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Old 08-22-2003, 09:58 PM   #1
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Not going to believe this---the sequel....

Well, just had the adjusters come out today (second visit). If you recall, about a month ago, I had a tree, on a clear warm day just fall on my garage (and within inches nearly end the life of my Bambi, boat and 1996 Impala SS with 4700 miles on it). It cracked the slab (more than it already was) push out a wall about an inch and bust a main rib rafter (one of four) (yet no one was hurt, and the toys were not effected at all).

Well after much talk, they have now decided to replace the entire garage since it now appears it will cost more to fix (to them) than to simply replace.

What do you all think my options are? The garage does not seem that bad or unsalvageable with the right mindset..... I feel it can be braced and patched to hold at the very least 4 feet of snow on it....

A new garage, complete with concrete work, roof and all to get it to the same state I have now (heated), I have been told would cost between 12 to 15 thousand dollars.

Anyone out there know what the options are in a situation where a claim has been filed and the damage, although not terrible, is in need of attention, but not really to the point of replacement?

Thanks,

Eric
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Old 08-23-2003, 12:05 AM   #2
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That was certainly a lucky break to have all the toys safe, could have been tragic!

Do you think the crack in the slab is the main problem? I would think the crack in the slab and moving a wall out would be pretty serious structural damage. I'll bet that's why they want to take it down and fix the foundation and build it back up from the ground again. A big hassle, but you want it to protect the toys next time a tree takes a shot at it! Just make sure they end up with exactly what you've got now (heated garage, you lucky dog)!

Maybe you could get some independant opinions as to the cost to fix, and convince them otherwise if you really think it's salvageable.
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Old 08-23-2003, 05:31 AM   #3
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build you a new garage. in the long term, it will increase the value of the property, and even more important, will make it more attractive to buy. There won't be any structural issues to be concerned about, and you'll have a new, uncracked slab. It'll be a hassle initially, but end result will be worthwhile.

good luck!

Roger
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Old 08-23-2003, 05:34 AM   #4
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Well, the cracks are to me the least of the problems. They are not that bad, but in the course of 5 years might be something I need to address, but in some places, I already over the years have had to drill and fill the voids anyway with hydraullic cement. True, a losing battle in the end, but I might get 10 more years out of it. The wall can be pounded back into place, not really the issue either. It mainly appears that the wall off by about an inch and the slab are only contributing factors. The main problem is one of the four main rib joists has a 1 foot crack in it.

So after talking with the approved contractor and the adjusters, it really seems that the main cost of repair is the concrete work and removing 20% of the roof to get to replacing the joist. See part of the problem is the town code. Back in the 1950s, they used to be able to throw a slab down and built the garages on slabs, no footings or foundations really. Today, the town code would prohibit them from simply cutting away the slab around the interior framework and just repour. They now need footings all around. To do this by lifting the garage would be costly with all the other stuff they have to do. So by their calculations, it's cheaper to totally replace than to try to spend the time and money to repair.

If I can get a settlement, being the if it takes one inch add two feet type of person that I am, I can fix it to where it will be fine.

To keep this Airstream related, I am kind of thinking if I get a settlement, I would fix the garage and with what is left, if any, put it toward the Safari "SS" fund.

Eric
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Old 08-23-2003, 05:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silvertwinkie

If I can get a settlement....

Eric
Homeowners usually do not get a hold of the funds. The contractor and/or lien holder usually do.
And even if, next time you have 4'1" snow and the whole thing collapses, the insurance company would laugh in your face.
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Old 08-23-2003, 05:57 AM   #6
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Well, there is no lein holder on the property any longer. I have spoken with a few folks and they all told me that they got settlement funds to do the work themselves if that is what they chose.

True, it is a hassle and of course any solution I would come up with would make the garages strucurally sound to withstand multiple feet of snow on top.

See, although a new garage would be nice, the property is already way over valued. The property at this point anywhere else on this rock would cost about $175k to $225k. However, being that it's all location, location, location as of a few months ago, it was clocked in on radar at just over $300k. When I moved in 7 years ago, it was $175k, so if I did sell, any allowances for the garage would be more than an acceptable write off at this point as you can see.

