nightmare, start your repairs from the ground up because adjustments to the base may affect the second floor and the roof line as well.

Without knowing the exact conditions and structural components of the house, there's no ballpark to play in, could be as little as $5k per bump, could be $10k and beyond for each bump, there's no real knowing until you get into such things. If you decide to move forward with this property, I would highly recommend that you hire a local contractor to come and assess the house and provide you with bids for repair. Because you do not own this property, you need to make this clear to the contractor and you need to pay him/her for their time.

dj1
Re: Addition to new home

Spruce is right, you have a Pandora Box here - you open it and the unexpected happens.

The trouble with "estimating" is simple: You don't and can't estimate on things you can't see.

dj1
Re: Addition to new home

In general: every home, new or used, needs some kind of work, remodel, improvement, alteration. The trick is to stay away from a money pit.

Also, when buying a home, don't let your emotions take over your decision making process. If you rely solely on subs to do the odd jobs, fixing and improving, you run a risk of being taken to the cleaners.

Fencepost
Re: Addition to new home

If there was uneven settling, it should be evident as damage to the walls on either side of and perpendicular to the common wall between the original house and the addition. (In other words, the walls that are at right angles to the common wall).

Such damage could include sheetrock cracking, stretching of sheetrock joint tape or wallpaper (possibly in the corner), or siding that slants.

Either way, it sounds to me like the builder who placed the addition was a jack(*ss)-of-all-trades that either didn't care enough to ensure that the addition matched, or they failed to bring the existing structure to level prior to remodeling.

(This is the most common mistake with remodeling old houses: the old structure has settled, and it's not brought back to level before the remodeling starts. When this critical step is not taken, every piece along the way must be custom cut, scribed, and trimmed to fit the unlevel situation. Every subsequent remodeling becomes an exercise in frustration, and ends up costing more in labor than if it was fixed properly in the first place. And then, if you try to fix it later, the interim remodeling will go from level to unlevel.)

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