Foundation Issue without Physical Evidence?

Hi everyone - I hope someone can help me out with this question.

We bought a house in 2006 (Colorado Springs, CO) and had a home inspection done - the inspector said the foundation was perfect, no problems,etc. Shortly after we moved in I noticed a bulge in the kitchen floor - called the inspector back - he said there was a jack below it (in teh crawl space) and it was overjacked and needed to be lowered but no big deal. We didn’t do anything about it but a couple months ago we noticed our front door and side door (directly off the kitchen and the “suspect” floor) were no longer closing properly - the deadlock on the front didn’t fit - but everything else seemed fine. No sticking but I did notice a small horizontal crack (about 4 inches long) at the top of hte door frame.

Decided to have a company come out and look the floor to determine if it was causing the door issues. The first structural company (Foundation specialist) came out, did an extremely thorough investigation, and told us our house had settled 3 inches in the rear and we needed $16k - $24k worth of work. The strange thing, though, is the house shows no physical signs of shifting. There are no cracks in the foundation, none in the walls other than two small cracks by hte front door (less than 4 inches long) and our brick fireplace (which is in the room with the most settling) is completely in tact with no shifting.

I then got a second opinion from another local firm that also specializes in foundation work. This guy was NOT thorough and told me we had no foundation issue and the problem was the over jacked floor. I even tried to direct him to the concerns the first estimate provided - and he said with no cracking or issues with the doors in that room - we did not have a foundation problem.

SO - my real question - is it possible for a house to settle that much (3 inches) and for there to be so little physical evidence? I don’t want to be naive but also don’t want to shell out $24k to fix a problem that may have occured when teh house was built 27 years ago in 1980.

We’re having a structural engineer come out this week but would love some of your feedback - either to ease my mind or brace if for potentially bad news.


With the right soil conditions it is possible for reinforced concrete foundations to settle uniformly where they are heavier (around the perimeter)—thus the central posts not settling as much. This could account for your hump in the floor and the resultant changes in doors opening and closing properly. Reinforced concrete foundations might not crack at all under this scenario. A good Geo-Technical engineer should be able to clear this up for you.

It is possible for a house to settle evenly which might address why there are so few clues, but without knowing what type of soil the foundations rests on it’s a guessing game.

It is difficult to diagnose something over the internet without any pictures, but even then its a guess.

Personally I would wait for the third opinion of a structural engineeer.

Its perplexing as to why a jack post and the bulge in the floor became apparent. Perhaps it was there during the course of the inspection but was overlooked, then again…

Some ideas and this is strictly adding information as others have said we can not inspect from away and with very limited information .
Has the ground dried out more then usual ground does shrink and expand with moisture .
The out side could shrink more then under the home .
Are there footings . Ground does grow and expand with freezing and the out side can become frozen while the inside did not .
You do need a person who is an expert in that area. Please do keep us posted on what you find out as these concerns help us all to learn.
All the Best .
… Cookie

Thanks for your advice.

The sellers disclosed the floor lump - they said it didn’t show up until they had new hardwood floors put in right before sale.

I had the home inspector come back after our initial inspection (prior to our official home purchase) to look at it again - this is when he told me the floor was “overjacked” and the jack needed to be lowered. He said it was not a problem and that our actual home foundation (crawl space) was perfect.

I’m just a little confused by the whole thing and of course nervous since we’re talking a very big expense if we have to reinforce the foundation.

Oh - I’m in Colorado and I think our soil here is primarily clay?


Clay soil is expansive. Here are some websites (although not in your area, clay is still clay) that may shed some light on your situation.

Think Soil Engineer…

Based on your posts, I would say you’ve got soils issues rather than foundation issues - not to say that poor soil conditions won’t lead to foundation problems.

The jack should be removed, not adjusted, and your HI should have suggested that.

The house and foundation can settle without “major” signs of movement, especially with poor soil conditions. Excessive movement will likely lead to structural issues as well.

In my opinion and no offence, but… no jack should be removed or adjusted until the conditions which caused the conditions are diagnosed by an engineer.

WOW! no way would I ever say some thing like remove the jack and for sure I would never put any thing in print that could come back to haunt me big time .
I expect this was not meant to come out that way it did.

… Cookie

Removed and replaced with a "permanent" support.

I know, I didn’t say it, but that’s what I meant. Jacks should not be used as supports. . .

Thanks for the clarification.


you hanging has been cancelled…:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I figured you meant that when I read it the first time.


Sorry but we don’t know the jack post is improper or even a jack post. We don’t even know if its structural or placed to stiffen a springy floor.

Regardless of it’s intended purpose, I know of no “adjustable-jacks” that are rated for anything other than temporary supports - at least in the States, Canada may be different.