Moreover, land, let alone housing costs around here have made me think about taking down the detached garage and the home and constructing something new in about 3-5 years.

So you can now see the crux of my decision. Fix it myself (if I can get settlement funds), or have them pour what they feel is between 10 and 15 grand on a garage that for all **might** be torn down. Even if I don't do the home building thing, as I said earlier, any allowance for a garage issue if I sold the property is kind of moot to me give the additional info.

Thanks for all the input though. I need to get some real feedback from others exp in the area.

Eric
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Old 08-23-2003, 05:59 AM   #7
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Exclamation You might want to reconsider

Silvertwinkie

I've read your post very carefully and, I'm getting this drift..

Correct me if I'm wrong..

You want to hang onto the original garage yet, you seem to be asking if it's okay to take the money and...make necessary repairs, that at best, are cosmetic..(I know this isn't quite the correct word..but)
If you should and, you will oneday, sell your house...don't you think that the next 'new owner' of your place won't find this out?
(title search, etc)
(You just might be setting yourself for a lawsuit with them and, the insurance company for concealing a property defect..)
My take on this is:
Settle with the insurance company, have the work done as prescribed in the settlement and, sleep at night..Knowing that all of your toys are safe and, you'll get to use them..
IMHO...a word from a friend to a friend

ciao
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Old 08-23-2003, 06:01 AM   #8
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Re: You might want to reconsider

Quote:
Originally posted by 53FlyingCloud
Silvertwinkie

I've read your post very carefully and, I'm getting this drift..

Correct me if I'm wrong..

You want to hang onto the original garage yet, you seem to be asking if it's okay to take the money and...make necessary repairs, that at best, are cosmetic..
If you should and, you will oneday, sell your house...don't you think that the next 'new owner' of your place won't find this out?
(title search, etc)
(You just might be setting yourself for a lawsuit with them and, the insurance company for concealing a property defect..)
My take on this is:
Settle with the insurance company, have the work done as prescribed in the settlement and, sleep at night..Knowing that all of your toys are safe and, you'll get to use them..
IMHO...a word from a friend to a friend

ciao
Definately one of the routes under consideration.

Thanks for keep me grounded to reality!

Eric
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Old 08-23-2003, 06:15 AM   #9
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The main problem is one of the four main rib joists has a 1 foot crack in it.
How old is the garage? Sounds like post and beam construction rather than standard 16" oc studs and rafters.

John
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Old 08-23-2003, 06:16 AM   #10
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I would take the money & find a reasonable professional to do the repairs that are needed, but to rebuild seems overkill
It's your money, & you can have it fixed under your terms and keep the surplus $$ to compensate for the hassle

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Old 08-23-2003, 06:32 AM   #11
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It was built in 1954. It appears to be 24" oc studs and rafters with the four outer corners being 2x8 rather than the 2x6 secondary roof joists.

Hart, that is one of the options I am considering as well. I too think that since the repair cost is more, they are kind of swatting at a fly with a sludgehammer rather than a flyswatter, but either way, as long as they cover my loss, I'll be happy. It's just hard to decide which option to do (and this is where I am looking for people's insights since I am calling the adjuster today to see what options I have, if any).

Great feedback folks. I really appreciate it....



Eric
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Old 08-23-2003, 07:01 AM   #12
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Ok. I just got off the phone with the adjuster. They told me I have two options. The garage is in their opinion a total loss (based on cost to repair vs. replace). I can have the garage rebuilt or I can "cash out". The cash out value would be whatever the cost would be that they project it would cost to replace the garage (in this case $10k to $15k).

The decision keeps getting tougher......

Eric
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Old 08-23-2003, 07:11 AM   #13
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As long as it is not post and beam you are not changing construction type which could lower the value.

There should be bolts around the perimeter of the floor and through the bottom plate. If the wall moved an inch it had to split that also. It is hard to square everything up again once that has happened and you loose strength once the walls get out of square.

I am with Peter, they are not going to give you a check, most likely it will be a 2 party check to you and the general contractor.

