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james w lazenby
 
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Default Advice needed on new basement - sump hole higher than rest of basement


wrote in message
...
A member of my family is having a new home built. The

basement has been
poured (it has poured walls) and they are waiting for the

walls to fully
"set." Well, yesterday it rained, and what we observed was

that the entire
basement floor appeared to be covered with a significant

amount of water (a
piece of electric wire laying on the floor was completely

submerged),
EXCEPT for the corner where the sump hole is. I then

recalled that the
side of the basement where the sump is was the part that

the concrete
finisher did last (it is the side by the egress window)

and therefore, if
there was a small bit of extra concrete, that was likely

where it wound up.

In any case, it appears we have a situation where as much

as an inch of
water at the far end (give or take a little) would have to

run UPHILL to
reach the sump. Now I should also mention that this

basement is built on
pure sand (literally - there is a sand mine just a mile or

so down the
road) and drainage is very good, so I don't really expect

that there would
be too many situations where the basement might flood -

but on the other
hand, if the unforeseen ever did happen, it would be much

easier to deal
with the problem if the water naturally ran toward the

sump. I should
probably also mention that this basement was constructed

with extra
headroom, so pouring more concrete over the existing floor

would be doable
(in terms of not losing space). And, the general

contractor seems like an
honest person, but I'm not sure that he's aware of this

problem yet.

So I have three questions:

1) Realistically, is this anything to worry about?

You have three questions right here, nobody.
This one does not warrant "worry." Concern and attention,
yes.

Or am I concerned over
nothing?

See above and below.

Should I keep my nose out of this?
That's up to you. Are you your brother's keeper? If it is
your concern, nose on in. If it is not your concern, you
can share what advice you choose with your family member.

2) Would this violate any codes or building standards (in

other words, is
this something a local government building inspector would

take an interest
in if they knew of the problem? This is in Michigan, if

that makes any
difference).

Perhaps codes, certainly building standards . . . especially
the one known as "commonly prevailing in the market."

3) If there is a problem here, what would be the best

approach to take with
the contractor?

Now with four questions! I wish I could pay my bills with
your math.
First, bring it to the builder's or general contractor's
attention in an informative, not accusitorial, way.

Should my family member insist that a new layer of
concrete be poured that slopes toward the sump, or would

that create other
problems?

You slipped another question in here. No and yes,
respecitvely.

Would the excellent drainage of the soil indicate just

leaving
well enough alone?

No.

If you are a contractor, would you categorize this sort
of defect as "serious" or "minor"?

I would categorize it is a defect without adding an
inflamatory adjective. (A pretty routine defect, sorry to
say, and very likely created just as you surmised, as all
the grading indicators would have been removed or
obliterated by the time the finisher reached that corner.)
As a defect, I would correct it to reasonable industry
standards.

4) If additional concrete should be poured, is that

something that the
homeowner would have to bear the expense of, or would that

be considered a
serious enough flaw that the concrete subcontractor should

be required to
fix it on his nickel?

No and yes, respectively.

Neither I nor the family member in question have ever done

anything like
this before, so I guess what I'm wanting to know is

whether this is a
significant problem,

It is not a problem . . . only a defect and a minor
challenge.

or something fairly normal?

I wouldn't say normal, but I wouldn't say abnormal, either.
You know what they say "happens." Well, it does, and you
have to wipe.

I have a feeling the
contractor is not going to think it's anything to be

concerned about, and
if that is the case, is it worth making a fuss over?

No. I have a feeling, also, the contractor is not going to
think it is anything to be concerned about, as he knows he
will take care of and correct the defect without your
concern.

Time is of the essence
here -

You could have left this out. Time is always of the
essence.

if the situation is going to be rectified, it will be much

harder to
do so after another week or so.

You say so. Why? The quicker the better, I'd say as a
general rule, but you say much harder. Let the contractor
set his schedule. He has far more scheduling considerations
than does a new home buyer (who has plenty without worry
over a detail).

My advice in one word (your math):
Don't sweat it. Be thankful if that is the only "defect"
you'll discover or, at least, the worst. (But, somehow, I
expect we will hear from you again.) Have your relative
speak to the builder or contractor. That is your relative's
responsibility (first) on any question or concern.

I have one more word for your relative:
Relax. Enjoy the building of your new home. It is
interesting. Be a partner with the contractor. He is not
your enemy. He is, right now, more proud of what he is
doing than you are. He wants you to be more proud than he
once you have taken posession. I have seen many, many new
homeowners worry themselves sick before moving in . . . and
for a year thereafter, looking for anything than they might
have missed or could go wrong. They have missed, forever,
one of the great experiences of life. Count the blessings.
They are many in a new home. Defects, like life, are sure
to be there. A house, a home, like a life ain't perfect but
it is a joy . . . if enjoyed.

Jim



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Steven
 
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Default Advice needed on new basement - sump hole higher than rest of basement


I have one more word for your relative:
Relax. Enjoy the building of your new home. It is
interesting. Be a partner with the contractor. He is not
your enemy. He is, right now, more proud of what he is
doing than you are. He wants you to be more proud than he
once you have taken posession. I have seen many, many new
homeowners worry themselves sick before moving in . . . and
for a year thereafter, looking for anything than they might
have missed or could go wrong. They have missed, forever,
one of the great experiences of life. Count the blessings.
They are many in a new home. Defects, like life, are sure
to be there. A house, a home, like a life ain't perfect but
it is a joy . . . if enjoyed.

Jim


That is on the verge of being true poetry. I've never heard it said better.


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