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bagelhead
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Post by bagelhead » Sun May 28, 2017 9:28 pm

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Last edited by bagelhead on Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JonnyDVM
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by JonnyDVM » Sun May 28, 2017 9:32 pm

Anytime someone mentions the term "foundation issue"- I run. There's too many houses for sale that don't potentially have catastrophic issues. Why bother?

When we were house shopping last summer we looked at one that felt a little slanted in some rooms. Put a ball on the floor and it rolled hard to a corner. Immediate pass.
Last edited by JonnyDVM on Mon May 29, 2017 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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adamthesmythe
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by adamthesmythe » Sun May 28, 2017 9:57 pm

> There's too many houses for sale that don't potentially have catastrophic issues.

Except maybe there aren't a lot of other houses for sale and maybe it isn't a catastrophic issue.

Some places almost every house has settling to one degree or another.

If this is a rare house meeting your criteria then maybe take a chance on a structural engineer inspection. The questions to ask are whether it is signficantly out of level and whether settling is continuing. If it is not then the doors are a minor inconvenience.

mortfree
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by mortfree » Sun May 28, 2017 10:00 pm

Since there were no visible cracks, do you think it had anything to do with the temperature inside the home? Expansion and contraction of wood materials?

mouses
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by mouses » Sun May 28, 2017 10:08 pm

It's a forty year old house. It's bound to have settled.

Is the soil clay? If so, the house will be going up and down at different rates in different areas all year. Different doors will stick at various times.

Why didn't you look at the tile and walls?

If you like the house, have a reputable foundation engineer look at it and then decide.

sport
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by sport » Sun May 28, 2017 10:10 pm

mortfree wrote:Since there were no visible cracks, do you think it had anything to do with the temperature inside the home? Expansion and contraction of wood materials?
I would expect the door frame to expand and contract about the same amount as the door. So, a tight fit should have other causes.

MarvinK
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by MarvinK » Sun May 28, 2017 10:58 pm

Pass.

Otherwise, hire both a Structural engineer and geotechnical (dirt) engineer to do an analysis that you will pay for, for your own due diligence.

e5116
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by e5116 » Sun May 28, 2017 11:22 pm

Just because some doors are tight you're assuming a foundation issue and others are suggesting a quick pass? Seems to me to be jumping to conclusions prematurely. Maybe because I live in a 100 year old house and am in a historic neighborhood, but most of the homes have some floors that are slightly slopped and other things like that. Houses do often settle over time and make things slightly crooked, but it doesn't mean there's a foundation issue and that the house is going to fall over.

If you like the house and price, I wouldn't put too much stock into what a realtor says at this moment. (Although I'm surprised it's the sellers agent... is that right?! Why the heck would they say that if they didn't already have a report? That's not serving their client's best interests. if they already have a report, it should be in their disclosure and I'd request a copy). Having said that, the inspection is to uncover issues like this and you always have an out there if something comes up. So, yes, absolutely don't waive an inspection contingency and get it thoroughly looked at by an expert IF the house meets all of your other criteria and is your top choice.

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unclescrooge
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by unclescrooge » Sun May 28, 2017 11:32 pm

A good inspection will uncover foundation issues.

An older home probably has settled, causing the issues with the doors.

Might not be as big if an issue as you think.

My friend night a home with known foundation issues. Jacked it up and fixed it. Cost $25k in VHCOL area. House was 1350 sq ft, he bought for $750k, and will probably spend over $100k fixing up.

Boats day
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by Boats day » Mon May 29, 2017 12:07 am

Ask for another showing and bring a 8 foot level with you.

Check level on all floors. If it's not level bail on this property. Also check walls to see if they r plum.


Finally if everything is level I would still make sure an inspection of foundation as a contingency.

Best of luck
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by 123 » Mon May 29, 2017 1:32 am

Boats day wrote:Ask for another showing and bring a 8 foot level with you.
If there are wood or tile floors you could also just bring a few marbles. Put them on the floor and see where roll and how fast.
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bogglizer
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by bogglizer » Mon May 29, 2017 1:42 am

Speaking from experience, don't go there.
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celia
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by celia » Mon May 29, 2017 2:03 am

Are the doors hung correctly? Is the spacing between the closed door and the jamb even all around? Or does it bind in (touch) the jamb even with the door closed?

