Is this a major problem? Page 1 / 3

vintage_betty, May 8, 4:41pm
From the builders report on the house we are purchasing. We are in Christchurch where everything is 100 x more complicated.
"The house has had the floors leveled by spreading concrete type product over the low portion of the floors to the same level as the high portion, the main structure of the house i.e frames, windows, roof etc
have remained in the same out of level condition. The measurement between the floor and ceiling is different by about 85mm from the back to the front of the house, visually it is hard to pick up this difference but does exist."
I know absolutely NOTHING about stuff like this. Our lawyer didn't seemed too concerned but he's not a builder lol
Thoughts please.


martin11, May 8, 4:50pm
Would be interesting to know why the place is out of level ? Was it earthquake related or built like that . How old is the home ?

gammycontent, May 8, 4:54pm
Sounds like a statement of fact.

But were the floors levelled as part of an earthquake damage repair strategy or simply slumping of the house over time.

If it was part of an earthquake repair strategy it doesn't sound like the house floor level was returned to a condition as when new.

The trouble with floor levelling compound is that it only serves to flatten or take a fall off a floor. It does nothing for the actual foundations nor the things attached to it - like walls, windows doors and roof.

As long as you know precisely what you are buying and paying a suitable price based on that knowledge then probably not a lot to be concerned about. (Also think about future resale)

If it was me I'd be digging a bit deeper.

vintage_betty, May 8, 4:56pm
Sorry, I was a bit slack with the info. My head is all over the place at the moment.
It is a 90's home, Was damaged in the February quake and was bought as an "as is where is" house. Repaired by new owners. It was checked by engineers after fixed and then fully insured. We looking at buying it. Got a building report, everything seems to check out ok. This is the only thing that sounds a bit worrying.

martin11, May 8, 5:00pm
Thats a cheap way to fix the problem . place should have been lifted by grout injection if the ground under the home would support it .
Possible the home was never level from when it was built .
Hope its a reasonable buy . Not top dollar .

gammycontent, May 8, 5:04pm
Makes valuations tricky. Got to be worth less than a similar property that had repairs completed to insurance contract standard.

+2 for not paying top dollar

vintage_betty, May 8, 5:05pm
Thanks martin11. It's not top dollar as first home buyers we can't afford top dollar! I guess we just don't want to make the biggest mistake of our lives. I am finding it so stressful as it is.

martin11, May 8, 5:16pm
Just remember that if you buy it as is you will have to find a buyer to sell it to as is in the future . It would be expensive to lift the house back to level if it is possible . Possibly not worth the cost .

spyware, May 8, 7:52pm
Would have to be nuts to buy it. Demolish it if you do. Land must be crap as well.

aphra1, May 8, 8:01pm
Firstly have a chat to the building inspector about what he thinks would have been the best way to repair ask him if he would let his kids buy it. Has it been signed off by an engineer? Leveling compound is a lazy repair strategy and since you're inexperienced buyers I would recommend you seek further expert advice before committing.

gillian25, May 8, 8:14pm
My major concern would be floor levels. 85 is close to right off.

Check with Ins Company if Insurance is transferable.and repaired damage is covered.

tygertung, May 9, 4:06am
It is a problem with concrete floors they are difficult to repair. Piles are easy enough to re-level but a concrete floor is harder to adjust.

david_270, May 9, 6:52am
Yes it is a major problem. The house has had a cheap quick fix and is being flicked on. Yes, it will be livable, and cheaper than a similar properly repaired house.
You might be able to get insurance on it, but in the case of any future earthquake a claim will probably be declined on the basis of pre-existing damage. The insurers won't tell you that.
This sort of situation is why John & Gerry's legacy is called "Leaky Homes MkII".

vintage_betty, May 9, 7:31am
Thanks everyone. Looks like we will likely pull out of sale then. Gutted :-(
That's a whole heap of money down the drain for nothing. Still, better than more problems down the track I guess.

