shifting house/splitting in half....

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shifting house/splitting in half....

Postby hisfehrlady » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:19 am

Hi,
I'm a newbie here, but need some advice. We have a 1993 double-wide in an old park in Western NY state. It has been shifting on a regular basis since before we lived here. Although new codes require a cement pad under the homes now, ours doesn't have one because it was placed before the code went into effect. (It was shoe-horned into a single-wide lot!) Anyway, the ground under it is soft and often wet-we found out that there is an artisian well several houses away that flows down towards our lot.

The constant shifting has caused the house to split in the middle at least twice since we've lived here in the past 6 years. We have re-leveled it & it worked for a little bit, but has now shifted again and is coming apart again. HELP!!!! I honestly don't know what to do, and the park owner, of course, doesn't want to know anything about it. We've basically been told that it's "our problem".
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Re: shifting house/splitting in half....

Postby flcruising » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:12 pm

I'm sorry to hear about your ordeal. It is my understanding that an artesian well is one that flows to the surface under it's own pressure because of the force of the rock surrounding it. If this is the case for you, are you saying that the neighbors have a well that is flowing constantly onto the ground saturating it and making it unstable?

I know this doesn't sound like good news, but it seems to me that a 'Geotechnical Engineer' may be a necessary consultant to determine the correct approach to this. Soil boring would be performed in various locations, then the appropriate foundation could be designed. Unless you want to relevel constantly, move, or put a cork in that well, a new foundation is probably in order.
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Re: shifting house/splitting in half....

Postby Greg » Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:53 pm

Hi & welcome. You, my friend are between a rock and a hard spot. Depending on your relationship with the park owner/manager it may be your best bet to try to work with them. You could try to CALMLY explain to them that the lack of proper support under the home is damaging the home and can they work with you. Possibly a different lot?

Your next (and more risky) option would be to contact the codes office in your town/county and see what they say. This could cause a problem with the management & the town if there are violations and that in turn WILL cause a problem with you.

I wish I had a better answer for you but in all honesty that may very well be the way it plays out.

Greg
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Re: shifting house/splitting in half....

Postby hisfehrlady » Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:55 am

Thanks guys for the info. The park manager has been trying -with his own 2-man regular maintenance crew to dig things up and try to fix it, but they are not the type who would really know anything about 'Geotechnical engineering'. There have been many places around the park that underground water pipes have broken or rotted because of their age. They are constantly digging things up around here, & trust me on this-it's not because he wants to, but because the county health dept. has gotten on him. He has had a lot of violations against this park for some time now. This is a small town & the owner is one of these folks who have been around for ages, has A LOT of money, & everyone knows him or his daughter-who manages the park. We have no manager on-site. This guy doesn't want to put money into anything. Any time I have approached them about the situation, I've been told to contact the company that the house had been bought from in 1993, by a woman who is no longer living. I called the company once about 4 yrs. ago & left a msg. & of course, they never got back to me.
I have lived here for 10 yrs.-on 2 different lots/2 different homes. Our lot rent is supposed to include water & we never signed a new lease-which carries over from yr.-to-yr. About 2 yrs. ago this guy TOLD us(didn't ask, didn't negotiate,just did it) he was installing water meters on our homes & is charging us a separate water bill monthly. It is a water bill that comes directly from their 'office' & goes to them. No water authourity involved whats-so-ever. And to the best of my knowledge, he has the same maintenance crew or himself, read the meters & charge us accordingly. He also did away with the so-called 'playground' that they had for the kids who live here, so they have nothing to do but bother other people. And they won't even allow you to have a toddler-size plastic swimming pool.

I have tried to get in touch with the town codes person, but they are never in their office & the clerks always refer me to a website that- I'll be damned- I can figure out how to navigate my way around it- & I am by no means, computer-illiterate! They have had other folks sign a document that states that they have read & understood a copy of the park "rules & regulations", and those folks have NEVER received copies of said rules & regulations. No one here wants to band together & stand up to this guy, legally or otherwise. So everyone just bites the bullet & deals, because like us-they don't have the time or resources to consider moving to another park, or buying another home. And, I could go on & on & on... but I know I'm just ranting. Thanks for listening......
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Re: shifting house/splitting in half....

Postby Greg » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:09 pm

Ok I may be able to explain SOME of your complaints, My wife used to manage our park so I do know some of the other side.

NYS regulations state very clearly that a yearly lease MUST be offered, you are not required to sign a lease.

Our park had it's own water wells, the water was the hardest water that many water softener suppliers had ever seen - water heaters may have lasted 5 years if you were luckey. Municipal water mains were finally run to this part of the town so we finally had good water. The park has 2 meters for the water coming into the park that the town bills the park from. Each home has it's own meter and we are billed for what we use rather than split the bill among the residents.

Park & pools - blame the insurance company and the lawyers that like to sue anyone with money. I don't agree with it, but I do understand it.

Our codes officer is part time, as are many small town officials. usually if you leave a message they will call you back, it turns into a game of tag.

My advise would be to look for land and get out of the park.

Greg
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Re: shifting house/splitting in half....

Postby Greg S » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:15 pm

You state in your original post that you discovered there is a artesian well that flows toward your lot.
Does this flow underground or above ground.
Depending on the flow and depth it may be possible to surround your home with a buried big O or weeping tile that could direct the water away from your home if the slope allowed.
We have a similar problem, more associated with spring run off, in our park and most home owners have buried the big O to prevent water from going under there homes.
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