Newbie here with a slab "standards" question

Wow, what a site. :shock: I belong to a Mopar site but it’s nowhere as intense-looking as this. There, I have now established my level of ignorance so I’ll go on… :roll:

I am a new homeowner, been in my home in Texas for 1 year and 1 month, and have 98 things wrong with it. I know my slab is not level due to 2 separate Compu-Level assessments within the last 2 months. I am in dispute with the builder and am having to go through the S.I.R.P. process currently.
What I need to find is:

Where can I get a print-out of what variance is allowed and what is not in the level of my slab? I thought I heard it was 1" in any 20’ measure but need something on paper to reflect that.




Check with your local county planning commission…they should be able to provide you with code and verbage.



First I wish you luck in your situation!

The publications covering minimum standards of performance for foundations and major structural components can be found on the TRCC WEB site at: As of this response the link is at the very bottom of the page. That standard will list the maximum deflection requirements of a slab foundation. Also note that links to the remaining warranty items are listed on that page.

If I may ask where you are located and who your home builder is? Also have you had other major problems? How have you done so far with the SIRP process? We do not hear of many cases that go through the SIRP process and it helps us, as Inspectors, better understand it through the experiences of others.

Lennar/NuHome is the builder, and my SIRP inspection is Wednesday, 4/11. I am one of 9 homeowners in this New addition going through the SIRP process, all of us having the same issues (walls out-of-plumb, out-of-square, roofs improperly shingled, slab movement, drywall cracks/separations, etc) I don’t think they did a soil compaction or proper load test before they started building out here or we wouldn’t be having such issues. I really am trying to decipher the TRCC guidelines listed in the above thread … hmmmmm.
If you all want, I can post pics of my interior damage, post the website I have at least 94 items listed to be inspected, etc.
We need all the help we can get since the builder wants to “patch” things and that’s it. Going to the office right now so will check this post once I get there in about 1 1/2 hours … and thanks, all!



Before I respond we will go through all the legal disclaimer that we as Home Inspectors must do to prevent troubles with our licensing board, and the laws, here in Texas. It is unfortunate that we must do this but if we don’t we can be called to answer for even trying to do a helpful thing and potentially be in more legal trouble than we would like. So here goes.

Legal Disclaimer

***I am a licensed Professional Real Estate Inspector in the state of Texas. I am not a licensed nor certified State Of Texas S.I.R.P. Inspector. I hold no licenses as an Engineer, Attorney nor any other trades or professions that cover the opinions and recommendations I express here or in follow-up posts. The opinions and recommendations I express here are my own and are just that, opinions and recommendations that should not be used as definitive answers or solutions to the issues you are asking about or experiencing. I highly advise that you consult with properly licensed and competent Engineers, attorneys, trades persons, etc., to obtain definitive statements as only they have the right to provide you with legally binding and valid answers regarding your issues and situations. ***

Yes Robert, it is a sad day when we must spew forth disclaimers but as you go through your dispute process you will understand why. Well let’s continue with some answers that hopefully will help you at least ask and deal with the professionals mentioned above.

I will provide direct quotes from the Texas Administrative Code that was listed at . First lets start with the issue of deflection. For the purpose of this we will use an easy example of a square foundation that is 50’ X 50’. The administrative code for “Performance Standards for Major Structural Components” ($ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=10&pt=7&ch=304&rl=100 ) is broken into 2 parts. Section (a), “Performance Standards for Slab Foundations” and Section (b), “Performance Standards for Major Structural Components os a Home other than Slab Foundations”. You have a slab foundation and as such are covered by Section (a). If you read paragraph (A) it states:

Using the example 50’ X 50’ ( 600” X 600”) if you noted a deflection from one side of the slab to the opposite side then the deflection should be no greater than 600/360 = 1.66” . In addition the slab should display no more than one symptom of distress. There are many distress symptoms and you can review them in the referenced publication by the ASCE, Texas Chapter. The link to their site and the publications is: . There is also a link on the TRCC WEB site to these: .

