My Toll Experience

Basement Walls

1.  The relevant code, BOCA ’93, and the house plans themselves call for the front basement wall to be 10” thick, because it supports an upper wall that has a brick façade.  Nonetheless, the wall is only 8” thick, as determined by core samples taken by U.S. Labs, an engineering firm that specializes in concrete work.  (See U.S. Labs Report.)  As a result, the bricks along the front of the house extend beyond the foundation wall all along the front of the house and also at the north and south ends, and are cracking because they are not properly supported.  (See Criterium-Lockatong ReportHuffman Report, and photos.) 

Toll’s expert witness, Harald Greve, asserts that there is nothing wrong with the front wall or the bricks.

2.  Because of tie form failures, i.e., incorrect pouring of the concrete, the basement walls are bowed in several places.  (See Criterium-Lockatong Report, D'Alessio Report, and photos.)  This means they provide inadequate support.

Toll’s expert witness, Harald Greve, asserts that there is nothing wrong with the walls.

3.  While the relevant code calls for the presence of vertical and horizontal rebar (reinforcing metal bars) in poured concrete walls where the walls are 8” thick and the unbalanced fill along these walls exceeds 7’ in height, both of which conditions are met in my basement walls, the required rebar is not present.  (See Huffman Report, D'Alessio Report, and U.S. Labs Report.)

As a result, there are dozens of cracks in my basement walls, both vertical and horizontal, and both water and mud are seeping through as a result.  (See photos.)  The fact that mud is coming through indicates that the cracks go all the way through the basement walls. 

4.  The problems with water in the basement are compounded by the fact that the ground immediately surrounding the basement walls was graded incorrectly and slopes toward the foundation instead of away from it – another serious code violation.  As a result of this, I end up with a twelve-foot wide waterfall down the inside back wall of my basement every time there is a heavy rain.  (See photos.)  The problem is compounded further by the fact that, while I paid an extra $3000 for a waterproofing membrane around the foundation, I got only half a waterproofing membrane – instead of extending all the way up to the soil line, it stops two feet short of that in places, leaving the top of the basement wall unprotected.  (See Criterium-Lockatong Report, Huffman Report, and photos.)  In addition, the soil around by house is mostly clay, which does not absorb any of the water as it runs down toward the basement walls.  (See Rutgers Report.)

Harald Greve denies that there are any problems with the basement walls, or that any rebar is required.  His exact words, upon examining my basement walls in August 2010 at the height of the driest summer in recent years, were: “Well, there’s no water coming through the walls today, so as far as I am concerned, there’s not a problem.”

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