Originally Posted By: Helen Zhang
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.
Thank you for your reply.
This condo is located in Medford, MA 02155. Some people told me that Medford has a reputation of bad soil.
For your information, I cited some paragraph from this structure engineer's report.
The purpose of this visit was your concern about some cracks, which occurred in the apartment that your are planning to buy, as well as in the corridor of this building.
This is a 4-story brick veneer wood frame building, according to our observations.
Upon going to the apartment of concern, we noticed some very substantial movement of the floor and cracks in the partitions of the building. It would be important first, to know whether or not, any of the people who owned the apartments below this apartment, have not removed any of the partition under in their apartment, which would have been a bad mistake. If they did not remove any of the wall under this apartment, it is our professional opinion, that the structure is very improperly supported. This is an important structural concern, which will be very expensive and difficult to diagnose and repair.
This type of movement is very concerning and in our professional opinion, cracks of that nature would recur even if they were to be locally repaired.
Upon going through the corridor, we noticed a very substantial amount of cracks. Unfortunately, we could not go to the other apartments, but, there are more reasons than none, that cracks would also have occurred in other apartments.
Upon opening some ceiling tiles in the corridor, not far form the apartment of concern, we noticed that the joists, which were supposed to e borne on the partition, were not properly supported. A movement of the partition caused this and again, there are more reasons than none, that this would be a foundation problem, or improper design of the building. Foundation problems are very expensive to repair and expensive to diagnose.
We therefore, recommend that you obtain the structural plans of this building. If the structural plans are proper, and if the persons having the apartment below the apartment of concern, have not moved any of the structure, then the next step would be to investigate the foundations.
Note that as you could not obtain the structural plans, the proper investigation of the building would be made very difficult and would have called for the exposure of the structural members.
This report addresses only those structural problems observed during the walk-through and documented above. ------No warranty or guarantee is expressed or implied with any structure---------
Let me see if I understand him correctly:
1. He thinks that those cracks were caused by people who owned the apartments below this apartment had removed something like a wall, in their apartments.
The fact is that we didn?t have access to any of those apartment below. And I have tried to talked to 2 residents I met in the parking lot. I asked them about the cracks. One said he owns his unit over 20 years, there were no any problems. The other said she owned the unit on the first floor just below the one that I was planning to buy for 7 years and she didn?t see any cracks in her units.(I wish they were telling the truth)
2 He thinks that those cracks might be caused by improper design.
I have tried my best and I just could get the original construction Documentation that the structure engineer requested. The Condo Association said they didn?t have it. I went to the city hall twice and they said they had an outdated filing system, and they just couldn?t find those structural plans.
3 He thinks that those cracks were caused by foundation problem, but it is out of his scope of work to diagnose.
So, basically he is saying that, ? there is more reason than none? that there could be structural problems with this building, but because of lack of adequate documentation and evidence, he is not sure about what caused the cracks. Am I right?
I really like this place. If it was not because of concern of those cracks, I?d really want to buy it.
As a matter of fact, I was thinking, in the past 4 months, there were 5 units of this building was sold. Why those buyer weren?t concerned about the cracks as much as I do? or it is just me overreacted or they are willing to gamble?
Please, tell me what do you think.
Helen ![icon_sad.gif](upload://nMBtKsE7kuDHGvTX96IWpBt1rTb.gif) ![icon_sad.gif](upload://nMBtKsE7kuDHGvTX96IWpBt1rTb.gif) ![icon_sad.gif](upload://nMBtKsE7kuDHGvTX96IWpBt1rTb.gif)