Foundation Wall Seam Stepping?

Hello all. I hope all are well. I did an inspection today in SC, just outside of Charlotte, NC. The home was built in early 2020 and the over all quality of workmanship/ construction and the sub work was pretty good, even for new construction (which is subjective). Only superficial items were observed. The home is a slab on grade and deep, with long sidewalls.

What I found on the foundation walls, is two places where the “parging” was a different color, in two small sections, from grade to the bottom of the siding, and from front to back of the house, only on one side of the house. At each of the two places the wall steps inward consecutively, towards the back of the house. I call it stepping, however it is not the usual stepping done due to design. the "stepping is more of a slope inward that only traverses about 4-5 inches and slopes about an inch over the 4-5 inches. The sloping/ stepping is in the direction my hand points. If I have not made that as clear as mud… Has anyone seen this? I am inclined to think that they are seems covered over, from different pours maybe, but why the displacements that are equidistant to each other? There aren’t any elevation changes to the 1st floor inside.

Misaligned forms when the slab was poured. Piss pour form setting most likely. The grout patches are cosmetic and will probably fall off in time anyway. The color differences are evidence that they were done at a different time using different material. Unless there are major cracks, I would say it is a non-issue.


Thanks. I didn’t think of hiding a cosmetic issue, such as that. I didn’t write it up, as I didn’t find it problematic. I may have questioned it a bit more if it had been an older house, concerned that they were hiding an “issue.” Thanks again and I apologize for attaching the same photo 2x. Have a great weekend and stay safe to all!

1 Like

Michael, would you detail this in your report (assuming you did not notice any related issues)? What narrative would you use?

Good question Saman. It’s a cosmetic issue, so to to answer your question, Nope. I would take pics for my records but not say anything in the report unless the client requested it or asked about it later.

If it was more of a structural issue worthy of reporting, Note: “possible structural (issue) observed in such&such location at the time of inspection…” and simply refer it out to a qualified contractor or SE depending on the severity of the issue of course. Unless it is definitive, leave the liability on your narrative wording open for a contractor to take the liability. That is why I said “possible” (in this example). Hope that made sense.

Remember that if you do not know or are unsure about something you are looking at, do your homework before submitting a report to a client and don’t be afraid to refer something out to someone that does know. Post in the forum while on location too incase others willing to help ask for other pictures, you will be onsite to take them. :wink:

1 Like

Right side, the concrete foundation had visible misalignment and anomalies consistent with poor workmanship during the foundation concrete form and pour stage of construction. No indicators of significant structural issues were observed at the time of inspection. However, my evaluation was limited because many components were covered up or not visible such as the interior slab and loadbearing points along the structural wall framing. Recommend further evaluation for corrections as needed by a qualified foundation contractor.


@bcawhern1 @mdurante

Thank you both for the replies! I’m still trying to find the balance of what to, and what not to report. I appreciate the info.

That really never goes away. The forum is really good to help with this, especially for those who do not have an experienced mentor. I found the search function of the forum is helpful as well because many topics have been covered before. I have also learned when posting a question on the forum; let it soak for a bit and give inspectors time to react or come online.

1 Like