Standards / Foundation & Slabs

Foundation & Slabs


 

Coverage 1st Year Only

Workmanship and Materials General

General

2-1-1

Observation: The foundation is out of square.

Performance Guideline: As measured at the top of the foundation wall, the diagonal of a triangle with sides of 12 feet and 16 feet shall be no more than 1 inch more or less than 20 feet.

Remodeling Specific: The Bolster Contractor and owner may agree to build an addition out of square in order to keep a new exterior wall on line with an existing wall of an out-of square house.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor will make necessary modifications to the foundation to comply with the performance guidelines for squareness to provide a satisfactory appearance. The Bolster Contractor may square the first-floor deck or walls by cantilevering over the foundation or locating the deck or walls inset from the outside face of the foundation.

Discussion: Squareness is primarily an aesthetic consideration. The corrective measure emphasizes the primarily aesthetic nature of squareness and makes the criterion for correction "a satisfactory appearance." This allows The Bolster Contractor to make either a structural change or some cosmetic modification as most appropriate. There are many instances in which the squareness of a foundation is not of consequence because subsequent construction provides an opportunity to make corrections.

 

2-1-2

Observation: The foundation is not level.

Performance Guideline: This guideline applies only when the levelness of the foundation adversely impacts subsequent construction. As measured at the top of the foundation wall, no point shall be more than 1/2 inch higher or lower than any point within 20 feet.

Remodeling Specific: The Bolster Contractor and the owner may agree to build an addition out of level in order to keep the floor of an addition on the same plane, and the roof ridge on the same line, as those of an existing, out-of-level structure.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor will make necessary modifications to any part of the foundation or to subsequent construction to meet the performance guideline for levelness. This can be affected by leveling the sills with shims, mortar, appropriate fillers, or other methods.

Discussion: There are many instances in which the levelness of a foundation is not of consequence because subsequent construction provides an opportunity to make corrections.

 

Interior Concrete Slabs

2-2-1

Observation: There is a crack in a concrete footing.

Performance Guideline: Cracks greater than 1/4-inch in width are considered unacceptable.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor shall repair any cracks in excess of the performance guideline.

 

2-2-2

Observation: A concrete slab within the structure has separated or moved at control (expansion and contraction) joints.

Performance Guideline: Concrete slabs within the structure are designed to move at control joints.

Corrective Measure: Because this is normal, no corrective action is required.

 

2-2-3

Observation: Efflorescence is present on the surface of the basement floor.

Performance Guideline: This is a typical condition caused by moisture reacting with the soluble salts in concrete and forming harmless carbonate compounds.

Corrective Measure: Because efflorescence is a typical chemical reaction within concrete, no corrective measures are required of The Bolster Contractor.

Discussion: Efflorescence is evidenced by the presence of a white film on the surface of the concrete. It is a particularly common occurrence where masonry or concrete are in contact with high moisture levels as may be found in basements.

 

2-2-4

Observation: Concrete floor or slab is uneven.

Performance Guideline: Except for basement floors or where a floor or portion of floor has been designed for specific drainage purposes, concrete floors in rooms designed for habitability shall not have pits, depressions, or areas of unevenness exceeding 3/8 inch in 32 inches.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor will correct or repair the floor to meet the performance guideline. Proper repair can be affected by thoroughly cleaning, filling, and troweling the surface level using a latex-fortified cement mixture or other materials designed to fill cracks and bond with concrete.

 

2-2-5

Observation: The concrete floor slab is cracked.

Performance Guideline: Minor cracks in concrete floor slabs are normal. Cracks exceeding 3/16-inch in width or 1/18-inch in vertical displacement shall be repaired if the slab is in conditioned space or basements or the crack interferes with the installation of finish flooring which is part of The Bolster Contractor's responsibility.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor will repair cracks that do not meet the performance guideline.

Discussion: Repairs can be made by using a material designed to fill cracks in concrete.  

 

2-2-6

Observation: Interior concrete work is pitting or spalling. Pitting is evidenced by concrete that has flaked or peeled from the outer surface. Spalling is evidenced by concrete that has chipped.

Performance Guideline: Interior concrete surfaces shall not pit, spall or disintegrate. Aggregate pops are normal; minor scaling is not controllable. Exterior surfaces may not be warranted.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor will repair defective concrete surfaces using materials designed for this purpose. The Bolster Contractor is not responsible for deterioration caused by salt, chemicals, mechanical implements, or other factors beyond The Bolster Contractor's control on interior or exterior concrete surfaces.

