Unsuitable fill dirt causing foundation to crack, suit says


103 Kingsbrooke Blvd. in Glen Carbon

The owners of 103 Kingsbrooke Blvd. in Glen Carbon filed suit against Kingsbrooke Development and Art Wilson in Madison County Circuit Court Feb. 29, alleging the foundation in their home is cracking because the lot the home is built on was not suitable.

Roger and Mary McKnight allege that in performing the excavating work, the defendants used large quantities of fill dirt in order to make the lot ready for construction.

According to the complaint, under Illinois law, a developer who markets a property for residential subdivision and building and performs grading, engineering and excavating work to prepare lots for building owes a duty and impliedly warrants to subsequent purchasers that the lots will be suitable for building.

The McKnights claim that large quantities of fill dirt made the surface and sub-surface unsuitable for residential construction because it lacks proper support and foundation.

They claim their home’s foundation and its brick facade has experienced substantial cracking, as well as a shifting or movement of the foundation which has been caused by the lots improper design and workmanship.

The McKnights claim the damages threaten the habitability and fitness of their house and immediate work to repair the defects is required.

They also claim they have been forced to perform substantial foundation work, including piering work to shore up the sliding foundation and related cracking.

Represented by Stephen Wohlford and Edward McCarthy of Edwardsville, the McKnights are seeking damages in excess of $100,000, plus costs of the suit.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.

That photo looks like most houses built after 1995 in Anytown, USA.

Ooops. Except for the snow.

Unsuitable fill? Or improper compaction?

Buildings have been built on several FEET of fill, which, if properly compacted, is perfectly capable of supporting loads much greater than any house would produce.

Indeed Mr Richard. :wink:

Unsuitable fill, potential fill of bricks,blocks,wood etc mixed in w/soil doesn`t help either. Can create spaces,air gaps,areas where water can accumulate and could cause some differential settling in coming months/yrs with weight atop or around-under footings,next to walls

Are there other houses in the development having the same problems? As Richard and John stated, it appears to be an issue concerning the composition of the fill materials used and the compaction of those materials. Sounds like some local soil experts / engineers will be making money as “Expert wittnesses”. When building on filled lots in the past, we often extended foundations to “undisturbed soil” to avoid these problems. Few $$ more, but usually wisely spent. Never believed the foundation was where we should try to save a few dollars. Keep us posted as to the outcome.

That"s one way, but I have done indoor tennis buildings, with 120-foot spans and HUGE column footings which rested on seven feet of fill, with no problems. The fill was controlllled as far as its composition was concerned, and compacted under supervision of a soils engineer and a good testing laboratory. It isn’t rocket science to build in fill. If they just throw junk in the hole and build on it, it isn’t science at all, it"s shooting craps against the house odds.

We`ve seen quite a few homes where MR Builder/MR sub-contractor
BACKFILL with a chtt-load of bricks,blocks,wood,roots-branches and…concrete or even some pretty dang big boulders,right up against bsmt wall.

Not talking about small pieces of concrete, many pieces are around 4’ x 2,3’
Have seen VOIDS between all this garbage, right up close, too dang close as we gotta get this trash outta our way to do our job.One could ask, how big/wide were some of these voids before settling/compaction of soil occurred in following months.And how many homes/walls/footings had problems attributable to this.

Have seen, where bsmt was leaking, ALL bricks or all partial-full blocks that were backfilled from footing to within 1-2’ of grade.

Termites seem to enjoy wood :mrgreen:

Now this is along depths of some basement walls `n crawls. Wonder much much might be under,close to footings,under house or even further away from bsmt walls/footings…3-6’ away.

They either dont know what they should know and/or, dont give a chtt.

Let me make quick switch to sump pumps and PITS for anyone who has, will have possible water back up under bsmt floor.

Sometimes these PITS do not have enough cut-outs is SIDES of pit-wall. They may only have 1 lateral drain that empties into sump pit and somethimes it is TOO LOW.

What happens,can happen is on some of these long-heavy rains or spring thaws the water that can get right-under bsmt floor has NOWHERE TA go, takes time to get/soak down so it can accumualte and rise up through floor cracks/any openings in floor.

What homeowners should TRY, along with snaking is, drill-create HOLES in sides of PIT, UP HIGH, just under the thickness of basement FLOOR to give that build up of water somewhere to go!

Don`t let these incompetent,sorry az Inside sales-DORKS bend you over.

We build plenty of homes on fill up here as well but as said previously, proper fill and compaction under the direct supervision of a soil engineer.

What’s your point?

Damages awarded against builder

As I told my 18 year old daughter two weeks ago while dropping her off at the airport for a 11 day March break trip to Italy:

Trust no one !!!

The home I posted, 103 Kingsbrooke Blvd. in Glen Carbon, was built in 1995 and is in a subdivision that is relatively flat. I noticed the article because I did an inspection close to there recently. The county it’s in, Madison in Il. is famous for lawsuits and awarding very high amounts. The reason I posted this was to bring this to the attention of anyone inspecting newer homes or one year warranties that might have unusual cracks or settlement which may be related to loose fill and compacting. I don’t think a judgment has been issued yet.

Unsuitable backfill, poor compaction sometimes, having clay type soils against walls causes many cracks/problems…especailly when wet,saturated
and then on the other hand,droughts-soils drying out causes problems too and so, in some areas we shouldn`t be trying to divert-keep every drop of water away from homes/basements/footings.

-Houses Crack up in drought


Well, which is it? Suspected leaky underground pipe which can obviously cause (moisture change in) clay/soil to expand OR, no underground leak and little rain over month(s) which can cause the opposite ‘moisture change’ in foundation clays…huh? See at least a few trees on block so, roots can soak up/seek out underground moisture during droughts which could certainly cause cracks,movement,shifting in walls or soils underneath street,alongside homes etc. ‘Could’…its possible. Clay and roots most often equal problems, got milk?