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Brian, Architect
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2153
Experience:  Licensed Architect- 17 years, L.E.E.D. AP
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Customer Question

INQUIRY REGARDING REQUIREMENTS FOR A SPECIAL PERMIT REQUIRING CONTRACTOR TO NOTIFY AND SHORE UP ADJACENT (neighboring) property foundation. I have a home (San Francisco). Someone purchased the home next door, applied for a work permit, and his contractor
has gutted out the entire property and is now excavating the slab and some of the footings in the basement. I would like to know how much of my very expensive and new foundation can be exposed before the new owner of the adjacent property must have a special
permit requiring both my consent as well as shoring up my foundation. Have already filed a complaint because my former engineer and contractor told me that if my neighbor exposes my foundation and dirt beneath my foundation, he needs a special permit (in addition
to his general construction permit) so that the City can ensure he does this properly. Otherwise, sand and gravel could bleed out and organic matter fill in the gaps underneath my foundation where it will eat away at my brand new foundation and cause damages.
Already, our bathroom door has begun touching and scraping against the tile floor, ever since they exposed a my foundation. But only about 6 feet or so of foundation has been exposed. For some reason, they haven’t removed the footings under the rest of the
permitter of the building. Same is true for the opposite side of the property. How much of our foundation and dirt beneath our foundation can be exposed before the special permit requiring the contractor to shore up our foundations must be applied for? And
does such a special permit require the owners of the adjacent properties consents?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Because the construction team seems to be digging trenches around the existing footings of the building being excavated, there only intent is to build a corner footing at each rear end of the building. They may possibly do the same at the front two end corners. Still, our foundation seems to have dropped (less than an inch), but the floor where our rear bathroom is may be help up at its previous level due to a 6” by 6” post beneath it (in the lower level recently constructed unit, which used to be the garage). This is my best assessment of what actually has happened as a result of our rear foundation and ground beneath it being exposed. It’s the only explanation that seems to make sense.So, question is, does our neighbor need a special permit requiring them to shore up our foundation if all the construction team intends to do is build a corner footing at each foundation corner of the building? I would think so because our brand new foundation with hardened cement seems to have slipped, which for me, means that the bathroom door scrapping the floor isn’t the only damage: the whole—brand new—slab apparently has been lowered at one side corner of the building, which may mean cracking and whatever other damages can occur over time.In the photo, all of the red siding is ours, as is the black tarp below (protecting our new foundation in place) as well as the exposed moist dirt below the foundation, moist due to the ravene these homes are built upon.
Expert:  Machinc replied 1 year ago.

I see you have basically listed your question with more concerns. The fact that a door is not operating properly is definately a cause for concern and an early warning that there

could be more serious problems to come. Some may tell you the door is just reacting to moisture or humidity and that could be true; however whithvall that is going on around your home this is no time to sevond guess.

Expert:  Machinc replied 1 year ago.

I would have a Registered Certified Structural Engineer inspect your home and foundation as soon as possible.

If their report is negative and calls for action on the part of your neighbors construction you beed to present a copy to them , the local inspectors and your home owners insurance adjuster. You fo not beed anyones permission to do this.

Expert:  Machinc replied 1 year ago.

You may even be able to recover the cost of hiring the engineer. The ibspections department will notify the neighbors contractors of the need for additional permits and work if that is deemed necessary by your engineer.

Expert:  Machinc replied 1 year ago.

Doing this puts professionals behind your concerns with factual information.

I would do this as soon as possible.