 

2-2-7

Observation: The interior concrete slab has a loose or sandy surface.

Performance Guideline: The surface shall not be so loose or sandy that is shows obvious deterioration.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor will repair defective concrete surfaces using materials designed for this purpose. The Bolster Contractor is not responsible for deterioration caused by salt, chemicals, mechanical implements, or other factors beyond The Bolster Contractor's control on interior or exterior surfaces.

 

Concrete Block Foundation Walls

2-3-1

Observation: A concrete block foundation wall is cracked.

Performance Guideline: Cracks in concrete block foundation walls shall not exceed 1/4- inch in width.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor will repair cracks to meet the performance guideline.

Discussion: Shrinkage cracks are common in concrete block masonry and should be expected in crawl space and basements walls. Cracks may be vertical, diagonal, horizontal, or stepped-in masonry joints. Repairs can be made by using a material designed to fill cracks in concrete.

 

2-3-2

Observation: A concrete block wall is out of plumb or bowed.

Performance Guideline: Concrete block walls shall not be out of plumb greater than 1 inch in 8 feet when measured from the base to the top of the wall or bowed more than 1 inch in 20 feet when measured horizontally.

Remodeling Specific: If tying into an existing foundation that is out of plum, The Bolster Contractor and owner will review the existing conditions and scope of work. The Bolster Contractor will make a reasonable and cost-effective effort to meet the performance guideline while complying with the existing building code.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor shall repair any deficiencies in excess of the performance guideline. If the wall is to remain unfinished per contract, and the wall meets building codes as evidenced by passed inspections, then no corrective action is required.

 

Poured Concrete Foundation Walls

2-4-1

Observation: A poured concrete foundation wall is out of plumb or bowed.

Performance Guideline: Poured concrete walls shall not be out of plumb greater than 1 inch in 1 feet when measured vertically or bow more than 1inch in 20 feet when measured horizontally.

Remodeling Specific: If tying into an existing foundation that is out of plumb or bowed, The Bolster Contractor and owner will review the existing conditions and scope of work. The Bolster Contractor will make a reasonable and cost-effective effort to meet the performance guideline while complying with the existing building code.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor shall repair any deficiencies in excess of the performance guideline. If the wall is to remain unfinished per contract, and the wall meets building codes as evidenced by passed inspections, then no corrective action is required.

 

2-4-2

Observation: An exposed concrete wall has pits, surface voids, or similar imperfections in it.

Performance Guideline: Surface imperfections larger than 1 inch in diameter or 1 inch in depth are considered unacceptable.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor will repair holes that do not meet the performance guideline.

Discussion: Proper repair can be affected by thoroughly filling the holes and voids in concrete surfaces. The repaired area will not match the color of the surrounding area.

 

2-4-3

Observation: The basement wall is cracked (horizontal or vertical separation).

Performance Guideline: Cracks in basement walls shall not allow exterior water to leak into the basement. Shrinkage cracks (cracking caused by external or internal restraints as reduction in moisture content develops) are not unusual in concrete foundation walls. Such cracks greater than 1/8 inch in width shall be repaired.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor will repair cracks that do not meet the performance guideline when leaks are present or if cracks exceed 1/8 inch in width.

Discussion: Shrinkage cracks are not unusual and are inherent in the drying process. They should be expected in basement walls due to the nature of concrete. Cracks may be vertical, diagonal or horizontal. The only cracks considered under warranty claims are cracks, which permit water penetration or those that exceed 1/8-inch in width.

 

2-4-4

Observation: A cold joint is visible on exposed poured concrete foundation walls.

Performance Guideline: A cold joint is a visible joint that indicates where the pour terminated and continued. Cold joints are normal and should be expected to be visible. Cold joints should not be an actual separation or a crack that exceeds 1/4-inch in width.

Corrective Measure: The Bolster Contractor will cosmetically repair any cold joint that exceeds 1/4-inch in width by parging with a material intended for that purpose. 

 

 

This post is intended for informational purposes only and is general in nature as it does not take into account your personal renovation situation. You should really consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a licensed architect, general contractor or financial / legal adviser. Bolster gratefully acknowledges the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in developing their Residential Construction Performance Guidelines for Professional Builders & Remodelers (Third Edition). Bolster's Quality Standards are closely modeled after the NAHB Guidelines but have been adjusted for local purposes.