Take a large carpenter's square to the house and see if the doors and jamb are square. It could be that the owner replaced doors himself to save money but didn't pay attention to the details.

jharkin
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by jharkin » Mon May 29, 2017 6:18 am

e5116 wrote:Just because some doors are tight you're assuming a foundation issue and others are suggesting a quick pass? Seems to me to be jumping to conclusions prematurely. Maybe because I live in a 100 year old house and am in a historic neighborhood, but most of the homes have some floors that are slightly slopped and other things like that. Houses do often settle over time and make things slightly crooked, but it doesn't mean there's a foundation issue and that the house is going to fall over.

If you like the house and price, I wouldn't put too much stock into what a realtor says at this moment. (Although I'm surprised it's the sellers agent... is that right?! Why the heck would they say that if they didn't already have a report? That's not serving their client's best interests. if they already have a report, it should be in their disclosure and I'd request a copy). Having said that, the inspection is to uncover issues like this and you always have an out there if something comes up. So, yes, absolutely don't waive an inspection contingency and get it thoroughly looked at by an expert IF the house meets all of your other criteria and is your top choice.
+1. 200 year old house here and nothing is straight. Some floors are sagged as much as a few inches in spots.... Not foundation, it's due to sagging beams.

Tight doors can also be due to water problems. If en exterior facing wood door has failed paint and it gets water soaked it will swell and get stuck.

carolinaman
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by carolinaman » Mon May 29, 2017 6:58 am

It is quite normal for houses to settle and cause problems like you described. IMO, that is more probable than foundation problems and can be easily fixed by a good carpenter. I had a couple of doors like this and had them adjusted when doing some remodeling a few years ago (my house is 44 years old).

OTOH, it would be dangerous to assume this is the problem. If you want to buy the home, I would suggest making an offer contingent upon no material problems from a general and foundation inspection which you would pay for (I want this person working for me, not the homeowner). This gives you an out or negotiating leverage if material items are found in the inspection.

Older homes will likely have some problems, but if it has been well maintained, you should not find major problems. As others have mentioned, moisture will cause wood doors to expand and very dry conditions will cause them to shrink. We go through this every summer (humidity) and winter (dry air) with our wood doors and hardwood floors.

mouses
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by mouses » Mon May 29, 2017 9:07 am

e5116 wrote:Just because some doors are tight you're assuming a foundation issue and others are suggesting a quick pass? Seems to me to be jumping to conclusions prematurely. Maybe because I live in a 100 year old house and am in a historic neighborhood, but most of the homes have some floors that are slightly slopped and other things like that. Houses do often settle over time and make things slightly crooked, but it doesn't mean there's a foundation issue and that the house is going to fall over.
I live in an area with some quite older houses, and my Dad use to say that sloping floors were part of their charm :-)

Rupert
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by Rupert » Mon May 29, 2017 9:18 am

e5116 wrote: If you like the house and price, I wouldn't put too much stock into what a realtor says at this moment. (Although I'm surprised it's the sellers agent... is that right?! Why the heck would they say that if they didn't already have a report? That's not serving their client's best interests. if they already have a report, it should be in their disclosure and I'd request a copy).
+1. The fact that the seller's agent said this makes me think there are known foundation issues. I would contact the agent again and specifically ask if any foundation issues are known and demand copies of any reports before spending another second thinking about buying this house.

Carson
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by Carson » Mon May 29, 2017 11:57 am

e5116 wrote:Just because some doors are tight you're assuming a foundation issue and others are suggesting a quick pass? Seems to me to be jumping to conclusions prematurely. Maybe because I live in a 100 year old house and am in a historic neighborhood, but most of the homes have some floors that are slightly slopped and other things like that. Houses do often settle over time and make things slightly crooked, but it doesn't mean there's a foundation issue and that the house is going to fall over.

If you like the house and price, I wouldn't put too much stock into what a realtor says at this moment. (Although I'm surprised it's the sellers agent... is that right?! Why the heck would they say that if they didn't already have a report? That's not serving their client's best interests. if they already have a report, it should be in their disclosure and I'd request a copy). Having said that, the inspection is to uncover issues like this and you always have an out there if something comes up. So, yes, absolutely don't waive an inspection contingency and get it thoroughly looked at by an expert IF the house meets all of your other criteria and is your top choice.
I could not agree more with this statement. I am also in an old house, and most of our doors are fine, but there's a few sticking points, especially depending on what season it is. We also have floors that slope and some cracked plaster we've had to repair.

