Author Topic: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?  (Read 920 times)

jjones1438

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Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« on: August 01, 2019, 12:12:44 PM »
Found a home DW and I really like, but noticed it has a cinder block foundation and is 65 years old. Based on what I have read, these types of foundations are less reliable long term compared to the alternatives. Outside of these 2 characteristics, we like everything else about the house, but fear these may be 2 deal killers. This would not be a house to rent, but rather to live in long term. Has anyone ever bought a house like this? Would it be wise to walk away based on this information?

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2019, 01:06:15 PM »
Are you sure its a cinder block foundation rather than a concrete block foundation?

Jon Bon

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2019, 01:10:46 PM »
Uh, well you really would not like anything in Europe, those foundations (many made of the same stuff) are somewhere between 500 and 2000 years old!

I mean mainly that's a joke, but what do you expect? The house is still standing 65 years later it is probably fine. Foundations are usually a binary function.  They are good = 1 or the are bad = 0.

There are millions of houses with old foundations from fieldstone, to block to poured concrete. It has much more to do with how the foundation was laid, what quality materials were used, and how good of a job people did keeping water away from the foundation.

J Dough

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2019, 01:42:10 PM »
I don't know what building materials were used when the house you are looking at was built, but YttriumNitrate raises a great point. You should start by researching the difference between cinder block and concrete blocks (look up CMUs or Concrete Masonry Units).

I'm following a Youtube Channel called Essential Craftsman, which is detailing the process of building a house. The man that runs the channel used to be a carpenter and became a general contractor, and he has some great videos. I mention him because it looks like he is building a very high quality house, and he is using CMUs. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a house that used concrete blocks.

affordablehousing

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2019, 03:07:38 PM »
I wouldn't worry about it. You could always replace the foundation with concrete down the road. Have you had an engineer look at it? You just want a foundation in good shape, not necessarily a pretty one. If the drainage and slope is proper, you shouldn't have an issue. Water is what ruins things.

jjones1438

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2019, 06:39:26 PM »
Concrete blocks I believe is correct, NOT cinder blocks

Papa bear

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2019, 09:15:21 PM »
Concrete block foundations are really pretty standard in these parts.  I have houses that are stone rubble, block, clay, cut stone, and poured concrete.  Nothing wrong with concrete block though.  Keep water away and youíre fine.


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VTKate

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2019, 07:59:23 AM »
I'm in the process of buying a 100 yr old home with CMU foundation. This is my first home and some things in the foundation looked weird to me so I forked over the money for an additional foundation inspection from an engineer. No problems at all and those have been there for a long long time (though not the full age of the house).

Candace

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2019, 09:22:21 AM »
Thank you for this discussion. It's very interesting. I might check out that YouTube channel, too.

bthewalls

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2019, 03:37:08 PM »
Iím an engineer.

If in doubt (an even if not!)....have a structural engineer check it out.

Barry

Fishindude

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2019, 07:11:30 AM »
"Cinder block" is an old term that does not apply in this day and age.   Your foundation is likely good old concrete block which has been around for ages and is a fine foundation material.
So long as it's not cracked up, shifted out of level, etc., I wouldn't have any concern.

jjones1438

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2019, 09:36:28 AM »
Went and looked at the house, easy pass. The brick was painted and peeling in many places (I read online this can cost $5K-$10K to repaint and needs to be redone every 3-5 years), the foundation was bowed (maybe not the right term, but in short, in terrible condition in numerous spots), the land looked great in pictures, but was extremely uneven, and the addition to the house was done poorly, and to top it off, it smelled of mold.

Absolutely crazy to me that this house was "Contingent" after the weekend. Extremely attractive in pictures, I'm no expert, but so many red flags and signs of continued upkeep costs in the future.

bthewalls

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Re: Would you buy a house with a cinder block foundation?
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2019, 02:20:13 PM »
Structural failure.?....could be many causes....mould smell?....always good to have moisture meter when inspecting and there cheap on Amazon.