Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Addition Headache

Because of the leak in the sun room, we brought in a contractor to look at the addition (which houses the sun room), just in case there were unseen problems. Indeed, there is. A big one. 

Turns out the previous owners removed the foundation that had originally been holding up the addition and replaced it with concrete and wood posts. I'm not sure what their reasoning was - if there were problems prior, but whatever the case, they mucked up. The contractor immediately looked at it and said it wasn't to code, the owners had not gotten the proper permits from the city and that this would have to be fixed within the next year or so. If it's not fixed, the foundation will start to sink and the addition will pull away from the house! As we live in a location that gets snow, it's crucial that the foundation be below the frost line, which it is not. The contractor said that chances are, what they took away foundation-wise, probably would have been better.

So the next steps are to get an engineer in who will draw up plans on how to repair this. We then have to get the proper permits from the city and get a construction crew in to do the work. This could be anywhere from $5,000 - $15,000, although the contractor figured it would be about $7,500, so on the lower end thank goodness. It all depends on what the engineer thinks has to be done. Thankfully he said this doesn't have to be done immediately - we can wait a year or so as shifting in one year is not going to change much. A few years though and the repair costs could go up.

So on top of the previous owner's not telling us about the sun room leak, they also didn't disclose this huge issue. Something that they not only didn't disclose, but also something they screwed up. The contractor who saw the addition sent an email to our lawyer stating all the evidence that points to the previous owners have done it.

Our lawyer is hoping to get some money from the previous owners to fix it. We also got title insurance, which the lawyer says may cover the foundation issues not being to code. It's all up in the air now, but our lawyer is taking both avenues to try and get us some money for both this and the roof. But of course, we have to pay the lawyer for his time! Ideally he can get us the full amount for the addition and at least part of the cost of the roof and his costs won't be horrendous. If he can save us $10,000 and we have to pay him $2,000, I'll be happy. Time will tell!

In the meantime, the Option A roofer confirmed he can and will do the work, so that is scheduled for next weekend! We can save a lot of money going with him, so that's great. We will need the extra money to pay for the addition work upfront.

While we do have all these headaches, I am finally starting to feel settled in the new house. I think once I know how much the addition will cost and how much we are able to get from the previous owners/title insurance, I'll feel better.

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