Did they forget to finish the foundation?

Hello Everyone,

This is from todays inspection. It looks like to me they just didnt finish the foundation at the back of the home. At the very least the brick veneer is to close to grade at worst…well let me know what you think.This is on a new build just under one year old.






Looks like the brick masons parged the lower course of bricks to make it appear to be part of the slab-on-grade foundation. I agree that the veneer is too close to grade and the weepholes on the patio are likely to permit moisture intrusion.

This could be intentional for aesthetics, not that it blows my skirt up, or a bust on the layout.

The only way to be certain is to get a set of stamped city approved plans and do a take off on the affected rooms.

If it’s a bust the patio would be doubtfully designed, no footing present, to carry the brick load and an SE would have to sign off on this retro fit.

Agree with the moisture issue.

Thanks guys for reconfirming what I was thinking. Thanks Barry for the info on the city approved plans I will put that in my report.


When did you start wearing one of those?

not that it blows my skirt up,

Marcel :mrgreen: :wink:

Looks like either the framers or concrete crew didn’t pay attention to the plan.
A).The concrete crew did not pour the job to accomodate the brick.
B).The framers did not backset the framed wall to accomodate the brick.

Both instances would be because of builders lack of communication with either trade.
If I were you I would want to see the plans.
If I thought for a miniute the brick was on a parge coat I would definately get the architect and structural engineer involved to do some fact finding measurements.
This could be a disaster waiting to happen.

It’s from my Irish heritage in a previous life. Guess I should have been more specific and said, Kilt.


cant see why this would be a disaster waiting to happen?

IF all that the brick is bearing on is mortar, NOT footing, and that mortar crumbles away…then what would the brick be resting on?

IF this is truly what is happening , it is not a matter of if the brick and mortar fails , but when.

If this was my house I would definately think the cost of re-bricking was a disaster to my pocket book.

I seriously doubt that the only thing holding up those bricks is just mortar.

The bricks going all the way down to the patio surface is done for aesthetics. I used to come across this all of the time in San Antonio while I was inspecting there. More then likely the foundation is under the brick and supporting it. The only real issue is the likely hood of moisture entering through the weep holes. Poor design but I used to see it every where.

If the bricks are flashed properly, there is no danger from moisture entering the weep holes…it will simply come back out again. If done correctly, there should be flexible flashing, preferably neoprene or similar material, fastened high (about 16 inches) above the weep hole level to the structure behind the brick, extending down to the course where the weeps are located, and extending out across the top of the next brick down, or the concrete brick shelf, or the steel lintel, whichever applies.

If the wall is solid masonry, the flashing should be embedded all the way through the back-up in a masonry course about 16 inches above the weeps, and extend down and out as described.

The space in the wall above the flashing, if any, should be kept clear of mortar droppings and other construction debris.

Only if a wall isn’t properly flashed is there danger from moisture entering weep holes.

Well sure.
One would hope ties were installed as well. But then again ties are more to keep the brick parallel to its wall rather than bearing any weight.
I don’t see a brick ledge in the photos, do you?
All I see is a sloppy parge coat or, more like, a mortar ledge.As you should know, mortar is not strong enough to be an unsupported ledge
It’s perfectly fine for the brick to hang over the ledge about an inch , so why would someone go to the trouble of running a parge coat below the first course?

Obviously the bricks are not supported by the parge coat. What may have happened is that the original foundation was exposed and someone didn’t like it, but the brick shelf wasn’t set back enough so that the parge coat could come up under the brick. So, what they got was a parge coat that is outside of the face of the brick, semi-neatly beveled on top to meet the brick surface. I can’t conceive of anyone producing a parge coat that is three-and-five-eights of an inch thick, and then expecting to support brick on it.

Well, maybe someone will disagree and give me a red square and not print his name to it, but here goes. ha. ha.

I have to agree with Richard in his last post.

Not being in the Texas area and accustom to the building techniques, I would have to say that this was a slab on grade and when it was poured at the finish floor elevation, the entrance porch slab was not considered.

What you see in the picture, or at least what I see, is the slab edge having been chipped away to provide a nesting place for the 1 course of brick below the finish floor.

I have to assume the since the weep holes are present at the lower elevation, the same weep holes exist on the finish floor elevation.

The parging that everyone is thinking about is basically the mortar wash to hide the chipping since it was not cut like it should of been.

I would imagine that in the Texas Area, they would have provided a bond breaker between the slab of the entrance and the foundation to provide for the natural thermal expansion.

Shoddy workmanship for a new house.

Assuming that the brick flashing was installed on the higher portion of the slab, wicking under the flashing could occur and find it’s way to the interior.
Flashing should always be installed down 1 brick from finish elevation for that purpose.

Hope this helps.

Marcel :slight_smile: :smiley:


Aww Gee , Marcel , why would someone give you a red ?
The more thoughts to kick around the better.
Yours are as good as anyones.