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  #1  
Old 2/26/07, 6:35 PM
rwand1 rwand1 is offline
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Default Wood Foundations

Recently I was retained to inspect a Pressure Treated Wood Foundation house.

While there with the client and agent, the agent asked the client if he was sure he could get isurance, and to check to see if his insurer would insure the house. The answer came back, no they would not insure the house as it is pressure treated wood. It also turns out from further dicussions that future buyers of wood foundation houses will not be issued insurance either. No insurance no mortgage.

There goes the value of anyone with a home that is wood foundation. They may want to consider having new foundation installed.

Has anyone else run into this?

There are several homes in my area that I have inspected over the years, not many people know much about them or how long they will last.
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  #2  
Old 2/26/07, 7:08 PM
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cbuell cbuell is offline
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

I apologize if you are only looking for Canadian reponses to this, but I would recommend getting a second opinion on insurance. There are literally hundreds of thousands of these foundations out there and I haven't heard of any issues that would prevent insurance. You can have issues with any foundation and properly installed wood foundations have many advantages over concrete.
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Old 2/26/07, 7:18 PM
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

Charles thanks for the input. But the insurers are the ones setting the rules. From what I was told my clients said trying to get insurance will be a task in itself. Needless to say my client walked and the home owners are not to pleased. This is another case of Insurance industry acting as code authority, considering these homes were approved by government agencies. Like so many things insurers are calling out up here, such K&T, Alu, cast iron waste, woodstoves, oil tanks.... Talk about the ultimate Risk Reduction on writing policies. Where would we be without insurance? (tongue in cheek)
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Old 2/26/07, 7:58 PM
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Claude Lawrenson Claude Lawrenson is offline
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

Insurers may set their own rules, but it defies the loigic and accepted standards accepted by both national and provincial building codes. Even CMHC provides details and reference to CSA standard O80.15 in the text Canadian Wood-frame House Construction.
http://www.canply.org/english/products/pwf.htm

http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/pubs/rr/rr199/part3_e.html



Cheers, Claude Lawrenson NACHI03121515
Inspection Support Services Inc.
"Those who can do. Those who CARE teach" and truly understand What do teachers make ?
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Old 2/26/07, 8:16 PM
rwand1 rwand1 is offline
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

Yeah I know..., but speak to the insurers.

Ontario Hydro has never condemned k&t, or 60 amp service, Alu. wiring, but the insurers see things differently. I am surprised there is not a hue and cry from the public.

Damn those insurers.

Cheers,
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Old 2/26/07, 8:44 PM
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

I once built a pressure treated wood basement for an existing cottage. I was working for someone at the time as a carpenter. I asked the owner I worked for why it wasn't a masonry foundation. His response..."if it is a masonry foundation, we as carpenters would be out of work!"

1st thing that happened was the walls started bowing as they were backfilling....what a friggen mess that was!!!
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Old 2/26/07, 8:50 PM
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

I have seen maybe a dozen in my inspection career (since 1991). Half of those had problems with water entry. The one most recently in which the client could not get insurance was okay, couldn't see any foundation problems, but it was a finnished basement. Outside had about a foot of snow around the structure, but everything appeared to be plumb and square.
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Old 2/26/07, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

Raymond,
I saw a lot of them out west, mainly Saskatchewan. The big problem was as someone said,,, when you go to backfill. They do not take a lot of pressure and the backfill height is very low.
Many people feel the off gasses were a detriment to health, but no one has any solid eveidence.
What about an insurer that has an office out west that is familiar with a wood foundaton.
PS,,,, I did not like them myself.... they were hard to anchor brick to.
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Old 2/26/07, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

Does anyone have a good picture of these? I've never seen one.
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Old 2/26/07, 11:15 PM
rwand1 rwand1 is offline
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

http://www.pwfs.com/

Cheers,
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  #11  
Old 2/26/07, 11:19 PM
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Claude Lawrenson Claude Lawrenson is offline
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

http://www.raisedfloorliving.com/footings.shtml

http://www.lar-conbuilders.com/PermanentWoodPage11.htm



Cheers, Claude Lawrenson NACHI03121515
Inspection Support Services Inc.
"Those who can do. Those who CARE teach" and truly understand What do teachers make ?
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  #12  
Old 2/26/07, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

Jeff,
Here is one from upstate NY
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wood-foundations-a7496008-r1-e020.jpg  
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  #13  
Old 2/27/07, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

I live in a house with a wood foundation. I haven't had any water penetration through the wall and no rot that I have seen. My house was built in 1984. The one problem I have encountered was the bottom of the walls pushed in because the builder skimped on the floor material. It has 2x4 framing 24 " on center with only 1/2 in sheeing. Needless to say the enire house shifted and there is hardly a level floor in the place. If the builder had poured a concrete floor prior to backfilling I think all would have been fine. I personally like the wood foundation and I see a lot of them in My area of saskatchewan as the previous post has indicated.
Aulden Reid
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Old 2/27/07, 5:13 AM
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

Charles
That does not appear to be a true PTWF. I can see a concrete foundation under the wood flooring. A true PTWF sits on a layer of crushed stone about 18" thick. I have built more than a few of them. Properly constructed they are as good, if not better than any concrete foundation out there. It is all in the details. The ones I have built are still in as new condition and do not have any water intrusion problems. The idea that one should have a concrete floor poured to avoid back fill problems is just silly. If the floor is properly constructed in the first place the issue of bowing does not occur. As with any foundation you must install the first floor decking before backfilling. The problem with backkfilling leading to bowed walls is usually the result of the use of improper fill to begin with and the use of heavy equipment to perform the work. I have seen a concrete wall bowed from not doing the backfill properly. The contractor used a small bulldozer to backfill and then drove too close to the wall to compact it. I know, sounds stupid, but you cannot legislate stupidity.
Ray's client should have gone to the insurance company that held the policy on the home to begin with. If they insured it once most ikely they will do it again. In the worst case a structural engineer could have been called in to verify the stability of the foundation and with his stamp on it the insurance company would not have much choice.
Larry
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  #15  
Old 2/27/07, 6:25 AM
rwand1 rwand1 is offline
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Default Re: Wood Foundations

Not all PWF homes have concrete floors. They can be constructed with crawlspaces, and the crawlspace floor is crushed stone.

The insurers call the shots. They just don't want to insure them. There is just no pleasing the insurers. Look at the ridiculous rates they are charging for E&O,

Personally I was pleased my client didn't get the house, even though he was set to go through with it. A dissapointment is a blessing.
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