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Old Posted Aug 12, 2015, 1:00 AM
condo_owner condo_owner is offline
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Hawkstone Condo by Pekarbilt

I have posted this in the regina construction thread. I decided to start a new thread because I would like to hear more comments of what can be done in getting the builder to address these issues. Hope they will see this.

I would like to listen you guys opinions on the works that my builder "PekarBilt" is taking to the condo which is still under construction. The images were recently taken after the heavy rainfall in Regina about 2 weeks ago. Comments are very much appreciated.

Most importantly, Emails with concerns have been raised to the builder but NONE reply has been received as of yet. They didn't answer me a single email on how this will be fixed and seemed to be ignoring my concerns but doing something that doesn't look right.

Is there another way I can bring this up to the City who approved for the building permit? If a large hollow pocket is found, my concern would be the stability of the concrete above. Should compaction be looked after properly? The builder simply ignored, or how can I bring this up and I just don't want them to finish a crappy job and leave.

A picture tells a thousand words, please have a look.

1. Ground started to settled after the rainfall on July 27, 2015


2. A closer look


3. A closer look on the other side showing a hollow pocket underneath the concrete pad


4. Measurement taken inside the hollow pocket, it is 4 ft across!


5. So, they removed the turf and tried to do something about it


6. You can see how much it has settled


7. Here comes the fix. Without digging down, they hauled in more dirt and trying to put more on top.


8. Today, they put the fill to concrete level but one sprinkler at the far corner was buried.


9. The buried sprinkler is 4" below ground now.


10. The gravel area has settled 6"


11. A closer look into the hollow pocket under the concrete pad, it is 4 ft across by about 6 ft long, I can easily insert the measuring tape from one side to the other!


From what I can see in the pictures, I don't know if they will remove the concrete pad and compact the gravel or soil underneath, looks like they are simply going to stuff in gravel from the side. What do you guys think? I don't know how much or how effective this fix is going to be? The concrete is sagging already, it seems that this is just going to be a matter of time when a crack formed and another settlement occurs.
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Old Posted Aug 12, 2015, 1:25 AM
condo_owner condo_owner is offline
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First comment by others in the regina construction thread is brought to here:

The situation you are showing is typical around new and existing construction in Regina. the soil around the house and under any area that was previously excavated will always settle in time and heavy rainfall will just accelerate the process. Drive around the city and check out how many front steps on homes are just hanging in space (the ones that were attached to the foundations at least) My first house had a final step so great in height that we mounted our mailbox to the side of the house because the mailman would not climb the step. Not sure what the contractors responsibility is in this matter is. Only way to stop sidewalks settling is to make them structural slabs. i.e. put piles under them. Slab on grade will move up and down with the soil or hinge at the point where it is attached to the house/condo.
The point is that previously excavated ground will settle over time period. Even with proper compaction of the soil. Shoving soil in from the sides under the slabs is just a cosmetic fix since it cannot be compacted.
Good luck with getting them to repair the issue. (I mean good luck, i.e. not trying to be sarcastic)
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Old Posted Aug 12, 2015, 1:25 AM
condo_owner condo_owner is offline
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Second comment by others:

My best advice is to continue to communicate with the Pekarbilt warranty department, just remember that your Contractor hired subcontractors to perform the landscaping at your condo. Pekarbilt is likely dealing with them to resolve your issues. Sometimes that takes 'time'. It does appear that you are having issues with compaction.

An extension can be installed between the line and the sprinkler head to raise the sprinkler height. That's an easy repair.

Under the slab or stairs could be mudjacked or foam injection used to fill in the void area possibly. But again I would continue to work with Pekarbuilt and know that it will take some time to be fully resolved.
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Old Posted Aug 12, 2015, 1:27 AM
condo_owner condo_owner is offline
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My reply according to the comments above:

Thanks for your comments

Communication may work if they will ever answer emails related to these issues. Emails have been sent out to the company president Randy Pekar and cc to business manager and their warranty team with pictures and descriptions, but NONE reply has been received.

Yesterday, I met their site foreman and another guy who should be their subcontractor. When I asked them how these issues are going to be fixed and their replies are basically "they will be fixed, don't worry". They said that they already brought in more gravel to fill. And then I asked how they are going to fill that giant hollow pocket under the concrete, they said they are going to fill it with gravel from the side. I asked how about compaction and the concrete, they said they can't really do anything about it. They said the concrete has rebar in it and that it should hold the weight.

After hearing what they said to me onsite, I was like a speechless man. What could I say? Mudjacking - they haven't mentioned a single word about it. A communication like this is totally unheard of, that's why I decided to open it up and hopefully they will see this and do something better.
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Old Posted Aug 12, 2015, 4:35 PM
MrGrinch MrGrinch is offline
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I have had similar experiences in my new home here in Winnipeg. I was built over the dead of winter months and as the frozen ground was excavated and re-packed it created significant air bubbles under the surface due to temperature. During the spring thaw everything settled so much and saw many of the gaps you show in your pictures. Before my driveway was poured, I woke up one morning with my car nearly swallowed by a gaping trench that opened up in the spring where the water line was run to the house. Fortunately no driveway yet and the builder came back every week to re-grade the property nicely for any settling.

It looks like in your case they perhaps didn't wait some time for soil / fill to settle and just went ahead and poured everything on top, as well as stucco. My builder waited at least until mid-summer and would have preferred even longer (ie beyond a year). I was lucky though as given lengths involved, my driveway and walkway were reinforced with rebar and have held reasonably well - but neighbors with the same do have noticeable shifts so rebar is not always the solution. But that gap under the stairs looks very familiar. I ended up just inserting a painted black length of board along the gap that matches the soil colour and is un-noticable unless you really look to see it. Was very necessary to do something as I ended up with a family of skunks burrowing under the gap in the steps a couple of years ago!

There was one family on my new street that did have a significant drop in driveway from the garage to the point it was difficult to drive their car inside, and were able to get the builder to cover the cost of the repair. They used mudruckers for mud jacking (www.muddruckers.com) and did a very good job. But apparently the bill was thousands of dollars for a driveway and walkway their size.

When does your builder warranty end and are your covered beyond by a national new home warranty program (not sure how this works with condos)...?
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Old Posted Aug 12, 2015, 4:57 PM
NK59 NK59 is offline
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I'm assuming you have taken possession and any deficiency list has been submitted already?

What was the measurement of the rise of the step prior to settling? What is it now? Try and make the work a building code issue if possible and call the city inspector to come look. You will not get very far if you try and push it as a quality of workmanship issue. You may be able to find something about the change in grade of a concrete approach somewhere??? I know for a basement floor the floor is to be level to a certain number of mm over a certain distance and that is a home warranty requirement in MB.

Might be a decent idea to get the site plan and examine it. The developer would have had to submit this to the city for approval, and there may be some specifications on these plans or look elsewhere for granular type & thickness requirements.

Continue to do exactly what you are doing by documenting everything including who said what, when, where, etc. Put a date stamp on your camera when you take photos. Will look more professional if this gets nasty Prepare and document everything as if you/condo development are going to put a small claim for $10,000 in against them. Actual legal action will not be worth it unless it becomes like $30k in repairs.
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Old Posted Aug 12, 2015, 6:33 PM
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biguc biguc is offline
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Peckers are notoriously shoddy builders.
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