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Help! A main beam, that was installed a foot too short and…

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Help! A main beam...

Help! A main beam, that was installed a foot too short and had an extension added, has just sank half an inch in our new build home. Not just the extension (which supposedly followed the 1/3 2/3 rule & had simpson supports in place among the manufactured wood extension), but the entire beam! The builder's fix was to lift the beam with a jack and put a single 3/8" OSB shim under one end. If the beam sank (not to mention the entire corner of the room above sagged down), doesn't that imply that there is an issue that goes beyond just the corner? AND won't an OSB shim possibly slowly compress over years and the house will follow? SHould have been steel, and probably should have remounted some other fasteners, yes? Also, all the stucco and drywall was already on- ALL of that is compromised already with drift- cracking and crumbling, especially because the first time they tried to jack it up, the jack slipped and the whole upstairs shook! Should we run, not walk, from closing on this house? I foresee years of issues that go well beyond the typical settling of a new house... Thank you for any advice!!!

Tutor's Assistant: OK. Is there anything else important you think the Structural Engineer should know?

When the beam was first put in, the framers took (4) 2"x6"s, hammered them together into a box and nailed it to the end of the beam as if that seemed structurally sound to them. ONLY AFTER we pointed it out did the builder engineer a fix. They said it would have been caught on inspection, but I doubt it since the framers were already covering the ends with ply-board. It all would have been covered for inspection.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Structural Engineering
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
9/16/2017
Structural Engineer: StructuralEng, Consultant replied 8 months ago
StructuralEng
StructuralEng, Consultant
Category: Structural Engineering
Satisfied Customers: 7,656
Experience: Structural Engineer
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Hello
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Hi!
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Here is fine. A phone call will require me to take notes so this is easier. How are you?
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I am already losing $13,000 to a shoddy builder, should I chalk this up as just another loss? I do not wish to pay even more for a phone call. You guys emailed me that there is an answer....... anybody there? hello? Most stressful year of our lives. Please don't add to my list of regrets.
Structural Engineer: StructuralEng, Consultant replied 8 months ago
How was the extension of the been added to the beam? And how long ago was it done?
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Structural Engineer: StructuralEng, Consultant replied 8 months ago
Are you able t see my questions?
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
this was what they had just discovered when I showed up last Wednesday- then they started cutting everything open. Did not consult with engineer befor just ***** *****fting & shimming the beam... did it all on the fly...
Structural Engineer: StructuralEng, Consultant replied 8 months ago
I'm looking through all the documents that you posted now, so give me some time to look through them. For the very first one that you posted where it's attaching the short beam to the cripple wall, can you take a picture of this condition in your basement for me or describe where the support exists exactly?
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
No basement. The beam is the one in the photo between the garage and corner of second story cantilever. Once you see all pics it should be clear
Structural Engineer: StructuralEng, Consultant replied 8 months ago
Thank you for the pictures. Do you have a picture of the actual splice condition? And is the deflection of the beam directly under where this splice was made?
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Structural Engineer: StructuralEng, Consultant replied 8 months ago
In the very last picture, am I looking at the sheathing on the beam extension at the top of the opening in the picture?
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
they lifted the beam, placed a 3/8" OSB shim between it and the garage frame. And we're adding trusses under the flooring in the bedroom to try & plane out the sag. A framer called out to do repair showed me how even after the shim was in place, the entire garage ceiling was angled towards the drop all along the beam.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Not "we're", but they "were"
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Basically- would you pay $340k for this house- knowing that there will likely be years of aftermath? And who knows what else is done poorly (not necessarily illegal, but shoddy work all the same)? We foresee having to rip apart floors, ceilings and walls in the future to address the fallout from all this movement. We were at finish work- all the stucco & drywall on & getting ready to carpet & tile... We think wise move is to walk away if they won't do an engineering study on it.
Structural Engineer: StructuralEng, Consultant replied 8 months ago
I know all of his pictures makes sense with you taking them and knowing exactly what you're looking at.
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Structural Engineer: StructuralEng, Consultant replied 8 months ago
Could you annotate and one for me so that I can get myself oriented so I know exactly what I'm looking at
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Sure- multitasking only from my phone so may take me a bit. Thx. I will understand if it takes you some time to get back! (I was only complaining earlier because I was afraid I was engaging with an auto-reply AI program- LOL) Thank you!
Structural Engineer: StructuralEng, Consultant replied 8 months ago
No problem. I'll keep an eye out for it
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
PS- moving forward, I am not counting on 'legal' advice and won't be sharing your responses with anyone- this is to help us feel better about walking away from $13k of our hard earned money, because this house may actually end up costing us exponentially more if we allow close of escrow!
Structural Engineer: StructuralEng, Consultant replied 8 months ago
Understood.
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