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 09-14-2004, 08:05 Post: 96408
ncrunch32



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My daughter is finishing up her last year at UB in civil engineering and is working for a civil engineering firm in Buffalo, NY. She told me there is a 20 x 20 mile area in Amherst (suburb of Buffalo) where upscale homes are slowly sinking over time - maybe a 1/2-1 inch every couple of years or so.

It appears the area used to be covered by a lake thousands of years ago, then glaciers covered the mud with the soil you can see there today. The mud layer is 15 feet down and was not observed or taken into account by contractors when they built foundations for the homes.

The homeowners are suing the Town of Amherst since most of the contractors who built these homes 20 years ago are no longer around. Probably it is not likely they will recover anything. Pretty amazing stuff. Anyone every hear of anything like this?






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 09-14-2004, 08:11 Post: 96409
Chief



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You never know how things will shake out with the People's Socialist Republic of New York, but I would thing that it building permits were required and issued by the municipality; there is culpability. If the houses were built to code required by the permits and municipal inspectors, if would seem to me that they will have a hard time trying to dodge that bullet. On the other hand, state and local governments in that state do whatever they want.






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 09-14-2004, 08:17 Post: 96410
ncrunch32



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Would that be PSRN? Laughing out loud. Chief, I just want to be sure that you understand that there is an "upstate NY" and a "downstate NY". Upstate NY begins about 80 miles north of New York City. There is no correlation between the political views or any other views of the two parts of the state - conservative in the north and liberal in the south, they might as well be different states.






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 09-14-2004, 08:25 Post: 96412
Chief



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Perhaps they should be separate states. After a good friend moved to Canadagua NY upon retiring from the Army, he had all of his gun confiscated by the local police dept. when he went to register them and get owner's permits. It took him over 6 months to get them back. The taxes eat his lunch and he soon learned that there was a law for everything and even some things never thought of. It is such a shame as NY is a beautiful state.

I feel for those folks with the sinking houses. There is no easy or inexpensive fix short of hoping that the foundations will sink a limited amount and stabilize.






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 09-14-2004, 08:47 Post: 96414
Murf

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They had a problem like that with a 8 or 10 storey condo up here. Turns out it had been built over an underground stream which was eroding the soil under the footings.

A friend of mine was the engineer hired by the tOwn ot fix it, the simple solution he came up with was a series of de-watering wells. Pump enough water out of the soil and you end up with a large dry block of dirt under the building, that basically creates a larger bearing surface and the weight per sq. inch goes WAY down.

He was able to stop the building from sinking, the prices for those condo units kept sinking though....

Best of luck.






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 09-14-2004, 09:25 Post: 96419
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 Houses Sinking

Chief,

I hear you, working with the local town inspectors can be costly let alone going to the county or state gov't.

The irony would probably be that after you started the law suit, the town condemned the building based on the impending danger, forcing the litigant into bankruptcy and ending their ability to litigate.

I had a coworker here in New Jersey that thought he was going to make a couple million because his house and land was a critical parcel for completion of a housing project/park project. He turned down the towns early offers which were great but not up to his expectations. Later the town went and condemned his property under some law about Parks and Low income housing, and he got next to nothing for the land, and he had to sell the house for very lttle after his property was chopped up by the construction project.






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 09-14-2004, 10:07 Post: 96427
Chief



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The TVA tried something like that with me a few years back. They were real proud and arrogant about rubbing how they siezed my land without having to go to court under the TVA Act of 1933. When I explained them that they would not be allowed to use my drive way for bring in their equipment and that I would STRICTLY enforce my POSTED no treaspassing signs as well as maximally observe my right to make a citizens arrest and confiscate any equipment on my private property to include the TVA Police; they seemed to get a LOT more diplomatic and reasonable. After 10 days straight of heavy rain; my property was one of the few not flooded and they very courteously came back to me with hat in hand begging me to let them on my property. After some negotiating vs. the dictating they tried with me earlier; I got a very good solution worked out.






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 09-14-2004, 12:15 Post: 96438
Iowafun

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 Houses Sinking

My dad had a problem with their old house in Texas. The engineers had done the appropriate drilling and soil samples. That clearly indicated minimums for the foundation. After cracks started to appear in the new house (this was built about 4 years ago), he started to get concerned. He bought a surveyors level and started measuring. The house would shift about 4 inches or so between dry and wet conditions. The neighborhood was built on clay fed by underground streams that exist only during wet seasons. Dry it's fine, wet season showed up and house would move. Make popping noises and such.

Dad went to the city and got a copy of the building plans and such including the design of the foundation. Took some effort to dig down along the foundation on a couple of sides of the house. But the tape measure didn't lie. The contractor for the foundation went cheap and did not build to the specified requirements by a large margin. All the home in the neighborhood had been done this way. All had major problems.

One fix was to tear into the inside of the house, drill trhough the concrete foundation and install pilings. A major mess since this has to be done from the inside of the house that you live in. The builder started to buy back homes and bulldozed them. A real mess for people though.






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 09-14-2004, 15:24 Post: 96453
Murf

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Hey Randy, you might be more right than you thought, check out the story linked to below.


Best of luck.






Link:   State Tax Burden 

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 09-14-2004, 18:17 Post: 96467
lucerne

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 Houses Sinking

Ncrunch32 Those people need to go to New Orleans out by the airport. Some of the houses out there are 2 feet under ground on one end. They where buit on slabs and are sliding undergound. No pylons. When your in the city and a truck or bus goes by your car when your sitting still, you can feel your car bounce like it's on Jello. New Orleans is 8 feet below sea level and is all river silt. I have watched them drive 120 foot concrete pylons down town for high rise buildings, the first 60 feet they just push them down, then pound the other 60 ft. I did an addition to an old house on the street closest to the river, a few feet down we found just about everything clay marbles,real old bottles a complete horse shoe set with pin that had sunk over the years and disapeared.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Other Home Building Forum

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