One of the interesting points to note is that the TRCC guidelines give a great deal of leeway to the builder of the home. This is evident in the following statement:

If you read the ASCE guidelines for the design of the foundation then the foundation should have been an engineered process. The engineer will call out all of the requirements for construction of the foundation hopefully including the exact amount of levelness required. If the Engineer only called out the ASCE standards then, in the example above, a 1.66” difference might be considerable. Competent trades people should be able to properly compensate for that difference. If the slab was not properly screed level during pouring then the trades people might add or subtract to the 1.66” difference.

The questions that arise are what was the original elevation readings of the foundation when poured? What was the elevation readings after construction and has the elevation changed since then? Were elevation readings taken at any point during or immediately after construction? If not then I would expect that the elevation readings during/immediately after construction would be based on a perfectly level slab. That expectation might then be used to determine slab movement in the future. Of course that is my opinion only.

Wow, with 94 items to be repaired I certainly hope they are not major items! It would be interesting to see pictures of the issues. But at this point I do hope you have enlisted the services of a licensed Professional Engineer. You will certainly need their expertise if you are unable to obtain satisfaction for these issues. Was it a Professional Engineer that performed the [FONT=Arial]“Compu-Level assessments” that you mentioned? Was it a PE you hired?[/FONT]

1 of the 2 who did the Compu-Level is a licensed Engineer, Mr. Bill Bowen II of BBS in I believe Dallas or Arlington. He did the 1st assessment for Lennar/NuHome on 2/7/2007. The home has moved since then, down in center and up somewhat on the edges. More later, including pics (with a customer right now).

Here are a few of the pics if I can attach them right … well, figures. My pics are too big.

Website where my “list” is:

as follows:

October 16, 2006
Lennar/NuHome Corporation
700 Northwest 107th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33172
Lasater Ranch
Crowley, Texas 76036

To whom it may concern:

The following defects are found to be out of compliance with Texas State building codes
(TRCC) at the address of 1125 Cottonwood Drive, Crowley, Texas 76036, home of Melody and Robert Young:

  1. Sheet rock ceiling in Kitchen not attached properly, nail head areas visible beyond 6" distance in normal light. Code 304.12
  2. Crack in furr-out area in Kitchen drywall and adjoining Ceiling drywall exceeding 1/32". Code. 304.12
  3. Laundry room door doesn’t latch at all due to no door shims/Door stops have moulding marks visible over 6’ away in normal light/Exhaust vent hanging from ceiling due to improper repair done at a time previous to sale of home.
  4. Pencil “circle” on sheet rock wall denoting previous repair area that wasn’t repaired on East wall/said wall out-of-plumb, equal or exceeding 3/8" in 32" measurement. (Exceeds ½" variance on 8’ vertical). Code 304.12
  5. Sheet rock wall out-of-plumb equal or exceeding 3/8" in 32" measure. Code 304.12
  6. Sheet rock wall out-of-plumb equal or exceeding 3/8" in 32" measure. Code 304.12
  7. Sheet rock wall out-of-plumb equal or exceeding 3/8" in 32" measure. Code 304.12
  8. Rise in ceiling equal or exceeding 3/8" over 32" measure/Nail protrusion evident and visible over 6’ measure in normal light. Code 304.12
  9. Nail/inconsistent texture visible over 6’ measure in normal light. Code 304.12
  10. Sheet rock wall out-of-plumb equal or exceeding 3/8" in 32" measure/Out-of-square over 32" measure. Code 304.12
  11. Sheet rock corner out-of-square equal of exceeding 3/8" in 32" measure/Out-of-plumb equal or exceeding 3/8" in 32" measure (Exceeds ½" variance on 8’ vertical). Code 304.12
  12. Sheet rock wall out-of-plumb equal or exceeds 3/8" in 32" measure. Code 304.12
  13. Sheet rock wall out-of-plumb equal or exceeds 3/8" in 32" measure. Code 304.12
  14. Sheet rock wall out-of-plumb equal or exceeds 3/8" in 32" measure. Code 304.12
  15. All door trim/door stops have visible imperfections visible over a 6’ measure. Code 304.25
  16. Sheet rock corner out-of-square equal or exceeding 3/8" in 32" measure. Code 304.12
  17. Sheet rock wall equal or exceeding ½" out-of-plumb in 8’ measure. Code 304.12
  18. Sheet rock corner out-of-square equal or exceeding 3/8" in 32" measure. Code 304.12
  19. Sheet rock ceiling not properly attached in Office. Code 304.12
  20. Sheet rock corner out-of-square equal or exceeding 3/8" in 32" measure. Code 304.12
  21. Sheet rock corner out-of-square equal or exceeding 3/8" in 32" measure. Code 304.12
  22. Sheet rock corner out-of-square equal or exceeding 3/8" in 32" measure. Code 304.12
  23. Drywall crack equal or exceeding 1/32"/Ceiling not attached properly. Code 304.12
  24. Exterior window caulk inadequate. Code 304.15
  25. No “starter” shingles along roof edge used/Felt doesn’t meet drip edge of flashing. Roofing nails in adhesive strip of multiple shingles. Code 304.17
  26. Crack equal or exceeding 1/8" in mortar. Code 304.15
  27. Brick drain-off areas under window exteriors at inconsistent angles. Code 304.17
  28. Multiple loose knotholes in fencing/Corner post out-of-plumb equal or exceeding 2" on vertical. Code 304.31
  29. Crack equal or exceeding 1/32" in drywall of bedroom. Code 304.12
  30. Dent/Footprints in/on bottom of Garage Door exterior/No Garage Door key(s) given owner at time of possession or any other time. Code 304.18
  31. Concrete corner of slab cracked/broken due to construction activity on North West section. Code 304.10
  32. Outdoor electrical outlet doesn’t operate properly (South outlet). Code 304.50
  33. Exterior Brick wall(s) not properly attached/tied so as to allow wall movement to equal or exceed 1/4" along vertical with minimal exterior pressure, also allowing excessive access to inner walls by insects, rodents, etc. Code 304.15
  34. Excessive weep-holes in exterior brick wall base resulting in excessive insect infestation in Garage and living areas. Code 304.15
  35. Concrete edge/corner of walkway/driveway damaged excessively due to construction activities. One “patch” repair done on driveway curb substandard and cosmetically unacceptable. Code 304.10