martin11, May 9, 7:38am
The insurance companies have a clause in their contracts about existing damage and the do warn you about it when you get new insurance .
Leaky Homes Mk11 the has been a problem with these home for years and most of it is due to bad design and faulty workmanship .

traykuku, May 9, 8:20am
This is just what I have been talking about & been accused of "scaremongering",.
Just because you have insurance does not mean they will pay out in a future event. It will not be totally insured against a future event until it is rebuilt/repaired to the scope which the owner at the time of the EQ's was paid out for.

vintage_betty, May 9, 8:39am
Does this change anything?

"It's not actually a levelling compound. It's an engineered Firth product that has fibres in that replicate steel. Ash has all the specifications on this. The Slab moved as one stone this was the best way to level and strengthen the slab. The concrete product is bonded to the original slab also. Please contact Ash or Firth for specifications."

traykuku, May 9, 8:45am
I would want to see the original scope to see what the owners were paid out for. if this was the IC's repair strategy all good but I have a feeling that the people that bought it "as is" have gone for the cheapest option.
I wouldn't touch it.

brightlights60, May 9, 9:18am
Best thing is to get a price to get your house level. If you can't, don't touch it.

gammycontent, May 9, 10:01am
I feel very sad for OP. Here they are about to buy their first house and they are faced with an EQ one to deal with. It should be an exciting prospect - not one fraught with so much potential difficulty

Congrats to OP for asking the questions. I hope it turns out for the best but I fear it won't. Seems to me that rather than leveling the slab the surface has been made level. I don't think this is an optimum outcome.

OP - I suggest you get a solicitor who knows about these things. I (and others who have posted here who know about these things) don't think it is that straightforward. You need good advice.

david_270, May 9, 1:27pm
Welcome to the wonderful world of building.
Post-earthquake many homeowners have had to become informed about issues that they never thought they would need to know about.
That includes having a finely tuned bulls**t detector.
If you start with the understanding that because of pressure from insurers and re-insurers the government orchestrated a litany of BS via EQC and MBIE to save money. That BS included substandard assessments and repair strategies, along with substandard repair work. Then there are the homes where owners took the money and ran, after either doing their own repairs, or selling "as is" for the quick fix lads.
Have a look at the comments in the Peter Glasson thread.
There have been plenty of articles in The Press & elsewhere, the blogs on EQC Fix, and discussions in the FB EQ groups.

vintage_betty, May 9, 2:07pm
Thanks. Yes it has been one of the most stressful things and not exciting at all :-(
We are aready nearly $4,000 down and if we walk away we have nothing. I could just cry.

So damn engineers, why would they recommend floor levelling compound if that wasn't going to be enough? That just peeves me off.

martin11, May 9, 2:32pm
Only the last couple of lines actually apply to this home . The repair was not instigated by EQC or insurance co's .It more like the house was written off and the owners took the cash offered then did a quick shoddy patch up job trying to make a buck out of it . Wonder who the Engineer was that actually signed off this repair ?

david_270, May 9, 2:39pm
Be grateful to have dodged a bullet. A harsh lesson, but that is why there has been so much fuss about the "on-solds".
And many engineers just do and say whatever they are paid to say.
After the EQC Engineer debacle, where he was found to have been negligent and incompetant, then excused by the governments mates in Wellington, there seems to be no need for Engineers to have any regard to their code of ethics or professional standards.
Look for homes on good land, and/or really substantial and well documented repairs.

traykuku, May 9, 2:40pm
Is that what the engineers recommended? I doubt it. It was probably paid out as a rebuild or at least a very substantial repair. The owners would have wanted "as new" so would never accept that sort of repair . But instead of fixing/rebuilding, they have sold "as is" to pocket more $$$ & the people they have sold it to have fixed it as cheap as possible & are now trying to sell to some poor sod that will end up with a lemon & big problems down the track.

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