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Sloping floors

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: Mar 21 2004

I'm looking at an Eichler in Redwood City, CA. The floors are fairly uneven in the living room. I was told by the Eichler Broker that it is common for the area and isn't an issue with the foundation. But would love to hear from anyone who has seen this problem.

Joined: Jan 4 2004

I'm a General Contractor, and I am familiar with the Redwood City Eichlers. The slab foundation on every Eichler that I have worked on is usually pretty far from being level. It seems that is the way that they were poured. One thing that I can tell you is we have found that the exterior footings are fairly deep (1'-2' on the average), and a number of homes have interior footings (trenches cut into grade that are reinforced with rebar and filled with concrete, positioned beneath load bearing walls or posts).
If there is excessive settling, you'll be able to see significant separation at the exterior wall where the exterior footing meets the slab portion of the foundation. If that is the case, there may be sinking of the exterior wall.
If that is the case, it usually relates to poor drainage and an excessive amount of water saturating the soils adjacent to the footings (you'll see evidence of this in water stains, excessive moss growth, etc. in the affected area).
In my experience, I have yet to see one original Eichler slab floor that is continuously level in the interior (they did not have lasers in those days). If no evidence of settling is present, I would not worry about the structural considerations of the problem you are describing.


Joined: Mar 2 2004

A floor that slopes enough to notice is not very common is most neighborhoods. I have seen several homes with severe sloping in 19th Ave. Park in San Mateo. Look at the map on our website, we've probably done 35% of the roofs there. If you walked the right direction, you would almost end up running. Last September a Palo Alto home used concrete to level a severely sloping section of the house. Areas built on fill are more likely to have the possibility of settling. In Redwood Shores, a townhouse developement (10 years old) used high pressure grouting to level the buildings. They had won a $19M settlement from the developer. The building settled enough that that putting them level ruined some of the asphalt shingle roofs on sections. It really destroyed the tar roofs, which are not flexible at all. We installed foam roofs on 40 plus buildings, and are not worried about possible future settlement. Our roofs are more flexible that the wood structure. A slightly sloping floor is not a fatal flaw, and can be fixed fairly easily with concrete topping. I had it done in February in a building I own in Redwood City.

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