R & M Y.
Crowley, Texas 76036

Lennar/NuHome Corporation
700 Northwest 107th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33172
Lasater Ranch

To whom it may concern:

The following is a 2nd Addendum to previous list of defects found to be out-of-compliance with Texas State Building Codes (TRCC) at the address of 1125 Cottonwood Drive, Crowley, Texas 76036, home of Melody & Robert Young.
These items were added by an independent Inspector hired by Lennar/NuHome:

Don Yeandle / President
Extra Mile Construction Company
7100 W. I-20
Arlington, Texas 76017
(817) 467-6000

These items were added to previous list(s) on 10/27 during the Inspection by Mr. Yeandle on aforementioned home of Melody & Robert Young:

  1. Hole in wall, lower section by shower base in Master Bath. Code 304.12
  2. Divider wall “bowed” over 3/8" on 8" measure in Master Bath. Code 304.12
  3. Gouge in/under wall plate in Master bedroom. Code 304.12
  4. Multiple nail protrusions in Master bath linen closet. Code 304.12
  5. Crack in wall/ceiling joint equal to or exceeding 1/32" in Hallway. Code 304.12
  6. Crack in wall/ceiling joint equal to or exceeding 1/32" in kitchen. Code 304.12
  7. Crack in wall/ceiling joint equal to or exceeding 1/32" in Office. Code 304.12
  8. Crack diagonally in Master Bedroom closet by door trim (over 4" in length) equal or exceeding 1/32". Code 304.12
  9. 3 ½’ crack in Exterior Brick/Mortar extending from foundation upward on East elevation. Code 304.15
  10. Soffit nails backing out on all exterior soffit.

