Originally Posted By: R. Michael Gray, P.E.
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I know this is a late reply but I am new to this board and believe, late or not, what I have to say may be valuable to you and others.
Robert OConner, PE gave you some websites to review and one of those was www.houston-slab-foundations.info
I am the webmaster for this site. I am sure you have browsed it at this point but there are several aspects to this site that may not be obvious.
First: The site is an informational site only; there are no sales or promotional material on this site. The closest we come is to provide contact information for the webmasters, myself and my son.
Second: Although the information is intended to apply to the Greater Houston Area much of the material applies to any slab-on-ground in expansive soil areas.
Third: The site can be used by any home inspector in the following way: If appropriate in your business, use some boilerplate in your report to refer your clients to the site. Just say something like "for more information concerning the performance evaluation of slab-on-ground performance see www.houston-slab-foundations.info
I am convinced that this will make you look more professional and knowledgeable.
Fourth: The philosophy of repair in the site is that foundation repair is rarely required. It frequently an option and frequently not a good option.
Fifth: The material in the website has been used in a 4-hour seminar sponsored by the Texas Association of Real Estate Inspectors. The most common feedback we got was that it was easily the most valuable and informative foundation seminar they have ever attended. The presentation used in that seminar can be found at www.foundationinspectionnewsletter.com
, a sister site.
Sixth: If you go to the download page of the www.houston-slab-foundations.info
site, there is a PDF file that you can open called Buyer's Guide to Slab-on-Ground Foundations. This is a 50-page booklet (this booklet has been severely edited and expanded in the last few days, so if you have one, it is old) that your clients may find very informative. The booklet on the website can be opened and viewed but not printed. There are some instructions on the download page that explain how to get a printable copy. (You just send an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
and a printable copy will be mailed to you.)
Seventh: One of the reasons for the website and the booklet is that I am convinced that virtually all foundation related lawsuits against engineers and inspectors are nothing more than garbage. If homeowners had a reliable source of information, maybe some of this would go away. Hopefully because your clients at least had an opportunity to become more fully informed, they will be less likely to act on emotion and file a suit just because they angry. Beyond that, if you still get caught up in one, I am convinced that if you referred your client to the site, then it opens numerous lines of defense for you. (Some of these issues are discussed in the Foundation Inspection Newsletter. You can and should access archived issues at www.foundationinspectionnewsletter.com
; this website also includes other items of interest for home inspectors including an excellent public domain book of foundations on expansive soils published by the US Army Corps of Engineers) So the website can be used to help control your liability. You will have to decide if it is right for your inspection practice, but I think for most home inspectors in expansive soil ares, this is a no-brainer.
I hope this is helpful.
R. Michael Gray, PE
Professional Structural Engineer