If you are genuinely interested in giving it a go, ask for any previous inspections, get your own ASHI certified home inspector and make your own decisions.
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JonnyDVM
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by JonnyDVM » Mon May 29, 2017 12:06 pm

If you really like the house then get an inspector to look at it. I stand by my prior statement that I wouldn't touch a house with foundation issues. Everyone I know who's gotten involved in a house like that either 1) gets quotes for repair and runs or 2) falls in love with it, buys it despite the issues and regrets the decision.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

AlwaysBeClimbing
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by AlwaysBeClimbing » Tue May 30, 2017 3:38 pm

Carson wrote:
e5116 wrote:Just because some doors are tight you're assuming a foundation issue and others are suggesting a quick pass? Seems to me to be jumping to conclusions prematurely. Maybe because I live in a 100 year old house and am in a historic neighborhood, but most of the homes have some floors that are slightly slopped and other things like that. Houses do often settle over time and make things slightly crooked, but it doesn't mean there's a foundation issue and that the house is going to fall over.

If you like the house and price, I wouldn't put too much stock into what a realtor says at this moment. (Although I'm surprised it's the sellers agent... is that right?! Why the heck would they say that if they didn't already have a report? That's not serving their client's best interests. if they already have a report, it should be in their disclosure and I'd request a copy). Having said that, the inspection is to uncover issues like this and you always have an out there if something comes up. So, yes, absolutely don't waive an inspection contingency and get it thoroughly looked at by an expert IF the house meets all of your other criteria and is your top choice.
I could not agree more with this statement. I am also in an old house, and most of our doors are fine, but there's a few sticking points, especially depending on what season it is. We also have floors that slope and some cracked plaster we've had to repair.

If you are genuinely interested in giving it a go, ask for any previous inspections, get your own ASHI certified home inspector and make your own decisions.
I'll +1 this as well. Sticking doors, by themselves, don't indicate foundation issues. Get a thorough home inspection done and you should know what's up.

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lthenderson
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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by lthenderson » Tue May 30, 2017 3:49 pm

I think it is WAY to early to assume a settled foundation. There are many easily fixed problems that can cause this problem. I've run across poorly designed floors that have bowed, plumbers and electricians that have notched support structure to the point it has bowed (most common cause of settling floors), former owners that have removed structure that shouldn't have been removed (second most common cause), etc. All of those I have fixed with a few hundred dollars worth of lumber and a few hours worth of work. Anyone competent in basic home structure should be able to inspect and figure out what is causing the problem.

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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by ralph124cf » Tue May 30, 2017 9:29 pm

Although it is certainly possible that foundation issues have caused the sticking door problem, check the door screws. If the screws have loosened, either the screws from the hinges into the door, or the screws from the hinge into the jamb, then the door will stick. Try jiggling the door up and down. If it moves, the screws are not tight.

Ralph

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Re: House Shopping: Some Doors Open/Close Poorly, Foundation Problem?

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue May 30, 2017 11:24 pm

sport wrote:
mortfree wrote:Since there were no visible cracks, do you think it had anything to do with the temperature inside the home? Expansion and contraction of wood materials?
I would expect the door frame to expand and contract about the same amount as the door. So, a tight fit should have other causes.
Yes, but because it's attached to the rest of the framing, and the foundation, and ultimately the ground, all of which expand and contract at different rates depending on the temperature and moisture content, things can still seasonally bind. In particular you can also get uneven settling or expansion/contraction causing slight racking, in which case you'll probably see contact at the top but not the bottom, or vice versus.

I had an exterior door that opened just fine in the summer, but that bound in the winter due to this racking until I adjusted the shimming. This is on a detached garage that has a big crack running down the middle of the floor that changes in width by probably about 1/4" over the seasons. The ground (clay) is clearly moving a fair amount between the wet season and the dry season. However, the slab is separate from the foundation, and the foundation looks to be in great shape despite 30+ years of this cycling - modern reinforced T-footings are pretty resilient, and I suspect the weight of the foundation forces most of the ground movement under it to occur laterally (perhaps slightly increasing the slab movement), rather than vertically.

If after 40 years, the only issue is a few doors binding, the cost to fix that is relatively minor, and that's probably pretty good. Some amount of settling and warping is normal over time.

But of course, you don't want to assume that. As suggested below, ask if any prior inspections have been done and request a copy if so. I don't think they have to give it to you unless you make an offer. If there are not, but you are definitely interested in the house, make an offer and get your own inspection done, first a general, then if that checks out and you want further piece of mind, by somebody qualified to do foundation inspections.

That the house has been on the market for 6 months suggests the seller should be amenable to below list offers, or revised offers if something comes up during inspection that isn't serious enough to kill the sale.

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