Lennar/NuHome Corporation
700 Northwest 107th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33172

To whom it may concern:

The following defects are found to be out-of-compliance with Texas State Building Codes (TRCC) at the address of 1125 Cottonwood Drive, Crowley, Texas 76036, home of Melody & Robert Young. This is Addendum #3:

  1. Cracks developed along entire exterior Pantry corner, running along joint of wall/ceiling.
  2. Previous crack along Kitchen/Living Room pass-through at ceiling/wall joint extended in both directions 1’-2’ minimum - crack “gap” has tripled in width.
  3. “Bar” counter top off-level = or exceeding 3/8" in 42".
  4. Cracks developed in multiple areas of ceiling/wall joints, extending into front Walkway area from Living Room.
  5. Carpet “bunching” along middle of Living Room floor in front of couch area.
  6. Cracks developed in multiple ceiling/wall joints in front Walkway.
  7. Trowel marks upper wall area in texture in front Walkway.
  8. Nailhead protruding out of baseboard by Garage door exit.
  9. Closet door will not shut in North Bedroom, frame out-of-square now.
  10. Trowel marks in texture above window in North Bedroom.
  11. Crack developed/widening along ceiling/wall joint, over 1/32" in width and growing in North Bedroom.
  12. Cracks developed at wall/ceiling joint above entry door, extending from corner in both directions in North Bedroom.
  13. Closet door will not shut properly due to door frame movement in North Bedroom.
  14. Trim on Closet door in North Bedroom gouged, then painted over.
  15. Trowel marks on wall above Closet door in North Bedroom.
  16. Flap over filter-replacement door will not stay closed, leaking air into HVAC unit closet and reducing output of unit.
  17. Extremely poor output of air at ALL vents in home, regardless of Heat or A/C function.
  18. Cracks developed at wall/ceiling joint in Hall Linen closet.
  19. Multiple spatters and trowel marks on interior walls of Hall Linen closet.
  20. Exposed tape (tape/bed) in interior corner by door of Hall Linen closet.
  21. Multiple cracks developing along 3 of 4 wall/ceiling joints in Office.
  22. Multiple texture imperfections in closet in Office.
  23. Cracks developed/widening along multiple wall/ceiling joints in Small Bathroom.
  24. Visible hole in wall under light fixture in Small Bathroom.
  25. Cut in drywall in corner by toilet that has been painted over in Small Bathroom.
  26. Drywall “sags” around Shower area.
  27. Door starting to hit doorframe when attempting to close Door in Small Bathroom.
  28. Cracks and texture imperfections between Door and Shower and surrounding Shower head area.
  29. Cracks above entry doorframe inside Master Bedroom at wall/ceiling joints.
  30. Vertical crack above 1 window extending to ceiling in Master Bedroom.
  31. Closet Door will not latch without “slamming” it in Master Bedroom.
  32. Crack above doorframe inside closet running vertical to ceiling in Master Bedroom.
  33. Multiple texture imperfections inside closet area including visible previous “patch” work done before home purchase in Master Bedroom.
  34. Multiple cracks developed/widening at all wall/ceiling joints in Master Bath.
  35. Caulking where floor meets tub as well as shower separating.
  36. Inside door trim has multiple imperfections that were painted over.
  37. Texture imperfections on walls above Tub in Master Bath.
  38. Walls visibly “bowed” at divider between Tub and Shower area, viewable without the need to measure.
  39. Water seeping below/outside Shower door area on both bottom corners of Shower, discoloration visible and contributing to wall deterioration and resulting hole in lower wall at base of Shower in Master Bath.
  40. Trim splitting above Office window on Exterior.
  41. Multiple holes in Mortar on Exterior Brick, especially East Wall but including all other Walls.
  42. Caulk separating from trim above windows in Exterior, especially at the East Wall.
  43. Gap widening between Soffit/Brick on North Wall Exterior.
  44. Mortar/Caulk separation around Garage Door frame on Brick/Trim joints on Exterior.
  45. Soffit cracking West Wall by window.
  46. Caulk/Trim separation above Bedroom windows.
  47. Trim above Patio Door not connected on Exterior.
  48. Foundation Slab cracked significantly by corner on South East side Exterior.
  49. ALL windows dripping condensation onto non-waterproof “sill” areas on Interior, causing softening of Drywall “sill” area and eventual total deterioration.