You can talk to the insurance company about being your own general contractor but that will require you to line up all the subs, get permits and inspections, etc. It is more work, but you have input into the quality. But the money that would have been profit for the general contractor can be used in the structure.

John
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Old 08-23-2003, 07:12 AM   #14
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Eric,

One thought is resale of your property. If you have a municipal housing inspection requirement or the buyer brings in an inspector, the problem may be discovered. This probably is a pay me now or pay me later situation. I'd go for the replacement.

Jack
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Old 08-23-2003, 07:40 AM   #15
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Smile

Well, the guy on the phone made it clear to cash out, means I get the money. Jack is right though, it's a pay now or pay later. Thing is this, the house has almost doubled in value in 6 years. Not that past performance would be the same in the future, but to give a 10-15k allowance for the garage in the future off the amount the house has already appreciated, will possilby appreciate in the future, and the fact that I get liquid cash now makes the cash out option somewhat appealing to me. Make no mistake though, the adjuster made it clear that a cash out would mean they hand over a check to me for the total cost of the loss. No one else if I choose this option. The only thing I am waiting for is what that cash out number will be to make the final decision which way to go.

I would repair the garage if I went this route. I had 4 200lb guys up on the roof yesterday on the cracked beam. There was almost no play. Of course 4-7 feet of snow is a bit more than that, but since the garage is heated, it rarely keeps more than 2 feet of snow up there.

Decisions, decisions.

Eric
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Old 08-23-2003, 08:14 AM   #16
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Hi Eric,
You have insurance on the property to protect the property, and your investment in the property. I'd say let them do their thing, as it seems that they have your and your families best interest in mind, by offering to you to do a replacement, instead of patching etc etc.
I think you would regret not fixing the garage properly, after all, the house typically is our biggest investment.
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Old 08-23-2003, 08:48 AM   #17
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I would repair the garage if I went this route.
Check with your agent and see if would still be insured. If you have your car and boat in there and something happens it might be on you if they question the integrity of the repair.

I would get a couple of contractors to give repair estimates. The insurance companies are going to go the cheapest route, don't get in a situation where you take a check and "hidden damage" ends up costing you.

John
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Old 08-23-2003, 05:22 PM   #18
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I'm with qqq;

Find a good contractor thru networking and save the paperwork on the repair for future prof of repair should you need it. Check the contractor out with bbb and get referances
The insurance co. has to address the problem with the slab and from reading your post that does not seem to be your major concern.


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Old 08-23-2003, 06:43 PM   #19
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Eric,

Hear is another thought, could you take the money and find a contractor that would rebuild it big enough to put your A.S. in. Would the building code permit it ? Sounds like you probably are in an area where you would have to have building permits and inspections. If it is not up to code you would be in for a hard time.
Just a thought.

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Old 08-23-2003, 07:27 PM   #20
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Well Having had to do some repair to what sounds like a very simular constucted and vintage garage of my grandmothers in Detroit........I'd say let them rebuild it.

Once that slab is broken its going to be nothing but trouble. Every winter the frost heave is going to make it worse and worse. The fact that a tree hitting the roof cause the slab to be damaged is the proof. It's sitting on soft ground and more then likly the roots from that tree are up under it. Once they rot out it will make a void and the frost heave will be worse.

I understand your concern of possible change but you need to check into your local building codes and stuff. It may be that you will not be able to build a house of a different size that will accomidate an attached garage. You may overbuild the property and even though you already have apreciated 100+k you may never recover that if you were to level and rebuild.

Need to do your best to look at the long term and understand that rules may change and something that you could do now may be shot down in the future.

Your home is 50 years old now and homes of simular vintage in Atlanta are now concidered historic here in some areas. It's damn tough to get through the city code and junk around here to be able to level a home and rebuild. The code requires it be rebuilt in simular size and style to the original and surounding. It would have to be approved by the historic commity. About the only way to build new is if the old is a total loss from fire or natural disaster. It only takes 2 or three people to think a "historic" designations is a "good idea" and 51% of the people in the area to agree.
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