Since this was all recorded 1/14/2007, a 2nd Inspection was made by Mr. Yeandle, accompanied by a lawyer from Gardere group, a Structural Engineer from the office of BBS Consultants (Bill Bowen), and 2 of Lennar/NuHome’s builders, one being Donny Hendrix.
I receive a copy of the Structural Engineer’s findings regards elevation variations of my foundation and he recorded a variance of up to 1.4" difference from the center of the home extending to the exterior of the foundation which is outside of Texas State Building Codes. I am awaiting an Inspection from a Code-certified Structural/Workmanship & Materials Inspector assigned by the State as part of the S.I.R.P. process. This should occur within 2 weeks of todays’ date of 2/5/2007.
Mr. Bradley Taylor, Construction Supervisor for Lennar/NuHome, recently mentioned via

Certified Mail “it appears that your home’s foundation is performing appropriately and no remedial action is necessary at this time.”
I have left a message at his office, eagerly awaiting our next conversation.

Sorry so long, but felt some of you need to know … again there are at least 9 others going through various stages of SIRP.

If I read the standards correct, for my slab which measures 54’ x 40’ … a variance of up to 1.9" is allowed along the 54’ line and 1.33" is allowed along the 40’ line?


Hello Robert,


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[FONT=Arial]Using the previous formula then (54 X 12) / 360 = 1.8” for the 54’ length and your 40’ calculation is accurate. Now remember that is from one end of the slab to the other. Your post, quoted above, certainly indicates a 1.4” difference from center to edge of home which is a 27’ span. That is a considerable difference and I would also expect it to be ruled as out of TRCC standards. [/FONT]

That’s quite a large list of defects!! It seems you have many of the symptoms of foundation distress. Not to defend the builder but there are other potential causes for many of those problems. You mentioned that at least one PE has been to the home and assessed the situation. Did they provide a diagnosis as to the specific cause of all the distress symptoms? Who performed the other Compu-Level survey of elevations?

I was trying to follow along with the original and two addendums to the list of 94 defects. Items 36 – 45 were noted by Mr. Yeandle but who noted items 1 – 35 and 46 – 94? When Mr. Yeandle returned did he verify all 94 items on the list? Your footnote states you are awaiting an inspection from a SIRP Inspector and should occur within two weeks of 2/5/2007. Was that accomplished or was that a typo on the day?

Sorry for the questions but it is an interesting case. If I follow it correctly then Lennar’s own independent Inspectors are validating that there is definitely a problem. In a previous post you said that you believe Lennar may not have performed a soil compaction or load test before they built. Has Lennar provided any reports for one to you for your viewing? Have you considered having one performed yourself and having the core samples analyzed for the use of dewatering agents in the soil?

Mr. Yeandle verified about 101 items total with I think 3 being duplicates. I have had 2 diffferent Foundation Repair Company reps both state it is a drainage problem and possibly an improperly constructed slab (poured thin in the middle, soil not compacted prior to pour, etc). My drainage “correction” estimates run from $5,000.00 to a little over $10,000.00 not counting a needed gutter system installation all around the house.
My SIRP inspection is this coming Wednesday, 4/11 and I am trying to find something that I can print stating I can videotape the process.

Lennar has not provided any soil study reports, they are not volunteering anything at this point.



It actually sounds as if you have a good case and stronger yet if the builders own independent Inspector is verifying the defects. With that being the case I do not understand why Lennar would not agree to fix the issues?

It does not surprise me that the builder is not volunteering any information. Have you already consulted an attorney about the matter? If not it would be a very good idea prior to the SIRP inspection.

It is interesting that you asked about videotaping as we recently had another debate (behind closed doors) regarding videotaping/video cameras in homes. To answer your question the Texas penal code has no prohibition on videotaping nor are there any state laws against it. The only videotaping that would definitely be trouble is if the videotaping is part of a crime or will be used to commit a crime. For example if you videotape someone with the intent of using it in a blackmail attempt then it could be (probably would be) construed as a criminal activity. However in your case you are on your own property, videotaping your own property, etc.

With that being said I do not believe you would obtain a good/fair inspection if the Inspector feels he/she is under a microscope with a video camera. It may actually be counterproductive to your case. You can certainly ask the Inspector if they would mind. You already have a list of defects verified by the builders independent Inspector. Why not just take notes as the SIRP Inspector makes their rounds of the home? If the SIRP Inspector is amenable then have a list of questions for the day of the inspection.

Currently, Lennar is willing to “bandaid” the issues but they haven’t yet officially admitted that I have foundation issues that are out-of-spec. I emailed their lawyer yesterday a.m. stating the foundation/drainage issues need to be addressed 1st, THEN let the house stop settling for 6 mos. to a year, THEN if it has stopped moving to proceed with all other repairs like cracks in brick veneer on exterior, interior defects like nail pops, drywall cracks/separations, doors that won’t shut, etc.
That’s why I’m waiting for the report from the State Inspector, to see how much concurrence HE shows, then “negotiate” with the builder as to what to happen next and when.

Interesting, eh? It’s been a sleepless nightmare for us, believe me! :freaked-:



Yes it is interesting, unfortunately. Sounds like you already have a fairly good handle on things though. Hopefully it turns out well and all goes smoothly. How are the others in Lasater Ranch doing that also have issues?

If you have any further questions feel free to ask. There are many experienced people here that are more than willing to answer them. Let us know how it transpires.

So far, 2 of 9 other familys are having to appeal the SIRP inspection, apparently the guy carbon-copied Lennar’s “independent” inspector’s findings (Mr. Yeandle, construction company owner) and only actually measured about 10% of the items on the homeowners’ list. !! :shock:

My inspection is Wednesday morning, and then I have a Contractor coming out that eve to give us an estimate on just internal repairs that would take place AFTER the slab is “stabilized” by repair.

Geez, I just happened to think … all my plumbing is “in the slab” and MOVING! Great, can’t wait for the leaks to begin. I have watched a separation crack grow/shrink over 1/8" DAILY the past 4 days in our Master Bath where the shower/tub separation wall meets at the ceiling, ranging in size from 1/16" one day to up to 3/8" 2 days later.

Will keep you all posted …



Good luck on the SIRP and follow-up actions. Please let us know how it progresses.

Don’t know if you are aware of this site but it has a great deal of information on foundations, problems, repairs, etc. It is also very appropriate for us here in Texas with our soil conditions.

I would recommend reading through the site so you can gain some insight into the issues with foundation problems and the problems that can come with repairs. Take notes and create yourself a checklist of the items to watch for and to ask during the entire process.

If the problem is the soil, you should look through every document you signed and make sure you did not sign a soils test waiver. If you signed one and the soil is not strong enough to support the house, that could be a problem. The builder may be relying on a soil test from a reasonably close lot, or he/she may have had you sign one just to not have to do one.

But like I said, that is if the problem is the soil. Do you happen to know which type of soil is dominant in your area?


I was curious if this incident has had any effects on your homeowners insurance? Has it caused the insurance rates to rise? Has your insurance company dropped or now refused any specific coverages? We hear so much of the physical home issues but not the additional issues that may arise.


I am in the same general area as Robert. We have a lot of very expansive soil areas here. Some areas do have large amounts of sandy loam based soil but most are heavy in clay. Developers here are not required to run soil tests on every lot in a development. Unfortunately they are only required to take representative samples for the development.

I have had 4 houses in the last week with signs of structural movement or settlement and that I refered for further evaluation. The grading appears to be the cause of movement in these homes. Clay soils are not being very friendly. Two of the homes were not even two years old.


I fully expect to see more cases of foundation issues here in Texas. We are going into our third year of significant drought. By last year it was becoming difficult to keep sufficient amounts of moisture around foundations to prevent significant dehydration of the soils. The watering restrictions scared a lot of people into not using their sprinkler systems in at least the zones around the foundations.

In addition some towns even placed penalties for exceeding set amounts of water utilization each month. It seems the calculated utilization amounts took into account very minimal foundation watering (based on normal seasonal rainfall amounts) and almost no water for watering any type of plant life. I’ve lost 6 trees in the last year in exchange for foundation maintenance efforts.

If we do not come out of this drought soon there are going to be even more sacrifices needed. I don’t look forward to the day if we have to decide on protecting our foundations or taking care of hygiene matters!! :shock: :shock: